Here are the major enhancements that Microsoft claims will be available in the final release of NT 4.0. All these enhancements are in beta 2.

Windows 95 user interface is, as we all know by now, the OS GUI that is the first major point of convergence between Win95 and Windows NT.

Internet Explorer (IE) 2.0 is an improved, but not the latest and greatest, implementation of Microsoft's Web browser. If you want ActiveX capability or support for Netscape plug-ins, download IE 3.0. This situation could change before the final shipment of NT 4.0.

Windows Explorer is a graphical utility for exploring files and directories on your system. This utility works just like Explorer in Win95.

Microsoft Exchange is the client-side implementation of the multipurpose mail reader.

Hardware profiles let you set up several hardware configurations for one system. This capability addresses the dynamic needs of laptop computers that support docking bays.

NetWare Directory Services (NDS)-Aware NetWare Client is a pumped-up version of Microsoft's NetWare client that now understands the NDS structures in NetWare 4.x.

Distributed Object Component Model (DCOM) is the official name for the long-awaited implementation of network OLE and provides object recognition and activation over the network.

DirectX is a set of APIs that gives game developers improved access to hardware resources (video, sound, etc.) so they can achieve the best possible performance.

Peer Web Services (don't be fooled by the name) is really Internet Information Server (IIS) running under NT Workstation.

Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP) lets you establish a connection for native NT file and print services over the Internet or another intervening TCP/IP network.

Logon using dial-up networking lets you log on to a system through a remote domain controller, just as you can log on through a LAN-based domain controller.

NT 4.0 also features minor enhancements to many accessories, utilities, and Control Panel options. For non-Intel systems, NT 4.0 includes a 486 emulator so that you can run well-behaved Intel-based 16-bit software on a non-Intel system. Finally, one significant non-enhancement is the termination of support for OS/2's High Performance File System (HPFS).