Ask the Expert

Will NT be viable in two years?

I run a 300-user Windows NT4 network. We handle almost all desktop support in-house and use Microsoft's pay-per-incident support for anything our team can't resolve. Microsoft will be canceling this support in January 2005 and is recommending that we move to Active Directory, Windows 2000 Server and Windows XP on the desktops. With all the security hotfixes and patches available, will NT still be a viable network operating system in two years? Why should we upgrade?

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In two years I would imagine NT 4.0 will still be viable operating system -- it is just that you will find it harder and harder to find support, drivers for new systems that you purchase and any new software that you may wish to buy. Windows 2000 and Active Directory offer some very nice features for being able to manage users and resources on your network. In my mind it is the most compelling reason to upgrade. Windows XP has to be the best desktop environment they have developed to date. The features and stability are even better than Windows 2000.

This was first published in March 2003

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