All about Me

It sounds like a PC user's Nirvana: an operating system that boasts both the stability and power of Windows 2000 Professional and the convenience and hardware compatibility of the Windows 9x series. Microsoft wants to put its users into this otherworldly state next year, fulfilling a long-time promise to merge its consumer- and network-orientated OSs into a best-of-both-worlds Windows.

Code-named Whistler, the new OS will be based on the Windows 2000 (formerly NT) core but will include all of the flashy new features in Me, notably its multimedia integration and PC Health safeguards.

But wait, there's more.

Microsoft believes that its customers want ready access to their data and to software, no matter where they are. In this brave new world of pervasive computing, the updates you make in your desktop address book would automatically and transparently appear in your cell phone/PDA hybrid, and your latest Excel spreadsheets would be accessible on any connected desktop or notebook that has permission to see them.

In June the company unveiled its plans for this vision, which it calls the Dot-Net platform. Full-blown functionality is still several years away, but Whistler - due by the end of 2001 - will be the first iteration of the client-side OS that the Dot-Net platform will require. It may go by another name, but Windows Group Product Manager Noury Bernard-Hasan say Whistler will be, in effect, "a first pass at"

Initially, MSN - or as it will be known in the new scheme of things - will enable the Dot-Net functionality in The OS will, for example, be integrated with Microsoft Passport for personal identity management; it will also integrate with MSN's calendering function so your desktop calendar will be available wherever you go. will incorporate instant messaging and notification features. You'll be able to set rules for how you get messages, as well as for automatic software updates.

Eventually, Microsoft hopes to charge you some sort of subscription fee for this Windows-everywhere service, either directly or via a third party - an Internet Service Provider, for example. How soon this will happen is still up in the air.

Of course, all these features only matter if you're online. Still, between the long-awaited marriage of Windows 2000 Professional stability with Windows Me usability - not to mention a long-overdue interface update - and the Dot-Net features, the next iteration of Windows promises to be quite a change from existing versions. Whether it will be the first step on a stairway to computing heaven remains to be seen.

Join the newsletter!


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.

Scott Spanbauer

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers


This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang


It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries


As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr


The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?