PC Hardware

Windows 2000

The most recent addition to the Windows family, Windows 2000, is the replacement for Windows NT, adding Plug and Play support, better multimedia tools, and advanced Internet support. Like Windows NT, it comes in three versions: Workstation, Server, and Advanced Server.

Be careful when upgrading to Windows NT or Windows 2000. They are not merely more powerful versions of Windows 98, but more robust, completely new environments. Not all applications and hardware are compatible with them. Be sure to consider all the advantages and disadvantages before making the decision to upgrade. Then check the Microsoft Web site for the latest version of the compatibility list.

Windows for Workgroups 3.11

Windows for Workgroups is an upgrade to Windows 3.1. It works and runs just like Windows 3.1 but has a few enhancements such as better networking capabilities for sharing files and printers. It also includes two utility programs: Schedule+ and Mail Service.

Windows 95 and Windows 98

Unlike earlier versions of Windows, Windows 95 and Windows 98 are true operating systems. The details of configuring and using both are included in Chapters 16 and 17.

Lesson Summary

The following points summarize the main elements of this lesson:

  • An operating system provides the interface between hardware and user.

  • MS-DOS is one of the first operating systems and was, for a long time, widely accepted as the standard.

  • MS-DOS has limitations, notably, the 1-MB barrier.

  • Early versions of Windows were operating environments that ran on top of MS-DOS.

  • There are three files that make up the core operating system of MS-DOS: IO.SYS, MSDOS.SYS, and COMMAND.COM.

  • Windows has three modes: real mode, standard mode, and 386 enhanced mode.