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Windows 2000 Phase-out to Begin in April

Microsoft laid out a roadmap on Wednesday for retiring Windows 2000 Server editions over the next few years. The process starts in April for Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server.

"With the release of Windows Server 2003 earlier this year and after nearly four years in the marketplace, Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Windows 2000 Client Access Licenses (CALs) will be retired in phases," Microsoft said on a Web page posted Wednesday.

The newly disclosed roadmap does not affect the Windows 2000 support lifecycle, which is unchanged from what Microsoft announced in October 2002. Mainstream support lasts until March 31, 2005 and extended support lasts until March 31, 2007.

Under the new retirement plan, retail full packaged versions of Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server will be pulled from the reseller channel on April 1. Also on that date, the two editions will no longer be available through Microsoft Volume Licensing Programs.

Customers will still be able to obtain new copies of Windows 2000 Server and Advanced Server by purchasing Windows Server 2003 and exercising downgrade rights. Microsoft plans to support that approach by offering Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server disk kits until April 1, 2006.

On Nov. 1, 2004, Microsoft will stop offering Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server and Windows 2000 Datacenter Server through the Direct OEM channel. A year later, on Nov. 1, 2005, Windows 2000 Server and Windows 2000 Advanced Server will no longer be offered through the System Builder channel.

Microsoft's notice of the new policy is available here.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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