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Will NT Become the World's Most Popular 
Operating System?

Michael Hayman

 NT 4 has undergone hundreds of changes. Some are concealed, some are very visible and some have been inherited from the integration work with Windows 95.

From the beginning, Windows NT was different-a 32-bit system praised for its security, scalability and portability, but still just a little too much operating system for the average user. Yet over the past three years, both the desktop and server versions have experienced explosive growth. Although Microsoft won't release figures for NT's installed base, many estimate it to be 2 million to 4 million.

Could NT really replace Windows 95 as the operating system of choice for both servers (with NT Server) and desktops (with NT Workstation)? Microsoft is sure that both Windows 95 and NT have a secure future until at least 1999. But, come the new millennium, don't be surprised if a new operating system rules your desktop.

 

Does this mean most users will-or should-bypass Windows 95 and move directly to NT 4.0? In a word: No. What Bill Gates said some years ago remains true: "If you don't know what you need NT for, then you probably don't need it."

That said, NT offers many advantages for those who can use it. Once installed, it's extremely reliable. When properly operated, it's relatively secure. In addition, it's scalable. It supports (and takes advantage of) up to 4GB of physical RAM and more than one CPU. And, for better performance, you can use one of several non-Intel CPU architectures. These factors make NT an ideal operating system for a network server, a technical workstation or a power user's desktop.

A hot new feature in NT Workstation and NT Server is a Windows 95-style interface that makes the system easier to use. A revised video architecture boosts performance and improves compatibility with Windows 95 applications. Better Internet support is also included On the whole, it's a major upgrade.