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OSdata.com: Windows 98 


Windows 98

see also: Windows 3.1 and Windows 95

Also see the summary at Windows.


    Windows 98 is a desktop operating system made by Microsoft that run on Intel/Cyrix/AMD Pentium and Intel 80x86.


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special topics

Intended purpose

server/mainframe: Only low end servers can run on this operating system.

desktop/workstation: for general desktop use

handheld: not appropriate

real time: not appropriate

Kind of OS: proprietary

Release Date: Windows 98

Current Version:

Cost: $209w7

    You can get the OEM version of Windows 98 (normally only available with the purchase of a new computer) by purchasing the VirtualPC package.

Hardware Supported: Intel/Cyrix/AMD Pentiumw9, 486DXw9

Maximum Number of Processors:

Number of bits:

Kernel: proprietary

POSIX: not supported


File Systems Supported:

Other Systems Emulated:

Graphics Engine:

Text Command Shell: DOS command line

User Interface (graphic):

Graphic Command Shell: Explorere80

Disabled support:

Internet Services:

Internet Explorer

    One of the major features of Windows 98 is a closer merger of Microsoft’s operating system and web browser. This isn’t done for any technological reasons or for the convenience of the customer (many customers find the blurring between the graphic command shell and web browser to be confusing), but instead serves the interests of Microsoft by extending their operating system monopoly into the Internet.

Application Programs:


    “As Windows users are being plagued by computer viruses, spam, buggy software, and Web pop-up ads, some are questioning why the Redmond, Wash.-based software behemoth has failed to integrate security and repair features that could make computers less prone to problems.
    “ ‘Microsoft has added lots of bells and whistles to Windows to protect their operating system franchise over the years, but when it comes to Windows security and reliability, they’ve done comparitively little until recently,’ said Alan Paller, director of research at the SANS Institute, a Bethesda, Md.-based computer security and training organization.
    “ ‘It’s like they are selling faster cars with more powerful engines but leaving off the seat belts and air bags — all those critical things that make customers safe when using their products,’ he added.
    “Microsoft’s critics say the reason the company isn’t eager to add security features is simple: Doing so wouldn’t help it fend off competitors whose products could undermine the spread of Windows.
    “ ‘You would think there would be money to be made in Microsoft having some kind of more effective antiviral program of their own,’ said Andrew Gavil, an antitrust expert and law professor at Howard University. ‘But virus programs don’t present any threat to their operating system monopoly.’ ” —Los Angeles Times, “Microsoft Runs Into Bundling Dilemma”, March 27, 2004n4

    Microsoft falsely claimed that it would make security a company-wide priority in its much publicized 2002 “trustworthy computing initiaitve”. Since then, Microsoft Windows (all versions) has become even more vulnerable to viruses and other internet attacks. Security is a purposely false and misleading marketing slogan at Microsoft.

    “Ironically, some experts say, product bundling is partly to blame for Windows’ security woes.
    “Lee A. Hollaar, a computer science professor at University of Utah, said the widespread proliferation of the Melissa computer virus stemmed from the tight integration of Microsoft’s Outlook e-mail program with its writing application, Word.
    “ ‘The Melissa virus exists only because Microsoft expanded Word documents to contain functions that let it access the Outlook address book’, Hollaar said.
    “Similarly, he explained, when the Internet Explorer Web browser was folded into the operating system, it exposed Windows to greater security risks from the Net.’ ” —Los Angeles Times, “Microsoft Runs Into Bundling Dilemma”, March 27, 2004n4


    “You may have noticed that a new TV ad for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer e-mail program uses the musical theme of the ‘Confutatis Maledictis’ from Mozart’s Requiem. ‘Where do you want to go today?’ is the cheery line on the screen. Meanwhile, the chorus sings ‘Confutatis maledictis, flammis acribus addictis,’ which means, ‘The damned and accursed are convicted to flames of hell.’ ” —Gary Paveke60

    “Windows machines have advantages, too, such as more configuration options, cheaper up front cost, availability of software, snappier response on window controls, cheaper components, more peripherals.” —Why Monopolies Are Bad, by Jeff Adkinsw77


references within this web site

(for your convenience, look for this symbol marking passages about Windows 98)

further reading: web sites

Please send recommendations on additional URLs to Milo.

official web sites


(Frequently Asked Questions)

user group web sites

other related web sites

further reading: books

If you want your book reviewed, please send a copy to: Milo, POB 1361, Tustin, CA 92781, USA.

Price listings are for courtesy purposes only and may be changed by the referenced businesses at any time without notice.

further reading: books: introductory/general

    1 Microsoft Way: A Cookbook To Breaking Bill Gates Windows Monopoly Without Breaking Windows (with Linux CD Operating System); by Reginald P Burgess; American Group Publishing; April 27, 1998; ISBN 1891950088; paperback; 208 pages; $17.95

further reading: books: administration

    Universal Command Guide; by Guy Lotgering (UCG Team); Hungry Minds, Inc; April 2002; ISBN 0764548336; hardcover with CD-ROM; 1,600 pages; $69.99; cross references all of the commands from: AIX; Solaris; RedHat Linux; Berkeley BSD; NetWare 3.2, 4.11, 5, and 6; DOS 6.22; Windows 95, 98, ME, XP, NT 4 Workstation, NT 4 Server, NT 4 Terminal Server, 2000 Professional, 2000 Server, 2000 Advanced Server; Citrix Mainframe 1.8; and Mac 9

The Complete Guide to Netware 4.11/Intranetware; 2nd edition; by James E. Gaskin; Sybex; December 1996; ISBN 078211931X; paperback; $47.99; includes information on getting NetWare working with Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, and OS/2

further reading: books: internet

further reading: books: enterprise/business

further reading: books: content creation

    The Multimedia Production Handbook for the PC, Macintosh, and Amiga; by Tom Yager; Academic Press Professional; December 1993; ISBN 0127680306; Paperback; 382 pages; $31.96

further reading: books: programming

further reading: books: hardware

further reading: books: miscellaneous

In Association with Amazon.com

If you want your book reviewed, please send a copy to: Milo, POB 1361, Tustin, CA 92781, USA.

related software

Price listings are for courtesy purposes only and may be changed by the referenced businesses at any time without notice.

We are working on providing a second source.

Virtual PC 3.0 with Windows 98; Connectix; a software alternative that allows running Windows 98 software on a PowerPC Macintosh; $174.95

switching from Windows 95 to Windows 98


    The big question of the moment about Windows 98 is “Should I switch to Windows 98?”

    The answer is “maybe”. The easiest answer is: if you buy a new Wintel computer, get it with Windows 98, but if your existing system is stable and working, don’t mess with it. For more information on evaluating hardware compatibility, see ZDNet comments.

    Windows 98 offers a large number of minor improvements over Windows 95, including the addition of several more features that were available on the Macintosh in the mid and late 1980s. Windows 98 major feature is that it blurs the distinction between the operating system and the web browser, furthering Microsoft’s own monopolistic goals of eliminiating Netscape, but by moving some important operating system functionality to the web browser, Windows 98 actually runs approximately 5-20% slower than Windows 95 on the same hardware. Windows 98 also includes numerous attempts at fixes of some of the worst problems in Windows 95, but more than 5,000 known bugs from Windows 95 still exist in Windows 98, because Microsoft views bug fixes as unprofitable.

    As one example, Windows 98 now supports multiple monitors. Multiple monitors is a gimmick for typical home and business use, but is an essential requirement for professional content creation. For page layout, pre-press, illustration, animation, and other graphics work it is common to have all the software tools on one screen and the artwork in progress on a screen by itself. For video and music it is common to have one complete monitor for each source and destination in use (which in a complex project could easily include several sources). The addition of this feature is an example of Microsoft closing the gap between Windows and Macintosh. The Macintosh had the ability to support multiple monitors back in 1987. And this feature highlights the Microsoft approach to closing the gap, because the version available in 1987 on the Macintosh is still superior to that newly available with Windows 98. On the Macintosh, there is no limit (other than user hardware purchases) on the number of monitors, each monitor can be of a different size (14", 17", 21", 25", etc.), can be of a different resolution (72 ppi, 75 ppi, 150 ppi, etc.), and can be of a different color depth (16, 256, thousands, millions of colors). Additionally, the resolution and color depth of any one (or all) of the monitors can be changed on the fly without rebooting. And the Macintosh supports on the fly changing of the ordering of the monitors, changing the monitor that has the menu bar, and changing which monitor windows open into.

    The downside is that the release of Windows 98 set new records for the most technical support calls in a single day. Windows 98 was released with more than 10,000 known bugs and is so bug-filled that it crashed during Microsoft’s official televised introduction. Many individuals and businesses have found it so trouble-filled that they have given up on attempts to install it and returned to Windows 95. These widespread reliability problems have spawned humor, such as the error list shown below.

    Bill Gates, when questioned about the more than 10,000 bugs Microsoft acknowledged existed in Windows 98, claimed “There are no significant bugs in our released software that any significant number of users want fixed.…The reason we come up with new versions is not to fix bugs.…It’s the stupidest reason to buy a new version I ever heard.”

    Microsoft took the approach that it was only profitable for them to fix bugs that affected a large number of users.

    The result is that if your computer is a mainstream model with only simple and mainstream hardware and you only use a few select mainstream programs, Windows 98 will work with no trouble at all. Windows 98 should also work fine (at least initially) when pre-installed on a new computer.

    The more your own work or your choice of hardware or software deviates from the mainstream, the more likely that Windows 98 will present all kinds of problems and that you will probably need to pay for hours or days of expensive professional tech support to get it running.

    If your business is still using Windows 3.1 or MS-DOS, then the reasons that caused you to avoid Windows 95 apply even more strongly for avoiding Windows 98.

    There are many high quality operating systems available for existing Intel-based hardware, including excellent commercial operating systems such as OS/2, NeXTSTEP, or Solaris, as well as excellent free operating systems such as LINUX, FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD. For those still using MS-DOS, IBM has released an updated and improved version called PC-DOS-2000.

     For those considering the purchase of new computers, the Macintosh line includes both high end graphics machines and a new consumer model, the iMac, which is actually up to two times faster than any Pentium II computer.

alternatives to Windows


1.1 MB QuickTime movie of Bill Gates explaining his criteria for selecting the best operating system.

    “Microsoft enjoyed its great success not because it had great software but because people were stuck with it. Market domination, not innovation, drove the company’s success,” wrote James Wallace in the book “Overdrive: Bill Gates and the Race to Control Cyberspace”, John Wiley &#amp; Sons, September 1997.

    Commentary: Quite simply, Windows guarantees more work for the M.I.S. departments — because it computers require far more technical support to do the same work. And when the M.I.S. departments make computer recommendations to management, they tend to look out for their own job security over the best interests of the business. The same reason that many retail stores also push Wintel machines — it guarantees more work for their highly profitable service departments.

    Study after study has shown that Macintoshes are less expensive to support and maintain than Wintel machines. Wintel computers typically cost four to 10 times as much in support costs. Even Intel’s own internal study showed that it was costing them four times as much to support Windows machines as it did to support their Macintoshes (yes, Intel used Macintoshes for mission critical work — and since that study they have been expanding their use of Macintoshes).

    Independent studies over the years continually show that worker productivity is substantially higher on Macintoshes than on Wintel computers. And the difference is greatest in the creative fields (pre-press, illustration, digital photography, 2-D and 3-D animation, 3-D modelling and rendering, film special effects, broadcast video editting, CD-ROM production, multi-media, music composition and performance, sound editting, and web site production), where the Macintosh is the most prevalent computer (even more than the high end graphics work stations — and Macintosh OS X (formerly Rhapsody) brings the Macintosh to the high end graphics work stations). Macintosh OS X is numerically the most used form of UNIX, bringing the flexibility, reliability, power, and speed of NeXT’s object oriented frameworks together with some of the ease of use, user interface, and consumer software of the Macintosh.

    Macintosh OS X (formerly Rhapsody) (which combines the ease of use and professional content creation capabilities of the Macintosh with the power, reliability, and speed of NeXT version of UNIX) will be available for PowerPC machines in 2001. BeOS and OS/2 also offer excellent desktop alternatives to the Windows family of operating systems. Any of the many free and commercial versions of UNIX offer a better high end operating system than Windows NT. See John Kirch’s article “Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 versus UNIX” at http://www.unix-vs-nt.org/.

    Ethics: Bill Gates is a longtime member of the Augusta National Golf Club, the official site of the Masters Golf Tournament. The Augusta National Golf Club refuses to allow any women join their club and for decades refused to allow Blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities to join, only relenting in 1990 to allow a few token Black members when facing criminal charges for Civil Rights violations. The only reason that Microsoft hires women and minorities is because of tough federal Civil Rights laws. If you are a woman, Black, Hispanic, Asian, or a member of any other minority group, remember that Bill Gates and Microsoft hate you and only take your money becuase they are forced to by law.

related software

Price listings are for courtesy purposes only and may be changed by the referenced businesses at any time without notice.

We are working on providing a second source.

Virtual PC 3.0 with Windows 98; Connectix; a software alternative that allows running Windows 98 software on a PowerPC Macintosh; $174.95

    Also see the summary at Windows.

geek humor

    “How many Microsoft technicians does it take to screw in a light bulb?
    “Three: two to hold the ladder and one to screw the bulb into a faucet.” —Matt Garrison,MacLine


New Error Codes Assigned

error code meaning
Winerr 000 * Unexpected Intelligent User Encountered
Winerr 001 * Intimidation Failed; Attempting to Crash Repeatedly
Winerr 002 * Erroneous Error; No Error Occurred
Winerr 003 * RAM Depleted; Annex Japan (Y/N)?
Winerr 004 * Deluxe Error. Please Send $75 to Upgrade Your Error
Winerr 005 * Long File Name Error; File Erased to Make Room For Filename
Winerr 006 * Insufficient RAM to Crash Properly; Attempting Fake Crash
Winerr 007 * Alphanumeric Sequence "OS2" Prohibited
Winerr 008 * This License Has Expired; Please Purchase Another Copy
Winerr 009 * Error Buffer Overflow; Too Many Errors
Winerr 00A * Non-Microsoft Application Encountered
Winerr 00B * Push Error; Removing Files to Make Room For Advertisement
Winerr 00C * Windows Loaded Correctly This Time
Winerr 00D * User Error; Lemming Not Found
Winerr 00E * Open Standard Encountered; Attempting to Redmondize
Winerr 00F * Reserved for Future Coding Errors
Winerr 010 * Virus Error * Other Applications Will Be Closed Instead
Winerr 011 * Orwell Not Found; You Must Use MSN
Winerr 012 * Cash Underflow; Credit Card Number Will Be Assimilated
Winerr 013 * Keyboard Error; User Must Learn to Slow Down
Winerr 014 * User Error; Reading License Agreement Mandatory to Continue
Winerr 015 * Error Message Deleted
Winerr 016 * Expected Error Did Not Occur; Attempting to Restart Error Sequence

Windows 2000:

    The following are new Windows messages that are under consideration for the planned Windows 2000:

    1. Smash forehead on keyboard to continue.

    2. Enter any 11-digit prime number to continue.

    3. Press any key to continue or any other key to quit.

    4. Press any key except…no, No, NO, NOT THAT ONE!

    5. Press Ctrl-Alt-Del now for IQ test.

    6. Close your eyes and press escape three times.

    7. Bad command or file name! Go stand in the corner.

    8. This will end your Windows session. Do you want to play another game?

    9. Windows message: “Error saving file! Format drive now? (Y/Y)”

    10. This is a message from God Gates: “Rebooting the world. Please log off.”

    11. To “shut down” your system, type “WIN.”

    12. BREAKFAST.SYS halted…Cereal port not responding.

    13. COFFEE.SYS missing…Insert cup in cup holder and press any key.

    14. CONGRESS.SYS corrupted…Re-boot Washington D.C? (Y/N)

    15. File not found. Should I fake it? (Y/N)

    16. Bad or missing mouse. Spank the cat? (Y/N)

    17. Runtime Error 6D at 417A:32CF: Incompetent User.

    18. Error reading FAT record: Try the SKINNY one? (Y/N)

    19. WinErr 16547: LPT1 not found. Use backup. (PENCIL & PAPER.SYS)

    20. User Error: Replace user.

    21. Windows VirusScan 1.0 - “Windows found: Remove it? (Y/N)”

    22. Welcome to Microsoft’s World — Your Mortgage is Past Due…

    23. If you are an artist, you should know that Bill Gates owns you and all your future creations. Doesn’t it feel nice to have security?

    24. Your hard drive has been scanned and all stolen software titles have been deleted. The police are on the way.

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    Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004 Milo

    Last Updated: March 27, 2004

    Created: August 17, 1998