Support for Windows 98 ends January 2004

It’s been covered a lot in the press, but the Windows Update site doesn’t appear to mention it.

“On January 16th, 2004, Microsoft Windows 98 enters the non-support portion of its support lifecycle. Windows 98 is considered obsolete, and security-based hot fixes will not be generally available for users of Windows 98 or Windows 98-Second Edition,” said Steve O’Halloran, managing director of AssetMetrix Research Labs.

So just a reminder, to perform your Windows Updates now to pickup the latest (and final) patches for Windows 98/SE before they become unavailable.

As Microsoft came up against their own imposed deadline, they found a lot more users still running Windows 98 than they first reported:

“We noticed that the number of Windows 98-based PCs was higher than we would have anticipated.”

A new security study reported that

Companies with Internet-facing PCs running Windows 95 or Windows 98 will now face an ever-increasing risk of a network security breach.

The study found that more than 27 percent of PCs were running Windows 95 or Windows 98, compared to only 7 percent running Windows XP, and 13 percent still running Windows NT4, for which support ended in 2002.

So since Microsoft hasn’t been able to get people to move to XP on features alone, or for the pure benefit of it, now they will force the issue by killing off support for over one-fourth of Windows platforms in actual use. I’m sure the hardware makers are happy about this too, since one of the big reasons for not going to XP is because they can’t on their older PCs (or it performs so terribly that it is impractical to do so), meaning lots of new hardware will be required to move to XP.

Maybe this move will backfire, and instead of going to XP on these older boxes they’ll switch to Linux or Solaris or the new Sun Java Desktop System for as little as $25 per seat using the same hardware. The UK’s National Health Service is considering just such a move.

1 comment for “Support for Windows 98 ends January 2004

  1. This is just stupid.. a quick check of my server logs tells me that i personally have more users on 98 than any other o/s…. no support for 95/98 will cause more flaws to come out and no way to patch them..

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