A "buggy product" is celebrating its premiere in Germany

Microsoft introduces Windows 2000 operating system at Cebit /
Window into the internet

Frankfurt, Germany
February 24, 2000
Frankfurter Rundschau 2000

by Hans-Georg Schroeter

Windows 2000 is a buggy product. The new operating system contains 65,000 errors. A quarter of corporations will have a problem running its programs; the U.S. intelligence service and Scientology participated in its development. Besides that it hurts competition. This is not being asserted by critics and competitors of the giant from Redmond, but by the Microsoft developer itself right at the start of the "kick-off event" for its latest show at Cebit. By listing off these accusations, it is trying to make them look ridiculous.

All the more hot air Germany's chief, Richard Roy, has to make about the "greatest software project in the history of Microsoft" as sales start for the three versions in the current market. The "next generation of business computing" is said to be a terrific product - Roy is taking the words right out of Bill Gates' mouth - and it is said to be suitable for internet and e-commerce.

The software base of 30 million program lines, the development of which is said to have cost more than a billion dollars, is supposed to open the window for Microsoft into the world of server computers, which are the switchboards for corporate networks and the web. It's different for the group in that market than it is with PC operating systems where it has a near monopoly, because Windows NT, the predecessor of Windows 2000, is just one of several providers. Those include Sun Microsystems with Solaris, who, according to Microsoft, is the one who has filed the competition-related complaint against Microsoft in Brussels, Novell with Netware, and Linux, the free operating system. The latter has won a powerful share of the market, thereby gaining from the late start of the newcomer from Washington State.

Windows 2000 is now ready, asserted Roy. He said it took three years before the 3000 developer was done because the system was extensively and conclusively tested by Microsoft and customers. He justified the one year delay by saying that quality comes before tempo. And because of the 65,000 bugs. If they really existed, he said, the first customer would be "dead." Advance versions of Windows NT's successor had been implemented at 250 corporations, with a good dozen customers in Germany, from the Dresden Bank and the postal service to SAP and TOeV. The new product would cause the competition headaches, the manager was talking about an unparalleled price-performance ratio and a superlative interplay of portable end devices. Stable, too, he said of the system. Windows 2000 was said to have run for over 90 days without failing in endurance tests. That would happen with its predecessor every five days on the average he said, by which Microsoft verified problems with Windows NT.

But now, according to Roy, the newcomer is standing on the verge of breaking through into the business market. The entire software and hardware industry has announced products for Windows 2000; the series of partners goes from Adobe to Unisys, from Actebis to Fujitsu Siemens. More than 1,000 program-smiths show up on Cebit applications for the system. And 20,000 web sites are already using the platform, boasted Roy, among them top internet addresses like Dell.com and Nasdaq.com.

Naturally Microsoft has nothing against private people buying Windows 2000, either. But they say that people who love computer games would be better off waiting for the Windows 98 successor. The Millennium Edition is set to come out this summer.