Developers Take on Win 9x
The end of useful life for Microsoft Corp.'s DOS-based versions of Windows is dictated by factors visible and invisible to usersbut, in both cases, of crucial importance to enterprise application developers.The end of useful life for Microsoft Corp.s DOS-based versions of Windows is dictated by factors visible and invisible to usersbut, in both cases, of crucial importance to enterprise application developers. The DOS-based Windows 9x architecture underlying Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows ME is clearly incapable of meeting the data- and task-intensive demands of the modern corporate user. Multiple browser windows, for example, can quickly consume the dangerously limited capacity of crucial Windows 9x data structures, which have fixed maximum sizes independent of the amount of memory in the system. If a particular application or a particular set of tasks routinely exhausts user (I/O management) or Graphical Device Interface resource capacity and crashes the machine, adding memory will not help. Users who are trying to work with rich media for corporate communications or to maintain growing constellations of real-time data monitoring processes for supply chain management and other tasks cannot continue to tolerate this lack of scalability. In most cases, theyve already moved on to a Windows NT-based platform without these legacy constraints.
Less visible to users are the security issues that arise from the Windows 9x design. As eWEEK (then PC Week) Labs observed in March 1999: "Windows begins with the model of a single user on a single, personally controlled machine and never recovers from the resulting assumption that no piece of code would be on a machine if the user didnt want it to be there."