End to Win98 support may boost desktop Linux July 11, 2006Posted by rjdohnert in Tech News.
Microsoft will no longer issue security updates or provide support for Windows 98 and Windows ME, which could lead users to trying alternative operating systems such as Linux.
Eight years after launching Windows 98, Microsoft will finally wash its hands of updating and plugging security gaps in its ageing operating system. The software giant originally planned to pull the plug in January 2004 but decided to extend support because of the increasing threat from Linux.
My Take; This article gets two points wrong. First Microsoft did not extend support of Win98 to battle Linux. While yes, There is a possibility that some users would jump its a lot smaller market than what most people think. Microsoft extended support to accomodate several of its enterprise customers who continued to run Windows 98. Secondly, when the end of NT4 came along everyone was expecting a big defection to Linux and other systems; Guess what, it didnt happen more NT4 customers moved to Windows Server 2003 than they did to any alternative. Sure some defections are likely, most will continue to run Windows 98 and ME until they buy new machines or they will just go to a couple of old computer stores and chalk up 50 to 60 bucks for Windows 2000. Another point is that most common Linux distributions today, if the machine is so old it cant support Windows 2000 or XP, distros like Fedora Core, SUSE Linux 10.x, Linspire or Xandros probably wont work well on those machines either. Michael Silver, research vice president of client platforms at research group Gartner also stated that support for 98 and ME did not ” meet Microsoft’s current enterprise standard of 10 years ” Microsoft had announced that the ten year support deadline would only apply to enterprise oriented offerings such as Windows 2000 and higher. Windows 9.x and ME were not enterprise offerings but rather consumer oriented.