Win 2000 use will require prep work

If your agency plans to upgrade to Microsoft Windows 2000 after Microsoft Corp.
releases the scalable operating system this fall, prepare for some changes.


Microsoft’s technology specialists manager Sean Murphy this month described the OS
as “a very different animal” from earlier Windows versions.


Speaking at FOSE trade show in Washington, Murphy said a third and final beta version
of Win 2000, due in the next several months, will be feature-complete and almost ready for
release.


But users who change to Win 2000 must first bring their existing OSes and service packs
up to date. They cannot simply perform a clean install of Win 2000 and keep their old
settings, drivers and applications.


Answering questions from a close-packed audience, Murphy said the service packs are
cumulative. To be ready for Win 2000, users must first install the newest service packs
for Windows NT 4.0 or Windows 98. The current NT 4.0 Service Pack 4 incorporates the
earlier service packs, and a fifth service pack for NT will be ready by May, he said.


Questioners wanted to know what Microsoft is doing to improve the buggy nature of its
OSes and service packs. Murphy said a team of programmers now works full time on the
service packs, whose frequency likely will accelerate after Win 2000’s release.


“We put new technology into each one,” he said. “There are two
executables on the CD-ROM, one just for fixes and one with the new technology. You can
take the new technology at your own pace, put up just the base OS and install new services
later.”


Win 2000 will upgrade applications without reinstallation and will download hot fixes
and new drivers automatically.


Murphy said the workstation version, Win 2000 Professional, needs 64M of RAM and a
166-MHz or faster Pentium processor.


Frequently used applications will jump to the first layer of Win 2000’s Start menu
under Programs, and they will shuffle themselves around automatically depending on how
often they are used.


The interface is similar to those of Windows 98 and NT. The browser, which resembles a
Web portal page, can maintain separate proxy settings for each type of Internet connection
a user opens.


Administrators no longer will have to reboot servers each time they change IP or Domain
Name System configurations, Murphy said.


Microsoft “worked with router companies so that the OS can give everyone in a
certain directory a certain percentage of Internet bandwidth,” he said.
      


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