Is it finally the Death of Windows 98?

Question

I heard that Microsoft is discontinuing support for Windows 98! Is this true and if so, what does it mean we should do?

- Mark

Answer

This question was answered on April 3, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

All good things must come to an end and Windows 98 is no exception Windows 98 was introduced in June of 1998 and it’s final retail version, 98SE’s (Second Edition), was discontinued on June 30th of 2002.

According to the Microsoft web site, Windows 98 will enter into its ‘unsupported’ phase on January 16th of 2004 The specific details are posted on the site as follows:

“Microsoft will offer paid incident support on Windows 98/98 SE through January 16, 2004 Windows 98/98 SE downloads for existing security issues will continue to be obtainable through normal assisted support channels at no charge during this time Customers can request Windows 98/98 SE fixes for new security issues and these requests will be reviewed Fixes for any new security issues can be specifically requested through normal assisted support channels Web-based self-help support will be available for at least one year after assisted support has concluded Mainstream support for Windows 98/98 SE ended on June 30th 2002, and no-charge incident support and extended hotfix support ends on June 30th 2003”.

What does all this mean? Well, it depends upon you and your computer Most systems that have any kind of ‘warranty’ (read: free support) will probably be systems that came pre-loaded with Windows 98, therefore the support falls to the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Basically, you would call the company that actually made the computer.

If you want to pay Microsoft for help on Windows 98 issues, you can do so through January 16th of 2004 If you are able to digest the support information posted at their web site, it will continue to be updated until at least January of 2005.

All the posted information will continue to be available on their web site (lots of Windows 95 support issues are still posted), it just won’t continue to be updated.

Does this mean you need to change your operating system? Not at all, in fact there is no reason to do anything until you run into a situation that forces you to make a change.

For instance, if your computer gives up the ghost or you purchase a new piece of software or hardware that requires a newer version of Windows, it’s a perfect opportunity to step into one the supported versions of Windows (XP for home and/or business and 2000 for corporate users) which are both much more stable and have more resources than Windows 98.

Another reason to consider migrating is security updates At some point, and it could be as soon as this year, patches for security problems that are discovered will no longer be available for Windows 98.

If you do decide to upgrade to a newer version of Windows, the best way to do so is by purchasing a new computer that comes pre-loaded If you plan on upgrading an older system to a newer OS, be sure to do your homework on your programs and peripherals (scanners, printers, etc.) to ensure that they will work with the new version.

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Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on April 3, 2003