WinInfo Short Takes: Week of March 6

THANKS TO AN old friend from Phoenix, Sean Robinson, for tipping me off to a hilarious "Windows NT vs. CPM" performance comparison. CPM, as you may remember, was one of the first portable operating systems, running on 8-bit Intel systems with a single 8-inch floppy. (Weren't those were the days?) If you need a good laugh, especially if you're an old-timer, head on over and check it out

MSDN PROFESSIONAL AND Universal subscribers can now download the Windows 2000 Resource Kit from the MSDN Subscriber Downloads Web site. If you're an MSDN subscriber working on a Windows 2000 rollout, this is a must have. Thanks to Barry Peerless for the tip.

APPARENTLY EVEN THE Linux community is finally coming to grips with the fact that their OS flavor of the month isn't ready for the desktop primetime. While this hard-to-use OS may be a natural for servers (it is a free Unix clone, after all), the typical human being can't be expected to grok its difficult command line, mind-numbing configuration, a plethora of incompatible GUIs, or the worst hardware compatibility on the market. But don't take my word on it, just ask the CEO of SuSE, maker of a popular Linux distribution: "Given the lack of applications available, we really can't claim it as being competitive on the desktop yet," says SuSE CEO Roland Dyroff, also noting the OS' horrid hardware problems. "The customers we target have a serious interest in what goes on their machine. If a driver for a piece of hardware exists, there is no problem installing it. The people who have problems are the people who've never even seen Unix." Roland, there's a simpler description for these people: We call them "normal."

MICROSOFT IS OFFERING a free download of its Host Integration Server 2000 (code-named "Babylon") Beta 1, the replacement for SNA Server. If you're interested, check out the SNA Server Web site for details.

EVERY ONCE IN a while, I check out some Net stats to see where we're at. This was more interesting when the browser wars were in full bloom, but it's still good data in a day and age where just mentioning the word "Linux" can get you press. On that note, here are the stats: As of February 2000, Windows 95/98 was used on 85% of all personal computers browsing the Web; Windows NT was 9% (Win32 total: 93%). The Mac trails with only 2%. But Linux, which we'll consider the combination of "unknown" and "Misc. Unix" to be fair, comes in around 1-2%, trailing even the Mac. As for Web browsers, 48% use IE 5.0, while 28% use IE 4.x (that's 76% using a modern version of IE). Only 17% use Netscape 4.x; after that, the percentages fall into the 1% range, which I consider statistically irrelevant. These figures are, of course, approximate, and come from a variety of sources. I did some math in my head, too, so that immediately makes them suspect. :)

IF YOU'RE INTERESTED in Windows Me or the PocketPC, Microsoft is hosting a live satellite broadcast of its next "Extreme" event, where these products will be featured. (why does this remind me of a "Mystery Science Theater 3000" skit?) To find out whether there's going to be show in your area, head on over to the Microsoft Extreme Web site, check the locations and times, and register. I'm going to try and hit the Boston event if I can

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