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Windows 97 in Beta

Microsoft has released the first "developer's release" of Windows 95-- code-named "Memphis"--to testers. Windows 97 is expected to include many new features, including: * Fat32 and all of the improvements from the OSR-2 release of Windows 95 - FAT-32 supports large hard disks with a single partition of as much as 2 terabytes and includes updates to the FDISK, Format, Scandisk, and Defrag utilities. Interestingly, Microsoft is also contemplating the release of two versions of Windows 97--one that includes FAT32 and one that does not. FAT32 support will also show up in Windows NT 5.0, due late this year or in early 1998. * Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) - combines advanced power management and Plug and Play. * Internet Explorer 4.0 - adds a new view style to the Explorer interface and creates Active content on the desktop. * OnNow - housekeeping chores such as backing up local drives and defragmenting hard disks by scheduling a "wake-up call" to the desktop after the system has been turned "off" by the user. * Windows Driver Model (WDM) support - individual devices, such as networking cards, sound cards, the monitor, and the modem, are now controlled by a set of drivers that are compatible with Windows 97 and Windows NT. New software updates are automatically downloaded over the Internet. Apparently, Microsoft is moving away from releasing operating system upgrades every two years and toward a subscription model where upgrades are downloaded automatically as they are introduced

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