Finally, Windows 98/Me Move Towards Retirement

Microsoft has begun alerting its customers that it will retire three of its legacy Windows versions--Windows Me, Windows 98 Second Edition (Win98SE), and Windows 98--on July 11, 2006. In other words, these products will exit Microsoft's extended support phase and the company will stop providing any support.

"Microsoft is ending support for these products because they're outdated, and these older operating systems can expose customers to security risks," a note on Microsoft's Web site reads. "We recommend that customers who are still running Windows 98 or Windows Me upgrade to a newer, more secure Microsoft operating system, such as Windows XP, as soon as possible."

Windows Me, Win98SE, and Win98 represent the end of the line for Microsoft's MS-DOS-based Windows versions. Current versions of Windows, such as XP and the upcoming Windows Vista, are based on a different code base that began with Windows NT. NT and its successors aren't based on MS-DOS, an OS with roots dating back to CP/M in the late 1970s.

For Windows Me, Win98SE, and Win98 customers, the time has definitely come to upgrade. Microsoft will not only stop providing paid incident support but will also stop providing any downloadable critical security patches. A year after July 11, 2006, the company will stop providing self-help support online. For more information, please refer to Microsoft's support notification.

For more information, please refer to Microsoft's support notification.

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