08 MarGetting A RAID Repair Service That Fits Your Requirements

gardRAID or redundant array of independent disks is very essential in any large computer system. However, when it is being corrupted by internal and external factors, RAID repair is necessary. Basically, RAID repair can be done manually if you are knowledgeable with computers. You can search online for a step by step guide in order to retrieve the lost files and make use of the RAID again. Nevertheless, it is still recommended to seek a professional computer technician to have the hard drives fixed without expecting any complications. When availing computer services, you should be meticulous in choosing the right technician because a single mistake can ruin the entire system.

As much as possible, ask for recommendations from your friends or loved ones when looking for an expert technician. You can also read reviews online because it can be a lot of help. Weigh the pros and cons of the information you read online. There are several websites which you can read and browse for such kind of computer services. Just make sure that you make comparisons on these websites in order for you to clearly understand their services. There are a number of RAID repair services online so it is not hard to find one.

Is RAID 5 Recovery Helpful?

There are so many people that encounter file corruption for many possible reasons. Maybe because the computer or laptop you plugged your hard drive into is infested with virus or because of the bad compatibility between the computer and the hard drive. If this kind of situation will most probably need a RAID 5 recovery service to recover the files you can possibly salvage or save. Some of them can’t be saved, though. According to most users of RAID 5, the RAID 5 recovery is not sometimes that good to recover the files you lost especially of there is no back up that is done.

This only means you need to back up your files all the time if you think you might lose your files in the hard drive or if you admit it yourself that you do not take care of your hard drive and you often just unplug it from the computer after you use it. According to most people who have RAID 5, this recovery system is not as helpful. Not everyone can take the time to back up their important files. The reason why they use hard drives is to put something important in it in a short time.

28 FebCommon Troubles With Starting A Blog That Every Blogger Experiences

ctwsbWhat a blogger usually experiences during the phases of starting a blog is usually coding and niche problems. Before you even decide what your blog’s outline should be, make sure you have a niche and a solid content plan. Everything should be well planned first. All you need to remember is the arrangement of the codes, the possible codes, and also never forget the heading and the ending of the codes – these two will sandwich your codes together and make sure they will run properly.

The heading and ending of the codes are like the starter of the codes and the ending will execute the codes in it. Starting a blog may be a bit of a headache in the beginning but as you get used to it, you will eventually learn more and grow with it. Everything you see in a website or a blog site is made up of codes. Even though templates of layouts make them up, behind those templates are also codes. After you choose templates and combinations, there is an option to display the blog site in visual (the one with pictures) mode or in text mode (the one with all the codes).

How Do You Start A Blog? The Gist Is Here!

Instead of just asking, “How do you start a blog” it is better to research it for yourself. Most of these people will most likely drag you down and give you incorrect answers. When trying to figure out how things will work with HTML codes, don’t forget to review or learn how to do basic codes. There are courses that you can take online but most of them are paid since you need to take it in more than one session.

There are free ways on how to learn HTML codes. One of them is by watching tutorials or going to forums that discusses this kind of topic. However, as advised in the precious paragraph, as much as possible, get a professional help and not from just anyone. People can deceive you in the Internet by saying they are professionals and legitimate etc.

On the Internet, everyone can be anyone and that is why we need to be really careful and cautious when going in the Internet and browsing. There are also legit sites that actually give free advice on HTML coding. However, you need to be careful in trusting someone and never give any personal information like your bank account details especially.

11 OctRAID 10 Recovery Helps With Your Paperless Office

rrThere was a time when an office contained reams and reams of papers and files. The storage space in such offices was always overflowing. The irony was that the older the files became, the less they were accessed. In the end, it was just occupying much needed space. Still, no one threw the old stuff away. Now, companies and government agencies are completely dependent on hard discs and a variety of drives for storing data. This data is safeguarded further with the help of RAID 10 recovery. What has happened is that data is stored in drives and this drive is supposed to be regularly backed up. Again, this backup is not on paper but in another disc or drive.

Therefore, RAID 10 recovery process takes place in a more technical manner. Of course, for someone to become proficient in raid 10 recovery, sufficient training or experience would be required. Information technology professionals with interests other than learning software languages tend to focus on hardware repairs. Learning how to fix a problem without losing what is contained in the problem is only one of those aspects of learning. This stands them in good stead when they wish to become independent consultants on call to perform RAID 10 recovery.

RAID Repair Features And Security

When seeking RAID repair services, first of all, it is important to find out the kind of services they are offering. This is determined by the tools and expertise available in data restoration. The security measures employed by the service provider are also important to be observed since there is need to protect data. For business or personal data, the data recovery service should be able to maintain a private yet secure environment. The facility should have locked clean rooms, round the clock security monitoring and employees with background tested knowledge. A good data recovery service should be SSAE 16 certified. This is the standard measure for companies’ privacy policy and security.

When considering features, some of the factors to look for include the company’s clean room and working surface. Since disks are sensitive, whenever a technician is working on a hard disk, the conditions have to be spotless or else further damage may be caused to the hardware. This makes it necessary to check on the ISO standards of a company. ISO companies rate clean rooms based on the amount or intensity of contaminants in given air volume. When looking for a RAID repair service, one has to check on the software that has up to date features for higher chances of data recovery.

04 AprAnti-Wrinkle Creams: Are They Effective?

skincremsThere are just so many anti-wrinkle creams that are being sold in the market these days. Consumers are presented with a wide variety of options. Every anti-wrinkle cream claims that it can give the consumer a younger-looking skin. This makes it difficult for consumers to decide on which product to use. It is imperative to consider the effectiveness of a certain cosmetic skin care product before actually expending your money for it.  However, measuring the effectiveness of an anti-wrinkle cream can be challenging because there are several factors that should be taken into account. The effectiveness of an anti-wrinkle cream can greatly depend on the active ingredient or ingredients that are being used. Some active ingredient or ingredients that are commonly used on anti-wrinkle creams still require further studies. The concentration of the active ingredient or ingredients is also an important factor. If you are going to purchase an over-the-counter anti-wrinkle cream, you have to expect that the concentration of the active ingredient or ingredients is lower compared to prescription anti-wrinkle creams. You should also try to search for the 10 best anti-wrinkle cream and read the testimonials about these products. You may pick up helpful information from the testimonials of other consumers. The article at http://bestantiagingcreams.biz/how-to-identify-the-top-best-wrinkle-cream/ has some great ideas on identifying good Anti-Wrinkle creams.

The Cost of Anti-Wrinkle Creams

The cost of anti-wrinkle creams may vary due to several circumstances such as brand, size and the active ingredient or ingredients that were used to make them. It is important to understand that the cost of a cosmetic skin care product does not directly reflect it effectiveness. You should not decide to use a certain anti-wrinkle cream just because it is cheaper than the others. It is crucial to be certain about the effectiveness and safety of the product that you are going to use. An expensive anti-wrinkle cream does not also come with a 100% guarantee that it is effective for you. It is advised to conduct a research about this type of cosmetic skin care product before actually shopping for a bottle of anti-wrinkle cream. It is essential for a consumer to acquire sufficient understanding about the product that he or she is going to use so he or she would know what to expect from it. You should look for the 10 best anti-wrinkle cream and review each item carefully. It is also vital to remember that you will have to use this type of cosmetic skin care product for many weeks before you can observe improvements. Therefore, you have to be prepared to invest few minutes applying an anti-wrinkle cream every day for many weeks.

Is It Enough To Use Anti-Wrinkle Creams?

Anti-wrinkle creams promise to give a younger-looking skin. However, it is necessary for consumers to understand that the effectiveness of these cosmetic skin care products can be subjective to various conditions. The active ingredient or ingredients that are present on a particular anti-wrinkle cream is a very significant factor. It is important to be informed that some ingredients that are being used to make anti-wrinkle creams necessitate more clinical studies. You have to read the latest research and find out which ingredients have been proven to be effective. It is suggested to get the list of the 10 best anti-wrinkle cream and determine which product suits you. But if you really want to keep a healthy skin, there is a need to increase your efforts. You have to keep a healthy lifestyle if you want your skin to have a youthful appearance. The effects of the anti-wrinkle cream that you are using may not be evident if your lifestyle is unhealthy. You have to maintain a healthy diet, avoid smoking and wear sunscreen if you want to prevent premature skin ageing. It is also encouraged to consult a dermatologist before using any cosmetic skin care product.

19 JanWindows 98 Launch A Mirror Of Windows 8′s

(In light of the latest Windows 8 mess, I thought we should look back at the 98 madness)

t’s not surprising that many corporations have decided, at least initially, to limit migrations from Windows 95 to Windows 98. For most corporate buyers, immediate wholesale upgrades of Windows 95 clients won’t make sense. In PC Week Labs’ tests of the final code, we saw numerous incremental improvements in the operating system; however, none of the improvements will translate into dramatic increases in productivity or reductions in IT spending.

The upgrade to Windows 98, which will become widely available through retail and PC OEMs next week, does offer some advantages to corporations interested in tapping into the newest hardware innovations. In addition, the upgrade is more stable than Windows 95 and provides a convenient means of getting the latest patches and drivers. And the newest desktop and portable systems will be the best platforms for running the new operating system.

In many ways, Windows 98 is a victim of timing. With corporate-focused Windows NT 5.0 due next year, upgrading now as an interim step doesn’t make sense — especially since NT 5.0 is expected to eliminate the feature gap between Windows 9x and Windows NT (see table, Page 96).

Furthermore, in PC Week Labs’ testing, many of the performance gains promised in the upgrade didn’t materialize. The systems that could have the most to gain from performance improvements — the 486DX2- to low-speed Pentium-based desktop PCs — may have fallen too far down the technology curve for even Windows 98 to save.

Cost is also an important factor. The upgrade has a list price of $109, and although corporate buyers will probably be able to buy the software for less, there is likely to be a cost incurred in deploying the upgrade as well as a hit in lost productivity as employees adapt to tweaks in the user interface.

In benchmark testing of Windows 98 against Windows 95, we found the new operating system delivered gains on some midrange Pentium-based desktop PCs but had little impact on a system that matched the minimum system requirements, a 66MHz 486DX2 processor with 16MB of RAM (see chart, Page 96).

Two Windows 98 technologies improved overall system performance in tests: the fast application load technology and improved memory paging. The fast application load technology relies on improvements to the FAT (file allocation table). The new FAT32 file system, which writes to disk in small 4KB cluster sizes, places applications in the optimal location on a system’s hard drive.

To benchmark the operating system, we ran macros in Microsoft’s Word and Excel that performed typical daily operations, such as formatting text, recalculating spreadsheets, saving files and printing. On the 486DX2-based system, performance using Windows 98 dropped about 3 percent in the Microsoft Word test and about 6 percent in the Microsoft Excel test.

We attribute the performance hit on the 486DX2-based system to the fact that we were unable to convert the system’s FAT16 drive to FAT32. After installing Word and Excel and upgrading to Windows 98, there wasn’t enough room on the system’s 340MB hard drive to perform the conversion.

However, we could see the benefit of FAT32 on a 90MHz Pentium-based PC with 32MB of RAM and a 2GB drive. We were able to convert the drive to FAT32 and see improvements of 6 percent and 14 percent in the Word and Excel tests, respectively.

Making room on the drive

For many of the 486-based and low-speed Pentium desktop PCs still in use, trying to make Windows 98 work with small disk drives will likely be a problem. A typical Windows 95 installation, without any application software, requires about 153MB of disk space. That grows to 289MB after upgrading to Windows 98. With a partial installation of Microsoft Office and data files, even the 528MB drive found in many of the early Pentium desktops would not have enough room to perform a FAT32 conversion.

One obvious solution to this problem is to start from scratch, installing Windows 98 on a formatted hard drive and then reinstalling software and data. But this approach is too time-consuming for an additional 28 percent more disk space and a 6 percent to 14 percent boost in performance, considering that most companies would like to replace slow systems that have smaller-than-528MB hard drives anyway.

The second performance-enhancing technology, smart paging, works much the same way as memory optimizers, such as Network Associates Inc.’s Hurricane. Instead of continually paging memory to disk when system memory runs low, Windows 98 anticipates low-memory situations and pages to disk while the system is idle.

We noticed that the system still began paging when a few documents and applications were open simultaneously, but the lengthy disk activity that accompanies paging was greatly reduced from what we have seen with Windows 95.

Microsoft has also improved the startup and shutdown time for Windows 98. But, although the operating system is ready to operate in a fast startup mode, systems with the fast-boot BIOS that will enable the technology won’t be available until later this year.

The fast shutdown feature is the type of improvement users will love, because it gets them out the door a little earlier in the day and makes using notebook PCs a little more convenient. However, a feature that lets workers clear the building in record time will be a tough sell to the chief financial officer.

Web integration is the mantra for Windows 98 but, in the final version, the central Web element, the Active Desktop, is disabled. For corporate sites looking to deploy the operating system to any users, the fact that the Active Desktop isn’t enabled after installation should help avoid big training costs. However, the Web-based Windows Update and Channel Bar components are on the desktop after the operating system installs.

The consumer-oriented Channel Bar isn’t any more dangerous than the Windows solitaire game. All it does is encourage users to view Channel-based entertainment and news. The Web-based update feature, on the other hand, is an administrator’s nightmare because it gives users the ability to go to Microsoft’s Web site to download the latest drivers and software updates at their leisure.

Both features can be disabled, however, by using the Batch 98 utility to create an automated install script. (For more advice about corporate deployment of Windows 98, see the story on Page 93.)

A must for new PCs

Windows 98 is a good match for notebooks and newer desktop PCs because it supports new hardware and improved dial-up networking, so companies making PC purchases should specify Windows 98 instead of Windows 95. Windows 98 has better support for USB (Universal Serial Bus) devices than was available in the most recent OSR (OEM Service Release) of Windows 95.

For those who need to use a USB device, such as a scanner, a PC running Windows 98 or Windows 95 OSR 2.5 is the only option, because USB support won’t be available on Windows NT until Version 5.0 comes out sometime next year.

19 JanLinux: More Than Proven

Some of the most well known Linux distributors are Red Hat, Suse, Slackware and Debian. More recently a number of large computer suppliers, such as Dell and IBM, have been looking at the possibilities of supplying computers, usually servers, with Linux pre-installed.

Much of the software for Linux is developed under the Free Software Foundation’s GNU General Public Licence. This essentially ensures three things:

* the software’s author(s) retains the copyright

* third parties are free to modify the software in any way they wish, and to distribute or even to sell it, but they must continue to distribute the source code with the software

* the GPL must continue to apply down the line to derived products.

The way Linux is distributed — through the GPL — is a very different approach to operating systems such as Windows where Microsoft only provides users with a CD containing binary code, in other words, no source code.

Source code

LinuxGiving away source code is essential to the open source development model, and has many practical benefits. Users can tailor the software to their precise requirements. Linux is an excellent development environment since it is possible to develop server-based systems on a PC rather than the more traditional mainframe. Also, the compilers and libraries, essential for writing Linux applications, are freely available under the GNU licence.

Many people gain their first impression of Linux through its text, command line interface which is a far cry from the rich graphical user interface (GUI) of Windows. But this should not deter the inexperienced. For a start, Linux distributions such as Red Hat provide a graphical interface to guide users through the installation process.

In addition, Linux supports the X-Windows system — a graphical windowing system for Unix machines. There are an increasing number of GUIs for X-Windows that are akin to Windows 95, or the Apple Macintosh interface. The best known examples are the K Desktop Environment and the GNU Network Object Model Environment (Gnome).

Productivity

Another common myth concerns the absence of Linux productivity applications. At the time of writing Star Office, Applixware, and Koffice all provided full “Office” type products.

Corel ships a version of Wordperfect for Linux (available for free download at http://linux.corel.com), and more applications are being written all the time.

Linux.org hosts a list of applications available specifically for Linux at (www.linux.org/apps/applications. html) and the list runs to many pages, with everything from computer-aided design software to crossword solvers.

With the trend towards applications running over the Internet, Linux is well equipped with versions of Netscape Navigator and Opera.

For users who are particularly tied to a Windows application, there are a number of ongoing projects to allow Windows applications to run on top of Linux. VMWare has released a beta version of software to allow Windows Virtual Machines to run on Linux, and is well worth a look.

Linux is available for almost any hardware specification (see www.linux.org.uk/Architecture.html) be it Intelbased systems, Sun Sparc, Digital Alpha. PowerPC or Motorola 68000. People are even working on a version for the Pilot.

The processing overheads are generally lower than Windows-based systems. Red Hat claims Linux will run on a 386 with a 40Mbyte hard disc (100Mbytes if you run a GUI) and 8Mbytes of Ram. So it will certainly fly on one of today’s Pentium systems.

The huge development effort possible through the open source model means device drivers and support for new hardware are being constantly written.

Drivers are available for all sorts of esoteric devices and, if there is a particular gap, the chances are that someone will write a driver to fill it soon. Alternatively, users can always write it themselves. Since the source code is freely available, a company can pay a programmer to enhance Linux for its IT systems in a way that is impossible for an operating system only distributed in a binary form.

The Net is the place to look for Linux support. There are numerous frequently asked questions listings, newsgroups and Web sites devoted to Linux support and development. Linux.org carries a list of sites at www.linux.org/ help/freesupport.html.

Increasingly, companies are being set up that offer paid-for support and many companies that sell Linux distributions also provide a paid-for support service.

Windows NT, it could be argued, is a much less mature operating system than Unix, and there are many technical reasons why Linux in particular is a better product than NT. This is not surprising in the light of the Open Source development model.

Man hours

In terms of man hours of development time, even a company with the resources of Microsoft would be hardpushed to compete. Linux certainly seems to attract more fervent evangelists than NT, and there are a large number of documents to be found on the Internet which discuss the issue in greater detail.

The bottom line is that Linux works very well. The point is often made that a large percentage of Web servers are running Apache, the free Web server on Linux. With this setup, IT administrators talk of “uptime” in months and years rather than the hours or days which might be more typical of certain other operating systems.

However, Linux is not only good as a server operating system. The desktop is rapidly catching up with new applications announced every month.

27 DecWindows 98. Remember That Pile O’ ____?

If you think Windows 98 with its integrated Web browser represents a big change in desktop user interfaces, just wait.

The way users interact with computers, which has changed little since Apple Computer Inc. rolled out the Macintosh and Microsoft Corp. stretched Windows over DOS, is about to undergo a face lift. The transformation, which is being led by big vendors such as Microsoft and Netscape Communications Corp. as well as an expanding cast of startups, promises to replace the classic Windows-style UI paradigm with Web-style interfaces, voice interaction, and new, associative ways of organizing documents and other content. As a result, corporate IT managers will soon be able to more easily customize UIs for specific groups of users.

That’s good news for IT managers, who are already seeing their users spend more and more time gliding through enterprisewide intranets, where they’re becoming accustomed to using intuitive browsers to retrieve data. “The PC is just too hard to deal with. That is a fact,” said Frank Hensen, director of IS operations at Dallas-based LTC Inc. “So anything that can be done to make that easier … I am in favor of.”

Not surprisingly, the Web is driving the first phase of the UI make-over. In Windows 98, Microsoft is merging the Windows UI with the Web browser. Windows 98 and its Active Desktop, due in two weeks, go well beyond simple browser integration. Active Desktop enables users to access Web sites and local applications from the same Web-like interface. With it, Web sites are no longer separate items. Rather, they are included in everything from saved folders to the computer file structure.

Likewise, Netscape, of Mountain View, Calif., is working to make Windows more Web-like by adding a more searchable, Internet-based UI to Windows. Code-named Aurora and currently part of the Mozilla source code development effort, the technology is much like Microsoft’s Active Desktop in that it enables users to display online content and local applications and documents together on a single UI (see PC Week, Jan. 5, Page 8).

But the “Webification” of Windows is just the beginning. Microsoft officials say Active Desktop is only the first example of how the software maker will continue to pluck the best features of the Web and, the federal government notwithstanding, “morph” them into future versions of Windows.

“This is a time of experimentation to find what works and what doesn’t and if there is anything out there that is better than what we have today,” said Joe Belifore, group program manager in charge of UI design at the Redmond, Wash., company.

Microsoft is also looking at new, Web-inspired ways to allow users to create active links between documents in Windows. Although Microsoft won’t commit new UI functions to a specific release, it wants to enable operating system users to hyperlink to documents or applications much like they do on the Web with HTML documents.

“Users don’t know on the Web that they went to a different Web site or different server when they click on a link. We are exploring how that might be possible on the PC as well,” said Steve Capps, a Microsoft UI architect.

Microsoft is investigating how it can use natural language processing to improve how the operating system and applications interact. The goal is to equip the operating system with natural language capabilities that would enable it to act as an intermediary between applications, launching, say, a personal information manager when an e-mail message requesting a meeting is received.

And, like IBM and other key vendors, Microsoft is investing in turning speech into a mainstream user interface medium.

As Microsoft evolves Windows, a handful of startups may well be leading the way in bringing the new UI into focus.

This week, a Seattle-based company called The Pixel Co. will debut technology that allows users to easily bypass Windows in favor of custom-built UIs. In the company’s product, called MySpace, the control bar uses, for the first time, the 25 pixels that make up the border between today’s Windows interface and the edge of a screen display. Unlike other shortcut navigation products, MySpace does not run on Windows. It is written directly to the video chip itself and is launched at the same time as Windows. An animated, rotating channel bar remains on the bottom of a user’s screen and has the ability to provide quick, direct access to applications, online content or other operating systems.

For example, if a user clicks on a button that says “JavaOS,” MySpace launches JavaOS and pushes Windows out of the way–dropping the user into a new operating system and a new UI. If a user were to launch a Web site, the user would be sent directly to that site, launching along the way whatever browser the user wanted.

The first release of MySpace will be tailored to Packard Bell NEC Inc. computers that will ship in the third quarter. This fall, Pixel will release a version that will be distributed by online content partners and can be downloaded by users, said Tim O’Rourke, the company’s president and CEO. O’Rourke said he has also signed distribution deals with several other PC makers.

Other startups, including Natrificial Software Technologies LLC and Digital Harbor, also have new products that sit on top of Windows and give corporate IT departments the flexibility to create their own customizable UIs, in some cases using speech as the input method for interacting with a PC.

Natrificial, of Santa Monica, Calif., has designed a UI called The Brain, which acts as a shell that sits on top of Windows and allows users to customize local and online content and applications and to organize everything in expandable organizational charts dubbed “brains.” While not without its kinks, The Brain represents a new way of organizing and presenting content to the desktop.

Digital Harbor, of Orem, Utah, on the other hand, has created a technology called WorkSpace NG that is designed to let corporate IT departments create their own customized desktop out of JavaBeans.

98logoCapable of running on top of any Java Virtual Machine 1.1-compatible operating system or virtual machine, WorkSpace NG is a JavaBean container that requires 477KB of space with a 150KB interface file. Developers can create any combination of JavaBeans to build the UI and can also use the FolderBay GUI service that is provided by WorkSpace NG to create tool bars. The JavaBeans can be locally self-contained or connected to back-end systems that support the Enterprise JavaBean or other Java back-end applications. If driven by Enterprise JavaBeans, the server would launch the GUI. If the JavaBeans are stored locally, they enable the dynamic creation of the GUI.

Not all IT managers are ready to junk the Windows-style UI and assemble their own user interfaces just yet. Some, in fact, see a significant risk in doing so too soon.

“Yes, we want to see improvements. But they have to be done in a controlled fashion,” said Chuck Timpson, a desktop administrator for more than 3,000 desktops at a major Southern distribution company. “Otherwise, you will see a major training and support issue creep up inside the corporate world.”

Still, many managers say it’s high time for the monolithic Windows-style interface to take on a new, more flexible image. “Technology is simply there to help us do our jobs,” said John Peetz, chief knowledge officer at Ernst & Young, in New York. “Web technologies are good for some things … but not for others. We need it all, and we demand it all. And we expect that a lot of these technologies will merge.”

19 NovMore History On An OS Nightmare

The marketing hype that’s sure to surround the release of Windows 98 next week, as well as features such as the new operating system’s Active Desktop, is bound to prove irresistible to some users. Employees at one Fox Television Stations Inc. affiliate who give in to temptation could be in for a big surprise, however: pink slips to go with their final paychecks.

geeekThe station, KDFW, like many enterprises, has decided that Windows 98 will not be supported on its corporate desktops. At the Dallas affiliate, violators are gambling with their jobs.

“At Fox we have a general policy. If anyone installs unauthorized software, it is [tantamount] to quitting,” said John Grayless, KDFW’s MIS manager. If a user were to load software that has not been approved by MIS, that individual could be “disciplined or terminated,” Grayless said.

As the Windows 98 release date draws near, about as many IT managers are planning how to keep the OS out of their organizations as are developing upgrade strategies. Some are concerned about the performance of Windows 98 and its integrated Internet Explorer 4.0 browser. Grayless, for example, after beta testing Windows 98, experienced a decline in performance and an increase in network activity due to the extra graphics of the IE interface. Grayless also isn’t ready to provide Web access to all users. Others believe Windows 98 lacks the new functionality needed to compel an expensive and time-consuming migration, particularly from Windows 95. Many plan to wait for Windows NT 5.0.

International Data Corp. estimates that, over the first 18 months, Windows 98 shipments will trail Windows 95 shipments over the same period by 17 percent, 55.32 million to 66.54 million.

“We’ve taken a cursory look at Windows 98, and we don’t believe there’s a significant added value that represents a business driver that would make us want to go through the expense of migrating,” said Jeff Winston, vice president of IS at Allergan Inc., in Irvine, Calif. Allergan will stick with Windows 95 until mid-2000, when it will migrate to NT 5.0.

Some organizations aren’t shutting the door entirely on Windows 98 but limiting its presence to notebooks, where its new features shine (see PC Week Labs’ evaluation, below).

But the question for IT managers planning to sit tight is, How do you keep users from making an end run and bringing Windows 98 into the organization on their own? That would certainly drive up support costs and undermine well-considered migration strategies.

Few IT managers are going so far as to threaten end users with termination for installing Windows 98 on their own. In fact, most IT managers seem to accept the fact that, like it or not, Windows 98 will eventually make its way in, at least in limited numbers. Their strategy is to limit the damage. In some cases, they’re planning to be proactive, removing Windows 98 when it’s discovered on a user’s desktop and restoring the previous OS. Others said they’ll support Windows 98 only when IT has the available resources. And some are making it clear to users they won’t support Windows 98 at all. Period.

That’s the case at Prudential Insurance Co. of America, in Roseland, N.J., where Jonathan Vaughan, vice president of IS, said the extensive support required to maintain multiple OS environments is fueling his resistance to Windows 98. The company has 80,000 employees using NT 4.0 at the desktop and Windows 95 on some laptops. Recently, Vaughan notified all users the company would not support Windows 98.

Both Vaughan and Grayless acknowledge there will be some individuals who will upgrade home systems on their own and then try to access a corporate server for e-mail or a business file. But unfortunately for those users, they will be denied LAN access if they are using Windows 98 in an unauthorized fashion.

To reinforce the “don’t load it yourself” policy, IS teams at these companies have been given clear orders. “Our help desk won’t support calls for nonstandard environments,” Vaughan said.

That strategy, say some industry observers, makes sense. If a company is running Windows 95 now as the standard operating system, there is no compelling reason to invest a good year and a half managing a mixed environment to upgrade to Windows 98, say analysts such as Steve Kleynhans of Meta Group Inc., in Toronto. Kleynhans is recommending instead that companies wait for NT 5.0, now expected in the second or third quarter of 1999.

David Smith, senior network systems analyst at Mitchell International, an automotive information publishing company in San Diego, agrees. Smith said Mitchell will stay the course with Windows 95 for the next few years.

“Changing operating systems on desktops across a company is a really expensive proposition in terms of time, so Windows 98 would have to offer us something considerably better than an integrated browser that is designed to shut down Netscape [Communications Corp.'s Navigator],” said Smith. Recalling that upgrading the company’s 1,200 to 1,400 desktops to Windows 95 a few years ago was time-consuming and expensive, Smith said at least that migration made sense. The reasons to move to Windows 98 aren’t as clear.

“Someday there might be [justification], because support begins to completely dry up,” he said.

Until then, Smith said Mitchell IT officials have no way to stop users from installing Windows 98 on their desktops, but they can fight back. In their more mission-critical production environment — where employees create new product CD-ROMs every month — the new operating system will be stripped from any machine it’s found on and replaced with Windows 95.

In noncritical areas of the company, IS will take an as-resources-are-available approach to supporting Windows 98, Smith said.

A primary carrier of unauthorized Windows 98 into corporations will be newly purchased PCs. Although they insist that bundled Windows 95 will continue to be available as long as users want it, PC vendors are planning to begin replacing Windows 95 software bundles with Windows 98 by the end of this year. Currently, Compaq prebundles Windows 95 on its Deskpro line of business PCs.

“We’ll continue to support Win 95 as long as we can,” said Michael Takemura, product manager at Compaq Computer Corp., in Houston. How long that is depends on when Microsoft discontinues the licensing of Windows 95. But that won’t be happening anytime soon. OEMs can continue to license and ship Windows 95 as long as customers request it, a Microsoft spokesperson said.

For the most part, however, PC vendors are playing up the new features of Windows 98, including enhanced support for Universal Serial Bus devices, improved dial-up networking and Advanced Configuration and Power Interface, which allows for plug and play and power management. And such features are proving attractive to some IT managers, particularly for notebook applications.

That’s the case at the U.S. Navy’s Space & Naval Warfare Systems Command, where, although Windows NT is the standard operating system for 1,300 desktop users, some 300 laptop users currently on Windows 95 will be upgraded to Windows 98. The desktop users will be upgraded to NT 5.0 “as soon as it’s available and we’re comfortable it’s reasonably debugged,” said Bob Hearn, director of corporate IT services for SPAWAR, in San Diego.

Hearn’s strategy with SPAWAR’s laptop users is to beat them to the punch by migrating laptops to Windows 98 by the end of the summer. In the meantime, he’s started training IT staff to support Windows 98 — a labor-intensive task since SPAWAR supports in excess of 10 different hardware configurations.

Analysts predict that organizations such as SPAWAR that are limiting or banning Windows 98 migrations today won’t be changing their strategies soon. That’s because more pressing issues — particularly year 2000 conversions — are intervening, said Meta Group’s Kleynhans. Thus, IT is even less likely to embrace Windows 98 anytime soon. And renegade users who try to sneak it in may be more likely to get pink slips.