Technology Positioning Statement Report

4.1.2 Desktop and Notebook Computer Operating Systems

Description: Operating system software for general-purpose desktop office computers.

Category: 4 - Client Platforms   Subcategory: 1 - General Purpose Client Platforms


Windows XP Pro


Industry UsageSC Usage

Performance Metrics

Compatibility with the Microsoft COM/COM+/VBA/OLE object model environment of IMSC; minimal migration impacts; ease of deployment; stability; support for Office 2000 & XP; features.

Usage and Dependencies

Industry Usage: Windows 2000 Professional, like all Microsoft desktop products, has a 3-year fully-supported lifecycle, after which support diminishes and stops 5 years after release. At this point it is evident that Windows 2000 is really a 2001 product, and enterprises are gradually beginning to deploy it in larger numbers. Factors such as security, the business applications in use, and the diversity of workstation hardware and peripherals, make the use of Windows 2000 an absolute must.

Windows XP (previously code-named "Whistler") was released on Oct. 25, 2001. Windows XP Professional can use two processors. XP Professional supports rapid deployment partners (RDP). With XP Professional, even local sessions use RDP. This means that you can log off your machine, someone else can log on to your machine then log off and you can log on again with all your programs still running!

Alternatives to the Windows OS options do not exist for the desktop environment. Earlier excitement about Linux has subsided within the corporate environment, so that it cannot be expected to attain even a 5% market penetration by 2004, according to Gartner estimates. Furthermore, the industry has begun to worry about the growing problem of "forking" or significant fragmentation of Linux itself, which arises from the very structure of the Open Source model of development.

Regarding security features, Windows 2000 (W2K), the first Microsoft server operating system with embedded Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) capabilities, will play an important role in the emergence of mainstream PKI deployments. The PKI-enabled applications will increase the interest in PKI and the built-in certificate authority will represent a potentially viable tactical option for organizations seeking to secure the Windows environment. But Windows 2000 is only half the equation. A successful extranet-based PKI design and implementation will also depend on customers understanding the limitations of the Windows PKI, knowing how to properly design and implement Active Directory and recognizing when they need to add advanced third-party ISV offerings.

SC Usage: SC completed migration of its desktops from Windows 95 to Windows 2000 in 2001. The Macintosh has been removed from the architecture. Currently Windows 2000 is at Service Pack 2; new updates will be deployed as they are released.

SC Application Impacts: All architected applications require Windows 2000 Pro or later. All current and future applications development and software deployment will be based on the 32-bit platform. Windows 2000 or XP will be necessary to support PKI and Active Directory, components of DOE's CyberSecurity infrastructure. Scheduling of migration to Windows XP and/or the use of the .NET framework has not yet been defined.

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