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Oops – MS forgets to start selling Win98 SE

Somewhere in the labyrinthine web that is Microsoft's ungrade strategy, the full version got lost...

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Microsoft would seem to have forgotten all about selling the full version of Windows 98 SE direct. A sad ghetto of the Microsoft Web site has been sitting there waiting for something to happen since Wednesday - but life seems to have passed it by. The company clearly intended to sell the full version, but is currently only offering various upgrade permutations. "Not running any version of Windows?" the site announces. "If you're running DOS or a non-Windows operating system on your PC... Order the full Windows 98 Second Edition online. Avoid traffic and purchase the full Windows 98 Second Edition product online." So presumably you can buy the full thing at some point, but it's not possible even to find out the US price, never mind what kind of deal we provincials are going to get. Wake up, Microsoft! Confusingly though Microsoft has added a third option to the expected SE permutations available on the site (full product is a fourth option, OK? Do try to keep up). You get the service pack for a "nominal fee" (but note that it includes bug fixes for IE 4.0, not an upgrade to IE 5.0), and you get the Windows 98 upgrade to SE version for $19.95. But you also get a free download option of "Download Windows Technologies or order the Windows Technologies on CD." Bizarrely, this free distribution includes IE 5, NetMeeting 3 and Media Player 6.1. So for a "nominal fee" you get a bug fix, but no upgrade. For free you get an upgrade but no bug fix (we presume, anything's possible), and for $19.95 you get a slightly different upgrade and the bug fix. Yup folks, there's a maniac at the wheel... FLASH Microsoft's Webbies finally got their act together on Friday. US price for the full version is $209, $109 for the upgrade. Full story to follow. ®

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