Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Next consumer Windows to be 98 derivative 119

ZDNET is confirming that an NT-based consumer Windows is still 3 years down the road. Given that Windows 98 was widely expected to be the last release not based on NT, this is somewhat of a surprise, and raises the question: is Microsoft retargetting Win 2000 purely at the enterprise market in an effort to maintain market share? Thanks to znu for the link.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Next consumer Windows to be 98 derivative

Comments Filter:
  • by drwiii ( 434 )
    This reminds me of the Borg Cube getting hit from all sides, and doing anything and everything possible to stay in the fight.
  • The delays in release of NT 5.0 (oops Windows 2000) implies that they encountered more problems than they expected. If they drop the requirement for compatibility with old, nasty, hardware-manipulating code they can get it out the door faster. They need to release Win2000 by 2000, or Linux will eat their server market share for breakfast by 2001. If they do release by 2000, it may take until 2002 :-)
  • Posted by WebGuy:

    One thing this article implied that people seem to be missing is that when Microsoft pulls engineers off Win2000 (NT 5) to work on the next version of Win9x, Win2000 will get delayed even more. Currently all MS OS programmers are working on Win2000, and they still can't get it out.

    I'm thinking Win2000 may actually hit in 2001. Either that or Microsoft will push it out in Sept/Oct (like Win95/98) and it will be full of obvious bugs (like Win95/98).
    Chris Stoffel
    Webmaster - Positively Pixar [ourfamily.nu]

  • any bets on how long it will take until the world at large realizes that M$ just won't deliver?
    maybe something called "nt 5" or "windows 2000" will actually be released some day, but it will be FAR from what has been promised in the previews starting 1996. they're just trying to blur the trail and confuse the customer in order to not make that TOO obvious.

    let's hope there's at least a few journalist left who know someone who once met someone who has a clue.
  • Please say it isn't so... I'm sick fed up with buggy 95/98 machines.... at least NT based machines offered the promise of being nominally stable.

    Well at least Linux & friends has been handed yet another stepping stone to world domination. The sooner the better.
  • He is correct. The ZD magazines were saying that NT was the replacement for DOS back then (1991-92), and that NT would be used for everything from end user stuff to high-end servers.

    Also, they said it would run on a 386 with 8 MB RAM. Don't believe everything you read, eh?

  • An ideal OS would be one that does fit all. You are all confusing the operating system with the software that comes with it (applications, utilities).

    Modern operating systems, heck, even modern versions of very old operating systems (UNIX) have modern kernels which are fast, fairly compact, and tunable to all heck. Most support some sort of modules, so you literally can use the same *compile* of the kernel for two different purposes. Your server kernel can simply load the raid drivers, or gigabit ethernet drivers, and your client kernel can load the sound drivers.

    The other silly stuff, the applications -- of course it makes sense to have different distributions with different applications (for server or desktop), if only so that you can install off of one CD.

    Why the heck you would want to have a different core operating system (kernel), and a "mostly compatible" API, and "mostly compatible" libraries, I don't know. Oh wait -- yes, I do know -- that glorious god of backwards compatability.

    Carry on being stupid, and incapable of writing a decent operating system M$, people will carry on migrating elsewhere.

  • by C.Lee ( 1190 )
    Nope. It's only a bad desktop machine if you think all desktop machines should have a MS Windows look and feel to them...
  • "How would the open source community respond
    to that kind of play by our friends in Redmond? "

    With riotous laughter!
  • whoops!

    Anyway, they better rename Windows 2000 at this point or they're going to look like idiots in 2002 (pretty much like with Win95, in 1996). I'd just go with NT 5... Of course this is all futile, if RedHat gets any easier to install it's going to be a long, hard decade for MS.

    What Linux REALLY needs is more game support, as dumb as that sounds, because we have nearly everything else.

  • So... NT was "renamed" windows 2000. Then they said that win98 will not be "NT" based for a while, which implies to me that windows 2000 is actually gonna be a bugfix for 98, cuz they're having so many difficulties with NT, they think that it's gonna be about 2001 or 2002 before version 5 (or whatever they're calling it now) gets out the door. Damn... I don't mean to criticize MS for being slow, cuz in the past they always released stuff too early and it sucked. Now they're gonna release stuff really late. I get the strong impression that it's gonna suck no matter how late it is, but I guess we'll find out eveeeeeeeeeeeentually.
  • as of August 30th Gates owned 551,633,542 shares of MS stock, in the last year he sold 18,515,000 shares of stock. He also gave away 5.3million shares in the last year.. he is clearly trying to get some money out of his sinking ship...
  • So all the trade rags were saying when it came out, remember?

    We all know better than that.
  • Yes, at home I have Debian, PHT, 3 versions of RedHat, and Slackware 1.2.13 (and one running Linux box)
    At work OTOH, we bought 1 copy of Caldera and installed it on about 10 machines.
  • The features of the "Memphis" project got split up between 95-OSR2, 98, Outlook, and IE4. I still have an internal release of Memphis :)

    The integration between NT and 95 (Cairo) should have been the latest version of both products though, yes.
  • The VxD system which NT 4.0 and 98 use came from 95. Prior to that, NT = 3.51 still used OEMSETUP.INF just like WFW 3.11.
  • First we find out that they've been caught forging evidence for the trial, now they come forward and admit that the consumer Windows "2000" will not be NT based and 9X is still alive afterall...
  • Intel and HP have said as much repeatedly.
  • Merced is expected to be in the $2000 price range. I think it'll take significantly longer than 6-18 mos. for that price to drop down to a consumer level price.

    Basically, Merced is meant to be Intel's first real expedition into high-performance enterprise computing. Whereas the consumer market thinks of Intel as the high end (compared to competitors like AMD and Cyrix), the enterprise market thinks of Intel as the low end and Intel wants to change that.
    Aaron Gaudio
    "The fool finds ignorance all around him.
  • QDOS was based on CPM. In fact, the only major difference was the main drive letter (C: in DOS and something like A: in CPM).
    Aaron Gaudio
    "The fool finds ignorance all around him.
  • Or does M$ seem to begin to be collapsing in on their own OS weight? They talk the modularity game (OCX this, ActiveX that...) but they sure don't put out..

    Oh well, more time for Linux 2.2.x to take over the world!!!

    (Man, do I love that last part!)
  • A few things...

    I thought this quote was particularly interesting.

    "I haven't heard anything on this [Windows 2000 Personal Edition] specifically. But you've got to wonder: How much Plug and Play and PCMCIA support can they get into NT? And the games compatibility issue could be huge [between the 9x and NT kernels]," said one Windows developer.

    It seems they need to stop and think carefully in Redmond. It is not obvious, to at least the quoted Microsoft developer, and possibly to most Microsofians, that bloat will only burn them. If they limit what is in the NT kernel by default and allow users, or the system (or either) to load drivers as they need them, the drivers NT supports could be infinate, while not being impossiblly complex, huge, or slow.

    Microsoft promised the world NT 5.0/Windows 2000 would be the solution. What will all those IT guys who staked the future of their networks on Windows 2000 do? Do you think this means MS is putting up the white flag in the war for control of the network OS? Alot can happen in three years.

  • another $89.95
  • Why?!? What a stupid, stupid thing to do. When Win95/98 are so crappy & buggy & full of security holes... If you've absolutely got to have Windoze, it ought to be NT. Having said that, the "Consumer" version of NT/win2k will probably be cut down to hell & expensive too. Talk about handing the world to Linux on a plate... Then again - great idea, Bill! *slaps Bill's back*
  • Microsoft seems to be it's own worst enemy.

    Next thing you know, they'll be arguing that they don't have a monopoly because NT is competing with 9x!

    Quite frankly, this doesn't do much to build confidence in "Windows 2000"...Or, should I say, "Windows 2003"? (Maybe it will be out by then...)

  • Heh, which explains why my Linux box can still run binaries I compiled in 1995 under Linux 1.0 (as long as I have a copy of libc4 installed), or binaries meant for several other x86 *nixes...

    So much for backward compatibility. Oh, wait, that _IS_ backward compatibility. What were you saying?

    Granted, programs which vulcan-mind-meld themselves to kernel specific APIs aren't typically cross-platform or cross-version compatible. (PPP, modules support, net tools, etc.) But applications typically don't have much of a problem.

  • "The Emperor's New Clothes" - The PC Week tale. Once
    upon a time, the Windows 2000 developers team faced the
    threat that most non-Microsoft applications and virtually all
    games does not work on NT aka Windows 2000 new kernel.
    The problem is with DirectX, Plug and Play, PCMCIA and..
    everything else. What to do? Windows 2000 consists of
    server OS, the big fat pricy box that helps sysadmins to
    centralize all bugs in the single place and small
    client/consumer boxes where bleeding edge users try to run
    uncertified applications, all at the same time! So why not to
    drop few years of failed development and market old Windows
    95 aka 98 box as Windows 2000, Personal Edition? Looks like
    the Windows team finally decided to do that. So, Windows
    2000 is dead.. Long live Windows 95!

    http://www.ecsl.cs.sunysb.edu/~andrew/awards/199 9/February.html
  • "USB scanners, seem to present big challenges for Windoze98"
    hmmm I just got finished installing a USB scanner on a 98 box.... worked like a charm. It better, it's an HP and none too cheap ;)
  • That's C3PO... and you call yourself a nerd?
  • if my memory serves DOS was 8 bit at its inception.. or was it 4bit (intel 8086)

    but fuck who cares. :) its dos for christs sake.

  • is it just me or is this war between Linux and Microsoft like the war between the rebelion and the empire in star wars? The empire rises out of the choas of the Old Republic (NT taking over the unix market) and then its rebirth through the Rebelion. (Linux and the BSD unixs riseing from obscurity and becoming mainstream.)

    Richard Stallman as Obe Wan
    Tux as Luke Skywaker
    BSD Deamon as Han Solo
    Bill Gates as the Emporer
    That Fat idiot bald dude as Darth VadeR ( i cant remember the guys name)
    Yasmine Bleath as The princess
    Alan Cox as the Wookie
    and Raster/Mandrake as 3cpo and R2D2

  • I doubt Merced will ship for another few years yet. (It been just-around-the-corner for a while). Intel introducing the Xeon and later the P3 is evidence that they don't expect to ship anything soon.

    The only reason that Merced won't be a consumer chip for a while is that it uses a different (nobody has been able to make work) technology called very-long-instruction-word.

    Knowing intel, they will provide an x86 compatibility layer, but for software to run faster, it will have to be recompiled.

    Apple is the only company who has successfully migrated a user base to a new processor.

    BTW, Intel made quite a bit of money on the PPro so I wouldn't call it a failure.
  • Did you forget to notice that most commercial software is *not* written in assembler.

    NT is written almost entirely in C as well.

    Print "Accelerated for Merced" on the box so people will know the difference you commerical software is doing just great thankyou.
  • CE isn't another version of windows. It is Windows NT in an embedded system with a different shell.

    Yes, you can buy an embedded version of NT with a Win32 subsystem (no GUI).
  • Actually, the memory manager is 64 bit, it always has been.

    There's no reason you can't do 64-bit math (VC5 has a data type called __int64).

    Ther strategy for making NT 64-bit is:

    1) All APIs stay the smae and take 32 bit pointers (default is segment 0)
    2) The memory region above 4GB is available for memory mapped files which are mapped through a new API.

    This doesn't require a rewrite and is the stratedgy adopted by many UNIX vendors.
  • The NT Kernel can be recompiled for any process with a bit of glue logic. The reason microsoft wanted to drop teh other platforms is that they don't want to do driver support.

    The reason the Alpha is still around is that it uses a PCI bus and PCI adapters as opposed to a proprietary bus.

    CE is the NT kernel without most of the drivers required for a PC: multiple bus drivers, multiple file systems, midi devices, storage devices ... (Yes it can run on a strongarm).
  • OK, I'm definately not a MS lover, but this seems to be making a mountain out of a molehill. Microsoft stated quite clearly 2 years ago that the "unified" windows would not be until (what was then) NT 6.0 and would appear about 2002 or 2003. Looks like they're actually about on-schedule to do that.

    It's no real surprise that there will be additional "updates" to Win98. Whether they are new OSR versions, or released as Service Packs is no real deal - we should expect MS to continue to try to keep up with the new hardware (and I'd like to hope they keep trying to fix all the damn bugs). So, in general, this is No News. It's just ZD trying to sell a story and sound important.

    On another note, people, Intel does NOT expect Merced to be a consumer chip for several Years after it's introduction. That's why they have all those funky P2/P3 derivatives still in the works. Merced is (initially) really targeted at the UNIX/NT Enterprise server market - think of it as an Alpha from Intel. ;-)

    I wouldn't expect Intel to try to push Merced down towards the desktop until at least one iteration after the initial release (probably 1.5 years or so later), after they've had a chance to look at the real-world results of the chip, and make any changes that improve it's marketability to the consumer/business desktop market. So, if they release Merced 2H/2000, that means they start pushing it towards the desktop in 2002. Just about when MS thinks NT 6.0/Windows 2000 Consumer is due. Coincidence?


  • The rename of NT 5 to Windows 2000 indicates to me that they genuinely expected NT 5 to be the mainstream, consumer Windows product only a few short months ago.

    So I would conclude that this /is/ big news, a strong indication that NT 5 development is out of control.

  • by Axe ( 11122 )
    So what? Easier to play old DOS games...
  • Um, didn't DEC ultimately fail? What I mean is, it doesn't even exist as an independent company anymore. Not my idea of success.
  • Well, I won't say why it can't be done (it probably can), but I will say why it shouldn't...bloat. Why does my desktop OS need to have the code installed to run a 5000 station network? Why should my proxy server have to support the latest games? Why should my development PC support DVD movie decoding and TV tuning? Yes, you could write a "one size fits all" operating system, but it would be so unbelievably huge that it wouldn't do anything well. I believe that targeting the professional and consumer market with a single product shortchanges both. I personally feel that if Linux ever moves into the mainstream consumer market, we will see two "versions" emerge. One idiot proof version for Joe Six Pack to point and click his way around, and one standard version for server usage and for the command line lovers (aka, a watered down Linux vs. a real Linux).
  • Change for which car?
    Did his un-crash tested Lamborghini (or whatever it was) ever make it out of customs?
  • This is the heart of it. Register and keep posting. A slowdown in major OS upgrades that push hardware/app upgrades will kill M$'s growth and revenue model and turn their reality distortion field (the size of which Steve Jobs can only dream of) over NT to dust. M$ is already facing a probable revenue lull due to companies turning their attention to Y2K, unless their recent shenanigans over registration revenue can compensate. Meanwhile, NT5/Win2000 is late and bloated but somehow, according to the press, a foregone success. If that isn't the definition of a monopoly freezing the trade press over obvious problems, I don't know what is. "Flat-earth" /.-ers can see the writing on the wall even if Jesse Berst and his fellow tertiary adjunct dwellers can't, but when Wall Street smells blood in Redmond, things will go bad fast.
  • over 500 windows applications only 40% ran under Win-2000 without any problems. A 60% failure rate...

    Well with over 35 million lines of code, what do you expect?


    - - - - - -
    Member in Good Standing,

  • I admit HURD is an interesting project, but their web page hasn't been very active lately. Does anyone have any news on HURD?

    Nothing that's not on their site :-(
    For those who want to know what it's all about, here is a link to the official page about the HURD project [gnu.org]

    A bit far fetched perhaps, but here is another connection between HURD and Windows:
    http://www.hurd.com [hurd.com]

  • PentiumPro/Pentium2 was also not a consumer chip to start with. About 6 to 18 months after release, you will probably be able to get a higher end home system with a merced chip.
  • Yes there is more than winnt/intel, but the fact is that they are not creating new ports of NT. They are abandoning the ports (do you think there is a MIPS or PPC beta of NT5?). If it wasn't for DEC's insistance, MS would have dropped the alpha port as well.
  • We use an Alpha 4000 5/300 with a 300mhz Alpha, running NT. I can tell you from direct experience that NT is not stable on this platform. NT has no true 64 bit support. What it does is rely on firmware to correct bit alignment on the fly. NT Alpha is only 32 bit, even though the alpha works in 64 bit. This is why NT needs a special X86 support BIOS chip to work on the Alphas. Putting NT on an ALPHA or PowerPC is a waste of good hardware
  • Wow, this is SO unlike them. What will they do next? Raise the price of their OS?
  • Oh yeah? Here are my NT4 stats:
    I average 2 reboots/day.
    I average 1 complete reinstall every 9 months.
    The reinstall is for when my system regularly becoms fubar.
  • Isn't Nt supposed to be a micro-kernel architecture?

    Doesn't that make it easier to insert new code? Or am I just being mainstream (=Linux) in my expectation of how things work?


Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong