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Michael Dell Unveils Computermaker’s Windows 2000 Deployment

SAN FRANCISCO – In talking about how Windows 2000 will help companies support e-business, Michael Dell declared today that Dell Computer Corp. (www.dell.com) was putting its own most prized system on Windows 2000.

“We’re implementing this ourselves for our most core application, which is Dell.com,” said Dell, founder and chairman of Dell Computer, during the opening keynote of the Windows 2000 Conference and Expo.

The company started converting Dell.com, which accounts for about 50 percent of the “Be Direct” computermaker’s sales, to Windows 2000 last week, Dell said.

Dell claimed that he had been running Windows 2000 beta code on his own Latitude LS notebook computer for about six months, used it to dial into Dell’s VPN, and was happy with the operating system.

Dell’s plans call for converting its 35,000 Exchange Server e-mail accounts from Windows NT to Windows 2000. Details of the timing and extent of Dell’s conversion were sparse.

During the keynote, Dell also pulled one of the company’s largest customers on stage to detail its own internal rollout. Ford Motor Co. began testing Windows 2000 in beta form in the fourth quarter of 1998. Ford began testing applications on the platform in November 1999.

The company’s strategy is to first convert 600 infrastructure servers to Windows 2000, next move e-mail and Web servers, and finally migrate desktops – a monumental job for a company with 370,000 employees in 100 countries. Ford expects to do the desktop migration in early 2001.

Meanwhile, asked if he had plans to begin producing giant SMP machines, Dell indicated he believed his company’s future remains with the SHV model.

“We’re not planning on building 64 processor machines,” Dell said, adding that he believed the company’s SHV model will continue to work even as companies centralize their IT infrastructures.

He pointed to new PowerEdge 2450 dual processor servers on stage for the demo as evidence of the way companies will solve scalability issues. Twenty-one of the servers fit in a rack. He also said he believed clustering was an important route to scalability.

Also today, Dell released limited details of an IT hosting business his company will launch in a few weeks called Dellhost.com. The program will primarily be targeted at smaller customers who don’t want to buy servers. – Scott Bekker

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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