By Molly Wood and Jim Aspinwall
What, exactly, are you looking for in an operating system?
If you run Windows, you'll soon have another opportunity to decide. Windows Millennium--Microsoft's third installment of Windows 98--hits store shelves on September 14. And Windows Me, as it's known, comes hot on the heels of Windows 2000, Microsoft's latest OS for NT buffs and business professionals.
But it's confusing: These two new operating systems are arriving on shelves within a few months of each other, and their names don't help you choose. Windows 2000, despite its seemingly obvious numbering sequence, is not an upgrade for Windows 98. And Windows Millennium, despite its revolutionary-sounding moniker, is actually just the third installment in the Windows 98 series and the last OS based on the older technology in Windows 95 and 98. (Microsoft says that all future Windows versions will be based on the NT kernel, just as Windows 2000 is.)
So, what does it all mean? Should you upgrade? And if so, which OS should you select? CNET looked at both operating systems and their intended audiences. Read on to discover which OS--if either--is for you.
Windows at Home
If Internet, email, or games are your bag, Windows Me could be for you.
Windows at Work
Windows 2000 is slick, fast, professional, and powerful. Is it just right or a little too much?
CNET's Windows Quiz
Take our bonus quiz to find out which OS you should trust on your PC.
Jim Aspinwall is the author of IRQ, DMA & I/O, a PC configuration bible, and the coauthor of Troubleshooting Your PC. He's also a regular industry columnist and reviewer. Molly Wood is an associate editor for CNET. Got questions for them? Tell us!