Gartner Asks Microsoft To Share Windows XP Reloaded Details

Microsoft should disclose more details about Windows XP Reloaded, a significant enhancement to Windows XP, said a research firm in a recently-published advisory, and give enterprises a more accurate timetable

March 5, 2004

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Microsoft should disclose more details about Windows XP Reloaded, a significant enhancement to Windows XP, said a research firm in a recently-published advisory, and give enterprises a more accurate timetable for the product's release and expected life cycle.

Gartner analysts Michael Silver, David Smith, and Marjorie Buckmaster took Microsoft to task in the advisory, published Wednesday, for its constantly-shifting announcements about major changes in its operating system line-up, and urged the company to spell out whether Windows XP Reloaded will be an upgrade or interim release (as was, for instance, Windows 98 Second Edition).

With Longhorn, the next generation desktop OS planned by Microsoft, now probably slipping into 2007, and support for the enterprise-popular Windows 2000 operating system ending this month, companies are caught between a rock and a hard place, said the analysts.

"[Microsoft] should begin discussing the timeline and feature sets [of Windows XP Reloaded] immediately, so that enterprises that have been hesitant to introduce Windows XP machines into their Windows 2000 environments can make informed decisions," the analysts wrote.

Moreover, they recommended that Microsoft clarify its Windows 2000 support timeline, and link the end of such support to the Longhorn's release."Enterprises should make it clear to Microsoft that they need better information on when new versions of Windows will likely ship, as well as a more predictable release cycle," they said.

In the meantime, Gartner recommended that companies consider deploying the current Windows XP, even if on only newly-purchased systems, to fill the gap between this year's support stoppage of Windows 2000 and the long-away release of Longhorn.

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