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Microsoft: End of support for Windows 98 and Windows Me

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Microsoft is virtually supporting only ONE platform right now - Windows XP.

50 million users won't get any support/security update from now on.

End of support for Windows 98 and Windows Me

Effective July 11, 2006, Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Me (and their related components) will transition to a non-supported status. After this date, Microsoft will no longer provide any incident support options or security updates. Microsoft is not offering a custom support agreement for these products.

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This is a good thing. You can only support a product so long. They extended support back in 03, i believe, due to customer demand and gave ample warning to its corporate customers still running the OS that support will end on this date. Chances are, if a user hasnt upgraded by now from 98, they wont, regardless of security updates. Its like any product in the world, you can only support it for so long. Look at the automobile industry. I guarantee ford wouldnt issue a recall on a 78 mustang.

Now would be a good time to go download all the update files manually for these OS's and put them away some place safe, if you are a user of any of these.

Eventually Microsoft will pull those files offline and not make them available any more and Windows Update will not exist for those versions.

Right now you can still use Windows Update for these OS's, but there will be no new files created by Microsoft there...only the ones created before July 11,2006.
So if you have to reinstall for any reason, you won't have to panic...yet.

There is an unofficial service pack for WinME in the works over at MSFN and there is one completed for 98SE already, as far as I know.

the_guy, MDGx, and the rest of the crew are hard at work making Win98 and WinME even better than Microsoft ever did with the official fixes/patches. They are testing, testing, testing like crazy and in many cases using files that were included in patches for Win2k & XP....and some unofficial patches that were much more stable than the ones Microsoft released.

If you take the time to follow the entire thread on that forum, it will become obvious that this is no small undertaking. It might even change your mind a little about the 9x Windows line. It's not as bad as some think and it still has a lot of life left in it.

As far as dropping support for older versions of Windows. Ok, Microsoft has the right to do that. But is it a good thing for the owners of older pc's that can't run a newer OS that soon you won't even be able to get the older patches from them any more? And even all the old Knowledge Base articles will disappear in time. Upgrading is not an option for some people.

Maybe Ford isn't going to recall a 78 Mustang, but I bet somewhere you can still get parts to repair one when you need to, and there are even other companies making those parts still, in order to service the classic car market. You can still take it somewhere for an oil change. I bet you can even get brakes & tires for it fairly easily too.

I hope there are enough knowledgeable classic Windows OS enthusiasts out there to help keep my old P1 secure and stable. That old computer is like a member of my family and I am not going to put it to sleep any more than I would my own father. Old is not's just old.

And as long as it still runs I will still use it....Just like I still use my Atari 7800, Sega Genesis, my microwave oven from the 80's, and my Kenmore sewing machine from the 70's (which you can still get parts from Sears for it).

And keep this in mind too: Just because a person has an old computer that runs an old OS, their money isn't worth any less than anybody else's, they aren't any less human, and they are not in any less need of quality software.

If you write software and can somehow keep supporting 9x, and not get an insulting attitude towards the people that still use 9x, that money will be in your pocket. Adding a few extra lines of code to disable a few features that won't work on 9x isn't a big deal and the rewards to your pocket will be greater than the time spent writing those few lines. And there are a lot of people out there running 9x that will love you for it and consider you a hero.  :-*

I am not saying that you are wrong in this matter, but I do think that at some point you have to pull the plug. Patching security holes in an OS that will be almost 10 years old, in an industry that moves as fast as the computer industry, just isnt feasible.

Microsoft has extended support once for Windows 98 users, and warned ahead of time that support would end as of a few days ago.

I understand what you are saying about something working, and seeing no reason to upgrade, but heck, I know a few pc's still running windows 3.1, that doesnt mean microsoft should continue to support it. Yes, it might not be feasible for certain folks to upgrade given their current product works, but, the technology engine keeps on rolling and the industry has to keep up.

Microsoft has done a great job of supporting their products, and the knowledge base articles will remain online until this time next year before MS considers removing them (according to their press release). Even as such, it wont matter if MS drops their knowledge base as there are far more articles available via the net now, than there are on the knowledge base anyways.

Yes, it would be nice if we could get security patches from 3rd parties, but I dont forsee this happening either as it would require access to the source tree for windows 98.

Carol Haynes:
FWIW I have installed and updated Win98SE in VMWare (just so I have an archived last edition).

If anyone wants to do this my advice is to proceed as follows ...

Do your normal install from the CD

Go to the MS website and find the download for Internet Explorer 6 SP1 and install that.

Once you have done that you can use Windows Update to update to the latest level (including extras like WMP 9). As installed (ie. with IE 5) windows update does not work.

Request for VMWare/Win98 soundcard helpAnyone got a copy of the Creative PCI Audio drivers for VMWare + Windows 98 ? the one on Creative's website is an upgrade installer (ie. it is incomplete). It does install the drivers to make the sound card work but doesn't include the MIDI stuff. I don't need the MIDI stuff but every time Win98 loads it tries to find the MIDI stuff and complains. I know there was a Creative Driver which was compatible with VMWare a while ago but it doesn't seem to be there any more.


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