Microsoft: WinInfo was right; Windows 98 <I>is</I> dead

Microsoft, hoping to "clear the confusion" caused by reports this week, has decided to make an official statement about Windows 98 and the so-called "Windows 2000 Consumer Edition." The company even retracted not-so-confusing comments by spokesperson Bill Zolna, who said that a consumer version of Windows based on Windows NT technology was still some years away, noting that Windows 98 is, indeed, the end of the line. As reported all along in WinInfo, Microsoft will be sticking to its plan to provide only interim releases, bug fixes, and the like to Windows 98 and that it's next major release of a consumer OS will be based on Windows NT.

"\[Mr. Zolna\] had some misinformation, some bad data, and unfortunately that got quoted," said a spokesperson from Waggener-Edstrom, Microsoft's PR firm.

So here's the deal, once again, not that it's ever changed:

  • Windows 98 will continue to be installed on new consumer PCs for the next few years at least. It will be upgraded (as was Windows 95) with new drivers, bug fixes and some new features over this time period to keep it up-to-date.

  • Windows 2000 is not destined for the home/consumer market. Rather, it is designed for corporations only. Windows 98-to-Windows 200 Professional upgrades are not 100% guaranteed, since the system files on both OSes are not completely compatible. Windows 2000 will *not* be a superset of Windows 98, but will rather feature "the best of" Windows 98.

  • The next major consumer OS from Microsoft will be based on the Windows NT (not 9x) kernel, as Windows 2000 is. It is expected 1-3 years after Windows 2000.
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