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Is 64 Bit Always The Best Way To Go?

With Server 2000 we saw the release of a 64-bit version of that Operating System, and then soon there after a 64-bit version of XP and Server 2003.  These were for the Itanium Processors from Intel.  Later after the introduction of X86-64 instructions from AMD, we would see non-Itanium 64-bit versions of Windows released (Server 2003 and XP)  Those early adopters would find hardware support to be buggy, however.  It would not be until the release of Windows Vista that 64 Bit Windows would start to gain momentum.  Today we still have the option of installing 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows 7, but is 64 Bit always the best way to go?

I asked this question about my old laptop, a Compaq Presario C700 (C712NR)  It had an Intel Core 2 Duo T5850 running at 2.16 Ghz with 2 Gb of Ram.  It came with 32 bit Windows Vista Home Premium and I wanted to upgrade to Windows 7.  After a bit of research, I decided to just try installing Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.

Now this computer came with 32 bit Vista and I had also installed 32 bit Windows 7 to test, I had looked at which is faster Vista Vs 7 and XP Vs 7  which you can read here

For those interested here are the numbers for Windows Vista 32 bit on this machine.  The Pass Mark Performance Test got a score of 537.8  this is not bad at all for a laptop.  Below is the Windows Experience Index (in Vista scores range from 1.0 to 5.9)

Windows Experience Index from Vista

Now Windows 7 32 bit got a 590.4 out of the same Performance Test.  Below is the Windows Experience Index (in Windows 7 scores range from 1.0 to 7.9)

Windows Experience Index from 7

Now Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit gets results that are not what I expected.  The Pass Mark Performance Test score is a 528 This is slower than both the 32-bit version of Windows 7 and Vista. When you look at the test results Windows 7 64 bit actually does better in some areas but worse in others, however, this result is in every test group, there is not one group where Windows 7 64 bit does worse in comparison to its 32-bit counterpart.    Below is the Windows Experience Index and note that these values are the same as the 32-bit version.

Windows Expirence Index on Windows 7 64 Bit

Windows Experience Index on Windows 7 64 Bit

It is odd that the Windows Experience Index is the same but the test results are different.  After using the computer I would suggest the 64-bit version as I felt is was improved over the 32-bit version.  As always your results may vary, so in conclusion I would say if you have a slower system with less than 4 Gb of ram stick with 32 bit but if the system is faster and still under 4 Gb or ram go with 64 bit, and always go with 64 bit when you have more than 4 Gb of ram.  At least that is my opinion.

Windows 7 on an HP Mini 1000 (1030NR) Yes it works better!!!

Some of you know that I set up Windows Vista Home Premium on this Netbook earlier and you can read that here.  I was glad to say goodbye to  XP and see Vista running on this little machine.  Well, the day after Thanksgiving I was able to get the family pack of Windows 7 Home Premium for $150.  It was time to upgrade the Mini, I knew my fiancé would love the new features and I wanted to see how much better it would run on there.  So again I went to work.

Here is some background, I got this Netbook because it is light and portable, not to just check e-mail and look cool.  This thing is very light.  I would suggest any of the HP Netbooks if you are interested in them.  This one is an HP Mini 1000 the true model number is the 1030NR.  I have read that the best thing you can do to these computers that run Intel Atom processors is to upgrade the ram and I did just that, I upgraded it to 2 Gb.  Other than that this thing is still stock.

The upgrade was much simpler than putting Vista on this and I would say that anyone could do this very easily.  I had purchased an external DVD drive when I got the Mini so I attached it to it and booted off of the Windows 7 install disc.  The Mini will only support 32bit versions of Windows. I booted off of the 32bit disc and formatted the hard drive and installed Windows,  it was simple.  Afterward, I ran Windows Updates and installed Microsoft Office 2007 Ultimate.  Total Windows, Office, and a few programs fill up the 16Gb Solid State hard drive.  Just a few gigs free when it is all said and done.  I again disabled System Restore and set to a manual page file size instead of letting the OS manage it.

Windows 7 on HP Mini 1030NR

Windows 7 on HP Mini 1030NR

 

This was an easy install, the Device Manager was clear from the end of the installation.  However, a basic mouse driver was installed.  If you want the scroll function, download the Vista mouse driver from another HP laptop that used a Synaptics driver.  Also, just a note the built-in webcam in the Mini works just fine in Windows 7, did not have to load any drivers for it the Windows Setup did it automatically.

Nice Clean Device Manager

All in all this Mini seems faster with 7 installed than with Vista.  The numbers are interesting, below is the Scores from Windows 7, check out my other blog here for windows Vista’s numbers on the same machine. Remember in Vista the highest score was a 5.9, in Windows 7 the highest score is a 7.9

Windows Experience Index in Windows 7 on the Mini

Again I ran the Passmark Performance Test and Vista got a 172, while Windows 7 gets a 178.8, not a big jump but it is still a performance increase and you notice it on the Mini, the system is much more responsive.

So if you bought that Netbook on Black Friday or have an older one  I would suggest a Windows 7 upgrade.  If you do not have an external DVD drive you can look into local computer service shops to do an upgrade for you.  Windows 7 takes everything good about Vista and makes it better, as well as taking the bad and making it great. This upgrade is simple and recommended.

An in-depth look at Windows Calculators in Windows 7

The calculator in Windows 7 underwent a lot of change and it is awesome.  But there have been many calculators for Windows and some of the other calculator’s features have been incorporated into the Windows 7 one.  So we are going to take an in-depth look at them.  Below is a look at the basic view in the Windows 7 calculator and the Windows Vista one which had not changed from the old 16bit days.

Side by side of Windows 7 Calc and Windows Vista Calc in Basic View

Side by side of Windows 7 Calc and Windows Vista Calc in Basic View

The only other view in the Vista calc was the Scientific View and below is another comparison.

Side by side of Windows 7 calc and Windows Vista calc in Scientific View

Side by side of Windows 7 calc and Windows Vista calc in Scientific View

Now for a long time, there has been a separate download called Calculator Plus, this has a weird interface which can be put back to the normal one. Just hit View and then hit Classic View, this will now stay the normal way.    It has unit conversions which the Windows 7 calc has.  It is available for Windows XP, Vista, and 7 from here http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=32b0d059-b53a-4dc9-8265-da47f157c091&displaylang=en

Default Skin for Calculator Plus in Windows 7

Default Skin for Calculator Plus in Windows 7

There was also a Powertoy Calculator available for Windows XP that did unit conversion and Graphing. You can get it for Windows XP from here as well as some other neat additions  http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/powertoys/xppowertoys.mspx

Default View of the Windows XP Power Toy Calculator

Default View of the Windows XP Power Toy Calculator

Now I had said earlier that these do some form of unit conversion.  Below is a side by side view of the conversion options.  It is interesting and a little confusing.

Side by side of Conversion options

Side by side of Conversion options

Now, this looks very confusing so below I did a spreadsheet to make it clearer.

A better look at which calculators convert what

A better look at which calculators convert what

Now I have gotten the Exchange Rates to update in Windows 7 it just seems inconsistent.  The Windows 7 Calculator has the best conversion options so far.  It is really cool.  But Conversions is not the only thing new in the 7 Calculator.  there are two new views, Programmer pictured below.

Programer mode in Windows 7 calc

Programmer mode in Windows 7 calc

And there is also a Statistics view which I am sure will be helpful for some students.

Statistics mode in the Windows 7 calc

Statistics mode in the Windows 7 calc

There is also a Date Calculation view that is pretty neat.  It is fun to play with.  I have had some fun with this.

Date Calculation in Windows 7 calc

Date Calculation in Windows 7 calc

There are also Worksheets which offer different preprogrammed calculations.  They are very nice additions, and I hope it gets people thinking.  First, there is a Mortgage Worksheet.

Mortgage Worksheet in Windows 7 calc

Mortgage Worksheet in Windows 7 calc

There is also a Vehicle Lease Worksheet, I know this will help some people figure out if they can get that car.

Vehicle Lease Worksheet in Windows 7 calc

Vehicle Lease Worksheet in Windows 7 calc

The last two worksheets are for Fuel Economy one for the American MPG and one for the Metric L/100 KM

Fuel Economy Worksheets in Windows 7 Calc

Fuel Economy Worksheets in Windows 7 Calc

This is a great improvement indeed.  If you like you can download the other two calculators and make your older version of Windows feel more updated and add functionality.

Five New Features I Like In Windows ME

Well, I kind of did this just for fun since I already took a look at Windows 7, Vista, and XP I thought I would look at ME, the spiritual ancestor to XP.  Windows ME was released, for one thing, to be a home operating system, unlike Windows 95 and 98 which were designed to do both home and work.  Windows ME was all about digital media and at that time it was just really taking off.  My first Windows-based computer would run Windows 3.11 Windows for Workgroups and then later Windows 95.  My parents would have Windows 98 and 98 SE and I got a computer with ME.  I hated 98 with a passion.  I constantly had problems with their computer and it seemed to me like I had fewer problems with ME.  This may be due to the fact that I was running an Intel Pentium 4 and they were running an AMD K6-2, I told them to get Intel but they did not listen, and it was the last time they did not listen to my advice I might add.  Anyway for me growing up with 3.11 and 95, ME felt just like them, yeah a little buggy but I used it for years and did not give it up until after Service Pack 1 was released for XP because I still had programs that would not run in XP even with the compatibility tab options. It is also interesting to note that Windows 2000 was released on February 17, 2000, while Windows ME was released on September 14, 2000, so ME is newer than Windows 2000 and that is why there are different features between the two, also Microsoft was already combining the Home and Professional lines of Windows into one product.   So let’s take a look at where we came from, let’s look at our past and check out my list of five new features in Windows ME.

1. System Restore was a good edition to Windows, however, it did have a nasty habit of backing up viruses, spyware, and all.  It was a step in the right direction and saved my butt a few times.  Take a look at the interesting interface that seemed to not fit into ME at all.

System Restore in Windows ME

System Restore in Windows ME

2. Compressed Folders, finally Zip file support was a part of Windows.  I still use this to this day.  I think this was the best thing about ME and was glad to see it stay in every Windows version since.

Compressed Folder in Windows ME

Compressed Folder in Windows ME

3. Windows Movie Maker was started in Windows ME.  This little program was actually pretty neat considering it came with the operating system unlike iMovie for Mac which was part of iLife which was purchased separately.  iMovie was better than Movie Maker but Movie Maker still did basic editing.  This program would evolve as Windows did and now is a separate download for Vista and 7.  You can download the new version of Movie Maker at  http://download.live.com/moviemaker

Windows Movie Maker in Windows ME

Windows Movie Maker in Windows ME

4. MSN Messenger, Windows ME was the first version of Windows that came with MSN Messenger.  It was replaced in Windows XP by Windows Messenger and in Vista, all that was left was an icon to download Windows Live Messenger.  I remember using MSN Messenger to talk to my friends on Hotmail a lot when I was younger.  You can download the newest version of Windows Live Messenger for Windows XP, Vista, and 7 at  http://download.live.com/messenger/

MSN Messenger in Windows ME

MSN Messenger in Windows ME

5. Windows Media Player 7, while Windows Media Player is not new, this was the first one to have a skin to it that would become familiar.  Windows Media Player went from looking like any other program to being something that stood out and was a lot more functional.  While the newest version, version 12 is not available for download yet you can get version 11 for Windows XP at  http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/11/default.aspx

Windows Media Player 7 in Windows ME

Windows Media Player 7 in Windows ME

It is interesting to see where we are today in computing and look back at where we were.  I wonder what will come next as we move on.  I hope you enjoyed this blast from the past.  I sure did.

Don’t forget to check out my list of The Five Best New Features of Windows 7

Five New Features I like in Windows 7

Well, my processor came and I got Windows 7 Enterprise installed on my laptop.  It runs better than it did on the Toshiba.  I have enjoyed playing with Windows 7 and really have started to become quite accustom to it.  And I have made a list of Five new features I like in Windows 7. Let’s see what is new.

1. The Notes program, I have used this time and time again and it’s cool to see it become a more manageable program. The notes look cleaner as well.   Also if you want you can copy the old note gadget from Vista into the same folder on 7 and use them both.  This is pictured below.

The Windows 7 Note program next to the Notes Vista Gadget

The Windows 7 Note program next to the Notes Vista Gadget

2. Aero Peek, this is an awesome and much-needed feature.  By simply moving my mouse to the area to the right of the clock on the taskbar all the windows even the ones that are maximized become clear.  This is really handy for looking at the desktop gadgets however the Notes program also becomes clear, somehow that needs to change to I can see the notes at a glance too.

Aero Peek

Aero Peek

3. The Wireless jump list, well I’m not sure it is a jump list but it sure is cool.  If you click once on the wireless icon in the system tray a list comes up of available wireless networks.  Just click on the one you want to use and connect.  It is that easy and really could not get any simpler.

Wireless Jumplist

Wireless Jump list

4. System Image and System Repair Disc, these two go together.  So in the Backup and Restore item in the Control Panel you can create a System Image, now this is best done on a separate hard drive as it will take up a lot of space.

Backup and Restore

Backup and Restore

What is cool are the options underneath to create a System Repair Disc which can use the System Image and you can use that to fix any problems like Windows not booting or having why too many viruses or spyware, if you have those things happen.  It is good for piece of mind.

Create System Repair Disc

Create System Repair Disc

5. Math Input Panel, this was actually an add-on for the Tablet PC version of XP but now it is part of Windows and you can use a mouse with it.

Math Input Panel

Math Input Panel

I am sure this will help students with homework, I used it with the touchpad mouse on my laptop and was able to make it work just fine.  It took a little doing but hey it is another tool to help. It will convert your writing into text for professional math equations in documents and so on.   You can download a similar tool for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition here  http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=9D346916-B526-487E-919D-0BCE568DEF39&displaylang=en

Also, you can get a similar tool for Vista as well and you can use a mouse as well, get it here  http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=4861aad3-1d67-4b02-bfd5-4add1879d3dc&DisplayLang=en

Math Input Panel with math written in it.

Math Input Panel with math written in it.

There are many improved features in Windows 7 and I could go on about those and I may sometime.  I love using 7 and plan to make it my only operating system on my laptop soon.  If you’re thinking about the upgrade do it.  If you’re a student check out my post on student discounts.

If you would like to check out my blog on The Six Best New Features of Windows Vista

Also for fun check out my list of The Five Best New Features of Windows ME

Is Windows 7 Faster than Windows XP, It’s Faster than Windows Vista

I had a friend ask me is Windows 7 faster than Windows XP, and I did not know.  I knew that it ran faster than Vista, so I went to work.

First, my laptop has never known Windows XP and it never will, I do not like XP and prefer Vista over it and love 7 over both of them.  Some would say I am nuts but as a computer technician, the newer versions of Windows make my life easier.  This laptop is a Compaq Presario C700 (C712NR) with 2 Gb of Ram and an Intel Core 2 Duo T5850 running at 2.16 GHz this also runs an Intel Mobile 965 Express Graphics Chipset.  The laptop came with Vista Home Premium 32bit and I installed Windows 7 Enterprize 32bit.     Below is the Windows Experience Index from Vista.  Please note that the Index range is from 1.0 to 5.9 in Vista.

Windows Exprierence Index form Vista

Windows Experience Index from Vista

As you can see the laptop does ok but below is the Windows Experience Index from 7 it seems like there is not much of a difference. Please note that in 7 the Index range is from 1.0 to 7.9 and that might be why the numbers are different.

Windows Expierence Index from 7

Windows Experience Index from 7

The difference in the numbers is interesting however I also ran Pass Mark Performance Test in both operating systems.  I figured this would give me a good answer if Windows 7 was, in fact, faster than Vista.  In Vista the Performance Test got a total score of 537.8 while in 7 it got a total of 590.4  I think these numbers speak for themselves.  Vista is slower than 7 the benchmark proves this.  So then what about Windows XP?

Well, my father has a computer that I figured would be a great it is a home-built machine with an Asus KV8 SE Deluxe motherboard with an AMD Athlon 64 3200+ running at 2.2GHz and with 2 Gb or Ram and an ATI X800 XT All-in-Wonder.  It already has Windows XP installed and it has never known Vista, so I partitioned the hard drive and installed Windows 7 Enterprize 32bit.  Pictured below is the Windows Experience Index from Windows 7

Windows Expierence Index in Windows 7

Windows Experience Index in Windows 7

As before I ran the Pass Mark Performance Test on both operating systems and here are the results you have waited for.  Windows 7 got a total score of 390.1 where Windows XP got a total score of 440.6  XP did better in 2D and 3D graphics than 7 and that could be due to the lack of proper driver support, as time goes on I’m sure that gap will close.  Really XP does not do that much better than 7 but it is a little faster.  Still, my mother was using Windows 7 for the first time today on my father’s computer and really liked it and wants to use it more, and she has never used Vista.

So is Windows 7 faster than Windows XP? Nope, but Windows 7 is faster than Vista but just a little slower than XP, not bad Microsoft, not bad at all.  If you are thinking of making the jump to Windows 7 the numbers speak for themselves, go for it.  The new Features and the fact that it is more energy-efficient make Windows 7 worth the upgrade, even if it is a little slower than XP.

The Top Six New Features in Windows Vista

Windows Vista brought a lot of change and a lot of new features.  Love it or hate it Vista changed the game. I could not decide on five so here is my pick of the top six new features in Windows Vista.  Let’s revisit them.

1. Windows Defender, spyware, and adware have been a big problem for a while.  I was glad when Microsoft introduced Windows Defender into Windows, it offered an extra layer of protection.  It is not the best program out there for this purpose, I prefer to use Spybot and Ad-Aware to remove spyware but Windows Defender does active protection and does not use up much system resources doing it. Also, it is updated through Microsoft Update making staying protected easy.  You can also download Windows Defender for Windows XP.  You can get it at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/resultsForProduct.aspx?displaylang=en&productID=f8f1c499-e587-48a5-ac81-164e850dca48&nr=20&sortCriteria=Popularity&sortOrder=Ascending&stype=ss_sd

Windows Defender in Windows Vista

Windows Defender in Windows Vista

2. Windows Sidebar and Desktop Gadgets, This was an awesome upgrade to Windows allowing more customization to Windows by allowing anyone to make a gadget and being able to download them.  There are gadgets that do just about everything and they are all free. Pictured below are some of the gadgets I use every day. Yeah, there is a gadget for that!  You can download more for Windows Vista here at http://vista.gallery.microsoft.com/vista/SideBar.aspx?mkt=en-us  Now those should work for Windows 7 but the official website is here at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/downloads/personalize?T1=desktopgadgets

Windows Sidebar and Desktop Gadgets

Windows Sidebar and Desktop Gadgets

3. Instant Search, I hated having to use search to find anything in Windows because it took forever, but in Vista is it ever easy.  Type a few letters and bam its there.  I love it and I can’t say enough about it.  You can update Windows XP with instant search too, get it at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=55C18CB3-C916-4298-ABA3-5B98904F7CDA&displaylang=en

Instant Search

Instant Search

4. The Network and Sharing Center, This is a little gem in Vista allowing networks to be managed more easily, it also saves Wireless Network information, so finally you did not have to retype in your security key every few days to reconnect to the wireless. Sharing was also simplified and made it easier to share information at home.

Network and Sharing Center

Network and Sharing Center

This just made networking easy and if you had a problem it could try to repair it for you, a much-needed feature.

Windows Network Diagnostics

Windows Network Diagnostics

5.  Windows DVD Maker, a simple program so you can share your videos and pictures with family and friends on DVD.  Not too shabby, but it is simple.  Hey not bad for the first version of the program.

Windows DVD Maker

Windows DVD Maker

6.  Windows Update, this is not really a new feature but so improved it might as well be,  finally Windows Update and Microsoft Update did not have to be accessed from a browser.  This is hands down the best decision Microsoft made in Vista.  A program that did Windows Update, awesome!

Windows Update in Vista

Windows Update in Vista

It is nice to see new features when Windows is released and these top six new features in Windows Vista really made Windows better.  Computing changes and it is good that Windows tries to keep up.  If you are running Vista or thinking about it I would suggest upgrading to Windows 7, it takes Vista strong points and makes them better.

Check out my list of The Top Five New Features in Windows XP it is a blast from the past.

Or check out my list of The Top Five New Features in Windows 7

The Top Five New Features in Windows XP

Well Windows XP was released in 2001 and I did not know much about it at the time of its launch.  I admit when it was first released it felt like a glorified service pack for Windows 2000.  While Windows 2000 is its ancestor, Windows ME was its spiritual ancestor.  But it did feel like they simply took all the features of Windows ME and shoved them into 2000 and tweaked it a bit.  While it is true that Microsoft took and joined its home and professional lines to create one Windows desktop version, there was more to Windows XP.  It would become one of the most used operating systems of its day.  So I have gone back and created a list of the top five new features in Windows XP.  Let’s revisit them.

1.  The Luna theme, for the first time in a long time Windows was not a drab gray color.   The interface seemed more warm and welcoming, it was a nice change.  One that I wanted when I first saw it.  Now is was also nicknamed the Fisher-Price theme and Windows was even called Windows XP Fisher-Price Edition, but it was a nice improvement.  It started people skinning Windows by hacking files as well, It actually inspired and made people ask What If? Could I make Windows look like…?  I have to admit it, it really was a good change.

The Blue Luna Theme in Windows XP

The Blue Luna Theme in Windows XP

2. Windows Media Center, while it was not released with Windows XP at first and was never offered as an update, it was a neat thing you could do.  Use your computer to record TV.  It offered a media driven hub for people and even was imitated in some forms so others that did not have the Media Center version of XP could enjoy it, and was also imitated on Linux.  For some, their computer became their DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

Windows XP Media Center

Windows XP Media Center

3. Fast User Switching and Local Users, While local users were not exactly a new feature they were so greatly improved and finally brought to the home computer.  This changed a lot of things for home consumers.  Finally, parents could have an account for their kids  to mess in while their background and icons never changed.  But the nice feature here was the fact that you did not have to log someone out to use your account, you could switch them.

Users Control Pannel Applet

Users Control panel Applet

Fast user switching made sharing the computer in a household very easy.  Remember too that Windows XP was released in a time where there was usually was only one computer in a house.  It would not be till years later that computers would come down in price and we would see almost as many computers in a house as tvs.  The Fast User Switching was not only needed, it was a good move.

Fast User Switching Option

Fast User Switching Option

4. Windows Firewall was originally called the Internet Connection Firewall until Service Pack 2 was released with a revamped version of the firewall that was enabled by default, unlike the earlier version.   Microsoft did this after so many computers were getting infected with viruses and spyware.  the Windows Firewall helped a lot and provided those who could not afford to buy a firewall for their computer some protection.

The Windows Firewall in Windows XP

The Windows Firewall in Windows XP

5. The Compatibility Tab was a great help.  Most home users were using Windows 98 or Me which ran on top of DOS.  The programs made for these DOS-based Windows versions often times were not compatible with Windows 2000.  In XP Microsoft fixed a lot of the problems with the Compatibility Tab.  Accessible by right clicking on the program and clicking on Properties, this would help the adoption of XP.

The Compatibility Tab

The Compatibility Tab

Windows XP was a good and logical evolution of the Windows product line.  It did have a few new features but it really improved on a lot of old ones and these top five new features in Windows XP really helped to make Windows a better operating system.  It is almost 12 years old now and really is past its prime.  If you’re running XP I suggest looking at Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, they run better on slower computers than Vista.

You can also check out my list of top Six new features in Windows Vista

Also for a blast from the past the Top Five New Features in Windows ME

The Best Internet Browser for Windows 2000

It is hard to say what the best internet browser for Windows 2000 is because of its age so let’s be clear here, if you are still using Windows 2000, you need to at least upgrade to Windows XP.  Windows 2000 is over 14 years old and is just not up to the day-to-day modern internet browsing.  That being said there are still people using it and there are still a few things you can do to make your time browsing the internet in 2000 more enjoyable and secure.

The last version of Internet Explorer released for Windows 2000 was IE 6 Service Pack 1. It is not updated anymore at all and has not been updated with new features to make browsing the internet easier and more secure.  Internet Explorer 6 was first released in 2001 and was no longer supported on July 13, 2010. Now Windows 2000 came with IE 5.5 and I do not suggest you keep that on your system.  Update to IE 6 SP1 and install all the updates for it, however, I do not suggest using it for daily browsing as Internet Explorer is not the best internet browser for Windows 2000.

As far as current major browsers that support Windows 2000 there is only one, Opera.  So which browsers are the best for Windows 2000 and are some of the lesser known browsers maybe a good choice in this case.

I will be running Windows 2000 in a virtual machine within Oracle VirtualBox.  It will be running on Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.  I also have the latest versions of Flash, Java, and Silverlight that support Windows 2000 and you can read about how to get those and how to secure Windows 2000 better.

1. Opera 12.o2, being that this is the only major browser that still supports Windows 2000 it already is far ahead but it also supports major internet standards and supports plug-ins.  Opera in a way is like Netscape in that is supports other functions like e-mail and torrents. I also like its Tab Preview which just gives it a nice touch.  You can get it at  www.opera.com

Opera 12 in Windows 2000

Opera 12 in Windows 2000

2. QupZilla 1.3.5 is not very well-known but is a big help in Windows 2000.  It is a Webkit based browser like Google Chrome or Apple Safari and it is still being developed and updated.  This means it will get security updates and new features as time goes on.  QupZilla is pretty good at being compliment with web standards and it also has a tab preview which I just find to be a great feature, especially when you have multiple tabs open.  You can check it out at www.qupzilla.com

QupZilla 1.3.5 in Windows 2000

QupZilla 1.3.5 in Windows 2000

3. Firefox 12 is the last version of Firefox that works in Windows 2000.  I really suggest you use one of the two browsers above before using Firefox as it will no longer be getting any security updates.  Again use this browser with caution.  It is still very web standard compliant so it will not have an issue displaying today’s websites but as time goes on it will not be a good option.  You can download this version at http://www.oldversion.com/download-Mozilla-Firefox-12.0.html

Firefox 12 in Windows 2000

Firefox 12 in Windows 2000

4. FlashPeak SlimBrowser 6.01 Build 076 is a great option is you have websites that only work in Internet Explorer.  FlashPeak SlimBrowser uses the same rendering engine as Internet Explorer, however, it uses the one already installed on your computer so while FlashPeak SlimBrowser has a lot of great features like Facebook integration and tabbed browsing it will not load any websites any better than Internet Explorer.  FlashPeak SlimBrowser is being developed and updated so it will be safer to use than Internet Explorer and if you have to use it I suggest you give FlashPeak SlimBrowser a try.  I also like the weather update in the Status Bar.  You can check it out at http://www.slimbrowser.net/en/

FlashPeak SlimBrowser 6.01 in Windows 2000

FlashPeak SlimBrowser 6.01 in Windows 2000

5. Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 (6.0.2800.1106)  Microsoft does not support this and does not have the modern security that Opera and QupZilla have.  Also, is does not display some pages properly and is slower than the others.  The user interface looks dated and old.  I would not suggest using this for your daily browsing, however, is you are still running an older version update to IE 6 SP1, it will help protect  you a little better and allow other Windows programs to get access to web features better.  You can get it at  http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=1e1550cb-5e5d-48f5-b02b-20b602228de6&DisplayLang=en

Internet Explorer 6 in Windows 2000

Internet Explorer 6 in Windows 2000

6. Amaya 11.4.4 is not a browser for everyday use.  This is made by the World Wide Web Consortium or the W3C, who decides what is and is not HTML.  Now this browser is really more for web developers as it really digs into a website to display many components.  It is pretty cool but it does not run any scripts so it is not good for everyday web browsing.  Check it out at http://www.w3.org/Amaya/

Amaya 11.4.4 on Windows 2000

Amaya 11.4.4 on Windows 2000

It is a good thing that Opera and QubZilla have paid attention to the fact that Windows 2000 is still being used to this day.  Windows 2000 is past its prime and I do suggest updating to at least Windows XP as soon as you can, remember all support ended for 2000 on July 13, 2010, and that includes IE 6 SP1.  I will write more articles about Windows 2000, (Like Making Windows 2000 more secure with Free Anti-virus) (And installing Windows 2000 in Windows Virtual PC) As I can see some people still use it.

Also, check out the Best Internet Browser for Windows XP

And check out the Best Internet Browser for Windows Introduction