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Inside Ticket: Microsoft (Page 2/4)

Posted: May 19, 2000
Written by: Tuan "Solace" Nguyen

The Products (cont.)

WinG: WinG was developed back in the days of Windows 3.1 and it is what is now known as DirectX.

Windows 95: The breakthrough OS for Microsoft. Windows 95 heralded a new age of computing and ushered in hardware manufacturers like no other operating system before it. The gaming community began shifting towards playing in Windows, rather than in DOS. It offered high resolution graphics, video and sound (yes, sound can be talked about in resolutions). Interface wise, it was much more usable and friendly than Windows 3.1. As for the tweaking community, this operating system was tweaked like no prior operating system.

DirectX 3.0: This is the end all be all of Microsoft API's (application programming interfaces). For the first time, programmers could accelerate their code straight into the hardware and bypass Windows altogether. Multiple sound streams, 3D sound, 3D graphics, direct music, controller support, it was the works and it set ground for upcoming versions.

Internet Explorer: Starting off with version 1 and 2, this browser was neither fun to use nor was it popular. In the beginning, Netscape pretty much rapped Microsoft regarding Internet browsers. But Microsoft, being keen, wasn't going to sit around and be pummeled into the ground. Today, more than two thirds of PC users use Internet Explorer. Why? It was faster, supported more standards and just simply looked better and was easier to use and configure. And besides, entering Version 4, IE was well integrated with Windows that you needn't go out and purchase a copy of Netscape. Version 5 was the nail in the coffin and stirred really boiled the DOJ.

Windows 2000: This OS brought the best of Windows 9x with the best of NT into one nice mesh. Stability? Check. Hardware support? Check. Software support?… eh… check (with a few incompatibilities here and there).

What I Think...

Let's get on to a more personal opinion.

Personally I think that Microsoft makes many great products; one being their Office suite. Let's use Office 2000 Professional as an example. It is highly integrated and it is very fast. It has useful web functions as well as a high level of compatibility and versatility. It looks good, feels good, feels fast, stable, compatible with many other document formats, powerful, and very intuitive.

Windows 2000. The hybrid OS of Win9x and WinNT. The only thing keeping this wonder from reaching all users is the HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer). This layer controls hardware access, something that DirectX needs -- this is the main reason why game performance under Win2K isn't as fast as it is on Win9x. The other reason is immature driver support. Windows 9x is so buggy you say?

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