[ntp:questions] Re: Windows timekeeping

David Woolley david at djwhome.demon.co.uk
Sun Aug 6 09:30:12 UTC 2006

In article <q46dnb4Hc6i-nEjZnZ2dnUVZ_vSdnZ2d at comcast.com>,
Richard B. Gilbert <rgilbert88 at comcast.net> wrote:

> I think, that at this point, we can safely ignore any Windows earlier 
> than W2k.  I'm sure there are a few antiques still running the earlier 
> versions but I doubt that there are enough to be significant.  It's now 

You can probably ignore versions earlier than 4.0, and the whole
MS-DOS line, for time synchronisation purposes, but not in general. The
distinction between the kernels is also still important though, in terms
of understanding why people think that current Windows versions store
local time internally, and why all Windows versions manage the RTC in
local time by default.

The end of support date for 98 had to be extended once, because of
the controversy it caused, and there was still some controversy
when it was finally implemented last month.  One industry
analyst estimates at least 70 million copies still in use in June

A significant number of businesses still run it because the nature of
the business hasn't significantly changed so they can still run the
same business support software (if you only want word processing and
spread sheets, there's been no need to change for a long time - the
marketing department maybe needs something more recent for producing
glossy presentations - and there are lot of vertical market products
that still do a good job).  Such businesses are often cost conscious
and don't want to spend the money on new hardware, new licenses and user
training (for computing types, the user interface changes may seem easy,
but they are not for ordinary users).

A lot of home users still use it, particularly, I think, those whose
children have grown up, but possibly also those who are getting too old
to keep spending on fashion accessories (for home users computer upgrades
are a fashion item - I think that is often true for businesses as well
(having the latest technology is good for executive morale, even when
it doesn't do the job any better)), but whose children are to young to
demand the latest technology for their education.

It's possible that home user use is greater in the UK than the US.
I think I have come across people still using 95, and I use 98 as my fall
back for when one can't get Linux support for a file format or type of
hardware, or one finds an Internet Explorer application program on the
web (i.e.  a web site that is only usable one IE running on Windows).

Microsoft have a need to continually sell new products (time based
licensing didn't work for them), which means that they have to create
a fashion market and it is that which results in the continuing 
user interface changes.  Having a single kernel reduces their 
development costs for non-kernel software, so it is advantage to give
everyone that kernel, but most home users operate Windows in a way
that negates the security advantages.  It's true that they may get
a more stable kernel, but they tend to compensate by using state of
the art graphic drivers.

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