Microsoft says Win2K will run fine on Celerons

But still make your chip buying decisions carefully

Updated Microsoft said today that Windows 2000 will run "fine" on Intel Celeron processors. A Danish computer magazine had alerted us to the fact that Win2K will only run on processors with 256K level two cache or more, following advice from Microsoft in Denmark. But Frances Fawcett, Windows 2000 product manager at Microsoft UK, said: "Windows 2000 will run on a Celeron microprocessor. What I will take from this is that I will tell my colleagues in Europe to change the information on its Web site." According to Jan Wiberg, a journalist at ComputerDK, the conflicting information is posted on Microsoft sites. While the Microsoft English language site says that Windows 2000 will work on Celerons, the Danish site says it won't. After he posted the story, Jan said that he had feedback from many readers who reported their experiences. One said that the processor was not recognised at all, while another said the installation took over ten hours, while a third said it did work when upgrading from Windows 98. If it doesn't work, or only half works, this will have serious implications for Celeron users. Meanwhile, an anxious reader telephoned Intel UK's customer advice line on 01793 431155. He has just bought some Celerons for his office, and intends to upgrade to Win2K. The line told him that if Microsoft was saying that Win2K required 256K cache to run, that the Celeron wouldn't run Windows 2000. He said: "The guy on the phone I spoke to then tried to convince me to upgrade all my computers to Pentium IIIs!" However, a US reader had a different reaction. He said: "This story is bunk. I am running Windows2000 Beta3, both Professional (Workstation), and Server are running on my Celeron 300a (hell it even works OVERCLOCKED to 450). Installing on a BARE hard drive from a 32x CD-ROM with 128Mb of RAM took a little less than an hour. It runs great and picked up all of my hardware (except my Voodoo2 but I found a hacked INI file to fix that at betanews.com). "I also tested it on my Celeron 466 upgrading Windows98, no problems AT all (and this system had two different SCSI controllers in it)." Another reader, commenting on the ten hours install time, said: "It will take that long if SMARTDRIVEis not enabled. When it is present the install takes about the same length of time as 98. I am personally running build 2031 of W2k on my dual Celeron 464 (300a) machine, and it seems to be working fine." At press time, no-one from Intel UK was available for comment. But Microsoft's comment seems to have nailed this one in its coffin for a while. ®

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