OS Upgrade Options

XP may be the most obvious route, but don't discount alternatives.

With Microsoft Corp. playing fast and furious with support for Windows 98, companies still running this outmoded operating system have more reason than ever to make the move from the Win 9x architecture. But where to?

The most obvious route may be to Windows XP, which promises to let administrators and users stick with what they know and run most of the applications theyre accustomed to using with Windows 98.

However, while Windows 98 and XP appear very similar on the outside, the platforms are different enough internally to present migration challenges relating to, for example, device driver availability and the possible need for hardware upgrades.

It makes sense, then, for organizations to consider whether an alternative platform such as Mac OS X or Linux could offer a combination of price, flexibility and functionality that will serve their needs better than Windows.

Apple Computer Inc.s Mac OS X is arguably the most polished and well-balanced desktop operating system available today. However, migrating from Windows 98 to Mac OS X requires new hardware, a cost that may be prohibitive during a time when budgets are still tight.

Whats more, companies that move to Mac OS X from Windows 98 will find themselves moving from a situation where theyre stuck with a single operating system provider—with competitive options on the hardware side—to a situation where their operating system and hardware are single-sourced.

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