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Will bugs scare off users of new Windows 2000?
(CNN) -- Microsoft says it is betting its future on Windows 2000, a new and more powerful operating system for business users that ships out Thursday. But with thousands of known bugs, will the software scare off companies that are looking to upgrade?
Georgia-based MMG healthcare is exactly the kind of mid-sized business Microsoft hopes will upgrade to Windows 2000, the "industrial-strength" Windows designed to replace the Windows NT software many businesses use now.
But MMG is not going for it, at least not yet.
"I think that there are going to be kinks encountered and I really don't want to be the first one to call their help desk and determine how to fix it," said Fred Cannon, MMG's information technology manager.
63,000 known bugs in the program
Bugs are a major concern for computer managers. One report cites a leaked Microsoft memo stating that Windows 2000 has 63,000 known bugs.
Microsoft says the bugs, most of which are trivial, are not a problem.
"Every operating system in history has some known issues," said Brian Sherwood, a member of the Windows 2000 development team. "We never said that it was going to ship with zero defects."
Sherwood and reviewers agree, however, that Windows 2000 is more powerful, less crash-prone and more Internet friendly than its predecessors. And it is easier to set up and run.
Some firms love 'Win2K'
Humbled by anti-trust troubles, and showing an unprecedented willingness to collaborate with its customers, Microsoft consulted 750,000 beta testers and 150 corporations while writing the new software. Those firms have now lined up to give Win2K" their blessing.
But migrating any company to Windows 2000 won't be cheap. Most companies will have to buy all three flavors of the software: desktop, server and Web site. There is also the cost of installing it, and re-training workers. One analyst said the total cost will run at least $1000 per employee.
However, the Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft is confident Windows 2000 is such a big step forward that the product will sell itself.
"We're betting the company on this product. And we should because it has all the features, all the reliability that customers are looking for," said Sherwood.
Windows 2000, with a distinctive etched-on hologram to foil bootleggers, goes on sale Thursday at prices ranging from $150 for a basic upgrade to $300 for a new installation.
An upgrade for home-users running Windows 95 or 98 will be called Windows Me and is slated for release later this year.
Use Windows 2000, save money?
Microsoft Windows 2000
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