When the chips are up

The two big operating system engineering conferences were held a couple of weeks ago -- Novell's BrainShare and Microsoft's WinHEC. While both were generally well received, the big winners weren't users, administrators or even software vendors. The guys who won big were certain chip manufacturers.

Intel was the biggest winner of all. Both conferences featured announcements that upcoming releases of NetWare and Windows NT would support Intel's Merced (also known as IA-64), a chip that features a 64-bit address space. Merced won't be the first 64-bit chip on the market, but it will be the first to have such widespread support right out of the gate. That's bad news for Motorola and IBM, whose PowerPC chips are generally acknowledged to have a better architecture than Intel's. AMD, Cyrix and the other Intel clone makers should also be heartened knowing they're on the right track.

The second group to win big are the RAM chip makers.

When the WinHEC attendees were asked, "What's the standard PC memory size in 1998?,'' 20 per cent answered 32MB. For the desktop! How many of your desktops have 32MB or more? The really scary part, though, is that 70 per cent didn't consider 32MB to be enough! Referring to those who thought 32MB was about right, Jim Allchin of Microsoft's senior vice-president of the Personal and Business Systems Group, said, "hopefully we'll convince you that it should be more than that''.

Up through Windows NT 4.0, 32MB bytes of RAM was (and is) considered sufficient for most people's needs. Evidently NT 5.0 is going to raise that memory size, perhaps even double it. And while Bill Gates claimed that Windows 98 would not need more resources than Windows 95, most Windows 98 beta testers will tell you a different story.

Novell, previously known for having a fairly RAM-lean server platform, was busy talking up NetWare 5 with its Java Virtual Machine built in, a free five-user copy of the Oracle database engine and lots of new server-side enhancements for GroupWise. That all adds up to the need for RAM, lots of RAM, on the server.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

This Holiday Season, protect yourself and your loved ones with the best. Buy now for Holiday Savings!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?