[ntp:questions] Re: Windows timekeeping

Richard B. Gilbert rgilbert88 at comcast.net
Sun Aug 6 13:22:34 UTC 2006

David Woolley wrote:

> 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
> <http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2006/07/11/ms_ends_windows98_support/>.
> 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).


Most businesses, in the US at least, tend to replace their PCs every 
three to five years.  The replacement is not wholesale, but piecemeal. 
At my last job Windows 95 was the standard desktop in 1998 and Windows 
98 was becoming the standard laptop system.  When W2K was released, 
there was some resistance to the idea of of installing it.  No one 
really understood Active Directory.  I pointed out that we didn't need 
to use A/D and insisted that the PC people install W2K on my new desktop 
(replaced a 133 MHz pentium with an 866 MHz machine).  Instead of having 
my machine lock up and need to reboot daily, it lasted for a week.  The 
dam broke!

Every new PC, in the US at least, comes with Windows XP Professional or 
WXP Home.   When you get a new PC there is little or no reason to keep 
using an old O/S and, frequently, an incentive to use the latest and 
greatest.  It took another year or two to replace the last of the 
Pentium 133s but we got rid of every one.  When I left in 2004, 
virtually all the desktops were W2K Service Pack 4 or WXP Service Pack 1 
(SP 2 had been released but there were problems with it breaking things 
that used to work and we didn't apply it.)

Fashion my have a lot to do with it now but in years gone by, there were 
  real and valid reasons to replace a four to five year old machine; 
reasons like a sevenfold increase in speed and much more reliable software!

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