According to a NYTimes article, Bill Gates says that 5% of all Windows installations crash more than twice a day. Elsewhere, at Silicon.com Microsoft CEO talks on the Longhorn ‘big bang’, $49bn cash mountain and more. Our Take: We should not forget that about 40% of the world’s computers still run Windows9x code instead of the NT/2k/XP line which are known to be much more stable.
I am going for vacations soon and so I prepared my old laptop to take it with me which can only run Windows9x. BeOS also runs but the only hardware it doesn’t support is its modem, and I need the modem functionality while away. New Linuxes are not a solution as are very slow on this AMD K6 300 Mhz, 128 MB RAM (older laptops were generally slower than a same desktop system).
So I had to deal with updating that Windows 98SE installation and install some new software. It was a nightmare. Explorer.exe gets unstable, the background stops refreshing when I empty the trash or when I copy/delete files around, while WMP 9 is pretty much unusable (mp3s will choke while any browser is rendering a page). Oh, and the mouse wheel won’t work, no matter which of my 4 mice (USB and PS2) I tried or what drivers I installed. A mess.
Highly recommend to upgrade to XP if your work or hardware requires you to run Windows. I am running Windows XP PRO for more than 1,5 years now, and haven’t seen a single crash or weird behavior. It just works well for the simple things I do with my computer (mostly listening to radio stations, browsing and emailing really). And Windows Sever 2003 seems to be even better than XP in my experience.