These edited excerpts from ARN's sister publication Infoworld 's Web site's forums provide a sample of the lively debate that takes place there. For the full discussions, go to www.infoworld.com and click on the forums button.
Microsoft Windows sneak peeks
"I must say up front that I'm no fan of any of the Windows line of operating systems . . . but I won a copy as well. The update went fine. No problems.
"It installed over Release Candidate 2 without a hitch. It found all present hardware. Even with only 64MB of system memory, it doesn't run badly. It swaps, but not nearly as slow and annoying as Win95 with 16MB ran. Overall, I'm pretty impressed."
"I'm testing a free copy from a Microsoft contest. All I can say is that if it comes on your machine, then it might be OK. But I'm having a lot of problems installing it - I did a clean install and still don't have any real everyday applications. It's a new OS. Old drivers no longer function. Many companies appear to have chosen not to give Microsoft money to get the blessed compliance logo, but the products seem to work."
"None of the NT-compatible applications I regularly use have failed or malfunctioned in any noticeable way under Windows 2000, with the exception of Adobe Acrobat Distiller. I've run into two applications that apparently check for specific Windows versions and then fail because they assume that Windows 2000 is an unsupported, older version of NT. I have had a handful of unexplained application shutdowns, but no blue screens and no lockups. Maybe I've just been lucky."
"So far, we have found that Windows 2000 does not install on [Acer Lab's] ALi chip sets, which make up a large number of clones we have in service. Also, several people who have tried to install it on their home systems have reported failure and the inability to install it at all."
Will Linux fragment?
"There are several checks and balances that make the threat of a Unix-type fragmentation with Linux highly unlikely. The General Public Licence ranks among the top of those.
Every change that every distribution makes to Linux comes back to the community, and their work is either incorporated into the whole or it's forgotten."
"It's appropriate for Linux to 'fragment' to support different broad classes of platforms: for example, a real-time version for embedded systems. The current industry-standard Windows comes in different compatible versions: Windows 95, Windows 98, NT 4.0, and Windows 2000. Even a single-source vendor is no protection against fragmentation. We also don't feel locked in by our particular choice."