Windows NT 4.0 made Microsoft an operating system player for file servers and crushed NetWare, but it was Windows 2000 Server and Advanced Server that stormed the walls of the glasshouse and smashed enough windows to actually get inside and start taking over the joint. And now, it is dead. At least as far as Microsoft is …
Funny. For a dead OS, it still seems to be running fine on this machine.
But it does put those of us who still like it (I know I'm not the only one) in a bit of a pickle. We didn't upgrade to XP for various reasons (abhorrence of a crayola-inspired desktop being one), and I personally like Win7's crappy desktop even less. Linux isn't there yet, not really. And I'd get about as much use out of OS X as I would out of a Ford engine manual written in Chinese. I don't know what to do at this point - my preferred desktop OS is fading, and I've nowhere to go to.
All but the Linux comment
Win2k will continue to run on various machines of mine that are not connected to the outside world and are (until that power line network thing gets going) not a risk from malware. You say Linux is not yet ready. For what? I find it very ready. The hardest things for me to port will be a couple of places that I used printer canvases to great benefit.
Not to beat the Linux drum (too hard)
But seriously? There are many wonderful Linux distros out there that will scream on even an old workhorse and you shouldn't have any hardware compatibility issues either. Now if you have some ancient legacy software that wouldn't run on XP or higher, then the no Linux argument really isn't very valid. But there is always WINE.
Windows Server 2003 R2, then
Just a passing thought:
Have you given the XP and 7 user interfaces a fair go? I dismissed them both as eye candy when I first saw them, but after using each for a couple of days, I grew to like them, and now going back to previous versions is quite painful.
You've got to be joking, I couldn't stand the XP standard desktop, so I switched it off and used the old-style desktop. It took about a minute.
Change the Theme
My solution on every Windows XP machine I've used is to change the desktop theme to Windows Classic with a cyan-ish uniform background colour. Same look and feel all the way.
My father is still running Win2K on his home machine and I've just about persuaded him that next time I'm there, I'll upgrade him to Linux because it'll do just about everything he wants (email, web and a bit of word processing) and that'll save him having to pay for Win7 and new hardware on which to run it (his machine is old, but not worth upgrading for the amount of time he uses it).
Yeah, I know all that, but I still have numerous admin apps that need Windows (of some sort), as well as still running the ancient Netware rconsole over rspx (I HATE the new replacements for rconsole) to admin my Netware 6.5 boxes - yes I still have some. And the Groupwise 6.5 client (which we still use) isn't as good in Linux as in Windows. And some of the webpage-based admin interfaces for some of my network stuff just doesn't render properly in anything other than IE - poor programming decisions on their part, but not a lot I can do about it.
I love Linux on my servers, but find it requires too many compromises (at least in my case) to use on my desktop.
it's deeper than that
we don't use AD here, as we are an eDirectory shop, so we use a lot of local-user stuff. I dislike the way MS has re-arranged the "group membership" dialog in lusrmgr - it drives me nuts on my W2k3 servers to add a user to a group - it's so much simpler in Win2k.
Then there's the way MS has tweaked services.msc so that it's got that entire blank column on the left side - does nothing but waste space. Yes, I know that can be authored out, but it's still a PITA.
And the shutdown monitor thingy in W2k3, another PITA that has to be tweaked.
There are more, I just can't remember them now.
As to Win7, I tried to give it a fair shot, but after a week it was driving me nuts. Things are buried too deeply and take too much clicking to get to. Not to mention that horrible ribbon menu creeping into old standbys (can't remember if it was in Paint or in Wordpad/Notepad). And the lack of a "classic" Win9x/2k Start menu just turned me off completely. Now if some enterprising company would come out with an Explorer replacement that looks and works like Win9x/2k, I might consider Win7. But until then, bleh. I'll pass.
Some of us are devs
We need win-specific apps. There's no choice in the matter (yet), we must have it.
Won't stop me from installing tux-y soon[*] but it will have VMs with windows on them. We're not all casual home users.
And BTW as devs we need rock-solid stability, stuff like wine doesn't cut it.
[*] because I've come to bloody hate MS.
On Linux, I recently installed Ubuntu 10.04 on an old desktop box - Dell optiplex GX 260, Pentium 4 (After using an earlier ubuntu version dual boot with wubi/windows setup) Liked it, so installed 10.04 removing Win2k. (Read the reg linux guide and was convinced)
Long story short, since then I'm plagues with black screens at random points. After reading the forums it seems to be very common with compatibility issues due to decisions about which video driver versions to come with 10.04
I regret my decision now and have a completely unstable OS.
Ya I know...."there's a better distro"
Maybe I will upgrade to XP someday...
The Windows 2000 on my main workstation has been running so reliably these past few years, a pleasant change from the early days when it had to be rebooted at least once a week. Partly that is maturity in the applications, especially the anti-virus programs, and partly the reliability seems to have come from the successive MS bugfixes.
So why would I need to change to XP? I run XP on my 3 netbooks, and my laptop, and my 4CPU backup desktop system. XP works well enough, probably as well as this Windows 2000. And it has one or two multimedia improvements, notably improved webcam support.
But Windoze 7? Why would I want to upgrade to server 2008 or Windoze 7? What I have works well, a Core 2 Duo CPU at 3GHz and a couple of gig of RAM, and 3+ terabytes of RAID disks on multiple drives.
It will be interesting to see how things evolve...
More RAM ?
you could upgrade to be able to use more than 3.7 Gigs of RAM. vista would be enough for that too actually (the 64 version)
...who will be sorely missed, having made Windows NT user-friendly and lead the crusade against that icky old Windows 9x line.
Speaking of said icky 9x line, the codename Memphis was that of Windows 98, not Windows 2000. The latter didn't really have a codename, unless you include simply "NT5" which if I recall was its prerelease name for a few betas.
I found that using the desktop update from IE4 made it just as user friendly as win98.
Wasn't Memphis the codename for Win 98?
I think 2K was just NT5 up until just before release.
98 Was originally Memphis (and 4.1 and humouressly 97), but 2K was codenamed Memphis NT and I have a beta somehere that boots up as NT5 in the white logon banner.
Windows XP's Luna theme is pretty horrible granted, but as you can switch from that to the Classic theme (which is a carbon copy of 2000's look and feel) with about four mouse clicks, using that as a decision to stick with such an ancient OS is pretty much insane.
Not quite a clone
(Re XP's look out of the box) It is true that the Fisher-Price theme can be pretty readily suppressed, but the result is still (IMHO) not as solid as Win2k's user interface. There are subtle regressions in usability (drop down lists come to mind) and the explorer was not nearly as elegant (if that word can apply to *anything* from Redmond).
I don't know if it dates me, but I always associated the XP default theme with the final sequence of Doom. Just don't turn around...
Re: Not quite a clone...
* Control Panel > System > Advanced > Performance Settings and choose "Adjust for best performance"
* Tick any features you want to keep ("Smooth edges of screen fonts" can be handy) and hit OK
* Control Panel > Display
* Change theme to "Windows Classic"
* Hit Appearance tab and change "Color [sic] scheme" to "Windows Classic". OK.
* Control Panel > Taskbar and Start Menu > Start Menu
* Choose "Classic Start menu". OK.
It only takes a minute ans should be enough to satisfy most Windows 2000 hold-outs. For the really hardcore, there are further tweaks you can make, but it depends how much time and effort you want to put into it.
"... using that as a decision to stick with such an ancient OS is pretty much insane."
heh ancient OS... I think if you are suggesting going from 2000 to XP, you are not one to talk. XP is also ancient.
I don't suggest going to Win7 either BTW -- I recommend sticking with 2000 until you can't, then seriously look at all your options -- Mac, Ubuntu, and so on.
Yes, RIP Windows 2000... served me well for about 8 years. The last sane (non-bloated) OS that MS made.
Linux is pretty much there, just install the latest Ubuntu and tell me what is missing ;)
There isn't much missing AFAICT. One thing that MS did well (or maybe I used used it well) was printer canvases. I have some fairly slick device-independent code that is going to a bear to port :( If anyone wants to use the boffin icon while they tell me how easy it is it replace, I'm listening...
"Windows server platform ... positioned against mainframes"
"the Windows server platform could credibly be positioned against mainframes, midrange gear, and Unix boxes"
I read that and realised that there are very few people qualified to come up with that sort of comment. The Register should be proud it has one on the staff, shouldn't it.
VMS 8.4 will be out in the field soon, will there be a writeup of that? Thirty years young (and a bit) and still going strong (at least in technical terms), despite Compaq and then HP's best efforts to ignore it.
Even if HP don't do any easily-recyclable NDAs or press releases for VMS 8.4, there's likely to be enough to make it interesting to people *really* interested in Reliability, Availability, Security (or whatever RAS is short for), without having to pay mainframe-class hardware or software prices.
That Matt Bryant's usually good with Itanium stuff isn't he?
Or more seriously, HP UK still employ at least one "VMS Ambassador" last time I checked; hi Ray, how are you?
Did you know....
VMS is alphabetically one down from WNT, I have heard this was *why* [W]NT was chosen as it was a "step up" from VMS, they just made the "New Technlogy" fit.
Who knows? probably just a coincidence.
ah well i must say 2000 has had its time its done well it was a great os for its era better than 98 me and 95 it just had that stable sorta feeling like xp without the fancy color anyway it had to come its done its job well done 2000. i once had a old pc and had 2000 on it it was awsome at the time professional edition it was i used to love the windows 2000 logo the bar moving because thats when you new it was gonna boot in now now where its hard to tell.
...does it refer to your opinion of grammer and/or punctuation?
Seriously, try reading what you typed out-loud, and then come back and try to tell me I should take you seriously.
I'm not trying to be a dick, but if you can't be bothered to try to communicate in a comprehensible fashion why on earth should I be bothered to try to understand you?
i wish you would give it a rest abnout my puncuation and typing if you cant understand then stfu
If you're not dyslexic then I suggest you raise your game a bit.
Re: Sarah Bee
I'm not Alex, but I do not wish to identify myself simply in case a future employer might do a web search on my name and see this post to hold it against me. Anyhow...
I myself *am* dyslexic. I barely have any idea what the hell he said. Punctuation is very, very important in English, though overuse can become equally confusing. Basically what I got from his comment after reading it twice is "Windows 2000 good, 9x bad, progress bar gone now." I can't see anything at all in the post that warrants an upvote.
The benefits of Windows 2000
1, It works really well, without any annoying 'are you sure' messages
2. It lacks the Fischer-Price interface
3. All my software runs really well on it
4. That silly Windows Genuine Disadvantage stuff is absent
5. & I dont need a brand new computer to run it
I may have to get rid of IE what ever came with it & do some configuration, but seriously who would connect to the Internet with IE?
What's wrong with connecting with IE?
I use it every single time I install XP on a new hard drive, to connect to the internet (where else?) and download Firefox.
When I install windows, I use the ftp command line tool to download ff from releases.mozilla.org ...
"Windows 2000 is a continuation of the Microsoft Windows NT family of operating systems, replacing Windows NT 4.0. Originally called Windows NT 5.0, then Windows NT 2000, Microsoft changed the name to Windows 2000 on 27 October 1998. It is also the first Windows version that has been released without a code name, though Windows 2000 Service Pack 1 was codenamed "Asteroid" and Windows 2000 64-bit was codenamed "Janus""
Hold on just a moment and it will say something very different indeed...
Last MS OS for me
I got the desktop w2k professional with my PC around 2001, replacing an older NT4 box. It is the last MS OS I have willingly paid for. It worked fine, and I saw no compelling reason for XP, in fact, the whole product activation aspect left a bad taste in my mouth.
Almost 8 years later, my PC failed with the 'bulging capacitors of death' and I turned it in to a VM and now run it under Ubuntu when needed. I can still dual boot, as I was able to install w2k on the new box (but it borked if I fitted 4GB memory, or by using a SATA DVD drive) but almost never do.
For me at least, that looks like the future where *I* control my own PC, and have no long-term worries of it being remotely broken by a lack of activation support, or hardware change.
Upgrade path is 2K -> Ubuntu
Even the wife is on 10.04 now, and not missing the Vista malware that came on her box.
Granted, XP is better for gaming - even though 2K shares a kernel and DirectX 9 with NT5, there are too many lib snafus to make it practical as a gaming OS.
But I still keep a 2K partition for the sheer joy of it. Rock solid, stable as all get out, no DRM gubbins, and it runs like a freaking rocket. Let's raise a glass to the best OS Redmond ever made, and no mistake.
I was in the Three Store
Getting a new contract and phone and the machine they used to sign me up was running Windows 2000. I couldn't believe that even a company who are supposed to promote the cutting edge of hardware were using an operating system that was probably out of date around the time they started business.
Royal Bank of Scotland still use NT systems.......
All the High End management get top of the line kit, with new versions of most software.. So often the Peons at the low end have to send MS Excel, and MS Doc files to the IT department so it can be converted to a early version to work on their NT systems running OLD SCHOOL versions of office ;P....
You're talking shite
There are a few NT systems, almost no desktops (only legacy take-on that RBS bought out not migrated as it's uneconomical), there's probably more people using Fedora desktops with OO and they cause more document transfer problems, at least the MS Office compatibility pack works perfectly on 2007 (and a phone call will deliver a 2003 install to an executives desktop in minutes).
And what's the "IT department" that you mention?
And tight-fisted, commie Luddites at that. Yes, 2000 was a decent OS in its day, but that was a long time ago. XP SP2 on was better, Vista was even... just kidding, but Windows 7 is better still. Now to add to the increasing amount of software that doesn't support Win2k (ok, so the luddites are probably running 10 year old software on their 10 year old OS, so that probably isn't so much of an issue for them), MS is pulling the plug on its updates. It's 2010 now, but it's not too late, you can still join in with the 21st century. This is a great opportunity to dust the cobwebs out of your wallets and BUY SOME NEW SOFTWARE!
> It's 2010 now, but it's not too late, you can still join in with the 21st century. This is a great opportunity to dust the cobwebs out of your wallets and BUY SOME NEW SOFTWARE!
You don't have to spend any money to run some of the best most stable software out there including even an OS far more secure than winblows (Linux and BSD getting better all the time). Still even if you are a windows lover plenty of great modern open source software to be had for free. Much of it is far better than anything you can buy.
I'm getting new software, but I don't buy it. As somebody said earlier, win2k->Ubuntu.
Are you nuts?
whilst not being one of this select group.....
I appreciate the opinions of those that do still run 2000. But the truth is this, if all my apps, and all my hardware ran on 2000, then that is where I'd be, still on 2000.
Why buy another piece of bloated software that does the same job, but does it worse (apps and hardware allowing of course) if you have no need of it ?
For an org to run Vista on every desktop would be stupid (given MS stated policy on Vistas lifecycle), for them to run Win 7 they'd need major investment in hardware in comparison with XP or 2000, and if their current software does the job, why bother ? The west is in recession.
I assume this was a humorous post, but it's worth stating that the purpose of an OS is to allow the user to run applications, not an end in itself.
One objection I have to the upgrades is that each new release got more and more bloated, each new version was a significant downgrade in performance, even with the latest hardware.
There is no justification for an operating system to require more ram than the applications running under it.
Tight Fisted Commie Luddite?
Im sure my MD will warm to this title when used as a reason to 'upgrade', but that & the prospect of saddling the company with a very large bill & no definite advantage is just not on the agenda.
For business models that havnt really changed but exploited new ways of doing stuff over the last decade, any 'upgrade' is completely pointless if the existing software & hardware does the job well.
Perhaps, the resistance to such pointless expenditure is one reason why some companies have been around a lot longer than others.
Frankenstein with lipstick
Vista is a horrid Frankenstein. Its been cobbled together from all the dead MS OS's before I.
You can see it how well MS's own tools handle things like, Alternate Data Streams, Junction Points, Hard links, Repair installation.
With windows7 you get the duct tape version of vista.
Some people actually would like an OS that can do OS stuff.
"BUY SOME NEW SOFTWARE!"
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