Whistler to Ease Woes of OS Switch

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2001-01-29

Part of what has slowed the deployment of Windows 2000 has been the preference of IT managers, many of whose shops still run Windows 9x, to bear operating system ills they have rather than fly to others they know not of.

In Whistler, the code name for Microsoft Corp.s next Windows client, eWeek Labs found features that should do a better job of smoothing the platform transition than did Windows 2000.

To minimize the often unpredictable negative results of application interaction within a Windows operating system—widely known as "DLL hell"—Whistler builds on the side-by-side component sharing and file protection features found in Windows 2000.

Isolated applications are accompanied by manifest files written in Extensible Markup Language that contain information about the application and its dependencies. With this data, the operating system can enforce compatibility by applying the appropriate application configuration.

Paired with side-by-side component sharing, which allows multiple versions of a Component Object Module or Win32 component to be installed and run concurrently, this isolated application infrastructure will allow potentially conflicting programs to run alongside one another in the configuration for which they were designed.

In Whistler, the optional App Compatibility tool on the Windows 2000 CD has been integrated into the operating system. The application compatibility mode in Whistler contains a database of Windows 9x and Windows NT applications for which the operating system will create an environment that simulates the operating system for which the program was designed.

Applications not included in the database may be run under Whistler in a generic Windows 9x or NT compatibility mode.

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