Theo Baker, the managing director of the Australian consulting firm Powerlan, warns that macros and Visual Basic scripts used in common Office 95 or 97 programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel or Access, will require extra development to function in an Office 2000 environment.
"I think most organisations are oblivious to the fact that there may be any problems as a result of an upgrade to Windows 2000. Unless the IT department is proactive, these types of documents will have to be rebuilt again, often from scratch."
Baker added that users attempting to open a file containing scripting or complex macros could encounter problems. "This upgrade of Windows works fine with files that don't have any scripting in them," he said
"Any companies that have old Access databases should watch out. The same is true for companies that have developed document templates for different departments or those that use linked spreadsheets to make it easier for employees.
"Reworking the scripting could take a couple of hours or days. A large company could have about 2,000 of these files, taking on average two hours each to fix. If you look at a cost-per-hour of A$100 (£37), then it could cost the company upwards of A$400,000."
Baker said IT departments should be conscious of what type of files are used within the organisation before implementing the update, recommending the testing of files first to check what sort of problems may be encountered upon implementation.
According to the research firm Gartner Group, about 45% of the world's PCs will upgrade to Windows 2000 by the end of this year.