I had the good fortune to try out Windows NT 4.0 yesterday and install it on my PC. I learned some very important lessons.
The first lesson is to always listen to your girlfriend; she knows best. She told me to install NT on a weekend so I wouldn’t be down during the week if it didn’t install rosy. Well, she was right. And I was down for 24 hours.
NT was designed for a network environment. People have been telling me that NT can be used on a home computer too! That it even gives you more stability, and some faster performance because of its 32-bit design. That it’s faster, more stable, with all kinds of bells and whistles…. Complete and utter hogwash.
Windows NT is designed for system/network engineers who know every nook and cranny of all the systems involved intimately. NT is designed for a large corporate networked environment. Contrary to some popular belief, it is not the next step after Windows 95
Windows 95 is designed for individual use. It has plug and play to automatically figure out what kind of hardware you have (NT forgot that one). Windows 95 has hardware configuration tools that speak in a techie form of english (I couldn’t even find NT’s hardware configuration tools).
The mistake people are making is simple. They think that Microsoft wants us to buy Windows 95, and then in a year, upgrade to Windows NT. The answer is: Not Likely. NT is just not designed for individual users. It’s for corporate MIS guys who have a huge network to tame.
I’m sure it’s a great product. But the bottom line is, it installed like hell. Over 2 dozen errors in installation alone. The Microsoft tech line told me that the Soundblaster 16 (The most popular sound card in existence) isn’t supported under NT 4.0. How could it not be supported?
NT hosed my hard drive and the Microsoft tech line told me to format the drive and reinstall Windows 95. Thanks guys!
So if you were planning on upgrading to NT 4.0 in the near future, I have two pieces of advice.
- Listen to your girlfriend.
- Make backups until the cows come home.