Feeds

Win98 SE hits the stores, but service pack MIA

And an interesting price structure seems to be emerging for them...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The US version of Windows 98 SE goes on sale today, but international users may have to wait a while longer, and the free service pack for existing users apparently won't be posted for few more weeks yet. According to US Windows 98 product manager Mike Nichols, the new version will be shipping with almost all new PCs, and will be on sale at US retail outlets from today. It's also allegedly available from Microsoft's Web site, but MS' Web morlocks don't seem to be up yet today, so there's a 'please come back later' notice, and not much else. But there are various noteworthy clues to where Microsoft is headed. The upgrade for existing users is being offered on CD direct from Microsoft for $19.95, while the service pack is also being offered on CD for $5. As we've mentioned here before, it's obviously in Microsoft's interest to be able to communicate directly with its users, and to be able to take a small fee from them every now and again for upgrades and service packs. We're trying not to get too suspicious about the MIA status of the free downloadable service pack though. From the Microsoft site in its current state however it would appear that the company will also be selling the full version (itself an upgrade, of course) of SE direct. We can't be absolutely sure of this until the online store's doors open, but this would be rather different from the previously announced policy of selling the $19.95 Win98 upgrade, and Microsoft's suggestion that you might like to 'skip the mall' will no doubt cheer up its happy band of retailers no end. What's in SE? Well, most of the stuff, aside from the connection sharing software, can be assembled from free downloadable bug-fixes and upgrades. Nichols seems to have been somewhat stretched to come up with advantages for the product yesterday, telling reporters that he hoped the convenience of having all the upgrades on one CD would get users to spend $19.95. He doesn't seem to have covered the justification for spending around $90 on the retail version, or why you'd spend the $19.95 when you can conveniently get the service pack for $5 (when it's out). But the 'convenience' angle is maybe a little spurious. Upgrades, various enhancements and service packs have historically tended to be free, downloadable if you're in a hurry but fairly easy to pick up on a free CD if you're not. In the UK, where this sort of stuff is commonly available on magazine cover CDs, we've noted an increasingly reluctance on MS' part to play ball. If MS lets the mags put service packs and upgrades on their cover CDs, then we've got the convenience without giving Microsoft the money. Ah, but will the mags be allowed to cover-mount the Win98 service pack? ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.