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Microsoft Stops Supporting Win98 Early 477

Posted by Zonk
from the cue-taps dept.
Christopher_G_Lewis writes "Today Microsoft announced that it is 'not feasible to make the extensive changes necessary to Windows Explorer on Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), and Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (ME) to eliminate the vulnerability' to fix Security Bulletin MS06-15. Granted, the vulnerability is easily prevented by basic firewalling, but this basically is the first time Microsoft has admitted that Windows 98 is so broken that it's crazy to be running it on today's Internet."
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Microsoft Stops Supporting Win98 Early

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  • Huh? (Score:3, Funny)

    by CWRUisTakingMyMoney (939585) on Friday June 09, 2006 @01:56PM (#15504400)
    Win98 is broken? That's crazy talk, I've been using it for years, and I've never had any prob#$*(*^^(*&!@ NO CARRIER
  • this basically is the first time Microsoft has admitted that Windows 98 is so broken that it's crazy to be running it on today's Internet."
    It's like an alternate universe, where Microsoft is trying to sell Windows 2000 Professional to home users...
  • :O (Score:3, Funny)

    by joe 155 (937621) on Friday June 09, 2006 @01:58PM (#15504411) Journal
    well, I'll get modded down but...

    MS got it wrong... "Windows 98 is so broken that it's crazy to be running it on today's Internet" For some reason this contains a "98" which came out of nowhere. It should read

    "Windows is so broken that it's crazy to be running it on today's Internet"
    • Re::O (Score:5, Funny)

      by Kesch (943326) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:02PM (#15504469)
      Where did the words "on today's Internet" come from?
    • Re::O (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Southpaw018 (793465) * on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:07PM (#15504507) Journal
      No, I'll get modded down, but... ;)

      Look, the truth is that Win XP and to a lesser but still significant extent Win 2k are real, solid OSs. They're targets because of their omnipresence, and moreso because they're 'competitors' to Linux, which is so endeared unto a community like this one.
      So we hear the most about the Windows vulnerabilities, yet I just updated some of the software on my Linux box to fix a few security holes, too. And in all honesty...like any other piece of software, if you keep up with the updates and are conscious of the risks and pitfalls of everyday use, it's a safe, fast, and secure OS. If you tossed a version of your favorite Linux distro released circa 1998 onto a computer you would have some VERY serious problems running it smoothly and/or securely.
      • Re::O (Score:3, Interesting)

        by joe 155 (937621)
        well, I know that I made the joke but I'm not really an anti-MS zealot. I do use linux far more than windows that remains really just because my girlfriend likes it... :S.

        I don't think that linux is just less of a target because it has less users; it is more secure because you hardly ever run as super-user.
        For me on my system windows is over 30 seconds slower to load up
        The safety cannot be said to be good just because the only reason that it is insecure is because it is visable (although I disagre
      • A fair and balanced comment, but missing a couple of important dimensions.

        a) What was your outlay, in currency, for these "like any other piece of software" operating systems?

        b) Were you coerced^Wvery strongly encouraged towards hardware upgrades to boot the OS?

        c) Were you given reasonable source-code level opportunity to deal with those little situation that arise for "any other piece of software"

        I do agree with your basic premise, that later Redmond releases are quite stable. The one or two BSODs I've ev
        • a) Not as cheap as a freely available distro, but cheaper than some distros that are sold as services (an OEM copy of Win XP goes for $90 on sale.)

          b) Um, no? There's no reason why I would be, and I didn't need it. I won't need to upgrade for Vista, either.

          c) Were I to have source code access, I couldn't do anything with it anyway. Unless it was PHP, my specialty language, or perhaps Perl. Same goes for 99.5% of users worldwide. So your question really doesn't make that much of a difference except to the c
      • Re::O (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Ethan Allison (904983) *
        As is Vista (beta 2). Despite all the speculation of craptacularness, it runs great (faster than XP, around the speed of Ubuntu+XGL) on my 3-year-old computer (2.4GHz/512mb/80gb/FX5200).
      • Re::O (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fireboy1919 (257783)
        ...that Win XP and to a lesser but still significant extent Win 2k are real, solid OSs.

        I disagree. I would say that Win2k and to a lesser, but still significant extent WinXP are running on solid OS kernels.

        Too bad that the layers of code on top of the kernel aren't so good.

        Why is it fair to compare Linux from 1998 to Windows 2000? You don't think that Windows 2000 came out in 1998, do you?

        The problem with security and Windows is that it can only come from Microsoft, updates are few and far between, and in
      • I use Debian. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hearingaid (216439)
        How to upgrade Debian, released circa 1998:
        1. Install your aged CDs. (Potato? I forget.)
        2. dselect update
        3. dselect select
        4. dselect install
        5. Repeat previous step until there's nothing left to install.

        I should try this sometime on a stable install. I updated a sarge install and a sid install recently that had both been disconnected from the 'net for a couple years (the sarge was originally a Testing machine; while I was DSL-less, sarge was released; meant I had to edit my /etc/apt/sources.list, but the sid machine didn'

  • Quick Question (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ndansmith (582590) on Friday June 09, 2006 @01:58PM (#15504417)
    How many people still actually run Windows 98?
    • Re:Quick Question (Score:3, Interesting)

      by NetDanzr (619387)
      I do, for my office work. With AVG and an older version of ZoneAlarm, I see no reason to upgrade.
      • Re:Quick Question (Score:5, Insightful)

        by griffjon (14945) <GriffJon&gmail,com> on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:10PM (#15504532) Homepage Journal
        If you need the "Windows" environment (for legacy apps?), then 98SE is a perfectly good operating system for computers over 5 years old. It runs almost everything (that the hardware could handle, at least), and is a whole lot lighter than XP.

        I mean, if you're not wedded to applications, you can get almost any Linux install to run, better, on a machine that can handle 98SE, but some people aren't down for that :|

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:30PM (#15504704)
          Win 98 and ME have better license agreements too.

          Those license agreements don't have the weird clauses about M$ being able to remotely disable your access to internet services at any time for any reason, or about your consent to have third-party DRM pushed to you over the internet automatically without your consent or knowledge (both of which are in the XP license agreement).

    • Speaking from the standpoint of software technical support, a metric fuckton.
      http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=met ric+fuckton [urbandictionary.com]

      For a fun blast from the past, try mapping network drives in 98. Now try telling a 60 year old man how to do it.

      I don't say this office, but THANK YOU MICROSOFT!!

      • Same as I do today ;-)

        Start -> Run [OK]
        net use * \\server\share (Sir, Backslash is not on the same key as the ? is)

        Note the new drive letter.

        Oh, you meant the GUI way that changes with each release? ;-)
    • Forced to use it at my new job. I can't believe they use it. What's wrong with a multi-national corporation where they use Win98? I begged for something better and spent a day cleaning virii when I started and downloaded ZoneAlarm.

      Then I pounded my head on the wall for a day and said, "oh, screw this". That way when I get spam, I can think "Hey, maybe I sent this to myself".
    • I still use Windows 98se on my laptop. But only because 98se and Damn Small Linux are the only graphical OSes I can get to run on the thing (I'm hoping when Hiaku finally gets makes a release I can switch to that), and would use only DSL if it wasn't for not working with my wireless card.
    • Re:Quick Question (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MarkGriz (520778)
      "How many people still actually run Windows 98?"

      I have 3 PCs in my office. My main one is Windows XP, but the others are Windows 98 and Windows 95 machines.
      These are all software development platforms, and it is not practical to upgrade the OS on them since they are older
      machines with limited horsepower and memory. It also isn't practical to move the software development tools to
      the new PC because of compatibility issues. The Win95 machines gets used occasionally, but the Win98 is used almost daily
      (I con
    • How many people still actually run Windows 98?

      Windows 98/98 SE are still perfectly good operating systems for an inexpensive computer used as a web broswer / word processor. There are lots of people who salvage surplused computers (5+ years old) from companies and universities, clean them up, reformat their drives, install Linux, and donate them to people who couldn't afford a computer otherwise. Windows 98/98 SE works just fine on such machines.

      Personally, I wish Microsoft would make Windows 98 SE free

    • Re:Quick Question (Score:3, Informative)

      by Just Some Guy (3352)
      I do. I never could get Reader Rabbit or Jumpstart Preschool running under Win2K, and I didn't want to buy (or pirate) XP when 98 runs my kids' games without problems.
    • I do, on a P3-800. I even play games on it, though older ones. Current favorite - Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic. Runs mostly flawlessly, though tends to slow down in the end game for the largest scenarios.
  • by demongeek (977698) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:00PM (#15504446)
    It only took them 8 years to realize Windows 98 was broken.... Not bad.

    I jest I jest *ducks*
  • Well, it *is* old (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Corbets (169101) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:02PM (#15504465) Homepage
    Maybe I'm crazy, but that OS is, what, 8 years old? How many OSes from that time would be safe to run on today's 'net? Mac OS... what? 8, maybe 9? Solaris 7/8? HP-UX 10?

    Ok, Sol8 I could see I guess, but for all that I'm a Mac bigot these days, I can't really blame MS for being unable to support software that old. Sure, it was broken as hell when it came out, but at this point, I'd really rather they try to keep XP or (/sigh) maybe Vista reasonably up-to-date.
    • It's actually more like Solaris 2.6/7.
      • Solaris 2.6 remains relatively rock solid. Solaris 8 - rock solid, HPUX 10.X - solid

        A representative Linux of that day would be Redhat 5.2... Not quite solid

        Heck, I still have some Solaris 2.4 servers running that I have few reasons to touch.
    • Since Windows 95, their whole design was based on extending their products (including Internet Explorer) with insecure features. MS-Word viruses, ActiveX viruses, javascript viruses, and now we even have DRM viruses.

      It's not that Windows 9x was old, but that it was awfully designed. Linux is older than Windows 9x, and they got the privileges and file permissions right since the beginning.

      Most security updates in Open Source software like Firefox or Linux are due to implementation flaws (i.e. buffer overflows), but the problem we're dealing with here, is a DESIGN FLAW.

      Very different, indeed.
      • by Jorkapp (684095) <[jorkapp] [at] [hotmail.com]> on Friday June 09, 2006 @03:34PM (#15505255)
        Win9x itself was a mistake. The GUI was an extension of the 16-bit GUI presented in Win3.x. The Operating system core was built on DOS, an 8-bit non-multitasking operating system. One can only begin to fathom how many software engineers vomit at the thought of committing such an atrosity.

        The WinNT line on the other hand was done right from day one. 32-bit from the ground up, with 16-bit Windows and 8-bit DOS functions performed by emulation, not extension. I've been using the WinNT kernel since Windows 2000, and have yet to be disappointed.
        • The WinNT line on the other hand was done right from day one.

          Agreed, with the exception of the plethora of open network ports. I think they finally figured this one out in 2004 with XP SP2, 8 years after NT4 was released.

          Sadly, Win9x was and is far more secure than any other IP-aware Windows product. Even XP with SP2 still runs these bloody services, but hides behind a potentially leaky firewall.

          My naive hope was that Vista would actually come in a home version (hell, the corp should too, that's what admins
      • Most security updates in Open Source software like Firefox or Linux are due to implementation flaws (i.e. buffer overflows), but the problem we're dealing with here, is a DESIGN FLAW.

        A long time ago when someone was crazy enough to let me lead a small team I had every one sing "no bug in unfixable, only bad design is!" three times in choir every morning. No I don't lead a team anymore but I'm sure my old team is still doing buggy implementations of bullet proof designs.

    • Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (ME)

      Okay, I don't really pay much attention to Microsoft product releases... but... isn't that more like 6?

    • well, Windows ME came out in Sept 2000, less than six years old right now. Security updates for five years for an OS that costs money is probably OK for home use, but I could see some small businesses wanted a somewhat longer cycle.
    • Ok, Sol8 I could see I guess, but for all that I'm a Mac bigot these days, I can't really blame MS for being unable to support software that old.

      Well, they may not find it "feasable" to patch the hole, but I managed it in all of about five minutes.

      I installed Firefox. Can't they handle that?

      KFG
    • Re:Well, it *is* old (Score:3, Interesting)

      by zdzichu (100333)
      Solaris is bad example ;) It's properly supported OS. I will cite Alan Hargreaves [sun.com]:

      Solaris 2.6 was released in February 1997. Last ship was July 2001. It drops off support in July this year. That makes for nine years of support, the first six of which were complete with rfe and cosmetic bugs being fixed.

      How about Solaris 8? Solaris 8 was released in March 2000. We have still not done that last ship for it, so this means that there will be phase one suport for at least until mid 2008, and phase 2 supp
  • by 955301 (209856) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:02PM (#15504466) Journal

    I think Microsoft is missing a serious opportunity here. It's called branching.

    If they are forced to fix vulnerabilities for an old piece of software without getting paid I can see how that doesn't make sense. But I cannot imagine that there is NOBODY who will pay for vulnerability fixes to their old line instead of upgrading.

    Why? Because some software runs on 98 and not on 2000 or XP. Some software will probably run on XP and not Vista in the future. If they dealt with the branch constructively, this could represent another revenue stream for them.

    I don't believe it's cannabilistic because the people who would stay on a branch have to because of other software, not because they are cheap. Eventually, they will spend the same amount of money on security updates that it takes to purchase XP but won't have to upgrade their custom software for the new environment.

    Is there some reason this wouldn't work?

     
    • by Vellmont (569020) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:27PM (#15504675) Homepage

      But I cannot imagine that there is NOBODY who will pay for vulnerability fixes to their old line instead of upgrading.

      If you were talking about Windows NT4, I might agree with you. NT4 had significant server deployment, and I'd imagine there's still a few corps that might have some machines running it. But Windows 98/ME was a user OS, so I find it very unlikely that anyone that has the cash to poney up for supporting it didn't move their installed base over to Windows 2000 or above long ago. I think the only significant Windows 98 installations you'll see are embedded machines running a POS system (for instance). Since those kind of embedded systems are never used for web browsing this vulnerability has pretty minimal impact on those systems.
    • Is there some reason this wouldn't work?

      If old operating systems run programs then they don't sell new operating systems without making them deliberately less compatible, which takes work.

    • Rather than expecting Microsoft to blow money on an unattractive niche, how about WINE? WINE seems to be dead set on emulating Windows circa 1996...maybe you could consider it a fork of Win95.
  • Liability? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ophion (58479) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:04PM (#15504475)
    How are Microsoft's commitments to its operating systems structured? Are they a vague "promise" or contractual? If they are the latter, then I sincerely hope that someone will make this a legal issue. After all, does Microsoft offer a laissez-faire response if the other party is the one breaking the terms of a contract?
  • by Coneasfast (690509) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:04PM (#15504479)
    paid incident support ends on July 11, 2006. only a month away. mainstream support ended in 2002. this isn't a big deal.
    • This is what the problem entails. Microsoft just stated that fulfilling their contractual obligations is too expensive. We all know this to be bullshit. We all know they have enough resources to fix the problem. Microsoft's issue is that they would not be making enough of a margin on their contracts if they used their resources to fix this problem. If I had a contract for paid incident support for Windows 98, and Microsoft backed out at the last month, I would be calling my attorneys right now.
  • not feasible to make the extensive changes necessary.. easily prevented by basic fire-walling

    What? Microsoft can't write a simple packetfilter for windows98? I'm quite sure others have.
    Oh well, better upgrade, then.
  • Understandable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:09PM (#15504520)
    Support lifecycle ends on July 11, 2006, so it hardly seems worth the effort to patch for Microsoft. Besides, a pc still running Win98 on the internet without a firewall is probably already compromised, so this patch won't help anything.
  • Hmmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Procrastin8er (791570) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:09PM (#15504525)
    but this basically is the first time Microsoft has admitted that Windows 98 is so broken that it's crazy to be running it on today's Internet.
    I am not so sure they actually said that, did they? Or did you put words in their mouth?
    • Specifically, after extensive investigation, we've found that it's not feasible to make the extensive changes necessary to Windows Explorer on these older versions of Windows to eliminate the vulnerability.

      They might not be saying THAT, but they are saying something equally embarrassing: Windows 98 is so broken, it can't be fixed.

  • by KalvinB (205500) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:10PM (#15504533) Homepage
    You can pick up a nice cheap perfectly sufficient router with NAT for around $30. I wouldn't trust any computer directly on the wire without a router. I don't care what OS it's running.

    I'd like to be able to run internal services on my systems without having to mess around with restricting IPs at the app level. It's a lot easier to just open ports at the router level if I want outside people to connect to my service.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Err... what if the router is running the same OS the computer is running? Would you trust the computer then?
    • I wouldn't trust any computer directly on the wire without a router. I don't care what OS it's running.

      Hmm. So much for linux based routers then, huh?

  • by PineHall (206441) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:12PM (#15504547)
    In other words it costs too much manpower (money) to close the hole in Win98, so they are saying we will not do it. This is a poor design decision coming back to bite them.
  • by guzzirider (551141) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:14PM (#15504570)
    You can still register and operate a Ford model T on public roads.
    However, 'round here in Dallas I would strongly recommend to keep it off I-635
    (ya' might get shot!)
  • Whew! (Score:5, Funny)

    by edmicman (830206) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:15PM (#15504577) Homepage Journal
    At least Win95 is safe!
  • R.I.P. Windows 98 (Score:3, Insightful)

    by suv4x4 (956391) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:15PM (#15504578)
    I'll miss you, I'll especially miss the times a full-blown OS was in the range of 50MB.
    Vista is gonna be around 8GB (11GB with debug files in the Beta2).

    Of course, I'm left with managing over 14 machines here (and it's pro bono) for a few kids centers here, and Win98 is about the only thing that runs decently on these machines.

    They have a firewall and Firefox instead of IE. Firefox also drops Win98 support in the next release.

    In our eternal quest for cooler and newer and neater, we're burning dollars like crazy throwing our perfectly working machines and software. When will we learn...
  • by Zarhan (415465) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:19PM (#15504617)
    I've had a single Win'98 installation since about 1999. Never needed to reinstall or anything. I still use it for my gaming - it has DirectX 9, so it runs World of Warcraft, Galciv2, GTA:SA, and so on. I have no need to upgrade to 2000 or XP. (For "real work" I use Linux).

    One of the reasons why I have not upgraded is also that Win'98 is the last Windows that has full, native DOS easily accessible, so that older games work. In the recent years this argument has lost significance due to DosBox, though, but many DOS4GW games did not work properly only some time ago.

    "You're crazy to run Win'98 in todays internet" is not exactly true. Win'98 has only one service that is being offered and that is the samba file/printer sharing. Turn that off and you have no open ports on a Win'98 machine - compared to Win2000 or XP where you have loads of ports active (think of all the RPC worms of the yesteryear). Yes, my Win'98 is behind a firewall, but even if it weren't I wouldn't be too concerned. I'm not using samba sharing (and yes, I've verified this with nmap).

    The only attack that works would be against the TCP/IP stack itself (read: Winnuke), but that has been patched ages ago.

    I'm going to keep running my Win'98 until games will require DirectX 10. Then I'll make a decision on whether I'll upgrade to Vista or check out how Cedega works at that point (Also, Dosbox probably runs everything by then). Why should I pay for intermediate versions (2k, XP, 2003 server) when Win'98 does everything that I want? Win'98 is light (compared to multimedia-laden XP) and secure enough for a single-user environment.
    • mod parent up, DOS rocks for programing custom applications, too bad its no longer supported.
    • by Thundersnatch (671481) on Friday June 09, 2006 @03:14PM (#15505083) Journal

      You do realize that you need to patch client application security vulnerabilities too? Sure, there may be no "invisible" wormable exploit such as that used by Blaster (since Win98 is running no services). But all of the holes in IE, AIM, MS Office, Quicken, Firefox, and whatever else you use are still there. A large amount of malware relies on client-application vulnerabilites (straight buffer overflows, file parsing errors, etc.) to spread.

      Now, you can say, "I never use applications except games from Win98". And if that's true, good for you. But those games could have holes, or they could rely on DLLs that have holes (IE libraries in particular).

      Even worse, a whole lot of other folks are browsing the web, answering email, and using IM from Win98. A firewall does not provide client-app security, and these folks will be quickly owned when patches stop coming. Nor does AV software protect you from a lot of attacks at the network protocol layer, as most AV software does not scan network connections in real time or only handles HTTP and POP3 scanning. Until we can formally prove the correctness of all software running on the device, patching will always be necessary for Internet-connected machines (no matter what the operating system).

    • Every one of my Windows machines has a one gig FAT 32 boot partition on which I first install a patched version of DOS from bootdisk.com with USB drive support.
      I then install Win2K/XP so that I always have the option of booting straight into DOS.
      This not only allows me to play old games, it also allows me to run PartitionMagic for DOS (a real lifesaver) w/o having to dig out boot disks.
  • "this basically is the first time Microsoft has admitted that Windows 98 is so broken that it's crazy to be running it on today's Internet."

    What crappy journalism. This is like saying "trees are cut down so easily by chainsaws that we shouldn't bother planting them," or, "iPods hold so much music that it's crazy to buy a CD player." If you're going to post a story, be objective and let the readers draw their own conclusion.

    Windows may be expensive, but at least purchasers of 98 got 8 years of free
  • Linus stops patching Linux v 1.4
  • Will M$ stop posting the win98 patches?
    Will Windows update stop talking to Win98?
  • Industry support (Score:3, Informative)

    by phorm (591458) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:33PM (#15504725) Journal
    While MS may have stopped supporting win98 in terms of patches etc, the industry stopped supporting it a long time ago. MS also stopped supporting it for much of their office products quite a while back. Even hardware such as printers have been not supporting the old OS in the last few years.

    Basically win98 was good if you still need to run some legacy 9x apps, maybe some DOS stuff, and get on the internet for email or browsing. It seems now that it's day has passed even for browsing, as the forthcoming versions of both IE and firefox have stopped support, and now patch support has stopped as well.

    However, what to do with all those businesses (especially low-profit government entities such as schools) with older machines, win98 licenses, and not a lot of money to spend on either hardware or operating systems? To me, it looks this is just another push for those entities towards a linux desktop, not based on any technical details, but due to just plain ol' dollars and cents.
  • A) I will concurr with the call of sub par journalism with a definite anti-MS slant.

    B) More importantly, how many other OS's written that far back are still being actively supported? I'm not sure, is the Mac OS from that day still supported by Apple and being actively maintained?

    The company I work at stop doing patches for software when it's more than 2 major releases old. Period. By that call 98 should have been phased out the minute XP was released (98... 2000... XP) I think MS has kept the patient al
  • I'd rather they spent time working on Vista than patching an 8 year old operating system. I doubt anyone on Win98 is connected via more than a dial up modem anyway, they don't exactly have huge targets painted on their backs.
  • this basically is the first time Microsoft has admitted that Windows 98 is so broken that it's crazy to be running it on today's Internet.
    Hell, I'm still trying to get yesterday's Internet (Web 1.0) running on today's hardware (AMD 2.4GHz) with tomorrow's software (Vista). Can we preemptively declare Vista broken, and move on to Vista++?
  • by 1ucius (697592) on Friday June 09, 2006 @02:55PM (#15504914)
    Wasn't windows 98 the first edition bundled the browser with the OS - for the benefit of the consumer of course? Bit ironic that it's now cited at the reason to drop support.
  • by Skeetskeetskeet (906997) on Friday June 09, 2006 @03:06PM (#15505010)
    Microsoft announces it will still continue to patch and support Microsoft BOB due to its overwhelming popularity and stability among home users.
  • by one_red_eye (962010) on Friday June 09, 2006 @03:09PM (#15505036) Homepage
    ...Does that mean I can install this illegal copy now?
  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Friday June 09, 2006 @04:03PM (#15505535)
    I'm quite dedicated to my copy of Win98. It works fine, and after all these years, I know pretty much everything about it. I've finally gotten comfortable with it and know how to make it perform wonderfully.

    Except I've seen a recent push in the media to ditch Win98. They're even pushing the, "You're Not Cool" buttons, which makes me think somebody is getting desperate. . . Now why on earth would the Big World Out There care which version of Windows the public is using? Here are a list of possible answers and general points which strike me off the top of my head. . .

    1. Money. If you can convince a few million people that they need to spend a few hundred bucks on a new operating system, (Like, ooooh, say, Vista which is being released so very soon), what better way to increase initial sales on a new product? Mod me down, and I know some of you will want to, (hello MS astroturfers), but this seems like a fairly obvious marketing ploy to jeer and scare people into buying a new product. In other words, FUCK Microsoft; I'm not about to be manipulated by highschool popular kid tactics.

    2. DRM. Later releases of Windows are linked to Microsoft and secret services in ways which allow the Powers That Be to keep tabs on you at all times. You want to control media? What better way than to put an OS with built in spy abilities on every desktop and lap top in the world? Win98 isn't so useful to the Black Hats this way; it was written too early in Microsoft's evolution; somewhat before their dance with the devil took it down the domestic spying and social control road.

    3. Fear. Anybody who tells me that Win98 is not a safe system is a fool. Win98 has a very short list of vulnerabilities. Nobody attacks it. I don't run a virus checker and my very basic firewall takes care of every other danger. Look at the last three years of viruses and bugs which have hit the world; how many of them have affected Win98? Like 1 percent? Or less? Exactly.

    I'll stick with Win98 until they make it illegal not to have government eyes installed in our homes. The way this is going, I probably won't have to wait too long. . .


    -FL

  • More Proof (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheNetAvenger (624455) on Friday June 09, 2006 @04:42PM (#15505846)
    The resposes to this article are more proof that a majority of people on SlashDot don't realize that Win9x and Win2k/XP are ENTIRELY different OSes. Different code bases, actually different code all around.

    Windows 101 for Slashdot People

    Win3.x was 16bit OS for the x86 only platform and was programmed primarily in C and Assembly
    Win9x was a 32bit OS built on top of Win3.x technology and again was programmed using C and Assembly in a lot of areas.
    WinNT was a New OS technology with a 'real' kernel and subsystem technology that was built entirely in portable C for Cross Platform Support
    WinXP is the modern version of WindowsNT, still built completely in portable C and C++ with no assembly optimization allowed outside of the HAL.

    The ONLY reason that Win9X and WinXP 'look' a bit alike is purely cosmetic for end user ease.

    So people that are still running Win9x, they deserve the blue screens, you won't have them with XP unless you have hardware failure - you know, like a *nix...

    Also as for Win98 being lighter for test environments, you are doing a disservice, especially if you are using it for development testing. Applications run differently on WinXP. Also as for Win9x being lighter, the only truth in this is that Win9x will run well on 32mb of RAM, where WindowsXP requires 64mb of RAM for the 'same level' of performance, and with 128MB of RAM WinXP will run 'faster' than Win98.

    I run into people all the time that still associate Windows 'instablity' with Win9x and a 8 year old OS that was mothballed with WinXP was released.

    I understand that a lot of peeps and friends in the *nix world run Dual boots or VM versions of Win98, but you need to really move on even if you have to run a hacked version of XP. There are things that will still make you mad at MS but your computer crashing under Windows won't be one of them.
  • 2000 vs Millenium (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MrNougat (927651) <ckratsch@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Friday June 09, 2006 @06:20PM (#15506514)
    Considering that Windows 2000 was released before Windows ME, isn't this tantamount to Microsoft admitting what we all already knew: that releasing WinME at all was a mistake?

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