[ Go to February 1997 Table of Contents ]

Cover Story
NT's Stealth Upgrades

-- by John D Ruley

While new to Windows 95 users, stealth upgrades are old hat to Windows NT veterans. For years, Microsoft has been "dribbling out" new NT features-even new versions-without formally rolling out a new release.

The process can be confusing. NT 3.51 went through a total of five major bug-fix mini-releases (service packs) during its 18-month life. Service Pack 2 introduced new features such as a multiprotocol software router. Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS) Web server appeared first as a downloadable NT Server 3.51 add-on-but you needed Service Pack 4, too. Internet Explorer 1.5 (the only version that supports NT 3.51) was included with IIS 1.0.

The ultimate NT 3.51 add-on was the Shell Technology Preview (STP), which added a Windows 95- (or NT 4.0) style look and feel. But the STP is no longer available, except on recent copies of the NT 3.51 CD.

Only a few months old, NT 4.0 has already spawned even more dribbleware downloads than NT 3.51. Several were available before the product actually shipped, and the first service pack appeared just six weeks after the official release. Thus far, the NT 4.0 service packs have contained only bug fixes; new features and major system component updates are handled separately.

A variety of developer-related items for NT are available at http://www.microsoft.com/devonly, with more on the way. At press time, more Cairo (the code name for NT 5.0) previews were expected, including a true hierarchic directory service. Microsoft frequently previews new products on the Web.

How Can You Keep Up?

It's a full-time job just keeping track of what's in the NT box, and you'll have to work a little overtime to keep up on the available downloads. But before you resign yourself to burning the midnight oil, check out WINDOWS Magazine's NT Enterprise site on the Web (http://www.winmag.com/ew). We'll let you know what's out there, and why you might need it..

NT 3.51 Updates

Update: Service Pack 5 for NT 3.51

Description: Most up-to-date patches and fixes. Includes multiprotocol router for NT Server 3.51.

URL: http://www.microsoft.com/ntserversupport/Default-SL.htm (for Intel, Mips, PowerPC and Alpha)


Update:Internet Information Server (IIS) 1.0

Description: Web server for NT Server 3.51 that supports Internet Server API (ISAPI) programs. Includes Internet Explorer 1.5 for NT.

URL: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/common/iisarchive.htm


NT 4.0 Updates

Update: IIS 3.0

Description: Adds many features to IIS 2.0 (which ships with NT 4.0), including Active Scripting with VB Script or Java.

URL: http://www.microsoft.com/iis/


Update: Index Server 1.1

Description: Adds fast search (with background indexing) to IIS component of NT Server 4.0.

URL: http://www.microsoft.com/ntserver/default.asp


Update: Internet Explorer 3.01

Description: Heavily updated browser with support for ActiveX controls (IE 2.0 ships with NT 4.0)

URL: http://www.microsoft.com/ie


Update: Microsoft Personal Fax for Windows

Description: At-Work Fax for NT 4.0 Workstation and Server.

URL: http://www.microsoft.com/ntworkstation/fax.htm


Update: Service Pack 1 for NT 4.0

Description: Bug fixes (including intermittent file corruption in NTS 4.0) and patches.

URL: http://www.microsoft.com/ntserversupport/Default-SL.htm (for Intel, Mips, PowerPC and Alpha)


Update: Web-based Administration for NT Server 4.0

Description: Internet Server API (ISAPI) DLL that lets you manage NT Server 4.0 from a Web browser.

URL: http://www.microsoft.com/management


Update: WX86.EXE

Description: Lets NT 4.0 on RISC-based systems execute most Win95 applications. (For Alpha-based systems, check http://www.service.digital.com/fx32, which offers similar technology but better performance.)

URL: http://www.microsoft.com/ntworkstation/x86.htm

Windows Magazine, February 1997, page 200.

[ Go to February 1997 Table of Contents ]