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  1. #11
    Unpaid WDF Intern TheGAME1264's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Not from USA
    Member #
    2783 times
    I agree with you for the most part.

    Win 3.1...not terrible, but not great either. It was also around in the early 90s, and no one was really doing much of anything with an OS back then anyway.

    Win 95...the second worst of the lot of them.

    Win 98...a better version of Win95.

    Win ME...the worst of them all. Didn't handle driver installation or networking well at all. It did, however, have a great way of being able to detect failing hardware. I remember seeing a machine with a sound card that would freeze up on shutdown until I disabled the card. Overall, though, an absolute blight.

    Win 2000...very stable and reliable, particularly the server version. Can run forever without needing to be reinstalled. I just retired a Windows 2000 server in December, and one of my clients still has a Win2K laptop running that has never needed a format/reinstall and runs really well on an 800 mHz processor and 128 MB RAM.

    Windows XP...not quite as stable as 2000 and does require 2 GB of RAM to really run well for most people, but it generally does what it needs to. Most of its instability can be traced back to user error as well...not a lot of it is the O/S itself.

    XP64...what Vista could have been. This is far and away their best OS. It's a more stable version of XP and allows for more RAM (XP caps out at 4 GB). This is what I run on this box, and it's more than okay. Great for development servers, etc.

    Vista...I know a lot of people have a problem with it, but I personally am fine with it. I don't like that UAC neverending prompt deal, but I also understand why it's there (too many people do too many stupid things without thinking). It has been fine on the machines I've used it with, although that's at least in part because I strip out all of the excess effects and gradients and translucent stuff and have it running like a prettier version of Win2K (as I do with pretty much any OS after Win2K). It's amazing how much less resource Vista uses and how much more stable it runs when you do that.

    Windows 7...I honestly don't know what the difference between this and Vista is for all practical intents and purposes, besides much bigger icons for no particular reason. It also has issues with older scanners, although that could be partly the scanner's issue. I don't have all that much experience with Windows 7, but from what I've seen it does what it's supposed to. Oh yeah, and the rumor that I've heard/seen that it doesn't support PS2 keyboards/mice is 100% false. As long as the port is there, it will support them.

    Server OSes

    I've used Windows NT, Windows 2000 Server, Windows Server 2003 SBE and Standard Edition and Windows Server 2008 Web Edition.

    Windows NT...meh. It worked for what I was using it for (file/print server), but I was never a big fan. It was awkward to set up a new user profile in particular, and at one point I had to type out a set of instructions just so I wouldn't forget how to do it.

    Windows 2000 Server...worked, and worked well. See Win2K.

    Windows 2003 Standard Edition...decent. Again, does what it's supposed to. Certain installs (e.g. PHP) can be tricky, but once you learn the little details, it's not bad.

    Windows 2003 Small Business of MS's best kept secrets. If you're dealing with a client with a small office that needs a network OS for a server, this is absolutely the way to go. Just build a desktop with a RAID card and two good hard drives, throw this on there, install it, config it, and you're laughing. It does not die.

    Remote Web Workplace is also a great way to allow employees to connect to their desktops and work remotely. This is huge if you have an office in the GTA and you're working during the winter.

    Windows 2008 Web Edition...still learning it. Not bad overall, but has its quirks (e.g. custom 500 ASP pages are tough to set up on it...although, as Webzarus pointed out, ASP is being phased out anyway).

    Win2008 Web Edition contains some wicked tools, though, as I believe the other 2008 server OSes do. There's one tool in particular that's great for diagnosing website issues and errors. It takes about 20 minutes to run on a large site, but it gives you a wicked report to work with. As soon as the Internet marketing community gets a hold of this, they'll flock to the O/S, especially when they figure out the biggest reason why they should use this tool (besides that it's free to use with IIS).

    Now, I'm not saying in all of this MS hasn't made mistakes. They have. They've made some huge ones (e.g. FrontPage). And I would personally love to see someone...anyone...take a serious run at them. Competition is good for everyone. I just don't see any of that happening on a large scale yet. Chrome will probably take a big dent out of IE's "market share" (which always was a stupid term for a free product), and there may be one or two other things here and there that cut into whatever MS is doing, but by and large they're where they are simply because they deserve to be there.
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