The Best & Worst of Windows 2000

The AD Revolution

My Favorite Toy

How can I isolate just one feature? That’s like trying to pick my favorite toy after Santa has left me with a roomful. I’m sure most people agree that the addition of Active Directory will completely revolutionize the way that medium to large enterprises work with Microsoft networking technology. But I think the power of Windows Script Host (WSH) combined with the AD Services Interface (ADSI) will make a major change in the way that many of us administer the network environment. Using GUIs for configuration changes and user maintenance is incredibly time-consuming, so being able to create and run scripts that can do this will make huge differences in productivity.

Therefore, I think we’ll see more and more MCSEs venture into system programming the same way that our Unix brethren do now. Since ADSI includes providers for NetWare NDS, NetWare bindery, and NT 4.0 domains, this could mean that heterogeneous network administration can be done from the same place using the same scripts. I don’t think it’s an accident that this technology has been available for download for the past couple years—I think Microsoft wanted as many as possible to be familiar with it before Win2K was released.

And don’t forget to check out the new CD Player program—it looks great and can optionally download the names of each song on the CD.

More Trouble than it’s Worth

I know Microsoft has a reputation for innovation in user interface design and for extensive usability testing, but I think the Personalized Menu feature is more trouble than it’s worth. Thank goodness it’s easily turned off without requiring us to go directly to the Registry.

Also, I hate to sound like an old fogy, but I’m not a fan of the “Windows 2000” name. I still prefer “Windows NT,” but I guess Microsoft didn’t have me in mind when it made that decision.

And finally, a feature I wish Microsoft would implement now. The more I work with Linux, the more I like it. No, I’m not predicting that Linux will soon take over the known world, but it can have a place. In particular, it can make use of older server hardware that doesn’t meet Win2K’s minimum (recommended) requirements. So, I wish that Microsoft would work to reduce the hardware required for Win2K and not automatically assume that IT managers want to keep buying newer and bigger PC servers just because their NOS of choice requires it.

About the Author

Greg Neilson, MCSE+Internet, MCNE, PCLP, is a Contributing Editor for MCP Magazine and a Professional Development Manager for a large IT services firm in Australia. He’s the author of Lotus Domino Administration in a Nutshell (O’Reilly and Associates, ISBN 1565927176).

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