Contrary to reports, the 64-bit version of Windows 2000 is not behind schedule, but is amazingly way ahead of schedule. In fact, this puppy is going to ship a lot sooner than most people think. According to reports I've received, the 64-bit version of Windows 2000 is a scant 4 days behind the 32-bit version. And why is this high-end version of Windows 2000 happening so quickly? It's being spearheaded by OS guru David Cutler, who was responsible for the development of Digital VMS and Windows NT. Cutler, who left the 32-bit Windows NT team during the early days of NT 5.0 (now Windows 2000), grew tired of dealing with internal politics as NT grew more and more important to Microsoft. Though 64-bit Windows 2000 is certainly important, it's status as a high-end product means that most of the press attention will be directed elsewhere. Thus, Cutler's been able to proceed according to his own impressive schedule, unhindered by Microsofties hoping to latch onto the next big thing and outsiders wanting more information.

And because the 64-bit version of Windows 2000 is proceeding so quickly, Microsoft will be able to release the Compaq Alpha version of this mighty OS in early 2000, months before Intel's 64-bit hardware (code-named Merced) is even released. This is expected to give the 64-bit Alpha platform a sudden (if temporary) boost as well: Intel's Merced isn't due until mid-2000