Microsoft has denied claims that its new Windows operating system, codenamed Whistler, will be obsolete by 2001.
The company released the first beta version of Whistler at the end of last month. According to Microsoft, the system provides software and hardware vendors with a single code base on which to develop applications and devices for both home and business users.
However, analyst Gartner has claimed its research reveals that companies which decided to wait for Whistler may end up having second thoughts, and choose to wait longer for the follow-up release, code-named Blackcomb.
According to Gartner, even if Whistler - which is scheduled for release in the second half of 2001 - meets its release date, the system will "not be compelling" to enterprise users. The company predicts that between 30 and 40 per cent of Windows servers will be on Windows 2000 by the end of next year.
But the software giant has disputed the claims, and remains confident about the success of Whistler.
Neil Laver, a Microsoft representative, said: "The product is built around Windows 2000, which has already proved its worth. All these rumours are pure conjecture. There is no reason why Whistler should not be a successful product."
Whistler is the consolidation of an operating system, he explained, which builds on the strengths of both 32bit and 64bit architectures. The product will be aimed at all business sizes, and also at home users.
"It is a complete home-to-enterprise solution," said Laver, adding that the beta version had already been very well received by the key partners and customers selected to try the software.
"Obviously we are still testing the product, and we cannot expect it to be completely flawless at this early stage," he said. "But it is based on an operating system that is totally reliable, and we are expecting the take-up to be very good."
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