ARCHIVED  November 1, 1995

Bugs crawl through ‘Windows’

Amidst much global hype and hoopla, Microsoft Corp. released Windows ’95 Aug. 24 to an eager audience. But have many computer buffs actually purchased this wonder program?

“I think most people are waiting until the smoke clears and the bugs are worked out,´ said Stan Hjerleid of Fort Collins-based Resource Training Institute. “Many people are comfortable with their current operating systems and are resistant to change.”

With the din of heralding trumpets still ringing in our ears and the confetti just beginning to settle, it’s time to take an objective look at Windows ’95. Are the improvements over its predecessor, Windows 3.1, worth the expense and time of upgrading?

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Conversations with computer experts at software-training facilities in Northern Colorado provided interesting insights into Microsoft’s latest achievement. Most of the facilities were supplied with beta versions of Windows ’95, and many actively participated in supplying Microsoft with feedback on their product.

“I think it’s safe to say that the people who jumped in now and purchased the program are of a different breed than people who will purchase the program six months from now,” Hjerleid said. “These people feel like they have to be on the cutting edge and are willing to put up with any bugs the program may have.”

Some bugs are indeed crawling through the Windows.

“We’ve been finding some glitches with the product,´ said Dee Aldridge of Connecting Point in Greeley. “There’s some combinations of setups it doesn’t seem to like. It’s nothing major, but you have to understand that first versions of any software program are bound to have problems.”

Mike Ray of Fort Collins-based Colorado Computer Training said it’s still too early for most Windows users to switch over to the new program.

“Windows ’95 has many advancements over Windows 3.1, but the average user should probably stick with his familiar operating system for now,” Ray said.

Windows 3.1’s program manager has been replaced in Win ’95 with a “start” button that leads to a series of menus. Also new is the taskbar, enabling the user to see what application is running and to quickly switch between applications.

Some of Windows ’95’s other improvements include faster file and disk access, improved printing speed, multitasking abilities, the ability to name files with more than eight characters and plug n’ play capability.

That capability “means it will no longer take an entire weekend to hook up a new printer or CD-ROM to your PC,” Ray said.

Aldridge comments, “One reason people might be waiting to upgrade to Windows ’95 is the cost issue. It can cost anywhere from $89 (the cost of the software upgrade) to $2,000, depending on the hardware the user has. Microsoft recommends the minimum requirements to be a 386DX with 4 megabytes of RAM.”

Windows ’95 provides instant one-click access to the Internet via its own online service, the Microsoft Network. Controversy raged over the inclusion of this service, with critics urging the government to ban this potential monopoly over online services.

The outcome favored Microsoft, and every copy of Windows ’95 can access its online service. The general consensus among computer experts along the Front Range is that although Microsoft Network is functional, Microsoft still has a long way to go to catch up with competitors America Online, Prodigy, and CompuServe.

“It looks pretty barren right now, but then Microsoft has a lot of money to throw at it,” Hjerleid said.

Mary Pagel of Computer Tutor in Fort Collins said, “It usually takes about six months after a new product comes out before we start getting a lot of calls about it. I think more people will switch over to Win ’95 as more software designed for it becomes available. Another factor that will expand the customer base for this product is the fact that most new computers are being and will be sold with it already installed.”

Amidst much global hype and hoopla, Microsoft Corp. released Windows ’95 Aug. 24 to an eager audience. But have many computer buffs actually purchased this wonder program?

“I think most people are waiting until the smoke clears and the bugs are worked out,´ said Stan Hjerleid of Fort Collins-based Resource Training Institute. “Many people are comfortable with their current operating systems and are resistant to change.”

With the din of heralding trumpets still ringing in our ears and the confetti just beginning to settle, it’s time to take an objective look at Windows ’95. Are the improvements over its predecessor, Windows 3.1,…

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