The Death of Windows 98


The End has come and gone!!

Goodbye old friend.  As much as we loved you for your ease of use and easy to fix interface, Microsoft has decided to end support of the good operating systems and instead, give us a bunch of eye candy.  I should also mention added security which the majority of users don't need or want. You were a strong and true friend.

We have all known that it was coming sooner or later. Now that the end is near we must actually realize that it has been much later. Windows 98 has already had some extensions in its support cycle and extensions on lifecycles are unheard of in the software business. With the end of support almost here does that mean that Windows 98 is just going to magically quit working on your system? Come on now. Do you honestly think for a second that Microsoft would get away with that in the courts? Rest assured that's where it would go. Your Windows 98 system is still going to operate but Microsoft will not be issuing updates for it nor will they answer questions about problems you may be having. There will still be support from the excellent people on the newsgroups so you are not stuck out in the cold. Windows 98 will continue having the same issues and pitfalls that it has always had (not very many really) but Old Faithful will not let you down until it has to be taken off the life support machines. If enough people continue to use 98 then developers will keep producing software that will work on your system. If people quit using 98 then they are speeding up the final end. Now that I have said my piece...read on.

Submitted by ppoat, a regular Microsoft newsgroup contributor. All that is known of the original author is that it was possibly a Microsoft employee. It is copied here exactly as received. This was also written during the time that Microsoft had the end of support date for Windows 98 set as January 16, 2004. That has since been extended to June 30, 2006, however the situation remains the same.

"Yes, Win98SE, operating system still has life in it, but probably not for long - meaning more than 5 years. In about that timeframe, it will become completely ineffectual and downright dangerous to use if you're going to do anything more than non-networking, stand-alone computing or stand-alone PC gaming. The reason why is that PC computing has evolved, changed and literally morphed so much since the Win3.1/Win95/98/98SE operating system source code was developed (late 80's - early 90's) that its base source code is totally inadequate to handle all the new required heavy load of security protocols that have become extremely necessary in the past few years to ensure safe, reliable, robust and efficient PC computing. And BTW - an important note about the (scary pipe organ music, please) "Evil Empire": Microsoft was NOT a major player in this PC morphing process. Everyone loves to think that Microsoft "controls" the world. Well, the facts are far from that cherished "hate syndrome". In the scope of the entire computing industry, Microsoft is a middle-player - not the diabolical, elite mad-scientist ruling the world from the peak of the tallest, wickedest mountain top. (Actually, Redmond, Washington is in a valley.) IBM, Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and now AOL Time Warner and Red-Hat Linux (in order of power and industry influence) are the companies that have put all their energy, efforts and their mega-billions of $$$ into morphing the PC computing industry into "a new world order". These companies formed a consortium that coordinates their efforts along that order. That consortium and its power and influence with politics and world power is the "only" reason Microsoft ever landed in anti-trust litigation and continues to fight lawsuits around the world. The consortium bought and sold whoever and whatever was necessary to try to bring Microsoft down through the courts, because their impotence couldn't do it in the open free marketplace. They succeeded in costing MS so much of their war-chest $$$ - totally wasted money in the millions of dollars - costing millions of jobs across the industry, not just at Microsoft - and shook up the PC marketplace so much that when the dotcom bubble burst, there was nothing to step in and take up the slack. -- Microsoft was THE TARGET, NOT the perpetrator and the ripple effect has cost America and the industry a considerable amount of pain and destruction. Yeh, some evil empire, huh? If Microsoft had it their way, the internet and global networking would have been a helluva lot different than it is today; in a way that would have protected and preserved the independence of the individual PC and its files. In fact, Microsoft didn't jump on the "internet bandwagon" and only got busy on working with it much later than everyone else because they saw the extreme danger of it morphing the industry beyond the PC and costing everyone their "PC independence" that the PC and its operating systems were originally designed to give to everyone. They foresaw the rabid problems we are having with the internet today and tried desperately to keep it from happening the way IBM and their consortium buddies designed it. Well, Microsoft lost that fight too, and so today you are being "forced" to give up an excellent operating system (Win98SE) because it simply wasn't designed to and literally can't handle the huge loads of security applications and protocols and memory overload protections that are required to keep you and your PC from becoming "road-kill" on the internet super-highway. Win3.1, Win95/98/98SE was never designed to be an "internet" or "global networking" operating system. Win 3.1 and its successors were designed to be a stand-alone desktop PC operating systems, for word processing, private file manipulation and storage and computer gaming, all of which they do exceptionally well. No other PC operating system ever came close to what Win3.1 and its successors could do, which is the main reason they succeeded so well. And they will always be exceptional OSs, if only used for the purpose of stand-alone computing. But, once Win3.1, Win95/98/98SE was made vulnerable to an entire world of network hackers, its days were numbered. Using Win98SE's source code to handle global networking is asking for big trouble and MS recognized that, which is why they feverishly worked to get Windows XP out the door. ---- It's kind of like trying to "patch" a VW Beetle to go to war in Iraq. Enough armor and it will drag the ground and bog down completely. Beef up the suspension for the armor and the engine burns up trying to push it all, and a bigger, more powerful engine won't fit under the hood. It simply won't work in that context and anyone using the modified VW to go to war would be extremely vulnerable and soon become road-kill against the sophisticated attack mechanisms of today and tomorrow. WinXP's source code has the same source base as Windows NT, but it has gone through a major overhaul, over and above the NT code, to make it bullet-proof enough to handle today's global networking requirements and still be able to run efficiently on a workstation or home computer - instead of just mammoth servers as it was originally designed to do. And you are correct; WinXP is NOT as easy-greasy to use as Win 3.1, Win95/98/98SE is to use. It has considerable security protocols built in to it, such that you have to basically re-learn how to use your PC correctly when you switch over to WinXP. WinXP requires a much heftier PC to run on, so most people will have to upgrade their hardware, but you can't have a tank with VW a suspension and engine. But, if you're going to keep running the internet super-highway, you will soon have to protect yourself with WinXP or become some hacker's meal for the day. Microsoft didn't make that choice for you - a whole lot of other players did. Microsoft is simply trying to stay in the game and keep you (their customer) in it as well. YES, YES, YES; PC computing is a big mess nowadays, but don't blame Microsoft for that. Microsoft would have "loved" to keep everything the same and continue to upgrade Win98 to be faster and more robust for all your stand-alone word processing needs and gaming fun - FOREVER! Hell, most of the work was already done and in the can, which means they could have made many more millions by being able to continually improve Win98 and charge a few bucks for the upgrade. Having to scrap it all and go to an entirely new home computing and workstation operating system cost billions of dollars to perfect and they won't recoup that investment for many years to come, which investors totally understand - ya looked at the MS stock price lately? If you want to protest anything, protest the sleazy, underhanded, bought-off politicians and judges in our national and local governments and the "IBM's" that have them in their pockets, that have done their best to make the PC computing industry the mess that it is in today. Protest all the governments that are embracing and going whole-hog to open-source software that will someday soon prove to be the next "terrorist's" loophole into our lives - hacking easily into open-source operating systems and changing whatever they want and bring a whole country to its knees without firing a shot or using one suicidal radical fundamentalist. The stage is being set herC: - any open-source developer or group of open-source developers, engulfed in Osama Bin-Laden's world-destruction philosophy, will soon emerge to reek havoc on the Linux and other open-source systems that are being deployed throughout government systems and databases around the world. There's literally NO WAY to protect such systems when EVERYONE was in on the development and has TOTAL access to the operating system source code. --- GET IT??? ---- Well, they do!!! And the PC mess is "by design" for other, more unsavory reasons as well!!! There is a solid, well-planned agenda for your futurC: IBM and buddies literally want to completely destroy and obliterate the PC from every household and office in the world!!! What they want, since they are mostly mainframe and stacked-server companies, is to totally morph the industry to make PCs unusable. In the place of PCs, they will substitute "thin-clients", which are PC-like machines that are stacked in a central server room and hooked to a mainframe or server cluster. Each thin-client is assigned, by a unique ID number, to an individual user and as long as you pay your "rent" on your thin-client, you can use it just like you use your PC today. However, you will have NO PC at your home or at your office desk. What you will have is a "dumb-terminal" (just like in the old days, 20+ years ago) and it is directly hooked (via phone lines) to your thin-client at the server farm. This is their "vision" of "your" future! Making PCs unusable is their goal. Getting rid of Hewlett-Packard/Compaq, Dell, Gateway, etc and similar competition in the process is the rich, sweet icing on the cake. Getting rid of Microsoft IS THE CAKE!!! --- And getting control of everyone's computing by having everyone's files and surfing habits all encapsulated on a cluster of thin-clients, embedded in global-networked server farms, will be the final result. No more working their butts off to improve and innovate operating systems for the next generation PC. With thin-clients, all they have to do is collect your "rent", increase it any time they want to, and monitor your computing activity at will. Can anyone say; "The Matrix" ?!! Microsoft on the other hand is trying desperately to keep up with it all and heavily investing in server and mainframe technology. Microsoft just released Windows Server 2003 Operating System that is totally PC dependent to stave off the adoption of the thin-client system. But with people naively thinking that the PC operating system market is screwing them over, instead of seeing the reality of today's global networking challenges, the thin-client system will be an easy sale to the naive public for IBM, Sun Microsystems, Oracle and their ilk. And then we will all be hooked to the Matrix and won't have any recourse or voice in the wilderness, and our protests and complaints will simply be wimpy wafts of stale electrons somewhere in a huge server farm. You like that future? If not, wake up and smell the hard drives burning. Microsoft is NOT the enemy, they are just the most visible target. Your enemies lie elsewhere behind the scenes you are never privy to from your home PC. And finally, my foresight into the future is a future that is soooo screwed up -because of all of the above and so much more - that I'm actually now counting my blessings that I'm not all that far off from retirement and social security. Living like a poor retired person on social security, acting and pretending like I'm not aware of anything that is going on around me and just opting out of all our social and political oblivion is looking so much more inviting as each day passes. You really young people out there in your 20's and 30's have a helluva lot to be worried about! I hope you all can save your butts from all this, because if you don't, you won't ever see your retirement. But first, ya gotta wake up and escape the Matrix. (If you haven't seen the movie/s - DO SO - both of them - for your own naive hide's sake - and pay real close attention to all the philosophical jargon as it is the IMPORTANT part of the movie - NOT the stupid special effects.) If you escape the Matrix and pull your heads out of the Ethernet sand, maybe you just might get things back to the way they used to be and even possibly make it to your retirement and I will be able to give up the Alzheimer's act and be part of a "real" world again. --- There's always hope, if you do your homework. Take care of yourself - you're all you have left."

Windows life cycle; http://www.microsoft.com/windows/lifecycle/desktop/consumer/default.mspx http://www.microsoft.com/windows/lifecycle/desktop_LevelOne.aspx

What does it means for Windows 98? Primarily it means that; Microsoft will no longer answer queries pertaining to Win 98. Patches will no longer be tested on Win 98, however *most* patches for ME will also work on 98. Also remember that ME falls by the wayside in another year and most of the 98 specific issues have already been dealt with. As for answers to specific problems, these newsgroups will continue and if you go to the Windows 98 page you will find this quote; "Microsoft will also continue to offer a variety of self-help resources on the Product Support Services Web site until at least June 30, 2006, two years after phone support for Windows 98 ends on June 30, 2006.". They will also have a third party (paid) support option. And from Rick (Nutcase) Rogers MS-MVP we have the following: No new critical updates will be created for Win98, whether or not a new vulnerability is found. This does not mean that patches for Internet Explorer will stop.  The existing updates at the Windows Update site will be moved to a download page, and the site will no longer function for a Win98 system. I do not know how quickly this migration will happen.