Hands On Windows 2000: Son of NT, Stepson of 98
After all the hype and a three-year-plus wait, today's official release of Microsoft Windows 2000 seems like a bit of a letdown. But the hulking operating system works - and fairly well.
Win 2000 Professional, the successor to Windows NT 4.0 Workstation,
performs as promised. If you're looking for the next great OS interface,
It will come as no surprise that Win 2000 is drive-hungry. It consumes
megabytes of disk space for the Professional version and 1.2 gigabytes or
the Server versions.
Cosmetically, Win 2000 resembles Windows 98 more than it does NT. But the
does have the crash-resistant NT kernel. In use, it's like running a
stable version of
The Windows 2000 Control Panel hosts the vital administration tools for
systems running the new Microsoft operating system - giving sysadmins
It looks so much like Win98 that power users of NT will have to relearn it
the most powerful parts of NT are hidden behind a new facade.
All the same, it's definitely an NT successor. How do I know? I took a
simply upgraded my working NT 4.0 client. I succeeded, although the
have anomalies. I've installed and uninstalled hundreds of software
my 450-MHz Pentium II in the GCN Lab. Many apps tend to leave
reminders of long-deleted programs that annoyingly keep popping up again,
again, and again.
Among my phantoms have been start-up messages about missing files that
utility apps nor detailed searches of the registry could exorcise. Win
the system of many--but not all--such demons. One oddity likely came from
browser plug-in. Under NT 4.0, the PC would crash Internet Explorer 5.01
completely--every open window and sometimes the whole OS, forcing a
same crash has occurred occasionally since the upgrade to Win 2000, but
offending window is affected. Everything else--even another Internet
window--continues to work without incident.
Protected memory seems even more protective under Win 2000.
After the initial installation, I proceeded to upgrade the operating
systems on a
variety of our lab's desktop, notebook and server systems. There were only
glitches, mostly related to a lack of software drivers and to incompatible
as antivirus programs. I assume Microsoft has resolved such problems.
Before installation, Win 2000 issues a report on the target system's
software. Windows 95/98 users should take particular care to read the
make as many of the suggested corrections as possible.
I found far more glitches going from Win95/98 to the new OS than when
jumping from NT 4.0 to Win 2000.
Longtime NT users should find and use the Computer Management feature
2000's Administrative Tools, which appears not on the Start menu but in
Panel. Computer Management provides a series of snap-in tools for overall
Win 2000 on any system.
WINDOWS 2000 PROFESSIONAL
PC operating system
Microsoft Corp., Redmond, Wash.
Web address: http://www.microsoft.com
Price: $150 to $215 for upgrades from previous Microsoft OSes; $315 for first-time buyers
+ Friendly, Win98-like interface
+ Powerful, crash-resistant underneath
- Quirky upgrade from Win95/98
Real-life requirements: 300-megahertz or faster processor, 64 megabytes of RAM, 4-gigabyte hard drive
Copyright 2000 The Washington Post Company