Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio June
BY ELLIOTT MASIE
UPGRADING TO THE NEW WIN2000
Does Microsoft’s latest version of its operating system make
sense for you?
The new Microsoft Windows is available. Should you upgrade? Will
you be able to plan a meeting better if you use it?
Further complicating these questions, Microsoft has issued a
gaggle of products under the Windows 2000 label. There are server
and desktop/laptop versions, with different features for the wide
range of computers found in every organization. Focusing on the
operating system for your PC, here are some pros and cons of
PROSIncreased stability and reliability. Your
system will freeze up a lot less and recover from errors a lot
easier with Win2000.Significantly increased data security. The
ability to protect files and information on your desktop and laptop
are increased dramatically. As you spend more time on the Internet,
this increased security will be critical.More ability to use up-to-date devices. A
Win2000 computer is primed to use current interface and storage
devices, such as DVDs (the high-density disks that play movies or
store 10 times the amount of info of a CD), USB ports (the new
standard for plugging in a printer, modem or other device) and PC
cards (the credit cardsized interfaces that slide into the computer
to add functions and peripherals).More robust and standard device drivers.
Whenever you add a new application, Windows looks for a device
driver, a small piece of software that tells the computer how to
handle the new program. Win2000 comes with a lot more device
drivers, making the installation of new software faster and less
problem-prone.Expanded plug-and-play capabilities. Win2000
also has much expanded use of plug-and-play, allowing the computer
to recognize and adapt to a new device that has been plugged into a
USB, PC card or serial slot.Better support for the mobile user. The
ability to log on to your corporate computer from the road is
increased with Win2000. You can access your actual desktop at work,
its files and programs, and synchronize updates. This capacity adds
enormous value to remote workers, giving them access to company
resources, regardless of their location.
Yes, there are many.
CONSIt is space hungry. At least 64 MB of memory
and a recent memory chip (two or three years old at most) are
required.It takes brains to run. The system is more
complex, with new features to learn.The installation is complicated. In some
cases, you will need help configuring this new system, especially
if you want to take advantage of its advanced features.
You expected a Windows program to be perfect? Here’s where it is
With more and more attention turning to the Internet for computer
tasks, Win2000 is not essential for everyone. You will be able to
do the same work with Windows 98 or 95 if your focus is on
However, if you want the latest security, integration or
device-ready computer, Win2000 is a giant step forward. Since
loading it on my laptop, I feel like my computer has much the same
power and sophistication as the server in my organization.
Buyers of new computers will have little choice, as a large
percentage of machines are being shipped with Win2000 installed.
The rest of us will upgrade slowly often when our IT department
makes the decision.
Windows 2000 is a mature and powerful engine. Is it bug-free?
Not yet. At the Comdex computer trade show this spring, a
demonstration of the digital media feature froze up and could not
be shown.Elliott Masie is president of the Saratoga Springs,
N.Y.-based MASIE Center (www.masie.com), an international think
tank focused on learning and technology.
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