Availability: Out Now
Price: $189 US Full • $89 US Upgrade
Windows 98 by itself is not a big noticeable difference, if you want to see a visable difference you really need to load the Plus Package.Upgrading:
Windows 98 is faster than Windows 95. It’s less buggy. It sports cuter icons. It can even clean up its own mess, to some extent.
Is it worth the $89 dollar upgrade? You decide...
The first thing you will notice about Windows 98 is that setup has been redesigned and streamlined to improve the experience for existing Windows 95 users upgrading to Windows 98. There is no longer a need to do a full hardware detection during the initial setup. Windows 98 setup also uses information from pre-installed applets and utilities so that you do not have to set those preferences again.The New Stuff:
If you’ve been using Windows 3.1 because of fears about 95’s stability, an upgrade to Windows 98 is a smart move. However, it's doubtful that any person holding off at the Windows 3.1 stage has the necessary hardware capability to use an Operating System designed for technology developed at least three years later.
Microsoft designed the operating system to work and play better. Windows 98 offers full Internet integration with key Internet Explorer technologies that simplify desktop and Web navigation. In addition, the system's new Help feature includes trouble shooting wizards and Web-based help, so people can find the information they need more quickly. Windows 98 is also faster. It speeds operations such as opening applications, accessing the Internet and shutting down the PC. And Windows 98 includes new self-maintenance and update tools, which can reduce the amount of time people spend managing their systems. With management time saved, people will have more opportunities to enjoy the operating system's new entertainment features.The Nitty Gritty:
Windows 98 includes fun enhancements such as television broadcast capabilities, so PCs that have a television tuner card can receive and display television and other data that is distributed over broadcast networks. The operating system also offers enhanced 3-D capacity for realistic game-playing, and it supports DVD. And with the support for the Universal Serial Bus (USB) in Windows 98, people can connect joysticks, video-conferencing cameras, scanners and other types of peripheral hardware to their PCs—without rebooting.
Disk Defragmenter Optimization Wizard:
- This utility is designed to reduce load times for frequently used applications. It accomplishes this by logging file use and then rewriting files in a contiguous space. In this way, the utility is able to eliminate random access of the hard drive. Early tests show the utility to be most effective on those systems which have converted to FAT32.
Windows System Update
- This utility uses ActiveX technology to automatically update your system files and drivers by downloading newer files over the internet.
System File Checker Utility
- This program tracks changes made to important system files and enables the user to revert to previous configurations.
Windows Tune-up Wizard
- This utility schedules regular maintenance tasks (i.e. scanning disk for errors, purging unnecessary files, and performing disk defragmenting).
Dr. Watson Utility
- This utility is designed to intercept software fault errors and display a detailed summary of how and why the error occurred.
New Backup Utility
- This application now supports SCSI tape devices. New Accessibility Tools These two tools are designed to further assist users in adapting Windows' options to their own preferences.
- The new operating system contains an improved version of the FAT file system that enables it to more effectively use disks capable of containing over two gigabytes. The system also includes a graphical conversion utility designed to ease the conversion from the old to the new format.
Help & Technical Support
Windows 98 Help Desk
- This enhanced help package links the user to both local and Internet resources.
- This tool automatically performs a series of trouble shooting steps to determine configuration problems.
System Information Utility
- This utility is designed to aid technical support personnel by gathering and compiling system information.
- The new Windows 98 will allow users with an installed TV tuner board to receive television and other data signals from broadcast networks. The new operating system also provides users with an interactive program guide which is updated continuously. Users can access programs directly from this guide. Where available, users of the new operating system will be able to receive Internet content directly from broadcast networks.
Misc. Hardware Support
- The new Windows 98 will also support Universal Serial Bus (USB), Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP), Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) [particularly useful for notebook computer users], and Digital Video Disc (DVC)
Multiple Display Support
- Windows 98 allows the use of two monitors on a single computer.
- Windows 98 has added support for infrared connectively.
- Windows 98 has added support for PC Card32, 3.3 volt cards, and multi-function cards like the common ethernet/modem card.
- This format greatly increases the ability of Windows 98 to handle popular multi media files (MPEG Audio and Video, .WAV adio, AVI video, and QuickTime video).
- Windows 98 takes advantage of Intel's new MMX technology.
- Installation of the new Internet Explorer 4.0 which will be shipped with the new Windows 98 includes an option to turn on active desktop. This option acts to make Internet Explorer an integral part of the Windows 98 desktop. By selecting the active desktop option the user transforms the desktop wallpaper into an active HTML page that can incorporate information directly from the Internet.
The option further alters the Windows interface by replacing the traditional windows explorer with the Internet Explorer. Folders and file views contain the same navigational buttons as does IE 4.0 and are transformed into HTML format so that a user can customize the view by adding additional information and scripts.
The taskbar is also altered to include an address bar and links and favorites are added to the start menu for easy access. All in all, the Integrated Internet Shell seems to be the most significant change incorporated in Windows 98. Interestingly, this feature is available without cost from the Microsoft Internet Explorer Internet Page.
Improved Dial-Up Networking
- Windows 98 improves Dial-Up Networking by enabling scripting and supporting the use of multiple ISDN or modem lines for increased transfer speed.
- The new Internet Explorer included with Windows 98 provides support for many of the new Internet standards including Dynamic HTML. It also provides a slightly different interface with bonus features such as an improved history feature that allows the user to browse cache files.
- Internet Explorer 4.0 also makes use of the new push technology which enables a user to automate delivery of Internet information for offline viewing.
Additional Internet Tools
- Windows 98 will ship with several additional Internet tools including:
- Outlook Express
(an improved mail and news program that supports HTML formatted text and can be set up to use multiple POP3 accounts)
- Net Meeting
(an internet conferencing system)
- Front Pad
(a simplified version of Microsoft Front Page 97)
- Personal Web Server
Support for PPTP
- PPTP (Point-to Point Tunneling Protocol) enables users to securely connect with a server over the Internet.
Well that's pretty much the lowdown on Windows98. Will these improvements actually RUN without problems... it's too soon to tell.
If you have successfully installed Windows98 on your computer, and have something to say about the program, we'd love to hear from you! Either drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or jump over to the techboard and post your comments.