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Retired Microsoft Operating Systems Still Popular

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the better-the-enemy-that-one-knows dept.

Windows 645

Decaffeinated Jedi writes "Despite Microsoft's recent retirement of Windows 98, reports that many users continue to cling to the company's older operating systems. The study cited in the article suggests that 80 percent of companies still have machines operating on Windows 95 or 98. While Windows 2000 was the most common OS in the study, just 6.6 percent of the desktop machines included in the survey were running Windows XP." The results aren't too surprising. I get a lot of user mail from Netscape 4 users, and it only makes sense that they're running it somewhere.

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you can run netscape in winxp? (-1, Troll)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710174)

Editors suck sometimes...

Also, maybe because WinXP is newer? Anyone think of that? I mean there are fewer 2004 cars on the road than 2004... does that mean people cling to 2004 cars? No. It means they're more of them available and people already have them.

Also aren't we anti-Windows here?

Boo windows!

Re:you can run netscape in winxp? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710196)

Now that CmdrTick-Oh and Homos are Macintosh users, Slashdot isn't anti-Windows so much as it is pro-Mac. Just because Steve Jobs stole BSD and is personally enriching himself on the sweat of hundreds of open source programmers doesn't make much difference to Malda and Bates.

Re:you can run netscape in winxp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710211)

>I mean there are fewer 2004 cars on the road than 2004.

And 1+1=1 for small values of one.

>Also aren't we anti-Windows here?

It is anti-Windows pregression. More importantly it is anti Microsoft. It means that customers feel that their is not enough benefit to pay to upgrade. Which in turn means that they are not paying as much to microsoft. It also probably means that a number of these are pirated copies.

Re:you can run netscape in winxp? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710215)

Of course, that disgusting fat fucking oinking pig, Cowboi Squeal, can't think for himself. He just does whatever his big brudda's Tick-Oh and Homos tell him to do.

Sowboy Kneel: the luckiest man in Holland, Michigan.

Re:you can run netscape in winxp? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710221)

> I mean there are fewer 2004 cars on the road than 2004...

I nearly spat my coffee at the screen reading that. I've just spent the better half of 2 days trying to get a firmware update working under Win XP, when all the updater wants to tell me is:

"Please enter a device between 1024"

Your words were sent to haunt me weren't they? gaaaaah!


Re:you can run netscape in winxp? (4, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710351)

Here a tidbit for you...

Corperate still has a outright BAN on windows XP. It is not allowed, we are not migrating to it, they deemed it a waste of time and money as it offer's zero value.

they may upgrade to it when MS EOL's Windows 2000. but they are also looking at alternatives, there are 2 groups testing Linux in the corperate environment with using wine and wineX to run the vertical apps that are windows only we rely on.

Most companies are pissed off at Microsoft, and users are pissed at microsoft because it seems that at every turn it's microsoft's fault for a problem they have.

90% of the time that precieved fault of microsoft is really something that is misconfigured, or a under engineered network causing the trouble... but MS get's the bulk of the blame.

Windows XP has nothing that Windows 2000 has for the corperate environment that is worth a damn... and that was stupid of microsoft to do. They had an opportunity to make a corperate OS that could have solved many of the problems out there.

Slashdotted already... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710177)

No one got to see the pictures, and it's ./ed already.

Windows 98 (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710178)

I still use it for my kids games and educational software....the newer ones DON'T WORK...hmmmmm

Companies are better off than schools. (4, Interesting)

musingmelpomene (703985) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710183)

Complain all you want about antiquated equipment - both hardware and software - but I volunteer in a high school that would make you weep. Their physics classroom has ten computers. Ten...Apple IIc's. I don't know if they're going for "retro" or "we're poor, so pass the referendum," but it's absolutely appalling. I don't even know what a physics class would be doing with Apple IIc's.

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710203)

All you need is a Flux Capicitor and those Apple IIc's will be able to send you back to the future!

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (1, Funny)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710213)

I don't even know what a physics class would be doing with Apple IIc's.

Can you imagine a Beowulf cluster of...?


Re:Companies are better off than schools. (-1, Offtopic)

Glock27 (446276) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710253)

Heh, I guess my religion oriented posts yesterday annoyed someone with moderator points...three straight (unrelated) posts modded "overrated".

Very nice. I guess the approach is "I don't agree, therefore I'll censor you."

Good luck... :-)

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710300)

Well, the last one was overrated. Actually, they don't have a mod '-1 Joke Done To Death'.

Karma has a way of fixing these things, if people would JUST meta-moderate properly.

Hint: Clicking yes to everything does not count. (Same goes with clicking no.)

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (3, Informative)

taj (32429) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710243)

The Apple II C's may be perfectly fine for a high school physics lab. The MECC (Minnesota Educational Computer Consortium) produced hundreds of programs for the Apple II C that probably still have use.

A poor mechanic blames his tools.

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (5, Insightful)

gnuadam (612852) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710247)

The apple II's had a very common data acquisition mobo that allowed all sorts of physics experiments to be done. You could measure temperature in real time, trace a trajectory, and do other neat stuff. Why upgrade when these experiments work just fine with the old apples?

It's physics, not computer science. The data is important, not the computer that records it.

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (5, Insightful)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710307)

Computers are not as important in computer science as one might think. Of course, for some technology-related courses you will need state-of-the-art, but computer science is about algorithms, structuring data and abstracting problems. Sometimes pen-and-paper will suffice but the programming you can do on a very old computer just as well as on a water-cooled Pentium-4 5000. The principles remain the same, and that's what matters.

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710339)

I would dare say you could teach someone to be a much BETTER programmer teaching them assembler on old machines, than you could teaching them Visual Basic on a modern one.

Of course, that's my opinion, and the Visual Basic Script Kiddies will now flame me for it.

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (4, Insightful)

Apreche (239272) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710250)

Suprisingly, they can do a lot with Apple //cs. There are many physics peripherals and applications for the apple. Vernier software used to make a lot of stuff for the thing, now they've moved on, but the old stuff still works. And your school probably still has those old 5.25" disks that work just fine. I say sure, an apple //c is old and slow. But it works just fine for the applications the physics class is using them for. Why replace them with pcs? The apples are so less prone to problems because they are so much more simple. The worst you get it a broken disk or disk drive, and then you just replace it for next to nothing.

I think the problem here is that people have stuff that's more than they need. The apple ][gs from 1986 is capable of doing everything the average person does with their pc. So when someone has A Pentium 4 with winxp to run Word I hang my head in disbelief. They only need maybe a Pentium 2 with 98 SE. Companies that think about saving money and actually have brains keep the old stuff that works. Don't upgrade if you don't have to. And if you are just doing office work like word processing and nothin cpu intensive then you should have an old slow machine. It's cost effective. And odds are if the machine is that old and still around it's high quality and wont give you as much technical troubles.

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (1)

the_duke_of_hazzard (603473) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710262)

On this subject, why is it so hard to pick up a really cheap old computer? All I want is a couple of old PIIs, 32 Meg of memory (min) and processor speed in the hundreds to tinker with Linux on, trash and experiment with. It'll suffice for most needs, why does no hardware company offer them?

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (5, Insightful)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710289)

Because it's not profitable? I imagine the costs for producing those things is not that much lower than the costs for producing newer computers, and those newer computers sell for a whole lot more, so it only makes sense not to make the old machines anymore.

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710321)

because the hobbiest market is too damn small to keep this junk in inventory

plug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710356)

Seems easy to me...

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710258)

I don't think the basics of physics have changed dramatically in the ~20 yrs since the Apple IIc came out. Surely there are programs to do physics stuff that will be just fine.

Won't have much in the way of 3D GUI stuff, but it should suffice.

My only concern in that scenario would be availability of repair/replacement parts should they break.

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (0, Troll)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710279)

That's Amazing Man!!!!
They are not old! They are Beatifulll old macs!!
Just take the devil out of them and install NetBSD.

BTW: If you think that Public Schools inside the USA are 'poor', please came check out what 100 years of USA economical domination through the FMI did to shcools in my country. We are not complaining about old computers, because there are none, and in many places the principal issue is to give the kids something to eat ...

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710284)

Well, Apples have traditionally been used in the study of gravity, dating back to Newton's time. It only makes sense they are used in a physics class.

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (2, Interesting)

Yokaze (70883) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710318)

Maybe I'm alone with my opinion, but I fail to see why a school needs computers, except for teaching how to use and program them.

I'd weep, if they didn't have the money for teachers, books, paper, chalk and the like.

I had a CS course at my high-school and they had a Bull Unix Workstation with a single 68k for 12 terminals. And this was the only computer at school for the pupils. And no, I'm not in my 30s or 40s. At that time Pentium processors where state of the art.

At that time, I felt it was a bad condition. In retrospect, I feel fortunate. And the reason were the teachers I had, which tought me things, which most people usually learn as undergrads at the university in CS.

phosheezymuhneezy (1)

segment (695309) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710327)

Apple IIci's? Man I decided to save money on my health insurance so the doctor I chose... I made sure he had enough punch cards on his machines. I may have a foot sticking out my head but man those punch cards

Re:Companies are better off than schools. (1)

srchestnut (717652) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710338)

My mother works as the computer teacher at an elementary school, they have all Window's 95 machines. Obviously, the school buys new computers on occasion and you can't buy a new computer with 95 installed so the county school system reformats every new box they get and puts 95 on it. They can't afford a new site liscence or the labor cost to re-reformat all those computers and put the original operating system back on so they're stuck.

Of course (3, Insightful)

Div3B0mbr (631477) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710189)

It's not like upgrading Windows is free. If you were a small company who's focus wasn't IT would you upgrade? Hell no. Why would you? Your existing solution of Windows Crap is working just fine.

Re:Of course (2, Informative)

twt (259951) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710224)

But what about the large business who can afford an upgrade? From the article:
The size of the business did not seem to dictate how prevalent the older operating systems were, with larger companies as likely as smaller ones to have a high prevalence of older operating systems.

I'd hope that larger companies would realize it's cheaper to upgrade than suffer the wrath of unsupported, unpatched windows boxen!

Re:Of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710246)

The trouble for larger companies is that they'd probably have to upgrade all the hardware at the same time: their older machines probably wouldn't be able to run Windows XP very well, especially a version of Windows XP loaded down with all the monitoring software large companies run. So you're looking at a massive hardware cost, then all the disruption of replacing everyone's PC (wanta bet that not everyone stores their files on network shares rather than the local drive?). With the prevailing business and IT climate, anyone proposing this sort of expenditure wouldn't get listened to.

Re:Of course (5, Insightful)

Div3B0mbr (631477) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710260)

You also have to take into consideration that some large companies also don't care about IT. Try for example your second rate credit card company, or a company that may be on its way downhill. I've worked for companies where IT isn't important yet IT is what drives their business. One thing I've learned to watch out for is any company trying to run a Java solution on an AS/400... If you're that far behind the times and can't spell WebSphere than a Win2k is not something you're going to understand. Simply put, big companies don't care either because small amounts of their people ever focus on IT. Why should they? The execs already made their money.

Re:Of course (1)

chimpo13 (471212) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710271)

Yeah, but who's trying to hack 95/98 anymore? Security through obscurity. I'd write some more, but my box of Captain Crunch has a neat whistle in it and I need to crank call the president.

Re:Of course (1)

coastwalker (307620) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710301)


Though to be fair a wheel is still a wheel, even when the fashion is to drive a hovercraft. So there may be no functional reason for changing something that works.

However Microsofts older offerings offer no escape from paying for an upgrade when security flaws render them obsolete - arp spoofing comes to mind. It is no suprise that Microsoft stops supporting Win98. No one can sue them for flaws that render people wide open to theft.

This is one reason why Linux could prove very attractive to organisations unable or unwilling to pay the Microsoft tax for fashionable features.

Re:Of course (2, Informative)

Daggie (676753) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710263)

True, on the other hand. Some companies switch to newer versions, "because it's newer". They have absolutely no need for a newer version, but well "it's newer, get it".

Mostly it's impossible arguing with people who think like that. They just want the new version, because it's available. No need to say that those people hardly believe you if you can do something better and cheaper for them (example : dynamic webdesign : "YOU can do future updates, without having to pay anyone for it". They don't believe you when you say anything like that, without prooving it 20 times).

To the 80%... (3, Funny)

twoslice (457793) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710191)

Just wait a few more years, 2098 is just around the corner - you can make it!

NT popular in the enterprise (2, Informative)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710192)

It's scary how many NT 4 boxes I come across in the work world. they just don't want to update, and the diff between using that and the newer offerings is huge, although so is the price.


You insensitive clod... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710225)

...My organization is still using 3.5!

Re:NT popular in the enterprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710230)

Hence....They should use linux!

These are the guys that open-source advocates should be making aware of open-source alternatives; the ones who don't want to pay the hefty licensing costs of new Microsoft operating systems.

Re:NT popular in the enterprise (2, Informative)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710324)

yep, it's true ... and what it's really worse is that they don't even apply patches to their system, someone installed that think a long long time ago, and noone touched it since then ...

Re:NT popular in the enterprise (5, Insightful)

doodleboy (263186) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710329)

It's scary how many NT 4 boxes I come across in the work world. they just don't want to update, and the diff between using that and the newer offerings is huge, although so is the price.
I bet the installed base of nt4 is bigger than all later windows server installations combined. In my own case, I work at a small business with an nt4 pdc and about a half dozen 98/me clients. Microsoft did announce another year of security updates for nt4 server, but when they finally do kill support for it I'm going to say it's going to cost thousands to upgrade to Palladium or whatever it'll be called, but we can run linux for nothing. No need for licenses, no need to upgrade the p233 w/224 mb ram.

Don't laugh, it works. Despite all the whizbang marketing from Redmond, most busineses are extremely pragmatic. If all you need is a {print,file,login} server, linux will happily work on hardware later Microsoft OSes have no hope of running on.

Prediction: there'll be huge uptake of linux when Microsoft kills off support of nt4 server, because no one is going to want to take the double hit of replacing all the hardware and buying all new OS licenses. Not to mention new and different security headaches due to exponential increases in complexity, increased lock-in, restrictive EULAs, etc.

Re:NT popular in the enterprise (4, Interesting)

JediTrainer (314273) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710360)

It's scary how many NT 4 boxes I come across in the work world.

You know, the last couple of years haven't exactly been an economic cakewalk. Lots of companies have better things to do than spend money on new computers when their existing ones are working just fine.

For the record? I still use NT on my desk. Actually, I have two machines - the second runs Linux. Why can't I upgrade NT? Because the machine only has a P2/300 processor in it, and I'm fairly certain that a 'newer' OS will slow it down to something unbearable.

Why don't I care? Because I do all my real work on the Linux machine. The NT box is merely for Outlook, and testing our app using IE. I don't need anything faster, and frankly if the company was spending money, I'd rather have a raise than a replacement for that box.

I figure most people who are still using NT or 9x are probably using it for similar things. If all you're using is Office, why do you need to upgrade when everything works just fine on the machine you've got? And yes, I get irritated that our sales folks always have the newest, shiniest computers on their desks while I have old machines on mine trying to do software development, but I've been able to make do just fine. Perhaps I could use a new machine more than they could, but it's not a battle I would win.

At least for Linux we can use OpenMosix to get some improved performance. The suckers using Windows don't have anything like that.

EBay market for W2K will explode (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710193)

People realize that that "activation" in XP is invasive, and undesirable. People will continue to need the ability to install the same purchased license on more than one machine.

Being the last Windows that let you do this easily, I have a feeling that in a few years W2K will be going for a mint on eBay.

Re:EBay market for W2K will explode (2, Insightful)

c_oflynn (649487) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710219)

Or people will just pirate W2K for $0.50 (cost of a CD).

Re:EBay market for W2K will explode (2, Insightful)

Xner (96363) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710228)

That's really irrelevant. Either you need to have all your licensing properly sorted out, in which case installing the software on two machines using the same key is unacceptable to begin with, or you don't. If you don't, then you also do not mind using any of the other less-than-proper approaches to get past WPA.

If anything I think there will be a booming black market in cracked WinXP disks, a record number of BSA audits, and perhaps even raiding of private residences if the lobbies push hard enough.
Then hopefully someone will understand that all WPA does is bug the people that actually paid for the products, and stop these silly practices.

Windows 98 is still better than Debian (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710202)

Even so Windows 98 is better than Debian Linux.
Debian is yesturday's technology today.
A bad day with Windows 98 is still better than a good day with Debian.
There is nothing to see here.
Move along!
Move along!

Windows 3.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710204)

I recently was in a physician's office using Windows 3.11 to run a terminal emulator into their office practice server. All five PCs running Win 3.1 and serial connections! The office manager explained that it has been working for over ten years, and outside replacing hardware, they'll probably be doing so for several years to come. If it works, pay replace it?

On a lighter note, I've never seen an EOL anywhere for Microsoft OS/2 1.0. Does that mean it's still a viable MS product? ;-) (I still have my box!)

(forgetting password)

Re:Windows 3.1 (5, Informative)

f1ipf10p (676890) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710320)

MS OS/2 1.0 was not EOL.

It was abandoned by MS at 1.2 so that 3COM's 3+Open and IBM's PC Server OS's that built on top of it would have to react and lose market share.

MS was in an agreement with IBM and 3COM that allowed them to take advantage of the developments of the other two while leaving them in the cold. IBM tried to pick up development of OS/2 (including WARP), but that is a different story.

NT, Win2K, and XP all use the "net xxx" commands that were the heart of 3COM's OS even before the "alliance" with Microsoft. I think this is why Bob Metcalfe seems to hate Gates with such a passion.

"Come into my den said the spider to the fly."

Win 95 at Work (3, Interesting)

MarkJensen (708621) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710205)

Until just recently (read: months), our standard desktop was still Win95! They just finished switching everyone to Win2k. However the KUKA robots we use to build cars still run Win95 for the GUI, and probably always will, as the hardware won't support much higher...

Why "up"grade? (3, Insightful)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710206)

Why should I give up the use of 20 good workstations, Office 97, Windows 98, and everything working properly? I know that "up"grades never are. Things still work, we know how to use them, we've paid our money, we own everything.

The alternative is to throw everything out, buy all new hardware (do you really want me to try to run XP on a Pentium 200 with 64Mb of RAM?), get stuck with a lease on the software, and then to get locked into whatever upgrade cycle Bill thinks is best for Micro$oft.

Microsoft has chosen the greedy path, and eliminated themselves from the list of viable true upgrade paths. I'll upgrade those machines when RedHat (or someone else) gets their act together, supports the still functional Office 97 standard, and does it for less than $60/machine/year. All we need are bug and security patches!


Re:Why "up"grade? (1)

NeoThermic (732100) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710232)

Are you saying its Impossible?
Cause if so, then I will laugh. Im running XP on a 200mhz with 64Mb ram, and its running quite well. [Read: uptime: 3 weeks 1 day and still going]
All I had to do was pull the shit out...


Re:Why "up"grade? (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710292)

wow, 3 whole days...

lets see uptime for my win98 box... 37 days & 62 days respectivly (had to reboot finally last night because of trying to open a doc file with macros while iRate (Java) was running... I dont blame it for locking up)

Re:Why "up"grade? (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710303)

whoops misread that as 3 days, not weeks... sorry about that... too early in the morning

still the uptime on my win98 boxes is accurate

Re:Why "up"grade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710277)

You are going to wait a long time

Re:Why "up"grade? (0, Flamebait)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710306)

>>when RedHat (or someone else) gets their act together??????????????????????

Wtf are you talking about??
This is Free Software, that means that you shoudln't rely on some assholes like redhat that makes many out of other people development efforts, then fuck them hard, and start a propietary soft busnisses based on free one. I'ts because of people like you that they are able to do that kind of crap. If you think you diserver Free Software, lern and do it yourself, if you don't keep using your m$ shit, it's the most you diserve.

Re:Why "up"grade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710309)

All we need are bug and security patches!

After all of this time, some of those are startly to cause stability problems in Win 98. Whether that is deliberate or the software is just getting brittle is debatable.

People are figuring out the real use of computers. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710209)

Back in the 80s and early 90s, desktop machines were still by and large a new thing for many companies. Not only did many not really have a USE for them, they upgraded because they believed the marketing that said "Thou shalt need this upgrade"

Now, most people (managers especially) have a decade or more of computer use experience under their belt, perhaps even two, and can get a good idea for themselves of what a computer can actually do for them. Ten years experience seeing that a two-yearly upgrade cycle just leaves you with More Of The Same instead of something really new means people are seeing computers as just the tools they are, rather than something awe-inspiring that can solve their every problem

It's like Graphic User Interfaces - they're a hell of a lot more complex now than the original Mac, but that's OK. The original mac was introduced to people who'd never seen a computer before, let alone a GUI. Nowadays, by the time someone buys their first computer with their own money, they're buying a machine with an interface they already have YEARS of getting used to using, and the extra complexity has been learned into them from age 5.

That's a bit sad, in a way. (3, Insightful)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710216)

Windows 2000 is a quantum leap beyond either the 9X/ME or NT lines. I couldn't imagine going back, although I don't see enough benefit to XP to move up just yet.

I'd bet the reasons users retain the older operating systems have more to do with familiarity and the difficulty of upgrading than with the pricing (which was my first reaction) -- although Windows 2000 and XP offer a stunning level of compatibility with older hardware and a greatly enhanced user experience, the ability to migrate applications from an old system to a new system leaves something to be desired when compared to the DOS days where one could simply copy an application over.

Microsoft may do well to adopt practices that increase the ability for users to upgrade painlessly, such as by doing away with their authentication system and promoting a means of moving a software package (with its associated configuration and data files) to a new Windows installation or to a different computer.

Re:Quantum Leap? (2, Troll)

ka9dgx (72702) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710282)

How is Windows 2000 better? If you're running Office 97, or Office 2000, what does it do better than Windows 98SE?

Nothing other than satisfy the immature need to have a newer toy.


Re:Quantum Leap? (1)

HolyCoitus (658601) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710331)

Well, actually, I used to run Windows 98se... Memory management was so bad, that I had to reset at least twice a day. For the older Windows 95, you can't go very long without needing a reinstall or having really strange shit start happening. I was at my friend's work with her, and she was on her computer. She clicked something in the program she was working in for work, and the thing did a hard lockup. She had to reset manually. That won't happen with Win2k. I've had crashes with an error box that I couldn't get rid of on Windows 98se.

There are many reasons to switch. Then again, there are many reasons not to. If you don't have the users switch, and then demo Linux, they'll be drooling at the chops. Compare something like win98 to something like a nicely configured Gentoo or Debian install and you'll have any non-techie instantly interested.

Re:That's a bit sad, in a way. (1)

hey (83763) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710343)

Don't most people agree that NT 4 was the first good OS Microsoft made. That was good enough for most things. Win2000 wasn't much better than NT4.

Only bugfixes... (-1, Troll)

Silly_Wizard (729311) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710223)

All versions after 98 have only been bugfixes!
98 was nearly unusable! Crashing every 10 minutes!!!

I havent paid for windows since 95! Why should I pay for bugfixes?!?

Re:Only bugfixes... (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710261)

Come on, playing The Slashdot Game, trying to earn -1 troll for anti-microsoft post?

Typing that from W98SE. Didn't crash (by itself, without help of 3rd party programs) for 3 or more days. But recently crashes after maybe 6 hours of activity because of some 3rd party drivers.

Original CD prices going up! (4, Insightful)

professorhojo (686761) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710226)

I read somewhere that lately the market price of original Win95 and Win98 CDs have been going up for the first time... um... EVER! (They're going like hotcakes on Ebay too.)

The market's a funny thing. Give your customers crappy features like DRM, and they'll find a way to tel you they're not interested... like back-grading to your previous versions.

You watch... i predict that soon Microsoft will find some way to prohibit the sale of these original CDs. A law will get passed, probably under the guise of national security.

prof. h.

Re:Original CD prices going up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710311)

thats ok, i have Win95 & Win98se and a 52X CDRW, i will make copys and sell em for 5 bucks a piece in a un-named fea market in a un-named state of the USA

Re:Original CD prices going up! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710362)

It's probably already in the EULA tbh, but nobody really cares about those since we don't even know if they have any teeth.

A lot of Mac users on OS 8.x and 9.x, too (5, Insightful)

ewg (158266) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710229)

A lot of Mac users are on Mac OS 8.x or 9.x as well, or using the Classic environment to run applications for OS 9.x under Mac OS X.

It seems that when people buy a computer, they expect the software to last as long as the hardware.

ME? (1)

grungebox (578982) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710233)

What about Windows ME? I know some people who still run that OS (or POS, rather). Does anyone else still run it, and if so, why?

Re:ME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710287)

I'm on a 80186 with 4MB ram.

Re:ME? (1)

wilfie (622159) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710359)

I do have it. In fact it was the last version of Windows that I bought for personal use: not that I use it very often. It is one of the OSes 'supported' by my broadband supplier, so their engineer used it when he came to install broadband. I was beginning to think that it wasn't as bad as people make out, but during his install process Windows hung ("Do you mind if I switch it off? he said. "Do I have any choice?" I said). It then lost track of what driver it was using for my graphics card. It is tolerable if you use it to run TightVNC client in fullscreen mode to connect to a linux m/c.

Netscape 4 Users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710234)

You don't have to be using Windows 95/98/NT to use Netscape 4 you know.

Want Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710237)

Just use Freenet. Bill's Big Giveaway at SSK@0XfsEtY77bacbBwMIYQNvxbI8y8PAgM/Bills_Giveaway /3/ will have you all set up with Win98 or WinXP. Even MS Office if you want it.

Not a Freenet user? What are you waiting for? Go to [] , download the latest stable, run it awhile and find utopia.

Simple reason... (4, Insightful)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710240)

The only way to get Windows running on middle-class hardware is to install W98 or such...

I've seen in many stores computers with config like: 2GHZ CPU, some Radeon gfx card, DVD, 5+1 audio card and to all that 128MB RAM (DDR). And of course Windows XP Home Edition. How fast will all that run when it has to use swap memory all the time?!
Solution 1: Install more ram. And void warranty by doing so, because there's a warranty sticker on the case and no internals can be changed.
Solution 2: Install some OS for which 128M RAM is more than enough. Like W98SE or such.

Another reason to run Windows 95 (5, Interesting)

boutell (5367) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710244)

I gave a little mini-talk at a Philly Linux Users' Group meeting recently on lightweight web browsers. It was based on my experiences converting my wife's old laptop to Linux when she decided, for political reasons, that she was not willing to upgrade to another Windows product when Windows 95 finally became unstable and unusable on the machine.

Her machine had 32 megs of RAM and a P166 MMX processor.

As it turned out, Windows 95 plus Internet Explorer ran blazing rings around Debian Linux plus Mozilla, which was almost unusable, even after I switched her over to icewm and rxvt rather than the much heavier KDE environment. Eventually I found Skipstone [] , which made her machine usable again, but only barely. To be quite honest, there is no Linux/browser combination that compares with the performance Windows 95/Internet Explorer can offer on that class of hardware, and there's no good reason to throw away a perfectly nice older laptop.

Eventually, though, she upgraded to a Dell Latitude XPi which runs Linux much more comfortably -- although I still switched her to icewm and streamlined her startup drastically to get a reasonable boot time.

Re:Another reason to run Windows 95 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710304)

Funny I am posting from a machine with a P-75 and 12MB of ram. Its running the latest version of Slackware.

If it works, don't fix it (4, Insightful)

NetDanzr (619387) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710249)

I run Win98, but only because my Win95 machine died on me. As somebody who requires a computer for basic office tasks (Word, Excel), some photoediting and HTML editing, a 400MHz machine with 64MB RAM, Win98, Office 2000, Photoshop 6, HomeSite 4.5 and Opera 7.x is all I need.

I've tried WinXP, and found it very frustrating. Rather than learning how to configure things, such as installing software to be accessible to all users, disabling that damn "You've got too many icons on your desktop" message and dozens of other annoyances, I decided a WinXP computer was not for me and instead kept my older machine.

Of course, I do understand that some people need certain features that are available only in better operating systems, but let's face it: productivity software has very little new to offer, and sticking to an older version is not only cheaper, but also more efficient, as the user is already used to that particlular interface and features.

As a free lance, computer repair guy... (5, Insightful)

clifgriffin (676199) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710251)

Windows 98 is 70% of why I have a job.

If companies realized just how much money they dump into fixing all of the problems Windows 98 is privy to, they'd all be on Windows XP.

When I upgrade users to Windows 2000/XP I immediately stop getting Operating System related calls. Suddenly my only work is occassional malware, "my network is down", etc..

Windows 98 is a horrible product, and it's a liability to most small businesses. Most of my clients would have saved hundreds of dollars to make the jump.


Re:As a free lance, computer repair guy... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710340)

you are so full of shit...

The Winner Is... (2, Interesting)

wls (95790) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710255)

Old and cheap usually beats new and expensive.

For the average user, what do they really gain to moving to XP? A lot of fluff.

What does the techy user gain from staying with 98? A closet full of games that still work.

Some companies rely on particular apps (2, Insightful)

f1ipf10p (676890) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710256)

I know of a few insurance companies that still rely primarily on a DOS based application that they continue to run under Win98 or Win95.

One still uses DOS 6.22 on 486 based PC's for a few of their users.

I have run the app in DOSEMU on Linux, but have problems with network support.

I wish they would agree to migrate to a newer app.

Re:Some companies rely on particular apps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710366)

Same thing with doctors and medical applications. A majority of what I have to deal with for them is DOS based crap. It's a bitch to try to find new, compatable hardware (eg, jumper setable ISA modems).

Windows 2000 (3, Interesting)

mr.henry (618818) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710264)

XP has been out for a couple years now, and I've tried 'upgrading' a couple times, but I always come back to Win2k. It is amazingly stable, fast, and compatible with every Windows app I've tried. The interface is clean and simple -- not like the fruity looking XP default one. With a little tweaking (and a good firewall, of course), you can make it relatively secure too.

Yes, I know MS sucks, but they did a great job with Win2k.

Re:Windows 2000 (1)

Kneht (218314) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710332)

You may find that you like XP with the classic interface. It boots (much) faster for most people, and if you share your computer ever, it also supports fast user switching.

Like you, I was really impressed by Win2k, but XP has surpassed my expectations.

Now if it were only OS X...

Re:Windows 2000 (5, Interesting)

Peeet (730301) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710350)

"The interface is clean and simple -- not like the fruity looking XP default one. With a little tweaking (and a good firewall, of course), you can make it relatively secure too."

Well with a little tweaking, you can make Windows XP look like Windows 2000 as well.

"Yes, I know MS sucks, but they did a great job with Win2k."

I have been running Windows XP Professional for a while now and although I am, as well, not too fond of the way Microsoft goes about business, (I hate them with a particularly fiery passion regarding their purchase of Bungie Software...) I admit that Windows XP, if used correctly will work better than Windows 2K, dare I say, even good enough for me to get stuff done, and even on a regular basis.

My computer is a custom build, I leave it on all the time, and I do all sorts of wierd things to it. It has survived - there is life after Microsoft. My ability to do this (leave it on, have it work under stress) actually increased after upgrading to XP (and a bit more when upgrading to XP pro) and increased a lot when I ditched my HP Laptop and went to this custom rig.

Of course, I also get MS Windows XP Pro from my college bookstore for $6.00, so if it weren't for the piracy busting price, I would be all over linux like a bum on a ham sandwich.

me too... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710268)

i keep a 1 gig disk partition with a stripped down Win98se installed that been modified with "Revenge of Mozilla" (similar to 98lite but free) but my computer is usually booted to Linux 99% of the time...

XP??? i would not put that POS on my computer if Billy borg Gates came to my house in person and gave me a copy free...

here: google survey differs from the 'news' survey (5, Interesting)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710269)

here [] you can have a look at google's statistics - statisctics of "who is using google?"

I think that major difference 6.6 % of XP users versus 38 % of XP users is caused by a very simple thing: win95/98 users are not connected to internet thus, they are not using google.

based on this, news's survey is very likely to be true

Cost and Familiarity (5, Insightful)

tarnin (639523) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710278)

I work for an ISP. I see alot (well hear) of companies still running on Win95 and 98. When I ask why the answers I usually get are "Why? This is working for us just fine!" and "We would love too but shelling out thousands for new hardware, the OS, upgrading the current programs, and training just isn't worth it."

I think alot of people on /. seem to forget that a good 90% of users only know how to run certain programs in windows and thats it. Once they deviate from that, forget it, they are totally lost. The cost in training someone to use a newer OS and the programs associated it can sometimes run into the hundreds of thousands depending on the size of a company.

One other thing to keep in mind is that most mid to smaller level companies do not have onsite IT people. They will either higher outside integrators who charge by the hour or just wing it and hope that the existing set up continues to work for as long as possible. In both situations the company is very very hesident to upgrade as it will cost a ton of money to effectivly get the same results as now.

the punters love it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710283)

i sell oem systems. the general public love windows 98. true most of them don't know much about the real differences at all, but I have a couple of people each day *insisting* they have their new athlon 64 installed with 98. there are a lot of really bad myths floating around with the proto-newbies about windows xp, a good 10% have been misinformed that it's a lame duck in my experience.

Slowly moving to 2000 and Linux. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710285)

Most people I know absolutley hate xp, but are incresingly interested in the Stable Windows 2000 and Linux (on the desktop too). I have noticed many organizations I work with have bought a whole lot of new Dell Optiplexen, which has the "Designed for XP" sticker on it, and immediately Zap XP with Windows 2000, not letting have the chance to boot.

On the home side of things, many people are enquiring about Linux to install on their home machines Running Windows 98/ME/XP Home. The reaction of Seeing KDE 3.1 and seeing what a refreshing change fromg Windows have converted many. Many people have heard so much FUD about linux that they are shocked that it Works, unlike Windows XP who BSOD'd on me when I inserted my new USB digital camera, Linux on the other hand created a Disk icon on my desktop and I was able to view them with Konqueror. My old Pentium III with 64 MB much prefered it to Windows 98.

If Microsoft dares to EOL Windows 2000 to force people to use Vapourhorn, they are going to get creamed.

If Microsoft Released an Updated Version of Windows NT (not SP7 call It NT+) with bug fixes and USB/Firewire support it would make a lot of money and make lives a lot easier for companies running perfectly good hardware but not fast enough to run Windows 2000.

Almost offtopic... (0, Offtopic)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710319)

Linux on the other hand created a Disk icon on my desktop and I was able to view them with Konqueror.

so, how do I actually -prevent- it from creating the icons? I moved all my drive partition links (30 or so) to a separate folder but they get re-created on startup, spamming half of my desktop.

Johnson & Johnson (3, Interesting)

baglamist (590601) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710291)

Johnson and Johnson, the huge medical/health conglomerate, had all of its employees running Windows 95 on their desktops until last year. It was a painful thing for us, living with that OS' instability (which led to rules like 'you must reboot your business computer every day'), but their policy is to keep all desktops standardized among the many J&J companies. (All our business PCs are IBM, which also says something about our conservative IT policies.)

They rolled out Windows 2000, during 2002 and 2003, with a lot of thought, using its administration features for IT to gain much more control over individuals' machines--Administrator access to one's own PC is now a rare privilege. At least our desktop computers are less wonky now.

There's no way the company will "upgrade" to XP; probably we will migrate to Windows 2005 in 2008 or so, if there is some compelling reason to do so.

Why upgrade? (2, Informative)

ihummel (154369) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710295)

Why pay all the extra money for an OS that won't run on your less-than-uptodate hardware and which has draconian phone-home anti-piracy measures? Sure Windows 98 wasn't the most stable Operating System in the world, but it's Windows and Windows just wouldn't be Windows without instability.

I personally run an old copy of Win98 under Win4Lin for Linux. I use it for a program or two which I need to use for work but which does not have a compatable Linux counterpart.

Users exist in spacetime (4, Funny)

base_chakra (230686) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710297)

it only makes sense that they're running it somewhere.

Well observed, CowboyNeal. ;)

Yup, thats my own experience also. (2, Informative)

AmoebafromSweden (112178) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710302)

I worked at an ISP in Sweden a little while back. The biggest majority of users are still using Windows 98. I guess ms only chance to make people upgrade is the usual underhanded tactics, not supporting new features etc.

Me myself, I still use netscape messenger for email and have no plans on changing client. (Its super easy to backup your email in that program)

10 cents say... (-1, Troll)

Jesrad (716567) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710313)

10 cents say Microsoft will soon "revoke" Win95 and 98 EULAs to force everyone to upgrade (preferably to Linux) !

98SE is still a good OS. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7710323)

98SE = solid OS. I only recently (4 months ago?) upgraded to XP, and to be honest, I don't see much improvement. The only place I've noticed a real upgrade is pirating stuff on emule, because XP handles multiple connections so much better.

98SE properly configured is a stable and fast OS. I think in my entire time using 98SE (several years) I received maybe 2 blue screens, and only a few hard-locks. 98SE has a native DOS mode which makes playing legacy DOS games much easier. Also, the 98 disk defrag program is better than XP's utterly worthless defrag.

And I think the most important thing: 98SE doesn't have any trojans out of the box. I have to check for Windows security updates every week. 98SE? Say what you want, but I didn't even need a firewall when I ran that OS as a lone-wolf PC.

I'm sure one of you Professor Frinks will immediately respond with "98SE is not a good OS, you can't recompile your kernel!!!" Here's a hint: 99% of computer users don't want to recompile their operating system to play jDoom on their lunch break.

The thing I always wondered is (1, Troll)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710325)

Ok, so now Win98 is retired, i.e. not available from its maker, Microsoft. Soon, the second-hand market for Windows licenses will die out.

Once there are no licenses available anymore, and since Microsoft doesn't care anymore either (they've abandoned the OS), why shouldn't it be possible to copy and download it freely?

I mean, I realize Win98 is still under copyright from M$ and isn't public domain, but given that they don't make money out of it and they don't support it, it's as good as abandonware, no?

Well what did they think they would find? (3, Interesting)

cluge (114877) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710352)

Win 95 to Win98 was an improvement, 98 was more stable, and supported more hardware (or so it seemed). Thus the masses bought Win98, and they thought Win98 to ME would be an improvement. Windows ME was such an unstable POS and Win 2k didn't support their consumer hardware. The masses revolted and went back to Win 98, with a bitter taste in their mouth. A then an economic downturn ensued (not related) - the masses stopped spending, and made due with what they had.

As the economy picks up, win XP (which is a far cry from the miserable ME experience) will start to be adopted more and more. MS has to overcome the bitter taste left in the mouth of consumers when they tried to foist ME on us. Oh yeah, and businesses REALLY didn't like ME (I know of at least 2 companies that would purchase dell laptops, and would wipe and reload 98 on them when they arrived).

A couple of axioms for the MS marketing people to remember
  • Time heals all wounds
  • People know what people know, and generally are scared of change (thus MS gives us the "classic" look in XP)
  • Bad word of mouth travels twice as fast and twice as far as good word of mouth

AngryPeopleRule []

purely licensing costs (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 10 years ago | (#7710357)

For me it is an issue of cost and speed. I know windows NT will run on my machine. I know when it works and when it doesn't. I need to upgrade to Windows 2000, but do i buy the upgrade or standard? I have had so much trouble with MS upgrades, especially when I have to recover from a crash, it seems better just to buy the standard version and still have a legal version of the old OS. But that means nearly $200, even at steep discounts, for every machine. And who knows how fast the new OS will run, and what other upgrades will be needed.

They need to price to sell to the home consumer. Like Apple the should have a 5 user $200 license so that we can stay current without violating copyright. I know employees can now legaly use MS software at home if corporate licenses it, but that is not everyone. It doesn't help that they give corporate customer the ultimatum of upgrading now or being unable to upgrade affordable later. I Linux gets it act together on the desktop, this lack of upgrading could lead to a significant decline in MS market share. Which is probably why MS is going after Lindows.

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