Then and Now

Reflections on our first 100 issues

This issue marks the 100th issue of Windows & .NET Magazine since we launched the publication, originally as Windows NT Magazine, in September 1995. In many ways, 1995 doesn't seem that long ago, but a lot of things have certainly changed since then—in the IT industry as well as in the magazine. As the NT OS evolved, so did we, changing our name first to Windows 2000 Magazine, then to Windows & .NET Magazine. If we were to take a ride in our Wayback Machine to 1995, we'd see mobile phones the size of bricks and spam arriving on the fax machine instead of through email. The Internet was just beginning to become popular, pagers were considered pretty high tech, and Y2K was but a dark cloud looming on the distant horizon.

A Changing Landscape
When we launched Windows NT Magazine in 1995, NT was far from the dominant OS that it has since become—at that time, NT really did stand for New Technology. On the server front, Novell NetWare was firmly entrenched as the preeminent network OS (NOS), and on the desktop, Windows 95 was the rage in all the computer periodicals. NT 4.0 was new to the market. In those days, something as simple as obtaining NT drivers was a challenge—every vendor seemed to make Win95 drivers, but finding NT drivers necessitated a concerted effort for every type of device that needed a driver.

Today, the successors to NT—Windows XP and Win2K—are the desktop and server standards. In the NOS market, NetWare is but a niche player whose role is fading fast, whereas the less-than-reliable Win9x line has been relegated to a much-deserved obsolescence. Linux has emerged as the primary challenger to Windows in both the server and desktop markets.

Microsoft has changed as well. In 1995, Microsoft was the enterprise underdog, introducing desktop productivity tools into the organization and triggering a groundswell of support by embracing the PC and the GUI. Microsoft also became the developer's best friend. With tools such as Visual Basic (VB), Microsoft transformed Windows development from an arcane art form into a highly productive visual environment that set the standard for the next era of development tools. Now, Microsoft has become the 800-pound gorilla of the industry, essentially stepping into the shoes that IBM used to fill. Instead of having to drum up grassroots support, Microsoft is now knocking on the door of the enterprise.

An Evolving Magazine
The world of IT knowledge was smaller in 1995. At that time, one person could have fairly detailed knowledge not only of all aspects of the NT OS but of one or two of the Microsoft BackOffice products as well. The magazine reflected that smaller world by covering a wide range of topics. We regularly covered Microsoft SQL Server, Exchange Server, and even SNA Server, as well as products such as graphics workstations, application development tools, and other technologies that IT and technical professionals ran on the Windows OS. Today, Microsoft's product line is so extensive that it's virtually impossible for an IT professional to be an expert in every area. The topics that IT professionals need information about have expanded, so we've broadened our scope too. To better supply deep, independent coverage of Windows and other Microsoft technologies, we now offer a variety of publications: the magazine, three 16-page technical newsletters, 15 email newsletters, and a multitude of Web sites.

One thing that hasn't changed since Windows & .NET Magazine's debut is our commitment to publishing the information that Windows IT professionals need to do their jobs. Here's looking forward to the next 100 issues.

TAGS: Windows 8
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