Just to add another note to the discussion..

M$oft just announced that, effective in Sept 2002, none of the Device Driver
Development kits for Win9X, WinNT OR Win2K will be available for purchase or
download.

Now, they are supposed to be moving to a "unified" driver development kit, but
experienced developers suspect that there will be many things that will get
lost in the translation.

What this ultimately means is that most companies will likely stop developing
drivers for Win2K, WinNT (and Win9X) for new hardware, and only develop for
WinXP.  Even though Win2K may still be in heavy use.  So, if/when you want to
upgrade to some improved hardware you may find that you have no choice but to
move to WinXP just for the driver support.

Remember that Billg plays "chess" and is always thinking way ahead of the
Government, and his target market, as far as how he can extend his monopoly. 
By making it more difficult for new hardware companies entering the market
place to develop drivers for "legacy" M$oft OS's he can try to heard his
target market to XP.  

And, by assisting with the so called Digital Rights Management developments he
may also be driving a nail in the Open Source coffin for Linux, since it is
impossible for an Open Source OS to truly be written so that DRM could not be
removed by an end user.  That coupled with his patents for the "secured PC"
may make it virtually impossible for any competing OS to exist if the "secured
PC" catches on.

If you love XP and M$oft that's great, if not then be sure that you have an
effective equipment "spares" inventory, including software, going forward.  As
far as security updates for M$oft OS's, you can skirt a number of the issues
by making sure that your EDA machine doesn't have direct access to the
Internet, as was described earlier by another user.

I've been moving most everything else that I do over to Linux, and I only have
a couple of actual M$oft based apps that I still don't have a good alternative
to, but that will change over the next year or so.  But it is more difficult
in some environments to move to Linux.

Burt


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