Windows 98

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Windows 98, service pack 2.

Windows 98 is a computer operating system developed by Microsoft for personal computers and a version of the Windows line of operating systems. It was released on 1998-06-25, received its final feature update on 1999-05-05, and security updates ended on 2006-07-11. Like Windows 95 before it, Windows 98 was a hybrid 16/32 bit operating system, and it was followed up by Windows Me.

Windows 98 was billed as a tune-up OS rather than a totally new version, and most of its upgrades were cosmetic or bundled software rather than true improvements to the OS. Most of the technical improvements were how it handled drivers especially USB and network. Based on FAT, the file system is case-insensitive.


When Windows 98 came out, I didn't see anything about it that impressed me, and a whole lot that disgusted me like all the bloated software included in the OS like the ridiculous channel guide and Microsoft Network. The cosmetic UI changes seemed like a waste of processor cycles, and most of the new software was typical Microsoft crap inferior even to the free software at the time. I was still using Netscape, so I was not even remotely impressed with the bundled Internet Explorer. Because of this, I made no attempt to upgrade and stayed with 95 long after it was obsolete. It wasn't until I tried to get a USB card working with my old 95 box that was forced to upgrade, and, by then, I think Windows Me was already out, but I certainly wasn't going to touch that carbuncle. Only after I turned off all the wasteful frills and uninstalled most of the garbage bundled software did start to prefer Windows 98. It ran smoother than Windows 95 and didn't crash nearly as much.


Version Released Notes
Memphis 1997-06-30 Beta of 98.
First Edition 1998-06-25 IE 4, Outlook Express.
Second Edition Beta 1998-12-21 Beta of service pack 2.
Second Edition 1999-05-05 IE 5, DirectX 6.1, Windows Media Player 6.2, many new drivers.