Windows 2000 is easily the most impressive Windows version ever. The OS's stability and usability make it a terrific upgrade, particularly for the desktop and mobile user. However, Win2K is far from perfect. In this Top 10, I share with you the things I most dislike about Win2K Professional.
10. The Windows 2000 name. After nearly a year of repeating the "Windows 2000" mantra, I still catch myself calling the OS "Windows NT." And I've lost count of how many times I've told people that Win2K isn't the Windows version that follows Windows 98.
9. The inability to use a linked Microsoft Database (MDB) file as an offline file. Offline files are a mixed blessing—at first they seem convenient, but then you start discovering their shortcomings. For example, you can't use some files, such as MDB files that contain linked tables, in offline folders. Because the source database might be your laptop's implementation of Microsoft SQL Server, Microsoft needs to remove this restriction.
8. Offline files' prevention of hibernation. When you open an offline file in an application such as Microsoft Word, your laptop won't hibernate. Because an offline file is simply a local copy of a file, Win2K needs to treat offline files as any other OS file and let the system hibernate.
7. The inability to manually add device drivers. Although Win2K's Plug-and-Play (PnP) support is superior to NT's manual method for adding devices, the need to always run the Add/Remove Hardware wizard—even to install device drivers—is cumbersome.
6. My Documents and My Pictures. I've always disliked Win2K's condescending "My" naming scheme, but My Documents and My Pictures have more problems than their name. I have far too many files and images to store under such a simplistic naming scheme. If I used these two folders for storage, I'd soon be searching through thousands of files every time I needed to open and save a file. These icons are simply wasted space in the Save and Open dialog boxes.
5. My Favorites in Windows Explorer. You might expect My Favorites to provide a shortcut to the folders you actually use. Instead, this folder simply lists the contents of Microsoft Internet Explorer's (IE's) My Favorites folder—typically a list of Web sites. The repetition is both nonintuitive and useless.
4. Microsoft Management Console (MMC). Win2K's tendency to hide all its administrative functions is one of the biggest hurdles for new users. Instead of exposing your administrative functions and making them easy to find, Win2K requires you to dig deeply into MMC and load the appropriate snap-in. Guess what happens when a snap-in locks up? You guessed it—it locks up all your management tools in the console.
3. Network Configuration's eviction from the Control Panel Administrative Tools applet. Placing the network-configuration settings in a location separate from the rest of your system's configuration settings is just silly. Network Configuration belongs in Win2K's Computer Management snap-in with the other system-configuration tools.
2. The need to reboot your system after installing applications. True, Win2K requires fewer reboots. However, the key word is "fewer"—you still need to perform them. Let me be blunt: You should never need to reboot after you install an application.
1. Windows' continued reliance on file extensions. File extensions are an archaic holdover from the DOS era. The Macintosh, for example, has replaced file extensions with a file-type attribute that isn't tied to the actual filename. Win2K needs to catch up.