Should I wait to buy a new computer w/Windows2000?

Posted By : Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on January 31, 2000

Question

I am in the market for a new computer and am interested in Windows 2000. Should I wait for it or should I just go ahead and buy a new computer with Windows 98?

-Jim

Answer

This question was answered on January 31, 2000. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.


This question comes up whenever Microsoft announces the impending release of any new Operating System In this case, Windows 2000 is actually not a replacement for Windows 98 but a replacement for Windows NT 4.0 Microsoft probably should have called it something else to help avoid some of the

confusion, but then again, maybe it was by design.

Windows 2000 has been touted by Microsoft's President, Steve Balmer, as "the most important product we've done since Windows 95 We have great hope for the product for the business user" Win2K as it is being called, is designed to be a corporate workstation/server operating system that takes some of the benefits of Windows 98 and incorporates it into the Windows NT platform Some of these "improvements" include support for Plug-and-Play, USB, FireWire and AGP devices, better security for Web Servers and better notebook computer support Win2K will come in four flavors: Windows 2000 Professional, for desktop users; Windows 2000 Server; Windows 2000 Advanced Server; and Windows 2000 Data Server The first product, Win2K Professional, is the only version that a home or small business user should be considering as a replacement to Windows 98 If you are big into game playing, educational or multi-media applications, you will want to thoroughly research whether your applications will run under Win2K before

making a decision Most business applications should be checked for compatibility prior to using Win2K as a precaution as well.

If you have a network and plan to upgrade to Win2K for your workstations, be sure to test it on one machine thoroughly before deploying it across your entire network There is a good chance that you will need to update or change certain drivers in order to properly install and configure it, so plan on doing some research to save yourself some time.

When it launches on February 17th, Windows 2000 Professional will sell for an estimated retail price of $319, while the upgrade from Windows NT to Win2k Pro will cost about $149 and $219 for users that are upgrading from Windows 95 or 98 If you purchased any Windows NT product in this calendar year, you may be eligible for a free upgrade to the equivalent Win2K product

You can actually start ordering systems configured with Win2K from some major vendors such as IBM, HP, Compaq and Gateway right now but you'll have to wait until the launch to buy retail copies of the program

In our tests, we have found it to be a very stable OS with some of the same "driver" issues that we always encounter whenever a new version is released (Drivers are small software programs that control hardware devices Ex: Video driver.) If you order a system pre-configured with the OS, you shouldn't have much to worry about since the manufacturer likely has done the homework on this issue.

Now to your actual question: Should I wait for Win2K to buy a new system It has been my experience in the past that the "best time" to buy into a new operating system is when it has been on the market long enough for manufacturers, tech support companies, software companies and basically everyone that has to help you when you have a problem to get up to speed on it If you are a corporate network administrator and it's time to buy new equipment, I would highly recommend buying at least one Win2K system for

testing purposes Network administrators will be happy to see its stability as well as the new features that Windows NT sorely needed

I have posted the official Microsoft top 10 reasons to upgrade to either Windows 98 or 2000 at www.support4free.com .

Just remember, Pioneers get arrows!

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Posted by Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on January 31, 2000

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