Today's unexpected announcement of a new version of Windows 98 in 2000 caused a bit of confusion about Windows 98 SE, the former OSR upgrade to Windows 98 that was on track to ship this year. Well, Windows 98 SE is still on track and the company announced today that it would ship in June. In addition to a full retail release, which will cost $89 like Windows 98 and Windows 95 before it, Microsoft will offer a special upgrade version dubbed "Step Up" for existing Windows 98 customers. Windows 98 SE Step Up will be available only from the Microsoft Web site for a small, as yet undetermined, cost.
"Windows 98 SE is an upgrade, including new features and \[bug fixes that would have been included in Service Pack 1\]," says product manager Mike Nichols. "It will replace Windows 98 in retail and the OEM channel for new users. Existing customers will be able to order an upgrade CD from the Microsoft Web site for a small fee, which we haven't yet determined, but will be much less than $89."
Alternatively, Windows 98 users can download the bug fixes that are found in Windows 98 SE from the Windows Update site, along with Internet Explorer 5.0. These downloads, while potentially time-consuming, will at least be free, less any connect-time charges