Stories by James Fallows

Celebrating Windows 2000

To celebrate the release of Microsoft Corp.'s Windows 2000, today's theme is products that crash, fail and generally let us down. Of course Windows 2000 is supposed to have none of those flaws. If you can get it installed (set aside a full day), and if you can live with the side effects of it having been designed mainly for big corporate users (for instance, it won't let you dial in to America Online), it goes a long way toward reducing the crashes, failures and general annoyances of Windows 98.

Mating Dance

The stock market euphoria over the AOL Time Warner Inc. merger faded quickly. AOL's shares started falling the day the plan was announced, and within two weeks had lost 25 percent of their predeal value. But the AOL sag, whether it proves temporary or long-lasting, is an exception underscoring the general rule: Financial markets have been wildly enthusiastic about mergers and takeovers, which since the late 1990s have proceeded faster than ever before. The last year alone brought several huge combinations, any one of which would have seemed startling five years ago. Exxon-Mobil. Daimler-Chrysler. MCI WorldCom-Sprint. WarnerLambert-Pfizer. And of course the continuing deals remaking the software and Net industries.

Lessons From J.P. Morgan

The merger of America Online Inc. and Time Warner Inc. is obviously big - and good - news for the Internet Economy, let alone for the tens of thousands of employees and investors in it. Net veterans may have been annoyed by the patronizing "Today, you are a man" tone coming from press analysts after the announcement. Still, it is a moment of arrival for the Internet that we will remember years from now.

The Net: The Other Divide

The Internet's innate optimism comes through even when it is choosing things to worry about. In late 1999, the shape of the next perceived "menace" of the Net - the digital divide - was becoming clear. But the problem now being defined as the new Net challenge will actually be easier to deal with than one that nobody really wants to talk about yet.