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Analysts sceptical of XP returns

Daniel Thomas
Despite the huge launch extravaganza for Windows XP last week, Windows 2000 will remain the leading operating system in business until after 2002, according to Gartner analysts.

"In terms of stability alone, Windows XP Home is a dramatic advance over Windows 98, 98 SE and Windows Me," said Michael Silver, research director for Gartner.

"However, Windows XP Professional is clearly only an incremental change from Windows 2000 Professional.

"Most enterprises will see little potential for return on investment in upgrading existing Windows 2000 machines to Windows XP and should ensure that there is return on investment before upgrading any PCs," Silver added.

At the London launch of XP, Microsoft's chief executive, Steve Ballmer, said he was confident that the new operating system would make headway in the business market
.
He said that Microsoft had already received 100,000 pre-orders for the software on the consumer side, and had deployed 150,000 copies to the business community already.

Ballmer predicted that Microsoft partners would help to drive Windows XP sales.

"The industry innovation on top of the product is what will eventually overwhelm people," he said.

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