Windows Server 2003 Sales Beat 2000: Microsoft

by Hinesh Jethwani    May 12, 2004

According to Microsoft, it didn’t take long for businesses to jump on to the Windows Server 2003 bandwagon. Within 90 days of its April 2003 release, sales of the operating system soared to a level three times that of Windows 2000 at the same date milestone.

Speaking to CXOtoday, Yasir Yousuff, senior marketing manager (for Windows Server Operating Systems), Microsoft India, said, “The India perspective is definitely in line with global figures, and according to estimates, Windows 2003 has exceed Windows 2000 sales levels by more than two times at least (comparing on the basis of sales in achieved a similar time frame). The addition of value-adds like central management of Active Directory Services and enhanced security features has really propelled its growth.”

Surprisingly, there is a stronger enterprise audience in India that is switching over to Windows 2003 from Windows NT 4.0, rather than a predictable trend of existing Windows 2000 users upgrading to the latest version - Windows 2003.

Dispelling all rumors about Microsoft ceasing support for its Windows 2000 Server line, Yousuff said that Microsoft will continue to back its users, and will also offer Windows 2003 users a downgrade option to switch over to 2000 - a policy which has understandably found few takers in the Indian market.

So does Microsoft really see Linux as a growing threat on the server space? Yousuff replied, “Linux has created more of a ’mind share’ than a market share today. We are not overly worried about the growth of Linux on the server front, as studies have revealed that a sizeable percentage of the enterprise audience using Linux at the server end today, have actually migrated from Unix, and not Windows Server. So the server market share of Windows facing a serious threat from Linux is hardly an issue to contend with.”

Rand Morimoto, president of Convergent Computing, a consulting, technical services and IT staffing organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area, admits that when Windows Server 2003 was first launched, he had concerns whether his customers were ready make the move to the new operating system. Morimoto cited the fact that not only tight IT budgets, but also the fact that many customers just don’t want to face the organizational challenge of an upgrade.

“Even though Windows Server 2003 offered many advantages over previous operating systems, I was concerned that customers would postpone adopting the new system and continue to operate on Windows NT Server 4.0. I knew that we would have to convince them that it was cheaper and easier to move to Windows Server 2003 than continue to patch and work with an older operating system,” Morimoto confessed.

Morimoto explained an instance of Windows 2003 security, by citing the case of enabling an older system to encrypt communications within a virtual private network (VPN). An organization would need to spend about $80 per employee to buy remote VPN client software. But with Windows Server 2003, encryption is built into the operating system itself. “It’s all built in with Windows Server 2003,” Morimoto said.

Today, more than a year after its release, Microsoft reports that the pace of deployments continues to increase, with platform upgrades from Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 to Windows Server 2003 sharply accelerating in recent months.

Tags: Windows