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Dos alive and well in Millennium, claims pundit

The code MS is shipping is nothing like as radical as rumoured, allegedly

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The 'Dos is dead' claims made in association with Microsoft's next rev of Win9x, codenamed Millennium, have come under heavy fire from Paul Thurrott of WinInfo. In a scathing article published over the weekend Thurrott blasts early reports of the content of Millennium as largely rumour, and if he's right, Dos is a lot healthier than quite a few people have been telling us. Thurrott's main target is Betanews.com, which was one of the first sites to suggest that legacy removal in Millennium would mean the removal of Dos. Betanews has been quoted by Ziff Davis several times on the subject of the removal of Dos, and ZD also claims to have seen internal Microsoft documents supporting the claim that Dos is on its way out. But Thurrott says he's heard from several testers who have the Millennium developer release code, and that they confirm that the new OS is - at least so far - a lot less radical than the rumour mill has suggested. The real story, he says, is as follows. Legacy I/O has not been removed; MS-DOS is still there, but is hidden from the user at boot and at shut-down; Millennium isn't sharing code with Win2k, it's "firmly rooted in Windows 98," and has had the Win2k shell grafted onto it; and then of course, the claims of a September 1 target date for beta 1 and shipment in Q1 next year are also wrong. Common sense tends to support his pitch, rather than the more radical claims for Millennium, simply because Microsoft hasn't had enough time to do a lot of heavy-duty work on the OS since it was first mooted earlier this year. But on the other hand, internal Microsoft documents covering the removal of Dos and radical surgery on legacy devices must exist, as Microsoft plans in this direction are cited in PC2001 (See story). Thurrott says that although Microsoft is aiming to ship in 2000, its "most optimistic predictions place the release mid-to-late 2000." But that itself raises more questions. If Microsoft does a relatively simply job of evolving Windows 98 for Millennium and ships it early in 2000, then heavy duty legacy removal doesn't need to take place. But ideally the company would want to do more in this direction as PC2001 and Easy PC platforms come on-stream in late 2000. So if Millennium doesn't ship until late 2000, Dos etc. might have to be canned after all. This one will run and run.

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