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IBM preps Windows 2000 notebooks

The company is jumping on the Windows 2000 express, with plans to unveil notebook computers next week running the new operating system.

    IBM is jumping on the Windows 2000 express, with plans to unveil notebook computers next week running the new operating system, sources said.

    Big Blue will beef up three notebooks--the ThinkPad 570, 390X and 240--to support Microsoft's delayed operating system. Windows 2000 will be formally introduced Feb. 17.

    Windows 2000 is aimed mainly at businesses, while the follow-on to Windows 98, Windows Millennium Edition, due to ship this spring, is targeted at the consumer market.

    Analysts have said that many corporate customers won't make the jump to Windows 2000 until after June, when Microsoft is expected to release Windows 2000 Service Pack 1, a package of bug fixes and other software patches. Many corporate purchasers are notoriously leery of version "1.0" of any software product.

    The ThinkPad 570 will be available with either a 450-MHz or 500-MHz Pentium III processor and up to a 12 GB hard drive.

    The 570 model, which sells for $2,999, comes with a 450-MHz processor, 64 MB of RAM expandable to 320 MB, 6 GB hard drive, 13.3-inch TFT display, 56k modem and Windows 2000. The 4.9-pound portable is also available with Windows 98.

    IBM is souping up the ThinkPad 390X with more storage and longer battery life. The base system comes with a 450-MHz processor, 64-MB of RAM, 12 GB hard drive, integrated CD-ROM drive, 14-inch TFT display, 56k modem and Windows 2000. The $2,999 portable also features a battery rated at 7.3 hours.

    The ultra-slim ThinkPad 240, which weighs 2.9 pounds, will come with more storage than previously available. The $2,099 portable will pack a 400-MHz Celeron processor, 64 MB of memory, 12 GB hard drive, 10.4-inch display, 56k modem and Windows 2000.

    Sources close to IBM said the new ThinkPads would be available Feb. 17.