Though they are big users of Microsoft Windows products, banks are likely to postpone installations of the company's 2000 operating system, released Thursday, until they are sure the kinks have been worked out, analysts said.

"Banks are going to be cautiously optimistic," said Annemarie Earley, research director for retail banking at Stamford, Conn.-based GartnerGroup Financial Services. "Windows 2000 is not completely industry-tested." Seventy-five percent of all banks and 61% of banks with more than $4 billion of assets already use either Windows NT or Windows 95 as their primary operating system for branch servers, according to GartnerGroup research.

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