Feeds

The world shudders as Win98 gets support reprieve

Not dead yet after all...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

Microsoft has issued a stay of execution for Windows 98, 98 SE and Windows ME, extending support for the geriatric trio until the end of June 2006, and tidying up their status a little, while it's about it. Win98 and SE were scheduled to take the drop this Friday, while ME was due to be around to depress us until the end of the year, with End of Life (defined as one year after an OS enters "non-supported phase" a year after that.

The change means that customers using the operating systems will still be able to get paid-for telephone support, and that Microsoft won't wash its hands entirely when it comes to security issues. Since it got the Trustworthy Computing bug the company has floated the possibility of a cull of the older products being the price of security, but it would appear this won't play with all the customers. Microsoft has also been coming under increasing pressure from open source in emerging and cash-strapped markets, so there's probably some defensive sense in it letting the 98 family run for a little while longer.

Which is a pity, considering how horrid, clunky and dated they all are. But while rational people with disposable income might reckon Microsoft could quite reasonably and public-spiritedly put a bullet in the lot of them now, you can see the problem. Microsoft has been at the forefront of the drive towards better, faster, newer that has driven upgrade cycles down to three years and below, and that has kept Microsoft and much of the IT world in business. But beyond the valued corporate customers squealing with pain over the speed of change there's the whole of the rest of the world - the rest of the world that the IT industry is eyeing greedily as a future market.

The three to five year cycle doesn't work there, nor does the notion that ever-faster hardware leads to ever more wonderful, more beneficial applications. If it ain't broke don't fix it works, but that could mean Win9x machines staying in use for even longer than Microsoft's new standard seven year lifecycle, and IT companies who want to play there having to do unnerving things like trying to fix problems with due consideration of the resources available. And get used to more leisurely product lifecycles. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft refuses to nip 'Windows 9' unzip lip slip
Look at the shiny Windows 8.1, why can't you people talk about 8.1, sobs an exec somewhere
Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows
Behold the Internet of Things. Wintel Things
Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable
Floats exam program to help IT employers lock up talent
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
Linux kernel devs made to finger their dongles before contributing code
Two-factor auth enabled for Kernel.org repositories
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?