Editor's note: IT analysts at Partners Healthcare System Inc. shared their insights with SearchWin2000.com on a recent internal study about how and when it will migrate from Windows 2000. Watch for coverage when Partners makes its final decision.
Microsoft expects IT shops to upgrade their PCs so they are current with the latest release of Windows. When a new version of the operating system comes out, it encourages customers to do a "forklift upgrade" -- an upgrade that requires a massive technology investment.
Partners Healthcare System Inc.,
"We just didn't need to be that aggressive," said James Marra, a senior research analyst for Boston-based Partners. "There is a huge cost associated with putting bodies out there to do those upgrades. And it's not clear whether or not those machines will be able to support Longhorn."
But Marra and William Henderson, a fellow senior research analyst, do agree that Partners will probably have to do more than stay put on Windows 2000 until the Longhorn version of Windows is released. And the agents of change come from within the organization. There are some researchers at Partners, for instance, who tend to push for the latest software available.
License agreements part of the equation
An internal operating system study that was recently completed at Partners has also sparked a parallel discussion with
"It's great that [Microsoft plans] another version of XP so it can say it came out with another release, but what does it buy me?" Marra asked.
As product time frames get pushed out, some speculate that it wouldn't be a surprise if Microsoft ends up extending its support for XP. "You can't end support until there is a replacement," Marra said. "And when they talk about XP Reloaded, it sounds like a combination of a service pack and new Media Player. You're going to charge me for that?"