March 19, 2001, 12:38 PM — When writers write about Windows, we tend to use the future tense. Windows of today isn't nearly as copyworthy as Windows yet to come. (See our related illustration, "The Evolution of Windows".)
Judging from IT buzz on the subject, business doesn't find Microsoft's latest server OS all that compelling either. There is, as yet, no great corporate stampede to upgrade Windows NT 4.0 servers to Windows 2000. Some businesses are waiting for .NET to take shape. Others are postponing big IT purchases until an economic upturn, lower interest rates, lower memory prices, 64-bit Intel CPUs, or whatever else the tea leaves tell them is a sign to move ahead.
Plenty of prophets are weighing in on the lukewarm response to enterprise Windows. The most outspoken of the Linux camp have touted the new 2.4 Kernel as the enterprise Windows killer. Sun and Oracle have foretold the fall of Windows and the failure of the PC. The U.S. Department of Justice has tried to weaken the giant by cleaving it in two.