International Business Machines (IBM) announced this week that it would ensure that its key software products work properly with Windows 2000, which is expected this fall. DB2 Universal Database, MQSeries, Websphere, Lotus Notes, Lotus Domino, and other key IBM offerings will be updated to "fully exploit" the new features in Windows 2000, while the remainder of IBM's large software portfolio will be brought in line with new Windows 2000 features by the end of 2001.

"All of our key products will fully exploit Windows 2000 for things like Active Directory and the Management Console by the first customer shipments," said Dick Sullivan, IBM's VP of Integrated Solutions. "By the end of 2001 all of our products will be exploitive of the Windows 2000 system services."

IBM is also going to offer Windows 2000 Beta 3--expected next Wednesday--on its machines, though it doesn't expect many of its large customers to roll out the software on production machines until later because of all the next technology.

"Many \[of our customers\] won't be have it up for production use, but they will certainly be trying to duplicate their NT 4.X environments using 2000," said Pat Gibney, IBM's Windows NT systems manager. "If they ask us if it is safe to use IBM software on Beta 3, the answer right now is yes."

On an interesting note, Gibney says that IBM expects Microsoft to release Windows 2000 to manufacturing in October, with availability later this year.

"My information right now has it \[that\] Microsoft is planning a major launch in November with lots of hype, and IBM will certainly be a part of that," he said. This corresponds with Fall Comdex, the logical time for a Windows 2000 launch