Microsoft

Pros and cons of Windows NT vs. Windows 2000

Members insight on why enterprises shouldnt rush to upgrade

Point and Counterpoint presents a balanced discussion among our members regarding hardware, software, or other IT topics our members want to discuss. Today, TechRepublic members sound off about a past column debating whether an upgrade from Windows NT to Windows 2000 is necessary.
It’s time to be heard!
In a recent edition of Point and Counterpoint, we asked TechRepublic members to voice their opinions regarding Windows NT vs. Windows 2000. The feedback on this topic was fantastic! Below you will find a few responses from members who are pro-NT and pro-2000.

Pro Windows NT
  • Jaymie M.
    ”For the next few months, it is probably not worth upgrading to Win 2K. I am, for instance, trying to set up two new stand-alone file servers. I also want to proxy out our DSL Internet connection. I want to use a third-party software program to perform the Proxy serving but they haven't caught up to Win 2K yet. I am also finding that this is the case with many peripheral device drivers. They aren't ready for Win 2K yet. In a few months, I say go for it. I've found Win 2K to be very stable and easy to work with, but until I can get the peripheral and third-party software support I need, then I'm sticking with NT 4.”
  • Sey M.
    ”As of June 2000, Windows 2000 is where Windows NT 4.0 was when it was first released. In other words, full of bugs, probably missing some features that users really would use, and sadly lacking some third-party hardware support. As with most of their software, Microsoft will eventually patch all the bugs, add more features and hardware support with their subsequent Service Releases for Win2K, making it a viable upgrade alternative.”
  • John L.
    ”I appreciate the progress in the O/S but whether I "need to" is the question. There are many new features with Win2K, but are the new features worth all the bugs and fixes that will follow? Consider all the steps that we went through to get where we are with NT 4.0. Resources today for NT 4.0 are available in so many flavors that it makes it difficult to decide at this point. In our location, NT 4.0 is doing just fine, or at least for now. I guess factors such as need and desire will dictate which direction we'll choose later, but for now I will sit back and observe the motion.”
  • Brenda W.
    ”We are a small company that only has 30 PCs networked to its server. We have no outside servers, and I don't see any benefit for us to upgrade to Windows 2000. If we had several servers or even other offices at off-site locations, I might see the benefit. But upgrading to Windows 2000 from NT 4 would seem to be both expensive and nonproductive from the research I've done so far.”
  • Jeff Dray, TechRepublic contributing author
    ”If the NT boxes in your company are working fine now, remember golden rule #1: if it isn’t broke, don't fix it. When Win 2K has been around for a while and becomes stable like NT4 with its many patches and fixes, then I might consider it. Why spend good money that could be used for my bonus on unreliable, bug-ridden software when I don't need it?”
Point and Counterpoint presents a balanced discussion among our members regarding hardware, software, or other IT topics our members want to discuss. Today, TechRepublic members sound off about a past column debating whether an upgrade from Windows NT to Windows 2000 is necessary.
It’s time to be heard!
In a recent edition of Point and Counterpoint, we asked TechRepublic members to voice their opinions regarding Windows NT vs. Windows 2000. The feedback on this topic was fantastic! Below you will find a few responses from members who are pro-NT and pro-2000.

Pro Windows NT
  • Jaymie M.
    ”For the next few months, it is probably not worth upgrading to Win 2K. I am, for instance, trying to set up two new stand-alone file servers. I also want to proxy out our DSL Internet connection. I want to use a third-party software program to perform the Proxy serving but they haven't caught up to Win 2K yet. I am also finding that this is the case with many peripheral device drivers. They aren't ready for Win 2K yet. In a few months, I say go for it. I've found Win 2K to be very stable and easy to work with, but until I can get the peripheral and third-party software support I need, then I'm sticking with NT 4.”
  • Sey M.
    ”As of June 2000, Windows 2000 is where Windows NT 4.0 was when it was first released. In other words, full of bugs, probably missing some features that users really would use, and sadly lacking some third-party hardware support. As with most of their software, Microsoft will eventually patch all the bugs, add more features and hardware support with their subsequent Service Releases for Win2K, making it a viable upgrade alternative.”
  • John L.
    ”I appreciate the progress in the O/S but whether I "need to" is the question. There are many new features with Win2K, but are the new features worth all the bugs and fixes that will follow? Consider all the steps that we went through to get where we are with NT 4.0. Resources today for NT 4.0 are available in so many flavors that it makes it difficult to decide at this point. In our location, NT 4.0 is doing just fine, or at least for now. I guess factors such as need and desire will dictate which direction we'll choose later, but for now I will sit back and observe the motion.”
  • Brenda W.
    ”We are a small company that only has 30 PCs networked to its server. We have no outside servers, and I don't see any benefit for us to upgrade to Windows 2000. If we had several servers or even other offices at off-site locations, I might see the benefit. But upgrading to Windows 2000 from NT 4 would seem to be both expensive and nonproductive from the research I've done so far.”
  • Jeff Dray, TechRepublic contributing author
    ”If the NT boxes in your company are working fine now, remember golden rule #1: if it isn’t broke, don't fix it. When Win 2K has been around for a while and becomes stable like NT4 with its many patches and fixes, then I might consider it. Why spend good money that could be used for my bonus on unreliable, bug-ridden software when I don't need it?”

Pro Windows 2000
  • Lynn P.
    ”I just switched from WinNT to Win2000. What a relief! Sure, I knew my way around Windows NT, I fought with it so long...I've been trying to turn the old LAN into a real WAN, and set up remote access for everyone, a company Web page, and all that. What a headache in NT! With Win2000, it's almost too easy. Most of the things I cursed in NT are fixed in 2000, and the things that were good about NT are still there. It's not even hard to learn. Personally, I don't see any good reason why you would hold back from upgrading to 2000 other than the cost.”
  • Feiste
    ”Duh!
    MSDOS or WFW?
    WFW or 95?
    NT 3.51 or NT 4.0?
    NT 4.0 or 2000?
    It is a no-brainer!”
  • Richard D.
    As a UNIX user, I have never been impressed with the stability of NT. When Win2K first came out, I started it up, and did all I could to get up the BSOD, and I couldn't. While I've only been really using it for mission-critical applications for about a month, it so far seems to be about as stable as the vast majority of Linux distributions, which is far beyond where NT was, even at SP 6a.”
  • Eli W.
    ”Win2K is faster and more stable than NT with computers that are configured similarly. Win2K appears to be much less buggy than NT. With full multi-language support embedded into Win2K, individuals and businesses that do not live in the U.S. do not need to rely on the Microsoft's International subsidiaries for support, which usually lag behind MS U.S. by months, if a particular bug fix arrived at all. An example of this was that Office 97 English had two major revisions–SR-1 and SR-2. We never saw the first service release. The localized version NT Server needed to be installed twice and then the Regional settings needed to be re-adjusted before the fonts were handled correctly. No service pack addressed this issue. Who knows what other installation bugs were embedded and not fixed? Now, if individuals can set their regional settings to English U.S. and get the available bug fixes in a timely manner. The catch here is that the English version of Win2K software needs to be purchased instead of the localized version. And this of course means that all the interfaces will be in English. However, work can still be done in the localized language in a well-supported computing environment.”
  • Jim I.
    ”I personally believe that if your company can afford new hardware, or is currently using compatible hardware, an upgrade to Win2K should be a given. There are so many reasons, such as improved security and stability, to name a few, that this should be a no-brainer.”
So what do you think of our member’s opinions? Feel free to post your thoughts below or send us a note. Thanks to everyone who submitted an opinion on this topic!
Pro Windows 2000
  • Lynn P.
    ”I just switched from WinNT to Win2000. What a relief! Sure, I knew my way around Windows NT, I fought with it so long...I've been trying to turn the old LAN into a real WAN, and set up remote access for everyone, a company Web page, and all that. What a headache in NT! With Win2000, it's almost too easy. Most of the things I cursed in NT are fixed in 2000, and the things that were good about NT are still there. It's not even hard to learn. Personally, I don't see any good reason why you would hold back from upgrading to 2000 other than the cost.”
  • Feiste
    ”Duh!
    MSDOS or WFW?
    WFW or 95?
    NT 3.51 or NT 4.0?
    NT 4.0 or 2000?
    It is a no-brainer!”
  • Richard D.
    As a UNIX user, I have never been impressed with the stability of NT. When Win2K first came out, I started it up, and did all I could to get up the BSOD, and I couldn't. While I've only been really using it for mission-critical applications for about a month, it so far seems to be about as stable as the vast majority of Linux distributions, which is far beyond where NT was, even at SP 6a.”
  • Eli W.
    ”Win2K is faster and more stable than NT with computers that are configured similarly. Win2K appears to be much less buggy than NT. With full multi-language support embedded into Win2K, individuals and businesses that do not live in the U.S. do not need to rely on the Microsoft's International subsidiaries for support, which usually lag behind MS U.S. by months, if a particular bug fix arrived at all. An example of this was that Office 97 English had two major revisions–SR-1 and SR-2. We never saw the first service release. The localized version NT Server needed to be installed twice and then the Regional settings needed to be re-adjusted before the fonts were handled correctly. No service pack addressed this issue. Who knows what other installation bugs were embedded and not fixed? Now, if individuals can set their regional settings to English U.S. and get the available bug fixes in a timely manner. The catch here is that the English version of Win2K software needs to be purchased instead of the localized version. And this of course means that all the interfaces will be in English. However, work can still be done in the localized language in a well-supported computing environment.”
  • Jim I.
    ”I personally believe that if your company can afford new hardware, or is currently using compatible hardware, an upgrade to Win2K should be a given. There are so many reasons, such as improved security and stability, to name a few, that this should be a no-brainer.”
So what do you think of our member’s opinions? Feel free to post your thoughts below or send us a note. Thanks to everyone who submitted an opinion on this topic!

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