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Windows 98 Remains Widespread

By Julio Franco ยท 36 replies
Dec 11, 2003
  1. Microsoft is planning to end support for Windows 98 next month, but many businesses still have computers running on the operating system, a new study shows.

    AssetMetrix, an Ottawa-based IT asset analysis tool vendor, collected data on over 370,000 PCs from 670 businesses in the U.S. and Canada. It found that 80 percent of those companies have at least one PC running either Windows 95 or Windows 98.
    The older operating systems accounted for about 27 percent of operating systems found.

    Read more: PC World.
  2. Shnig

    Shnig TS Enthusiast Posts: 170

    I keep tellin ya's 98 SE is the best theyve ever come out with.
  3. MoRulez

    MoRulez TS Rookie Posts: 65

    I dont know about that. Too many extras that are un-needed. Windows ME is much better; Much more leaner (which is great for "power" users).

    Its about time they cut the line on Win98 and SE, I say.

    Too bad XP comes piled with spyware, and the plain english approach is taken to the point where sometimes I think XP options are trying to deceive the user into deciding in favour of options that allow Microsoft to avoid troubleshooting support.
  4. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    ME leaner? I think you are very confused, my friend. ME is far more bloated then 98 and suffers from more memory management issues and general stability issues (primarily due to poor driver support) than Windows98.

    But, we all knew Microsoft won't support their operating systems forever. Not that it is terribly needed anymore ... A fully patched Windows 98 system is about as good as it could get, and works quite well. Time to start collecting patches!
  5. Krugger

    Krugger TS Rookie Posts: 173

    98 SE is the best they have? please. ME and 98 are terrible. Constant program errors, explorer shutdowns, and bsods result from normal use. the only fix, restart restart restart, everytime. XP is no comparision. Once it's set up it runs itself.
  6. MoRulez

    MoRulez TS Rookie Posts: 65

    To the contrary, ME is more efficient in it's layout and design, comes with built-in support for ZIP files, the ability to search your network for other shared resources, among other minimal updates to the 9x series. It is the last in the line of 9xs so it was, expectedly, better.
  7. MoRulez

    MoRulez TS Rookie Posts: 65

    True, XP is, I think, the most stable of all the home-user class OSs. But it's goal was to appeal to the "lowest-common denominator" of computer users. A power user would be just fine with 98,98SE,or ME. Benchmarks already show that that 98, ME, and XP OSs dont show any noticeable performance advantages in PC games either. The main advantage 98 has over ME is the driver support, but if you use notable hardware products, you are just fine. Otherwise, using that "Super-Turbo-Extra Mainboard" from a town in Kajikistan will yield problems.

    But no OS can compete with XP's built-in spyware. It wins in that department hands-down.
  8. agrav8r

    agrav8r TS Rookie Posts: 103

    I would disagree, 98 has tons of issues form networking to plug and play. Issues with new components would be enough to make it useless. Unless a 98 community decides to make drivers for every new componet developed, it won't be long before you want a dvd burner ($99 now :grinthumb ) and it won't play.
    Once MS drops it, all the rest will follow suit. I don't think it will get as much longevity as say the voodoo cards did ( they are still making drivers) . For businesses the NT system is more secure and definately more stable, so they will eventually upgrade. I personally am not sad to see it go. XP is a much more stable system- not problem free mind you, but less tempermental.
  9. Skyfrog

    Skyfrog TS Rookie

    I can't believe after all this time people are still claiming that XP is loaded with spyware. As far as which is faster, in all the benchmarks I've tried XP usually beats out 98SE or is pretty much dead even. The 9x kernel is severely outdated, unstable, and inefficient and it's well past the time to lay it to rest. I don't even want to mention Me, that was just a disaster from the beginning.
  10. MrGaribaldi

    MrGaribaldi TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,512

    Lol, so this old discussion has reared it's head once again...

    Can't be bothered to search for it now, but I seem to recall several heated discussions about how 98(se) was much better than Me, and neither of them coming close to XP, which again couldn't hold a candle to W2k etc...
    Personally I rank MS' OS' the following way:
    1. Win2k
    2. Win95 RC3 (or was that RC2)
    3. Win98SE
    4. XP
    5. Win98
    6. Win95 OSR2
    7. Win95
    8. WinME

    Guess some of you might wonder why I gave W95 such a high rank, but that's release candidate 3 (or 2 I can't remember) before MS decided to split it up into W95 and Plus! and remove some of the functionality...
    I used it for several months, and it only crashed a couple of times...

    Anyways, my point is that the argument is moot as we all have different tastes... Some prefer the 9x core, some 2k, others like the (imo) bloated W2k/NT based OS called XP ;), and others again actually like ME :D... This mostly isn't based on actual performance on several machines, but how the OS works/worked on their machine...
    And even if you've got two identical machines (same hw) it doesn't mean that it'll perform the same...

    I once saw two ME machines side by side. One worked like a charm, and the other allmost wouldn't boot...
    And they were built with the "same" parts... (Dunno about hw revisions though)

    So it all comes down to how the OS performs on your machine when you are using the apps that you use...
    If you're happy with the OS you're using, and think it's the best, then good for you. But please allow others to have opinions which differs.

    A bit more back to the topic.
    I think it's sad that MS is retiring W98 (though I think SE might have a couple of months more before it's gone), as it is/was a good OS, well suited for many home users. Now with MS retiring it, there won't be any new drivers & such (though that is up to the manufacturers) which again means that many will have to upgrade their entire machines if they want to upgrade anything (hw or sw).

    Well, that's my .02$ on the matters :)
  11. Krugger

    Krugger TS Rookie Posts: 173

    show me the spyware.
  12. Vehementi

    Vehementi TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,704

    Heh, just last week I downgraded 10 machines from Windows 2000 to 98 SE. But that's because the machines were too slow to handle 2000.
  13. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    You two are misreading my post. I was referring to 98 as opposed to, well, 98, not the any of the NT series. 98 has been patched up and bandaged and sewed together since the very start, my point was that "fixing it up" can only get you so far.

    And no, Windows ME is by no means superior to Windows 98. In terms of memory management it is on an equal or inferior level. In terms of driver support, ME has far less vendor support than Windows 98 did, and will never have better driver support. ME brought interfaces that were designed for NT into the 9x world and it did them very shoddily. I have used or repaired ME on about 15 different workstations and would never in my entire life suggest someone use ME. I don't really want to get into a battle over this however, my original point was that 98 has gone as far as it should go.
  14. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    I am sorry, but when you start saying things like that, your credibility goes right out the window. You have no real basis for this other then heresay perhaps. Classify "spyware" in the XP world and give me a real-world example.
  15. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    Veh, what are the specs of these machines?

    I ran Windows 2000 on a 486 DX4-100 @ 160mhz / 64mb FPM ram for a long time and it was quite pleasent. Of course, I specialize in tweaking Windows... but still...
  16. MoRulez

    MoRulez TS Rookie Posts: 65

    Wow, MrGirbaldi, how can you put ME dead last like that? Have u tried it? I can honestly say I have used both 98 and ME and ME has given me NO problems and is much more convenient and efficient in so many ways.

    Like I said, unless you're using some "value" class hardware, Win ME is potentially more vulnerable to hardware related errors. Most cheap hardware producers, particularly products from the Asian markets use 98 drivers, and that alone.

    But Xp deserves to be in the top 5, if only because of it's ease of use for an average consumer.

    In terms of XP spyware:

    inetinfo.exe spyware...

    tecChannel (German site, in english) has an extensive in-depth 16 page report on spyware they discovered with Windows Update...
  17. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    User-initiated to begin with. I don't blame Microsoft for collecting such info when you directly connect to their servers on potentially pirated software. At the end of the day you still can maintain full control of your system, should you choose to learn how to do so. That is 16 pages about Windows Update. Useless? To me, yes. Think twice before clicking, "I Agree".

    I run XP on about 7 machines here at home and I assure you that not one bit of information I do not want going "out" ever goes "out".

    None of that is spyware because if you read the EULA as well as the agreement for Windows Update it details that it will gather such information. Lame ware? Maybe, but malware and spyware it is not.
  18. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    I don't blame MS for ending Win98 support. I stopped supporting it two years ago. When people come to me with computer problems and they say they are running Win98 I tell them to buy a new computer.
  19. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942


  20. ---agissi---

    ---agissi--- TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,977   +15

    Damn now thats impressive Soul Harvester.

    I dont know why you speak so highly of ME MoRulez. Its very sluggish and crashed on me all the time. XP is very very stable [hasnt ever crashed on me before].

    I think its time Microsoft end support for Windows98, it may have been a great OS but face it - its old and is becoming outdated.
  21. MoRulez

    MoRulez TS Rookie Posts: 65

    Call it what you wish, but at it's core, it's still spyware. Spyware definition: "In general, spyware is any technology that aids in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge." (http://www.cyberhome-fl.com/spywaredef.htm)

    Updating your Windows OS, something most users do (and rightfully so), and not knowing that Microsoft now has gained knowledge (whether it be your hardware configuration or your PC usage habits) without you knowing exactly what is being taken and how, is deceiving.

    According to Security Focus, (http://www.securityfocus.com/news/2746) the EULA states
    "Windows Update must collect a certain amount of configuration information from your computer" and the info includes "OS version number, IE version number and "version numbers of other software for which Windows Update provides updates" along with plug and play ID numbers and regional settings. "

    But (they cite tecCHANNEL's Windows Update discovery) " there's no mention of collecting data on software from other vendors running on a machine. And this software can't be updated using Windows Update. So why is Microsoft collecting this data?"

    What do you have to say about the inetinfo spyware?

    Oh, i guess i seem the lone lucky user of ME...odd... maybe Im lucky to use well known hardware products on my system (asus mboard, etc.)

    Wow, amazing Harvestor, thats a marvel in itself.
  22. werty316

    werty316 TS Rookie Posts: 185

    I am not surprised by this. Some people just don't like to change to something new. You have to intergrate into the new OS. I switched to XP just in the summer time. I was fed up with the blue screen of death. Hehe
  23. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    i remember a lot of people had problems upgrading from ME. that is where most of the horror stories about ME came about. as with every MS OS, people always advise others to do a clean, full installation instead of installing via upgrade.

    2k and xp are much better than 98 and ME when it comes to memory management. i got a lot of memory leaks on 98 and ME.

    some things that are bad about 2k and xp is that some old games do not work on it, even with compatibility settings. well i can always dual boot for that.
  24. agrav8r

    agrav8r TS Rookie Posts: 103

    Tell me if I am wrong here, but you don't have to use window update, you can go to the patches directly off the download page, and last I checked it just straight downloads. it may take longer but it would stop your worries. Also does it pull it off every drive letter or only the one windows is on? If that is the case, just partition your drive and load everything else on the other side. Also there are hacked pacthes that I have seen SP! for instance that spoof other info, if big brother is watching:rolleyes:
    Or for the truly paranoid, use 2 hard drives with XP and copy the files over yourself making adjustments when required.
    I have found that reading a book and fishing are the only sure ways to prevent spyware however:p
  25. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    I don't think you can call it "without your knowledge" as Windows Update can be enabled to auto, manual, or turned off completely. Personally, I have it set to scan once a week, and thats the only time it tries to access(I know this because I also have to allow it access through my firewall)

    IMO, its about time people stop trying to live in the past, there is no reason to keep using Win 9x for your primary OS. I am still amazed at the number of people trying to run 95, not just on old machines, but carrying the OS to a new build and having trouble because they can't get proper drivers for some hardware. This same thing is about to happen with 98. It is dead, its for the better. While I will agree that 98 SE was pretty good, especially with proper registry hacking, it was not "all that"
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