News

Microsoft Retires Windows NT 4.0

The first Microsoft network operating system to gain wide acceptance in the IT industry, Windows NT 4.0, has been officially sent riding off into the sunset.

Starting Oct. 1, NT Server 4.0 and NT 4.0 Enterprise Edition were no longer available through volume licensing programs, according to Microsoft;Client Access Licenses (CALs) were no longer sold. NT 4.0 is still available through retail channels “for the foreseeable future,” but very, very few copies of NT 4.0 are sold this way, essentially taking NT 4.0 off the market.

The reason, according to Redmond, is the growing demand for Windows 2000 products, including Server, Advanced Server and Datacenter Server. One interesting option offered by Microsoft is a downgrade program, whereby a customer would purchase NT and Win2K licenses at the same time, install NT and upgrade to 2000 without having to buy new licenses.

Dan Kusnetzky, vice president of system software for IDC, sees both sides of the story. On one hand, says Kusnetzky, a former software product manager, “typically software is retired 60, 90 or 120 days after the replacement’s launched, and it’s no longer possible to get new copies” of the old product.

On the other hand, the decision “won’t sit well with people still using NT because it’s important to them,” Kusnetzky explained, adding that some people “won’t be happy no matter what you do.”

Still, he says, “Microsoft has given people a rather long period of time, which they could have been using to move to the new software if they chose. They’ve been much more generous than most OS vendors would be.”

Support for NT 4.0 will be ongoing, according to a Microsoft statement, and plans for how much longer it will be supported will be announced late this year.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

Featured

  • SharePoint Online Users To Get 'Modern' UI Push in April

    Microsoft plans to alter some of the tenant-level blocking capabilities that may have been set up by organizations and deliver its so-called "modern" user interface (UI) to Lists and Libraries for SharePoint Online users, starting in April.

  • How To Use PowerShell Splatting

    Despite its weird name, splatting can be a really handy technique if you create a lot of PowerShell scripts.

  • New Microsoft Customer Agreement for Buying Azure Services To Start in March

    Microsoft will have a new approach for organizations buying Azure services called the "Microsoft Customer Agreement," which will be available for some customers starting as early as this March.

  • Windows 7 To Fall Out of Support in One Year

    January 14 marks a one-year period before the end of support for Windows 7.

comments powered by Disqus
Most   Popular

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

Terms and Privacy Policy consent

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.