I will be getting a computer for college and I will be a computer engineering major. Do I need win 2000 or will 98 or ME be good enough? What advantages will 2000 give me and what is the $$$?
Win 2000 is developers heaven!!! Debugging VC++ com objects, called by VB ActiveX objects from ASP scripts being debugged in visual Interdev with SQL Server and MTS is like the most stable development environment I've ever used... and all while your debuggin client side JaveScript in those ASP Web pages... NT is a fragile egg shell in comparison...
And as a Production platform - W2k servers, IIS5, SQl Server7 or 2000 is a rock! I think its finally matured and truly Enterprise ready...
Definitely, you need Win2000 if your going into computer engineering. Maybe not if going into hardware, but anything close to software and YOU NEED WIN 2000. And thats commin from a degreed Computer Scientest and Certified Developer!!!
As for the $$$ - find someone, or a company with a full MSDN(Microsoft Developers Network) subscription!!! That includes every product Microsoft makes, and every Beta MS is workin on shipped to the suscriber 4 times a year. If your serious about success make some friends who suscribe!!! Of course for educational puporses only!!! Or for about $2500/yr you can get your own suscription from Microsoft! $2500 for literally everything, including a 5 user licience, shipped to ya quartly is the best deal ever!!!
My roomate graduated as a computer science major and has win 98 on his PC. He actually gave his copy to me because it didn't play his old games heh heh. You don't NEED win 2k. It IS a very nice very stable platform to work on. I like it much better than win98/me. As for the 2500$ a year subscription that's insane. What college student can afford that? Depending on your university they usually have a lab with ALL of the things you need. Remember not every student has enough for a PC but all have to do the work somehow.
If you decide to go Win2000, an OEM version can be picked up with a (cough...) untested drive on ebay for ~$110.
If you're on you way to College,
You'll probably want win2000 for the security.
I know in my dorm room, everyone wanted to screw with my PC, but 2000 is harder to screw with if you implement proper security.
Perhaps a better solution for all those of you who are interested in saving money on OS purchases. As students you are entitled to student discounts. Most operating systems don't fall under this category, but somthing else does. Microsoft sells subscriptions to their MSDN program at student rates. You can pick up a subscription at a drastically reduced price and obtain a boatload of software. For the beginning college student the Universal subscription is probably the most efficient:
Practically every piece of software microsoft makes for only $600. If you weren't a student this same subscription costs $2300 - $2600. This gives you all the OSs (95, 98, ME, W2K Pro, Server, Advanced Server), Office 2000 Premium and development tools, FRontpage, Outlook 2000, SQL server, Backoffice, MSDN Libraries, Visual Studio Enterprise Edition, and much much more. Chances are you are going to need a couple of these items and the price may be right for you. The membership lasts a year. It is designed for developers, but I can't see why a non developer couldn't gain from it. Office, and OS and Frontpage cost clearly over 600 (possibly even at student rates).
www.provantage.com sells the membership for the lowest price. It is definitely something to consider. It could save you money in the long run.