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Microsoft Retires Windows 98 697

prostoalex writes "Complying with the court requirement related to Sun-Microsoft lawsuit over Java, Microsoft is retiring Windows 98, SQL Server 7, Office XP Developer Edition and some other products."
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Microsoft Retires Windows 98

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  • So? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dolo666 ( 195584 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:17PM (#7672667) Journal
    Windows 98? But they are on XP now...
    So I guess it's no big deal. How does this harm Microsoft? Win98 is (was) a nice and stable gaming platform, but XP is very stable for gaming too. This counts as a win on the record, but it's still too little too late, imho. Sun should be awarded more rights over *current* and *future* Microsoft products, as a penalty. This could get interesting!
    • Re:So? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:19PM (#7672700)

      Did you just refer to Win98 as "stable?" Good god, you're delusional.

      • Re:So? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- ( 624050 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:22PM (#7672754) Journal
        I got windows 98 to run for weeks at a time on my machine. Its not stable compared to Linux, but it is stable compared to its predecesor, windows 95.
        • Re:So? (Score:5, Funny)

          by Boing ( 111813 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:31PM (#7672915)
          I got windows 98 to run for weeks at a time

          I guess your screensaver was pretty busy...

          Wait, what the hell am I saying, Windows 98 wouldn't be able to run a screensaver without crashing for weeks at a time.

        • Re:So? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by inaeldi ( 623679 )
          I got Win2k to run for months, and no, it wasn't just idling.

          Win98, on the other hand, I've never had success in keeping relatively stable.

        • Re:So? (Score:5, Funny)

          by jonfelder ( 669529 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:44PM (#7673949)
          Uptime typically refers to how long the machine can stay on without rebooting, not how long you keep the operating system on there without reinstalling.

          Granted keeping 98 on there for weeks without a reinstall is an admirable feat.
          • by Reziac ( 43301 ) on Wednesday December 10, 2003 @01:26PM (#7681298) Homepage Journal
            Well, I can't help it that you linux types can't figure out how to run Windows ;)

            Seriously, in *every* case where someone complains that their Windows setup is unstable, I've found one of three factors is actually at fault:

            1) Crap hardware and/or drivers
            2) Lack of basic maintenance (frex, defragging)
            3) Installing tons of crapware/spyware, and/or uninstalling apps via the "random deletia" method

            The average Windows install, with *ZERO* maintenance and much abuse, lasts about three years before it reaches a point where most Joe Users think it needs a reformat. Meaning it's gotten slow, and crashes more than once a week or so. (Tho so far I've only seen ONE Windows setup that I couldn't quickly clean up and restore to good working order, *without* a reformat. Reinstalling stuff is against my religion. :)

            Serious question: Can a default linux install survive three years of daily abuse and neglect, by clueless users who nonetheless stick their fingers into everything in reach, and still be functional enough to be merely "annoying" (the state at which most folk give up on a neglected WinSetup)??

            Linux proponents are always saying that anyone who thinks linux is hard to get running good are just ignorant. Consider that the reverse is also true -- that anyone who can't get Windows to run stable is equally ignorant.

            Because frankly, folks, it just ain't that hard. []

        • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Ray Radlein ( 711289 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @07:01PM (#7674191) Homepage
          Windows 98SE is still the baseline gaming platform for Windows gaming, and certainly represented a local maximum in stability -- it is worlds more stable than its predecessors (Win95 and 98 original), and it is also more stable than its immediate successor, WinME. And while the NT branch of the family was sometimes more stable than 98SE (and sometimes not), not until XP has game support come anywhere near being equal to that of 98SE.

          98SE is, of course, far from perfect, but I, for one, still use it (don't worry, though -- I dual boot with Red Hat). When my mother-in-law got a new computer with XP on it, I had to spend a couple of weeks hacking and slashing away at its bells and whistles (and security holes and spyware) before it would run acceptably.

          XP also suffers from the classic Microsoft "your OS knows what's best for you, and you'd better like it" syndrome. On the other hand, after five years, most of the operational innards of Win98 have been well mapped by generations of hardy explorers, and there are plenty of tools available for tweaking it just so.

          Obviously, Win98SE is not the greatest OS of all time; but, in terms of relative stability combined with widespread application compatability, it is certainly the most successful OS Microsoft has ever produced.

          I suppose you could look at it as being similar to the late 19th century British cavalry saber -- a form which realized its ideal expression at the same time as it became obsolete.

          • by msgmonkey ( 599753 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @08:41PM (#7675325)
            NT3/4 was always rock solid compared to Win95/98/SE/ME. Sure it was never the thing to run for games but you can't even compare the two when it came to stability.
      • Re:So? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Stonan ( 202408 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @07:58PM (#7674865) Homepage
        WIN98SE: stable surfing the 'net & playing games as well as d/l via WinMX or Bit Torrent. I've had it running smoothly for 5-8 days at a time.

        WINXP: stable for gaming? You're the one who's delusional.

        I will probably goto Mandrake. I like Linux (been using PCs since 1982) I have a copy of the Windows eXtortion Program (pro edition). I might install it but I have it at work so there's no real point.

        I did all my years of networks & servers in the 80s and early 90s. All i want out of my home computer is entertainment (surf the 'net and GAMES GAMES GAMES).

        The biggest headache I have about XP is that there isn't an Expert Mode. I absolutely HATE having to waste my time going the baby steps that are there to help inexperienced users (i understand some people need this) but hinder those of us that know what they're doing.

        As for stablility: Win2000. I haven't used it much but out of 30-40 techs & net admins that I've talked to, they all seem to agree on this...

    • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Frymaster ( 171343 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:19PM (#7672701) Homepage Journal
      How does this harm Microsoft?

      actually, it helps them. there are millions of administrative assistants and other corporate flunkies who have been happily using win 98 for years.

      now that end of life is officially declared, the it deaprtmnt will probably force upgrades on all those people - and, of course, pay the necessary licensing fees to redmond.

      microsoft: taking a bad ruling and turning it into a cash cow. again.

      • Re:So? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bloodrose ( 87474 ) <bryan@darkete[ ] ['rni' in gap]> on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:30PM (#7672891) Homepage Journal
        Cash cow yes bad ruling far from it. Windows 98 was a decent platform for those who didnt want to bother about more advanced topics, but it as many things slowly loose their appeal to support after a while as well as the invention of "newer" technologies, but honestly who reaps the benefit of this "Cash Cow". Not just Redmond. Usually when a peice of software (os or otherwise) is "retired" supporting companies (ISP's, repair shops, etc...) lag behind about a year or more before declaring that they will not support it. For example, this year an ISP I worked for finally decided not to support Win 95 anymore. The repair shops that are in town that still support these "older" technologies will reap the benefits in that users who first turned to microsoft will turn to them instead before even considering to upgrade.
      • by BoomerSooner ( 308737 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:42PM (#7673924) Homepage Journal
        You can still use your product, MS is just shelving the ability for you to get it. This was on the MSDN site a while ago. Here's the text:

        Subscriber Download content will be retired on December 23rd
        Due to a settlement agreement reached in January 2001, Microsoft is phasing out the Microsoft Virtual Machine from its products. As of 12:01 AM Pacific Time December 23rd, 2003, we will phase out several product families, and remove the Microsoft Virtual Machine from others. The major product families that will no longer be available are:

        BackOffice Server 2000
        MapPoint 2002
        Office 2000 Suite and Products
        Office XP Developer
        SQL Server 7.0
        Windows 98

        Although these products will no longer be available for distribution from Microsoft, they can still be used in accordance with the terms of your MSDN Subscription license agreement.

  • by rokzy ( 687636 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:17PM (#7672674)
    ...the witch is dead
  • Upgrade (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Cavalkaf ( 656724 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:19PM (#7672694) Homepage Journal
    Well, Microsoft is forcing everyone that wants tech support to pay another $500 to upgrade, and still get no source code....
    • Re:Upgrade (Score:5, Insightful)

      by king-manic ( 409855 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:25PM (#7672801)
      Realistically, only about 0.1% of *nix users ever even think about touching kernel source. For windows users it's be down to about 0.0001% that even know what the kernel is. So the source would be about as useful as a 4000 page manual written in Aramaic, translated from the original babalonian through french then swedish and finally chinese.
      • Re:Upgrade (Score:5, Interesting)

        by neuroticia ( 557805 ) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {aicitoruen}> on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:37PM (#7673003) Journal
        ...but what about those of us who speak Aramic?

        The point is that it's there for those inclined to see, to do, to touch, and to modify. And it makes all the difference.

      • Re:Upgrade (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Alan ( 347 ) <arcterex@ufie s . o rg> on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:49PM (#7673186) Homepage
        But they can. No joe user would dwelve into kernel editing, but with linux a developer can, without having to pay $1000s to microsoft. In fact, the tools required to edit the kernel come with the linux distribution. Just because it's only 0.000000000001% of the users doesn't mean that it's still not a good thing.

        What if MS released the windows 98 source code under the GPL or a BSD or Apache style license? Probably that 0.000000000001% of developers who care enough will take it, fix some of the annoying bugs and features in it and create a windows 99 release that can be used by anyone to patch windows98 and create a useable free version (think dr-dos being released and now used as a minimul dos environment by various companies, ie: apple's virtual pc uses it as a base dos install).

        Maybe that wouldn't happen, maybe it would. Without he code being available, it *can't*.
        • Re:Upgrade (Score:5, Insightful)

          by lightsaber1 ( 686686 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:55PM (#7673276)
          That's not Microsoft's business practice and probably never will be. Just because we like the idea of open source, doesn't mean everybody does. Microsoft can make more money by hiding its source and not allowing modification, so they can pay their developers more, and so on and so on. Just let it be. Those that prefer the closed source model can go there and the rest can go open source...who says everything has to use the same model? It's a free market society (in North America at least), and there are no laws against it.
        • Re:Upgrade (Score:4, Insightful)

          by AsparagusChallenge ( 611475 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @09:01PM (#7675523)
          What if MS released the windows 98 source code under the GPL or a BSD or Apache style license? Probably that 0.000000000001% of developers who care enough will take it, fix some of the annoying bugs and features in it and create a windows 99 release

          You silly, it would be used to create and some kernel modules, and native windows applications would run about anywhere.
      • Re:Upgrade (Score:3, Insightful)

        by johnnyb ( 4816 )
        You miss the point. Progeny is offering support for RH8 and RH9. The ONLY REASON they can do this is because the source is available.

        When Microsoft discontinues Win98, there is NOONE ELSE who can support Win98. You are stuck. With open-source, any company can offer support for any product. A true free market, which is only available by having open source code.

        I don't compile my own anything anymore, except a few Perl modules. However, having the source available means that my RH8 boxes will continue
  • hurrah! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:19PM (#7672704)
    Best news since 1998!!!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:21PM (#7672725)
    I read that as "Microsoft Retries Windows 98" and I thought, "Didn't they learn the first time around?"

    • I read that as "Microsoft Retries Windows 98" and I thought, "Didn't they learn the first time around?"

      No, the first time around they used "abort" and "fail."

  • by cpeterso ( 19082 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:21PM (#7672738) Homepage
    Fact: Windows 98 is dying

    It is common knowledge that Windows 98 is dying. Everyone knows that ever hapless Windows 98 is mired in an irrecoverable and mortifying tangle of fatal trouble. It is perhaps anybody's guess as to which Windows 98 is the worst off of an admittedly suffering Windows 98 community. The numbers continue to decline for Windows but Windows 98 may be hurting the most. Look at the numbers. The erosion of user base for FreeBSD continues in a head spinning downward spiral.

    All major marketing surveys show that Windows 98 has steadily declined in market share. Windows 98 is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Windows 98 is to survive at all it will be among hobbyist dilettante dabblers. In truth, for all practical purposes Windows 98 is already dead. It is a dead man walking.

    Fact: Windows 98 is dying
    • by Shalome ( 566988 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:24PM (#7672785) Homepage
      ;) Proofreading is your friend.
    • by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:41PM (#7673061) Homepage Journal
      I know this was meant as a joke but Windows 98 was stillborn. I sucked on day one and it sucks today. Problem is I volunteer at my church to maintain their network and software and until we can convince the pastor to upgrade, I'll have to continue to support it.

      We wouldn't bother upgrading because they will be moving to a new building with a new network and everything two years, but the fact of the matter is that you can't set up a Windows 98 network, work through all the pain and pathetic Microsoft crap and then leave it alone once it works because it never stays working for long.

      Microsoft may be abandoning the product but the fact of the matter is that they couldn't be bothered to make it not suck in the first place and there will be millions of people saddled with support this sorry piece of crap whether MS supports it or not.

      If we were talking about Windows 2000 it would be a different story because Win2k was and continues to be a viable and stable platform. In fact, with the NT line, there hasn't been compelling reasons to upgrade for about 5 years except for support of new hardware. That's the problem... when you actually do something right, you lose the upgrade track because people are actually satisfied.

      That's why MS never cared about the DOS branch of their OS's. They knew they would sell bazillions of copies, but when called on the carpet for its crappy quality, they could just point to the NT branch.

      Now that those branches have merged, I guess they have to start making all their OS's suck, or run the risk of having too many satisfied customers.

      • by T-Ranger ( 10520 ) <> on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:58PM (#7674155) Homepage
        Two years running an unsupported OS is a very long time. If your network is connected to the internet it is a death sentence. It is almost guarenteed that in two years someone will find an exploit, and exploit you specificly.

        As a matter of cost, having computer upgrades tied to building upgrades for an orgnization which Im sure has finite amounts of money is a Bad Thing. Either get your new hardware and licenses now, or after the new building: spread the costs around. Not for 30 years has physcially moving computers been a major cost concern. Computers are resonably portable. New computers and new buildings are sepearate issues.

      • I sucked on day one...
        Missing your childhood, aye?
  • by Lane.exe ( 672783 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:22PM (#7672751) Homepage
    In other news, Windows 3.1, long the holdout of solitaire, minesweeper and QBASIC enthusiasts the world over, has been retired by Microsoft.

    • Re:Why is this news? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jacer ( 574383 )
      Because.....It's being retired because of a lawsuit, not because it was Microsoft's will. Notice they also had to retire a version of SQL and the current version of office. Not a very happy ending for them eh? RTFA.
    • by nate1138 ( 325593 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:42PM (#7673085)
      You forgot about BOB. From the press release:

      Microsoft BOB, after many years on top as the premier productivity assistant, is set to be retired. A Microsoft spokesman said: "We deeply regret the decision to end the life of such a successful product. However, a new breed of assistants, led by our popular 'Clippy' mascot will continue our fine tradition of assistive software." In response, user groups the world over have petitioned Microsoft to open-source BOB.
    • Boss gets a new laptop, has Win2k on it. 1st question: "Where are the games?"

      Like an idiot, I find them on his machine and drag them to his desktop.

      Now it's either freestyle, porn, or travel reservations - I don't know that he's even opened any other applications, much less done any work.

  • Truly Sad..... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GeneralEmergency ( 240687 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:22PM (#7672753) Journal

    Ironically, Win98se has been Microsoft's most secure operating system for the last two years!

    Thank you, I'll be here all week.

    • Fortunately ... (Score:5, Informative)

      by IPFreely ( 47576 ) <> on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:28PM (#7672866) Homepage Journal
      ... Microsoft is not retiring Win98 SE, only versions of Win98 prior to SE. See this [].
    • Re:Truly Sad..... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:33PM (#7672937)
      > Ironically, Win98se has been Microsoft's most secure operating system for the last two years!


      A Win98SE box runs no services. No DCOM, no RPC, no IIS, no "Remote Support", no MSN. With a couple of tweaks to rebind (or unbind) NetBIOS, it listens on no ports.

      Use a third-party email client and a third-party browser to avoid the Outleak/IE holes, and the poster's right. For a clued-in user (i.e. someone smart enough not to click on every stupid attachment some bozo mails him), Win98SE is more secure than XP.

      Is Win98 a good operating system? Hell no. It's a glorified DOS shell. Get your trojan running anywhere on that machine, and j00 0wn t3h b0x. But in order for that to happen, the end user pretty much has to cooperate.

      • Re:Truly Sad..... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by owlstead ( 636356 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:43PM (#7673933)
        Yup, this is only too true. Using Windows 98 does not contain any risks. Unfortunately, whithout any firewalling, with NetBIOS enabled by default on all adapters, with a broken TCP/IP stack (and a completely bunk dial up networking) etc. I would be very hard pressed to recommend it as low end internet operating system.

        Furthermore, it would be easy to use XP or Windows 2000 with the firewall enabled. That would be as safe (or safer) than using the Windows 98 operating system. IE and Outlook are just disasters waiting to happen (on your system, on the internet they are already happening) so using third party browser and email client is to be recommended in all circumstances.

        The only thing worse than using Windows 98 may be Windows ME, but they fixed some serious dial up issues in that operating system, blurring the choice a bit.
    • That's just because every attempt to root it, always results in a bluescreen
  • Hollow victory (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cybrchrst ( 535172 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:22PM (#7672756) Homepage
    The only thing this means is that people that still have their Packard Bells and Dells and the such with Windows 98 OEM copies are not going to be able to do Windows Updates and are basically going to have to upgrade to another PC if they want support. Any guess as to what OS their next PC is going to run?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:22PM (#7672761) day they'll be back. Trying to coax 98 out of retirement for 1 more mission. At first, 98 will be adament that he is retired. But then, they will tell him about an evil so great...
  • by gilesjuk ( 604902 ) <> on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:23PM (#7672768)
    Blame Sun for forcing you to retire a product. They would have retired Win98 by now anyway. It's over five years old.
  • by musikit ( 716987 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:23PM (#7672773)
    although i think it's for the better. get bad code out of public hands. a couple of reasons why i think it's a bad idea

    1. force people to upgrade
    1.1 forces people to spend money on something they may not need
    1.2 forces people to use that windows activation thing
    2. security. no more patches for win98. this means that the small group of people with win98 are always going to be vulnerable to internet viruses. Upgrade you say? what if you can't afford it?

    i'm sure there are tons more reasons. in fact i'd like to heard more below but these are the two things that worry me because i have very little money and family/friends still using 98.
    • by Jason1729 ( 561790 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:33PM (#7672944)
      To get bad code out of public hands, they have to replace it with better code. This will just replace bad code with even worse code (XP is worse because it has more DRM).

      The "activation thing" is a cripping feature. I can't accept that EULA in good faith, so I can't use XP at all (imo pirating XP would be sinking to MS's level). This just pushes me one step closer to a mac. I'm currently running win98 and win2k. The security issue is the major concern; now I can't use win98 on an important machine anymore.

      ProfQuotes []
  • by ducomputergeek ( 595742 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:24PM (#7672792)
    My father is still using 98. In fact he just had to reinstall everything after a virus. All he does is use it to check his stocks, email, and minor web surfing. I can't think of any good reason to spend the money upgrading his 400Mhz K6-2.

    I walked him through the process and told him that Win 98 support was going out the window at year's end. This isn't the first time this story has graced /.. He didn't seem to care and has no plans to upgrade until the hardware gives out and the harddrive fails or something like that.

    Then he's buying a mac...

  • Uhh.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by jetkust ( 596906 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:25PM (#7672806)
    Let's look on the bright side, Windows ME is still in circulation.
  • by M.C. Hampster ( 541262 ) <> on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:26PM (#7672815) Journal

    Note that this says nothing about support for these products. Microsoft is going to stop distributing these products to comply with the court order, not support them. It really is two different issues.

    Now, since some of these products aren't even sold anymore, the only reason this was noticed was because of the notice on MSDN, which is a place you could get these products if you had a subscription.

  • by armando_wall ( 714879 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:26PM (#7672818) Homepage

    Long life to an OS which filled my life with the joy of rebooting, freezing and hardware failure blue screens (since the day of its presentation []).

    It will be missed! :'-(

  • And what will MS do? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Progman3K ( 515744 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:26PM (#7672819)
    They'll use retiring all those products to move people to a newer version of Windows, which will arguably be EVEN HARDER for users to migrate away from!

    Every time Microsoft is sentenced to a "penalty" they find some way of using it to their advantage.

    No reason why this will be any different.

  • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:28PM (#7672865) Homepage Journal
    Look, most people are going to have to upgrade there hardware for the latest version of XP.
    We need to take advantage of this, and convince people to get Linux and give it a try.

    Tell them, if they like it and it does what you
    need, then they won't have to upgrade.

    But if it doesn't do what you need, they where going to have to upgrade anyways, right?

    The Linux community does not get many opportunities like this. lets use it.
  • by nolife ( 233813 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:29PM (#7672883) Homepage Journal
    Microsoft will retire several of its products next week, including Windows 98 and SQL Server 7, to comply with a court order related to its dispute with Sun Microsystems over Java.

    This is misleading. As I understand the situation, they did NOT retire these packages because the court order told them too. They retired them because they did not want to get them into compliance and spend the resources on those packages. That is a big difference.

    As with most MS settlements, they win even when they lose.
  • by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:30PM (#7672889) Homepage Journal

    Compliance with court orders to remove the polluted versions of JVM does not [] require that those entire product lines be discontinued.

    However, it is in Microsoft's business interest to push users of those products into upgrading to newer Microsoft products, for which they'll gain license revenue AND lower support costs associated with discontinuing support for those old products.

    And, it is in MSFT's public relations interests to deflect blame for this action away from themselves and upon enemy Sun and its Java legal action.

    Exactly the same red-herring strategy is being used to hold up class action settlements in California and to blame it on Lindows. []

  • Noooo... (Score:5, Funny)

    by bunhed ( 208100 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:32PM (#7672921)
    Who are we going to call for support of our office machi... oh... right... we never did get any support did we...
  • by randall_burns ( 108052 ) <> on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:32PM (#7672935)
    If a company ceases to support a product, the source code for that product should be automatically released into the public domain or under and Open Source license. I have a client that has thousands of Win98 machines that are still being used. The the Win98 source were available, Wine would get real good, real fast.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:33PM (#7672938)
    According to Google, Windows 98 is the second most used operating system of the world. It had 30% market share of all web users at September.

    Source: tml
  • by Eudial ( 590661 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:39PM (#7673017)
  • by 3Suns ( 250606 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:41PM (#7673053) Homepage
    Microsoft is retiring Windows 98 because of licensing problems with Sun. Starting June 1, 2003, Sun will begin suing Windows 98 end-users for IP violations, unless they pay $1400 per processor. Act before the date, and Sun will discount the IP license to only $699 per processor.

    So upgrading to Windows XP at only $500 a license will be a huge discount, plus you get a better OS! Even bigger savings if you have a multiprocessor!
  • by Linus Sixpack ( 709619 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:44PM (#7673119) Journal
    When the car manufacturors stopped making older cars a whole industry sprang up supporting older models. The Car companies had at first said to the consumer -- upgrade its not supported.

    Car part companies won a major legal win where they were allowed to make parts, against the wishes of the car manufacturers because there was an over-riding consumer interest.

    At what point must the publishers of a de-facto standard publish its source code to allow others to help the userbase when they choose not to?

    • by TALlama ( 462873 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:26PM (#7673719) Homepage
      Alright, you can go ahead and make your millions supporting Win98. But here's a few less painful ways to make a living:

      1) Break your own legs in front of audiences. Every night.
      2) Test new versions of salt and its ability to make paper cuts hurt.
      3) Test the newest Windows UIs until your eyes bleed. Part time only; no one could do an eight-hour day.
      4) Try to get Mobsters to pay protection money.
      5) Become a mercenary and invade China. Alone.
      6) Do an undercover report on how to get out of a Mexican Prison by doing so first hand.

      Good luck!
    • Well...

      You actually own the car.

      You don't own Win98. It's licensed to you by M$.

      As the owner of my car, it's my choice what parts I want to be in it (within reason of course).

      As the owner of Win98, it's their choice whether they want to offer support.

      Go FreeBSD.
      • You don't own Win98. It's licensed to you by M$.

        Let me put this as politely as I can: bullshit!

        I don't own the copyright to Windows, but I damned well own my copy of it and the CD it came on. The software industry pretends otherwise, but the reality says differently. The only reason why they've gotten away with it is because the courts have ignored the situation.

        When you walk into a store, pick up a box that says "Windows XP", see a price tag that says "$199", walk to the sales counter, hand over $199 p
  • Alas poor 98, (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul ( 629286 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:46PM (#7673144) Journal
    parting will be such sweet sorrow. The first mainstream x86OS to be somewhat stable. In contrast 95 looked so bad, it was the fufillment of a promise that microsoft had always given us. With out it, I dare say that the web would be quite different. Without 98, Netscape would still be a domminant company. Who would have filled the void of a desktop Gui? 98 was the ultimate hack. DOS meets Gui, 16 bit in harmony with 32 bit, ugliness and usability. While I eventually left for the stability,security of Linux. We wouldn't really appreciate Linux without having windows to compare it to. 98 had its flaws and those of 95 and 3.1 and Dos, but altogether they made for a quirky upredictable system that couldn't survive a week without a reboot. Ahh the good old days, or bad days.
  • by xutopia ( 469129 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @05:52PM (#7673223) Homepage
    most of the research (mostly MS funded FUD) is done on deployment and many show that OSS has a similar if not higher TCO because of factors X, Y and Z.

    I wonder if any of those TCO papers discuss what it costs to upgrade in the next ten years because MS decides to put something in their software to make you upgrade.

  • Should I miss it? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tacocat ( 527354 ) <tallison1&twmi,rr,com> on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:07PM (#7673471)

    I'm not sure how I should react to this.

    • Can I now sell my Windows 98 OS?
    • Should I shred all my old games and realize that they will never play?
    • I probably never will finish Myst or SimCity.

    But personally, my vote is for Windows 95b. The b is very important. That was a distribution that actually worked. If they kept the USB add-ons available I might still have on of my machines running it.

    I wonder how Windows 95b would run on a 3GHz CPU with 1GB RAM?

    • Re:Should I miss it? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tony Hoyle ( 11698 )
      I wonder how Windows 95b would run on a 3GHz CPU with 1GB RAM?

      I wouldn't - above a certain speed Win9x falls over with a division by zero (some kind of busy loop it uses for timing I think).

      IIRC it can only address 256MB anyway without becoming unstable.
  • /not/ court-ordered (Score:3, Informative)

    by dewdrops ( 79519 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:12PM (#7673540) Homepage
    In spite of what MSNBC says (nice job moderators; linking to a story written by an obivously biased news source...), the court order doesn't require MS to stop distributing these products. The court order says that MS has to ship Windows with a Java VM (and not the MS "Java" VM which is not really Java). They've known this was coming for years; they could've updated the products to use a real JVM (as they did with many other products/verions), but, instead decided to stop distributing these old products. Blaming the court order is ridiculous.

  • Too bad... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Beek ( 10414 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:25PM (#7673708) Homepage
    It was the best thing to happen to Linux.
  • by ENOENT ( 25325 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:30PM (#7673770) Homepage Journal
    Specifically, an ugly 2D icon that makes Mac users howl with laughter.
  • Disastrous (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Effugas ( 2378 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @06:49PM (#7674042) Homepage
    There are millions of users out there still running Windows 98. There may very well be more users of 98 than XP. Pulling 98 off MSDN means it will become significantly harder for developers to test their code on the platform that still large numbers of users have.

    This is utterly disastrous. Companies that say there are risks of working with Linux should see what it means to work with Sun.

  • by ruebarb ( 114845 ) <colorache@hotm a i l .com> on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @07:17PM (#7674376)
    I used Win 98 for most of my stuff cause I like some of the older 6.22 games, and they never seemed to run worth a damn on Win2000 - so I stayed with Win 98 -

    The funny thing is, I'm also running Zonealarm and a private FW, but it's nice to know the next time some mega XP worm launches it won't affect me too badly...

  • by khamar ( 667861 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @07:28PM (#7674478)
    Of course, the real issue here is ongoing updates for software bugs - most of which are security patches. In the absence of Microsoft providing these patches for Windows 98, the community has released a series of patches for Windows 98 that are not available from Microsoft. These critical patches are available from
  • by PetoskeyGuy ( 648788 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @09:05PM (#7675549)
    "As part of our settlement and license extension with Sun, we can only modify the Microsoft virtual machine until Sept. 30, 2004," Goodhew said. "After that date we will not be able to modify the virtual machine for any reason, including security. We will not ship products that include a piece of software we cannot provide security fixes for."

    Interesting, that could be a valid point. What is the turn-around for SUN on security issues? I'm sure there must be some, but I've never heard of them. Certainly not the weekly holes and patches that seem to be released for your basic Microsoft applications.

    What the judge said is that they had to use SUN's one-true-Java. Rather then change their applications to use the standard SUN Java, they decided to scrap them. Litigation took so long that some of these programs are close to their end of life anyway. How Childish.
  • by aaaurgh ( 455697 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @10:14PM (#7676075)
    I've had more grief over the years from Me users than 95 and 98 users put together - they should keep 98 and drop Me.

    IMO the damned thing is so twitchy and unstable it should never have been released, whereas 98 by comparison just keeps on going, just like NT4 SP6a which I believe to be far more stable than either 2K or XP.
  • Nooooooo (Score:3, Informative)

    by POds ( 241854 ) on Tuesday December 09, 2003 @10:27PM (#7676187) Homepage Journal
    I know for slashdot the subject is a little weird, but i find 98 quite good. I mean, i run it fine and it hardly ever crashes. Some programs are worse than others and then its not MSs fault (although better memory protection may be needed) but 3rd party apps.

    Thats a damn shame they had to stop supporting it. How many people stil use it? I know of a few and i think i'd rather use it thanx XP, but then, i'd rather use linux than anything else.

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith