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The Birth of Windows 2000

Realizing the inherent limitations of Windows 9x (namely, its DOS roots), the folks at Microsoft (and Windows users) have hoped for merging of the NT and Windows 9x operating systems. Most of the crashing problems we all experience with Windows 3.x and 9x are the result of non-client/server architecture and the nonprotected system kernel of those operating systems.

Yet Windows 9x has a more refined interface, broad hardware support, and better support for DOS programs and for games than does NT. If only the best of Windows 9x could be rolled into a new NT version, we'd be in fat city, right? We'll talk more about this issue from an architectural point of view in Chapter 2, "The Design and Architecture of Windows 2000 Professional," but suffice it to say Microsoft certainly understands this ideal scenario and hopes to stop selling Windows 9x as soon as it can, probably sometime in the year 2001. Eventually, all variants of Windows—whether running in a TV set, in a handheld organizer, or in a high-power corporate server—will be based on the NT kernel simply because of the elegance of the design.


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