NT Workstation 5.0 -- OS Du Jour?

Over 80 percent of new office PCs now have 32 MB of RAM, or better. More hardware runs on Windows NT Workstation than on Windows 95. Leading business software is compatible with Windows NT Workstation. In addition, Windows NT Workstation is faster than Windows 95. This makes Windows NT Workstation a compelling option for the serious PC pilot.

  • Reliability, security, networking, and performance are an integral part of the design of Windows NT Workstation 5.0, not kludged in as an afterthought.

  • The one-two punch combo of Windows NT Server 5.0 and Workstation 5.0 supports innovative manageability features that reduce total cost of ownership (TCO).

  • With IntelliMirror" PC management technology, the power and flexibility of distributed computing is combined with the reliability of a tightly managed environment. IntelliMirror intelligently mirrorings user's data, applications, system files, and administrative settings on Windows NT 5.0-based servers. Extensive hardware and software compatibility, and comprehensive migration tools, makes Windows NT Workstation 5.0 the "something for everybody" operating system.

Plus New and enhanced features:

  • Platform
    • New Plug and Play technology is built into the code base.

  • Windows NT File System improvements
    • The updated version of the Windows NT File System (NTFS) gives a number of improvements: support for disk quotas, defragment for directory structures, compressed network I/0, to name a few.

  • FAT32 support

  • Win32 Driver Model
    This new, unified driver model for Windows NT Workstation 5.0 and Windows 98. Allows a new class of devices to have a single driver for both operating systems. Backward compatibility is extended for existing Windows NT drivers.

  • Support for a new generation of hardware
    Windows NT Workstation 5.0 digests the recent innovations in computer hardware:
    • Advanced Configuration and Power Interface-based PCs (ACPI)
    • Digital Video Disc (DVD)
    • Universal Sound Bus (USB)

  • New accessibility tools
    The Accessibility Configuration Wizard adapts Windows options to suit individual needs and preferences. For example, a low-end screen magnifier helps people with impaired vision.

  • DirectX' set of APIs version 5.0
    DirectX 5.0 3-D hardware acceleration works with Windows NT Workstation 5.0. Developers of games and other interactive content can access specialized hardware features without the necessity of writing device-specific code.

  • Internet
    • Integrated Internet shell
    • Advanced Browser functionality
    • Custom information delivery from the Internet
    • Internet communication Tools

  • Manageability
    • Windows 95 upgrades now possible
    • Setup and manage applications
    • Windows Scripting Host
    • Microsoft Management Console
    • Distributed File System support
    • Enhanced search capabilities
    • New Backup utility

  • Security.
    • File system encryption
      File-system encryption is a feature of Windows Workstation 5.0. With folders and/or files encryption users of Windows NT Workstation 5.0 can secure data against theft. Also those sharing a machine will still be able to ensure privacy.

  • Data recovery

  • Smart Card infrastructure
    Smart card technology looks to be a central component of security solutions such as client authentication, single sign-on, and tamper-resistant storage of personal information. Plus, with smart cards secure portability for moving information between systems is possible.

  • Kerberos authentication
    Kerberos Release 5 security protocol gives easy, single logon access to Windows NT Server 5.0-based systems. Other environments also support this protocol.

BENEFITS

Advantages

Increased reliability, security, networking, and performance. Kerberos 5 security provides single logon validation for all Windows NT Server 5.0-based resources.

Improvements in Networking architecture makes Windows NT Workstation 5.0 PCs faster and more reliable. Data is kept secure through an encrypted file system.

Increased hardware and application support

Windows NT Workstation 5.0 is compatible with more hardware devices than 4.0. Existing Windows NT Workstation 4.0 compatibility is maintained for both hardware and software. The new OS delivers more extensive printer driver coverage and support for the new hardware based on the Win32 Driver Model and Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI). Microsoft promises greater application compatibility testing for Windows NT Workstation 5.0 than was performed for the previous release.

With NT Workstation 5.0 new applications really find a home. New-generation applications, like those written through Windows Distributed InterNet Applications Architecture (DNA), for example, really fly with this ported and polished OS's advanced multithreading and ability to run more "services" locally.

FEATURES

Improved Manageability

Is Windows NT Workstation 5.0 always the best bet?
For PCs with less than 32 MB of RAM, Windows 95 (or Windows 98) is a better fit. New PCs with sufficient memory, should get Windows NT Workstation 4.0. NT 4.0 is the best foundation for an eventual install of 5.0.

For systems with less than 32 meg of RAM, Windows 95 runs faster than Windows NT Workstation 4.0. Windows NT Workstation 4.0 runs faster on systems with 32 MB of RAM. Realistically, 64 megs of RAM is the true minimum for today's software.

Does Windows NT Workstation 4.0 support 32-bit Windows, 16-bit Windows, and MS-DOS-based software?
Even though they share the Win32 API, some architectural differences exist between Windows NT and Windows 95 in order to optimize security and performance. Windows 95 (or Windows 98) is best at running mixed applications, including MS-DOS, 16-bit Windows, and 32-bit Windows. Although Windows NT Workstation is runs 32-bit Windows-based applications best, it still works with many leading 16-bit Windows-based and MS-DOS-based packages. < See the list of compatible 16-bit Windows and MS-DOS-based applications. Software compatibility questions, are answered by the list of retail applications that have received the "Designed for Windows" logo certification.

Does Windows NT Workstation 4.0 support all hardware components and peripherals?
Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation 4.0 use different device drivers. Windows NT Workstation 4.0 works with over 4,000 different hardware types, Windows 95 is compatible with an even broader range of devices and peripherals. Identical Win32 Driver Model and Advanced Configuration and Power Interface in NT Workstation 5.0 and Windows 98 eliminates many differences in drivers, power management, and Plug and Play potential.

Is data and network security a primary business requirement?
Windows NT Workstation 4.0 has much better security than does 95 or 98. With Windows NT all users are authenticated before accessing information. With Windows NT discretionary access to resources, all the way to individual files, is possible. Windows 95 is OK for keeping the honest people honest, but really can't build a secure network.