Tuesday, 24 May 2005

Eager about Eiger

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that it is currently working on a Windows XP version that can run on older computers. The project, codenamed Eiger (did I hear somebody said Tiger? Hehe.) is a slimmed-downed, "Server Centric Computing Client" version of XP that is aimed at customers who wants to upgrade to XP but cannot afford to upgrade their hardware. Eiger is also said to come with Service Pack 2, an important security update for XP.

Most Windows users/PC owners knows what it means every time Microsoft announces that a new Windows version is coming out. It mostly means getting a larger hard disk, more RAM and a faster microprocessor. Let's not even get started on other things like motherboard, graphic card and network standards.

If you own a computer, upgrading will probably leave a tear in the pocket. But if own and run hundreds and thousands of computers, upgrading your hardware would be a major budget bleed. In this light, Eiger is definitely good news. XP requires at least the following in order to run properly: 300 MHz processor, 128 MB RAM and 1.5 GB of hard disk space.

However, Eiger is not going to be "general-purpose". It won't run games or office applications: just the software needed for a server-based environment. recently released a list of features that Eiger might include, including another proposed project that Microsoft might work on, Mönch.

The third peak?

Interestingly, the names Eiger and Mönch are the names of mountains in Switzerland that are next to each other. The number of these huddled-together mountains are three, with the third mountain known as Jungfrau.

So far, no Jungfrau-codenamed project is annouced. But here is what I'm hoping for: a "general-purpose", Eiger-like XP client for home users, allowing them to run it on 500 MHz PCs with RAM as little as 64 MB.

Too much to wish for? You tell me.


Anonymous said...

pc illiterate's q:
What's a security update? does that mean anti-virus update? or anti-hack update? any difference fr the 2?thanks.

rol said...

First of all, thank you for asking. There are good questions. Secondly, I'm sorry for not writing clearly. As you can see, I'm new at this blogging thing.

Like all man-made things, Window XP is not perfect. After some time after its release, users began to notice the problems that XP have, especially in terms of security. Microsoft reacts to this by releasing Service Pack 2. SP2 attempts at fixing the aforementioned problems. That's why some people see SP2 as a 'security update'. SP2 strengthens XP's defences against viruses and hackers, among other things.

Anti-virus updates are updates released by anti-virus software makers like Symantec (formerly known as Norton), PC Cillin and McAfee. These updates contains the latest virus patterns so that the anti-virus will be able to detect the new virus if they infect your PC. Microsoft haven't produced an anti-virus yet, but SP2 allows you to get your anti-virus easily, provide that you subscribe to the updates.

Anti-hack is not a term normally used in computer security. Most of the time terms like 'spying' or 'intrusion' are used, because they are clearer. But SP2 comes with a firewall, a sofware that monitors Internet traffic in and out of your computer. If it sees any suspicious activity, like an unknown party trying to access your computer, the firewall will alert you and stop the party from continuing what is it trying to do. In this view, we could say that SP2 is 'anti-hacking'.

I hope my answers are satisfactory. I can only answer to the best of knowledge. If you want to know more, you could do a search on Internet and computer security. I've also written a few articles on the subject at my website. You're welcome to read it and ask further questions.

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