Windows 98 Vs. Windows NT Essay, Research Paper
It is rather difficult to choose between main operating systems, which exist today. Microsoft Windows 98 and Windows NT belong to one and the same product family made by the same producer, Microsoft Corporation. However, looking so much alike, they have a lot of differences users have to consider. The main difference is that each operating system is used by different kinds of people, according to their goals and expectations. Primarily home users use Windows 98; still supporting business applications while Windows NT is used primarily by businesses, still having some possibilities for home use. Here, I will briefly describe both operating systems, pointing out their differences, along with advantages and disadvantages each system has. Also, some conclusions are going to be made about the benefits each system provides for different people and organizations.
First of all, let me describe the main features of Windows 98. After Windows 95 release, which was a boom, Microsoft started planning for a new version. Windows 98, or Memphis, as it was previously known, was not designed to produce the revolution on the software market. It was not even to outperform the success of its predecessor, Windows 95. It was made as a pre-step in developing totally new system, Windows NT. In comparison to Windows 95, there was no major user interface change. That fact made many potential users stay on previous systems, refusing upgrade. However, being just a ?point? release, Windows 98 is one of the best systems, which ever existed. The philosophy is ?extend and improve?. Nobody was trying ?to rock the boat?. And the philosophy worked for this very system. The developers focused on four key areas where they achieved great success. The areas are as follows:
-Provide the best Internet experience possible.
-Deliver higher quality computing.
-Make computing more entertaining.
-Unlock the power of PC and accessories.
Now, let me focus on each area. First of all, Windows 98 ships with an integrated Internet Explorer Web browser and Web-view enabled Shell. This brings users the best Internet experience possible since the new browser is fast and convenient, and functions properly. Before Windows 98, a lot of people used Netscape Navigator, which was slow to load, memory hungry, and very unstable. Now, web-based Windows update tool is available, making updates easy as never before. Second, Windows 98 is faster and more stable than Windows 95, and programs load and run more quickly. Microsoft says it has made over 3000 improvements to Windows since this version of the product was first conceived and the attention to detail is obvious. Windows 98 also offers a new file system (FAT32) that adds more disk space, support for multiple (up to 9) monitors and faster boot-up and shutdown times. A wide range of automated tools keep your system running smoothly without any interaction on your part, making Windows 98 the first step toward a self-maintaining operating system. Also, Windows 98 includes numerous improvements to its multimedia capabilities, including the latest version of DirectX, MMX support, DVD support, and support for all the latest multimedia hardware and software. If you are a game player, Windows 98 is the ultimate games platform with full support for legacy DOS games such as DOOM and Duke Nukem 3D, as well as some OpenGL or DirectX games like Quake 2, Forsaken, and Unreal. Games and other multimedia software titles run faster and more reliably on Windows 98. The system incorporates support for the latest hardware innovations, including Universal Serial Bus (USB), force-feedback joysticks, digital cameras and video, scanners, 3D sound cards, TV tuner cards, and much more.
Now, let me move closer to Windows NT. I?m going to use Windows NT 5.0 also known as Windows 2000, as an example. Windows 2000 is a major upgrade, combining the best from both Windows NT and Windows 98 to produce the very latest operating system technology. Primarily targeted at the business community, it offers many benefits for the home user as well, particularly in the area of security. Installing Windows 2000 is easy, however transferring to this new operating system and taking advantage of all its powerful features can still be a very hard job. The system helps businesses to be more productive, by using user friendly Windows 98 like interface and Windows NT technology. In its improvement Windows 2000 focuses on four key areas, which have became the tradition of Microsoft. They are as follows:
-Work anywhere and anytime.
-Work the way you did with Windows 98, however much faster.
-Rely on your PC.
-Use the Internet better.
Windows 2000 and Windows 98 are quite similar and in the same time they are totally different. As I have mentioned above, Windows 2000 was built using graphical interface, similar to one used in Windows 98, however the technology differs. If Windows 98 is designed mostly for home users, then Windows 2000 suits more for businesses, from small ventures to large enterprises. It has many cosmetic changes in interface and windows applications, however they are not so important to focus on. Instead, let me focus on the key element, which is, increased productivity and reliability.
Aside from user interface differences the main differences between Windows 2000 can be summed up in terms of compatibility, security, and reliability. Windows 98 offers the ultimate in hardware and software compatibility. If it is out there, Windows 98 will work with it and Windows 2000 will not. It is not unless on the HCL for hardware or the list of compatible applications for software. However, Windows 98 sacrifices security and reliability for compatibility, crashing early and often. Windows 2000, on the other hand, almost never crashes. It can run seven days a week for twenty-four hours a day and still be ok. It is designed to suit the needs of companies with large networks that need highly reliable servers. Windows 2000 gives this great feature for users, thus accomplishing its mission. Also, improvements are available in old areas, as well as the appearance of some new ones. Improvements are available in global folder options, keyboard shortcuts and applets, task manager, my documents folder. Start menu can be personalized; my computer folder is not overcrowded with icons you do not use very often.
Now, let us see what Windows 2000 can offer for people with different needs and expectations and then move on to some advantages and disadvantages of upgrading from Windows 98 to Windows 2000.
For those, working at home or office Windows 2000 interface, which resembles that of Windows 98, is going to be just great. However upgrading from Windows 98 can be difficult. Another problem is that your hardware and software may not work. The best choice for consumer home users of Windows 98 is to install Windows Millennium edition or stay on their old platform, which is great by itself.
Remote users will find an improved environment for notebook computing, including Plug and Play, power management, and file synchronization. You will need at least 64MB of RAM and a 2GB of hard disk space, however the problem of hardware and software incompatibilities still persists.
Small businesses will appreciate Windows 2000’s reliable server and client OS, excellent security and backup, and flexibility for expansion. Many features require learning to use Active Directory, however, which may be not very ?friendly? for such kind of users.
Medium-size and large enterprises are going to love Windows 2000’s enterprise-class directory, desktop management, security, application services, and strong Internet/intranet integration. A full upgrade to Native Mode using Active Directory, however, could take months or years ? and there’s no turning back at this point.
Internet Service Providers worldwide can use Windows 2000’s high-availability features and support for up to four processors and 64GB of memory.
Briefly summarizing last five paragraphs, I state once again that Windows 2000 is more suitable for mobile and desktop machines used in businesses. It provides the required level of reliability. If a person wants to play games, use the latest 3D video cards, scanners, or digital cameras, or need backwards compatibility with DOS, then Windows 2000 is not such person. In this case, one should continue using Windows 98.
At this point, I?m ready to state some advantages and disadvantages of upgrading from Windows 98 to Windows 2000. They are based on everyone?s unique needs and some conclusions can be made upon these points.
Advantages of Windows 2000 as opposed to Windows 98:
-Better stability and reliability.
-Better data security.
-Better device drivers.
-Better Plug and Play support.
-Support DVD, USB, IEEE 1394, PC cards, DirectX 7.0.
-Equivalent support for the mobile user.
-Better desktop management.
-Improved performance in multiprocessor systems.
Disadvantages of Windows 2000 as opposed to Windows 98:
-Upgrade can be difficult.
-Fewer peripheral supported.
-At least 64MB of RAM and high-end processor required.
-It is more complex system with more options.
-Less support for older notebook computers.
Having researched and compared two operating systems, I came to the main conclusion that both systems are closely related and belong to one product family, however, designed for totally different purposes. Windows 98 better suits for home users, gamers, and for people wanting to take advantage from their sound, video and other types of non-standard hardware. Inexperienced users are also in this category. Providing all these benefits, Windows 98 is very unstable and unreliable, as opposed to Windows NT 5.0 (Windows 2000), which is designed for powerful computers used in different businesses from small ventures to large enterprises and Internet Service Providers. Windows 2000 provides required reliability for those computers to work properly. Both systems still have capabilities to work in some other fields: home users can use Windows NT, and Windows 98 can serve businesses. However, before migrating from one system to another, one should evaluate all the possible alternatives, advantages and disadvantages of using both systems and also own business or personal needs.