IBM will go it alone and work with customers implementing beta versions of Windows 2000, after being left out of Microsoft's official rapid deployment partner programme for early adopters.
Big Blue was not on the list three weeks ago when Microsoft announced the 12 partners which it intended to implement pilot programmes based on the long-awaited operating system.
At the time, Microsoft said IBM was not included because it did not have a dedicated Microsoft business or alliance partner manager.
"I would have loved the entire industry to have taken the product early, but we have limited resources. We have a partnership with IBM's OEM division, but this programme requires such a massive level of commitment that we needed to have a one-to-one relationship," said Nick McGrath, Windows 2000 product marketing manager at Microsoft.
But speaking last week at Windows NT 99, Dick Sullivan, vice president of integrated solutions marketing at IBM's software solutions division, told PC Dealer: "We've had some difficulty getting Microsoft to recognise IBM as a Certified Solutions Provider. I don't know why we aren't accredited."
Sullivan maintained that the lack of official programme accreditation would not hinder IBM's plans to install pilot programmes for early adopters, and said the vendor was running two pilots based on data replication for UK customers.
"We are working on beta implementations and asking what type of product our customers need. Our services organisation has the capability to do the job and we are working with ISVs, implementers and remarketers," he added.
Sullivan claimed the 300 IBM software products available on Windows NT will be available when Windows 2000 goes on general release.
Microsoft's 12 rapid deployment partners are Cap Gemini, Compaq, Compel, Computacenter, Data General, ESoft, HP, ICL, Morse, OS Integration, Pygmalion and Unisys.
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