February 07, 2001, 4:23 PM — IF THE BETA 1 release of "Whistler," the transitional name for the latest version of Windows, is any indication of what's in store, Microsoft will continue to dominate the desktop and server room for years to come.
A rough cut of Whistler, which became available to developers, vendors, and selected customers last month, boasts many significant new features and is sure to be a big hit among businesses and home users alike. In fact,we expect many shops to taylor their upgrade plans to coincide with the general release of this improved OS, although the big day may still be a year or more away, and early reports of a Windows 2001 release appear premature.
Whistler, Beta 1
If your company is planning a Windows 2000 migration over the next six to twelve months, it might be wise to wait for Microsoft's release of Whistler. Whatever the final name of this OS, its improved management, administration, and application compatibility features will make it well worth the wait.
Whistler reunifies the Windows family under the Windows 2000 code base and offers improved installation and management features over previous versions of the OS.
+ Application compatibility features allow companies to ditch aging Win9x systems without forcing rewrites of every application.
+ Unified code base means less work for developers, simpler choices for customers.
- New operating system means new security holes
- Domain management tools still not up to par
Not yet determined
Intel 32-bit/64-bit systems
End of 2001/beginning 2002
Microsoft, Redmond, Wash.; (425) 882-7070; www.microsoft.com
In addition to showing great promise both in corporate desktop and server roles, Whistler will also replace the Windows 95, 98, and 2000 platforms as Microsoft's prime consumer desktop OS. Because Whistler allows Windows 95 and NT applications to run in "compatibility mode," it can tackle a wide range of applications that would most likely slow down or completley crash Windows NT or 2000.
Companies that have already begun migrating to Windows 2000 should face no major hassles moving to Whistler, but best results with the new OS will come from newly purchased equipment.