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Windows 2000 designed primarily for the higher-end business user

Mississippi businesses lukewarm to Microsoft’s latest

The new Windows 2000 computer operating system is being touted by Microsoft as being more stable and reliable than its predecessor Window NT. But Mississippi businesses aren’t rushing out to buy it.

“I’ve had plenty of experience with it,” said Michael Notter with Advanced Computer Service in Biloxi. “It doesn’t work. A lot of hardware vendors are not making their hardware compatible with Windows 2000, and don’t plan to. What we have heard from them is that Microsoft is too stringent as far as requirements for being compatible with Windows 2000. It is a great system. It is very stable. There is less crashing. But we can’t get the hardware to work for it, so it is running into some problems.”

Notter said Windows 2000 is designed primarily for the higher-end business user. But he said manufacturers aren’t making drivers for it, and so the higher-end hardware is not easily adapted to Windows 2000.

Advanced Computer Service received early copies of Windows 2000, which was officially released Feb. 17. Notter said they are just starting to get the problems ironed out after having the new software for a month.

“A lot of stuff we had to write our own drivers for,” Notter said. “It is just not ready for the average person to go purchase it, expecting to be able to load it up and it will work.”

Impact Computers in Gulfport reported there has been little consumer demands thus far for Windows 2000.

“We’ve actually used it,” said Wayne Edens, owner of Impact Computers. “We like it okay. It is a pretty nice operating system. It does have more support for hardware and small business applications.”

However, Eden said currently there is little reason for people to jump from Windows 98 Second Edition to Windows 2000. He said software always lags behind operating systems, and most software now is not compatible with Windows 2000. It is expected that there will be much more compatibility with Windows 2000 as far as software and hardware in the next year.

“The same thing happened when we upgraded from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95, and from Windows 95 to 98,” Eden said. “Now you have the same situation switching from Windows 98 to Windows 2000. It is just a matter of software and hardware catching up to the operating system. Over the next six months to a year you will find Windows 2000 will be a good addition to the office. It should be a more stable platform for running business applications.”

Bryan Clark, a technician with Acme Computers in Jackson, said he has found that Windows 2000 is a lot more stable than Windows 98, incorporating the best of Windows 98 with a little of the NT environment to provide a good, solid networking station.

“I have found it to be a stable and excellent operating system,” said Clark, who recommended Windows 2000 to businesses who don’t already have Windows NT installed. If a business already has NT4, he said it may not be worth it to switch over. But for anyone else, he said Windows 2000 would be a great system for most business and personal uses.

“A lot of offices use NT,” Clark said. “Windows 2000 has the ease and feel of the Windows 98 environment, which makes it a lot easier for people to use than NT.”

Microsoft bills Windows 2000 Professional as the new Microsoft operating system best for business users. The company said building on the power of Windows NT and the ease of use of Windows 98, Windows 2000 Professional is the best choice for work environments big and small.

“It represents the launching pad needed for businesses to benefit from the productivity programs and Internet applications they use most,” Microsoft says.

Microsoft says Windows 2000 has the following benefits:

• Reliable: It’s built on Windows NT technology, so it’s much more reliable than Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows NT Workstation. The operating system also offers high system uptime, dynamic system configuration and resilience to application failures.

• Manageable and easy to use: It’s support for standards-based security protects corporate data in stand-alone and networked environments. It also offers a set of built-in tools that make it easier to deploy and manage, and an intelligent user interface that adapts to the way users work.

• Built for mobile users: The operating system extends the capability of notebooks through support for ACPI, Smart Battery and VPN. It enables users to work anywhere, anytime through support for offline folders and files. And its improved hardware support standards include USB, IrDA and IEEE 1394.

• Internet-enable your business: Windows 2000 Professional is designed to make it easier for organizations to embrace the Internet. The built-in Internet Explorer (IE), a tightly integrated browser, provides users with a faster and richer Internet experience.

Contact MBJ staff writer Becky Gillette at mullein@datasync.com.

About Becky Gillette

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