That Web site is responsible for half of the PC maker's revenue, Dell Computer chief executive Michael Dell said at a keynote address here this morning. Web site stability was a problem for the company late last year.
"Windows 2000 will be key to building the Internet," Dell said, kicking off a three-day launch event for the business-class operating system. The event culminates in the official launch of the much-anticipated OS on Thursday.
Dell's Windows 2000 enthusiasm contrasts somewhat with his recent comments in a conference call that the Linux operating system, considered an alternative to Microsoft Windows, was gaining momentum, and that there was no rush of corporate customers upgrading hardware systems for the new OS.
After the keynote, Dell downplayed those remarks. Microsoft representatives called him on what he said, but their concerns were diminished when they listened to a recording of the conference call, Dell said.
"I believe the adoption rate will be strong. I don't think it will be determined by my speeches," he said.
Dell today stressed the importance of e-commerce and the role of the new OS in that market.
"If you imagine this whole Internet economy, there's a tremendous amount of friction in this world in the way the economy works," he said. By tying businesses together through data
Windows 2000: Under the hood
New features for the various versions of Microsoft's latest corporate operating system.
|Windows 2000 Professional|
Computers can be upgraded from
Windows 95 and 98 without stripping hard
Supports USB, FireWire, DVD and other
Better power management than NT or
Networking is more manageable and
requires fewer "reboots."
Supports smart cards.
Introduces Device Manager and
plug-and-play device support.
Can work with up to 4GB of memory.
|Windows 2000 Server|
Introduces Active Directory for managing
multiple PCs on a network.
Supports virtual private networking and
more secure remote access.
Offers simpler and enhanced
Offers multimedia streaming.
Windows Terminal Services integrated
into OS rather than on separate software.
Supports sharing of data using XML
|Windows 2000 Advanced Server|
Network load balancing distributes
network traffic for improved performance.
Supports rolling upgrades and
maintenance for minimizing downtime.
Accepts up to 8GB of memory and up to
eight Intel-compatible processors.
During the keynote address, Dell personnel demonstrated an 11 percent performance gain in switching from Windows NT to Windows 2000 in a demonstration of Dell's own Web site.
Other companies joined Dell in singing the praises of the new OS. Ford Motor's chief information officer was on hand to announce that his company will be moving many of its basic business processes to the new OS this year.
Dell touted the new operating system's stability and said a solid Net connection is vital to business. Repeating a message heard from numerous companies these days, Dell said Internet connectivity is "as fundamental as electricity is in your infrastructure."
The CEO also focused on Unix. He said that Windows 2000 will coexist with Unix servers but eventually will replace some. The increased power and stability of the new OS "will allow us to further encroach on the Unix market. It's a matter of embracing and working with (those Unix systems) and also replacing them at the same time."
After the speech, Dell indicated that his company no longer is considering Solaris, Sun's version of Unix, for use when Intel's new 64-bit Itanium chip debuts.
Instead, he said Dell is favoring Linux and Monterey-64, a product that merges versions of Unix from IBM and Santa Cruz Operation.
Dell also said that it would unveil its hosting business in about two weeks. That business is a service that will allow customers to rent access to Dell servers with Windows 2000 instead of setting up the servers themselves.
In Palm Springs, Calif., at the Intel Developer's Forum, some of the focus was on the power consumption of Windows 2000 and how it relates to chip speeds.
Pat Gelsinger, an Intel vice president, said the new OS requires 250 more megahertz of chip power to get the equivalent user experience. Analysts at the Intel event said that was a fairly large speed bump and were surprised that a close Microsoft ally would say that.
News.com's Michael Kanellos contributed to this report.