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End of Win 98 Support May Boost Desktop Linux

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the not-sure-about-the-demographic-overlap dept.

581

An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft kills off support for Windows 98 and Windows ME today, and ZDNet is reporting that the move will boost demand for Linux on the desktop. Unlike two years ago — when support for Win98 was extended because Linux was seen as a serious competitor — this time it seems there is no turning back."

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Yeah sure... (5, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696870)

Increased demand for Linux on the desktop? Highly unlikely. The machines still running Win98/ME are probably all older machines that keep on chugging. The users didn't bother to upgrade to Windows 2000 or Windows XP in the first place, and will just keep running Win98/ME until the machine dies. When that happens, the users will simply buy a new system and then get the latest OS that comes with it. Probably XP or Vista, depending on time when the old machine dies.

While Linux may be ready for the desktop, the people that stick to Win98/ME are the most unlikely to switch to Linux.

Re:Yeah sure... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15696901)

No kidding. Joe Average doesn't know about Linux. He knows about Apple and Macs, which are "different PCs", because they advertise everywhere. If the end of support for Win98 will boost *anything* it's the purchases of Macs. But I think that most people will stick to regular PCs when they need a replacement for their dead machine.

Re:Yeah sure... (5, Insightful)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697027)

If the end of support for Win98 will boost *anything* it's the purchases of Macs.

You have got to be joking. There are only three possible reasons not to upgrade from Windows 98:

1. Cannot justify the expense when Windows 98 works fine.
2. Need to run programs that don't work in newer versions of Windows.
3. Too lazy to care.

People in category (1) are hardly going to pay the extortionate premium for an Apple: they'll keep on using their old computer until it breaks, and then they'll buy the cheapest Dell they can get.

People in category (2) are hardly going to switch to a totally incompatible operating system that doesn't run any of their software: they'll keep on using their old computer until it breaks, and then they'll buy the cheapest Dell they can get and put Windows 98 on that. Sure, you could theoretically buy a Mac and run Win98 on it in Virtual PC. But why bother, when you can get a Dell for a fraction of the price?

People in category (3) don't care about the end of support, so they'll keep on using their old computer until it breaks, and then they'll... you guessed it, they'll buy the cheapest Dell they can get and not care about that either.

Oh, they won't switch to Linux either, but they certainly won't be interested in Apple hardware. For all its advantages, it does not have anything whatsoever to offer the kind of person who is still using Windows 98 in 2006.

Re:Yeah sure... (5, Insightful)

jagossel (973849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696916)

I would have to agree. Seems like in a Microsoft-driven world, people will go out and buy Windows XP or Windows Vista. Even with the WGA in place, people would still buy Windows. I'm all pro-Linux myself, but I still use a Microsoft OS at home. I would like to see Linux take their fair share in the desktop market, but I don't think it will happen with Microsoft dominating the market. Plus, users are too familiar with Windows and are a little hesitant to switch to Linux.

Re:Yeah sure... (-1, Troll)

tanishk (988138) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696918)

End of the win9x?? i am waiting for the end of micro @ass!! kingdom...

Re:Yeah sure... (2)

Zyprexia (988133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696945)

Plus that most companies (I doubt if there are many home users tunning W98 as there main OS) are using W98 because some software demands it. There is a lot of specialized (custom) software around that might never been ported to a later Windows version..

Re:Yeah sure... (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696985)

There is a lot of specialized (custom) software around that might never been ported to a later Windows version..

Which is just fine; the specialized custom software is likely outdated, and no longer meets the needs of the organization, so the company is more likely to take the time to build new software which does meet their demands, or purchase OTS software.

Re:Yeah sure... (5, Insightful)

Zyprexia (988133) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697059)

Ever heard of the phrase 'If it ain't broken, don't fix it'. I worked for some industrial companies that never going to take the risk of shutting down their factory line just to do an update. If it's working correctly now, it will also work correctly over 3 years. Most of the industrial companies don't have the resources to write (or maintain) the specialized software. Because of that they paid a lot of money for the software to interact with the factory plant. They are not going to invest millions of Euros to update their software just because Microsoft stops support for W98...

Re:Yeah sure... (4, Insightful)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697012)

Actually, most small companies I know that are still running Win98 do so because they don't need much out of their computers, and it still does the job. Not because they have special apps that require Win98. And these companies are among the prime candidates for a move to Linux. Granted, most of them will certainly stick with MS, but even a few Linux migrations could be fairly significant, percentage-wise.

Re:Yeah sure... (1)

bsartist (550317) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697067)

Actually, most small companies I know that are still running Win98 do so because they don't need much out of their computers, and it still does the job. Not because they have special apps that require Win98. And these companies are among the prime candidates for a move to Linux.
How so? If they're unwilling or unable to move fromWin98, then the question of what they might move to is entirely academic.

Re:Yeah sure... (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696951)

The machines still running Win98/ME are probably all older machines that keep on chugging

My dad's GF's daughter mentioned to me in passing the other day that she turns her cable modem off when she goes out because her windows 98 system has 128 viruses on it or some number like that. I ran off a copy of unbuntu for her to take home. A similar thing happened with my sisters machine in the share house where she lives.

The only real problem is that gnome, et al, won't run well on an older machine. I think the popularity of broadband is making people more security concious.

Re:Yeah sure... (1, Funny)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697016)

Wouldn't it have been simplier (and more secure) to tell her to buy a firewall?

Re:Yeah sure... (2, Informative)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697020)

You might want to try http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/ [damnsmalllinux.org] on that machine if it's only really used for surfing and e-mail. I have a few P166 and P400 laptops running it now and it works great. Quite peppy on those machines. It's designed to be a "Live CD" so you can test it out. If you like it, it can be installed on a computer from the same disk.

Now if your Dad's GF's Daughter (we call them Great Aunts here) doesn't like the word "damn" in the name, then that may be a problem. But I'm sure she said that word many times while dealing with the viruses.

Re:Yeah sure... (4, Informative)

doti (966971) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697049)

Or just install ubuntu without a bloated desktop environment.
There are plenty of good options around, some are even end-user friendly.

Re:Yeah sure... (5, Informative)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697062)

Well, XUbuntu (a new xfce desktop for Ubuntu) should solve the problem of high processor needs, but RAM is still a worry for getting a legacy box into Linux world. XUbuntu still needs 128 megs just to install using the default (n00b-friendly) installer. A lot of these old win98 boxes have only 32 or 64 megs of RAM in them. Yes, old PC100 ram is cheap on eBay, but that's a substantial difference from just downloading and running a piece of software.

Re:Yeah sure... (2, Insightful)

exit3219 (946049) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696961)

True. Imagine a win98 user who has no idea about Linux. So he decides to try a distro. Do you think the latest Gnome/KDE will run smoother on their machine than Win89 did? Do you believe Openoffice 2 will be faster than MS Office '97? Hell, no! As a newbie, he probably won't have the patience to learn enough on a crawling-slow machine to use IceWM / .

Re:Yeah sure... (5, Insightful)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696966)

From TFA:

"School PCs are likely more at risk. Win9x PCs used regularly on the Internet need up to date security software. Some of these users -- companies, schools and governments -- may switch to Linux or Mac[.]" (emphasis mine)

The article doesn't focus on old PCs in people's kitchen that only run Word. It specifically mentions schools, companies and governments - places that might have lots of old computers that still do something, and that need to know that those machines aren't going to be botted (those places DO have people who worry about such things, as opposed to the "average home user" that you seem to refer to). For such places, installing Linux might be a nice option instead of just throwing the hardware out.

Re:Yeah sure... (4, Interesting)

Vlad_the_Inhaler (32958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697075)

I saw this article and turned my Win98 machine on again to download the final updates. Ok, the CMOS values were screwed because it has been unhooked for months, but I have a local Samba time server so wtf.

This machine is not about to become a Linux machine. The hard disc is too small (fixable, I have another unused one floating around) but the main reason is memory. The beast has 64MB which is not enough for any modern Linux KDE/Gnome system (my old Laptop has 96MB and is pretty turgid), not just that, these old machines would only cache the first 64MB of memory so I would have to start looking at NUMA if I wanted to upgrade (memo to self: does the Laptop have the same problem?).

Anyone who has a machine of that generation is going to leave it as it is. Linux is not an option.

Re:Yeah sure... (1)

theLOUDroom (556455) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696970)

Increased demand for Linux on the desktop? Highly unlikely. The machines still running Win98/ME are probably all older machines that keep on chugging.

Unless they get connected to the internet.
Then they get 0wned, and something must be done.

Re:Yeah sure... (0, Flamebait)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696972)

While Linux may be ready for the desktop

Speaking as someone that ran Linux on the desktop from 2002 until this past Feb, I can say Linux is not ready for the desktop.

Re:Yeah sure... (4, Insightful)

Pogue Mahone (265053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696997)

Speaking as someone who has run Linux on my desktop since about 1996 (and on my home PC long before that), I can say that Windows is not yet ready for my desktop and most likely never will be.

Re:Yeah sure... (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697046)

Speaking as someone who stopped running it on the desktop from 2002 to 2006 (after using it since 1996), but recently tried it again, I have to say that GNU/Linux most certainly is ready for the desktop (finally.) At least, if it isn't, then Windows certainly isn't either.

Recent GNOMEs seem pretty intuitive and well designed. There's no want for software any more in most areas (and Windows is arguably deficient in as many areas), and Ubuntu appears to have done a remarkable job getting everything to "just work". I'm sure you can come up with complaints, but I doubt they affect "Grandma" more than similar complaints about Windows.

Re:Yeah sure... (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697090)

Why not?

What sort of desktop? (Work, home?)

What sort of user? (Child, adult, experienced, novice?)

What sort of setup? (RAM, CPU, peripheral hardware?)

"The desktop" is not a magical world filled with exact specifications, it's a variable. My "desktop" would be unusable by most novices because of the way I choose to set it up. My girlfriend's "desktop" really annoys me because of it's simplicity (I have to keep installing things to get the facilities I want).

I use "desktop" Linux as my main workhorse... because it's a damn sight better than the other OS's available to me for that machine (I have enough Windows 98SE and XP Pro licenses to cover it several times over BTW, but have never even inserted the XP disk and I moved from 98 to Linux in the first place). It does all my email, web browsing, printing, file management, wordprocessing, desktop publishing, video capture/editing/conversion, photo manipulation, and a lot more besides without any sort of problem. It took about a week to get it working how I'd want my desktop to work and a month of two of very occasional tinkering to get it perfect and I haven't changed the desktop setup in at least six months (though I have added software etc.).

It does everything I expect from a desktop PC and a lot more that I don't (it runs two security cameras, the printers for the network, firewalls for the network, as a wireless AP and sniffer, the list goes on and on and the CPU is NEVER idle). It all runs flawlessly and smoothly (on a 1Ghz/512Mb), I can word-process without hassle and print without problems. I can browse, I can manage thousands of documents, tens of thousands of emails, I can create websites for paying clients, I can even plug in my camera and email Aunt Joan that photo I took last week. My girlfriend uses it when she can't be bothered to walk to her computer, it took her ten minutes to learn how to VNC into her machine but she only actually does that when she needs her particular setup (e.g. email accounts etc.). For EVERYTHING else, she is quite happy to sit, click and work on the Linux desktop. Considering that up until 3 years ago she had never used any form of personal computer in her life until her uni forced her to learn Windows, she's adapted remarkably well and with nearly ZERO instruction (clicking and learning). She's wrote thousand-page essays on it, she's browsed all her favourite sites from it, she's picked up her email from it, she's even played games on it, all without any problems at all (tell a lie... she didn't like that the version of Opera that I was using was one version number ahead of her own!)

The only problem with "desktop linux" is initial configuration (but, hey, I work with Slackware so it was never going to be a single-click to get it all working how I wanted... as it was it only took the install time + 5 minutes to get X with KDE up and then it was user management... a week of casual use later it had all the software I needed) but I don't use the GUI-oriented distros so that's probably a non-issue anyway for most people who would. Hardware support is almost perfect now, even if it means ugly binary drivers. Most people I know can't install a printer on XP so they don't stand any more chance of doing the same on Linux. If it doesn't come pre-installed, they get someone "who knows" in to do it. All that "desktop linux" means is that the "who-knows" person has to be familiar with Linux instead of Windows.

But, to come back on the topic a bit, Windows 98 users will probably stay were they are until their machines explode. After that, then they may choose something but, considering that those same people are the ones who can't install printers, what they use will be determined by who sets up their next PC for them, not whether Windows 98 has extended support or not.

Re:Yeah sure... (5, Insightful)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696977)

> Increased demand for Linux on the desktop? Highly unlikely.

Um, you realize that it doesn't take much to qualify as increased demand for Linux on the desktop! :)

> While Linux may be ready for the desktop, the people that stick to Win98/ME are the most unlikely to switch to Linux.

True, with one notable excemption you may be overlooking. Companies that still use Win98 may well consider support to be an important factor, and may well be willing to consider an alternative like Linux. I agree that Gramma's Win98 machine is unlikely to change to Linux, but the small company with less-than-a-dozen aging machines might actually consider switching. Most of them will probably bite the bullet and upgrade to XP or something, but a few might actually make the leap. And, like I say, it doesn't take many to qualify as an increased demand for Linux at the moment.

Actually, I'd like to do the switch... (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696984)

I've got an old CTX700E notebook running Windows 98 SE. It only has a 2GB HD. I maxed out the RAM, but forget what it holds.

I tried at one point to upgrade it to Windows XP Home Edition, but the install filled the HD and it was slow as molasses. So I tried some flavor of *nix (Red Hat?) but it equally filled the HD and was equally slow. I know you can pick and choose what things to install but I don't know what things are good and what things aren't so I just say "install everything".

It could be a fun computer to do a Linux install on - I just use it for Microsoft Office/email/web stuff while on the road. If I had time I'd play and figure out how to do a minimal install with a GUI desktop and get all those kinds of apps running.

Steve

Re:Yeah sure... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15697005)

Right on! You Linux advocates are so myopic that you haven't figured out that the OS with 90% share of the market gets 90+% of the s-w, manuals, drivers and books. To think that people using Win98 are going to switch to a couple of percent OS with a couple of percent of the s-w, manuals, drivers and books IS SERIOUS DELUSIONAL thinking. You might consider spending some time away from the co-dependents you currentl associate with. Go to NoNags.com and see how much free s-w is available for the 98+ Win OS. Sure Linux is stable, excellent for servers, and Billy Gates is an ASS, etc. BUUUT ...

Re:Yeah sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15697076)

what does "buuut" mean?

I agree (4, Interesting)

NetDanzr (619387) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697034)

I'm one of those who tried to switch to Linux. Even though Win98 is blazing fast on my machine, Xubuntu (light-weight Ubuntu with XFCE) has been as sluggish as Win95 on my other computer, a 486-66MHz. I really appreciated how helpfull the Ubuntu forum members were, but after a while they all determined that XFCE would not run any faster on my computer than it did, and so I switched back to Win98SE.

That generation hardware the worst candidate (1)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697058)

The hardware of the late 1990's and early 2000's was the most closed windows dependant hardware I've ever seen. The integrated video hardware of today is way more compatible than of that time. Although many OEM's don't "support" Linux today, many at least test their hardware and attempt to run on linux (intel, adaptec, promise, atheros, ati, nvidia, amd, dell, hp, etc). Back then many OEM's had no clue about linux. A great deal of these computers probably have winmodems too so there's little chance of internet connectivity. Flakey soundcards too. Video, sound, and internet are pretty important to most home users. Old machines are good for web and mail servers because all they need is a usuable IDE controller and network card, but they make pretty crappy desktop machines.

It's a bad idea encouraging these people to use linux. They will probably fall flat on their face and have a bad impression of linux. They'd be better off buying a 1ghz mini itx box with linux preloaded for a few hundred dollars.

Re:Yeah sure... (2, Insightful)

Max Threshold (540114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697066)

Not if we scare them enough.

For example, we can tell them (truthfully) that from now on, connecting a Win98 box to the Internet is as reckless and irresponsible as leaving buckets of water out in your yard for virus-bearing mosquitoes to breed in. (Not that it wasn't before.)

Considering how much malware these old machines are probably loaded with, most users would probably be impressed by how much faster a clean install of the latest Ubuntu Linux would be.

Fairly Obvious (2, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696871)

Add to the lack of support the fact that most machines we are talking about are old and slow by today's standards. Modern Windows OSes won't run well if at all on many of them. Linux is a natural choice, so this 'analysis' is fairly obvious and not really news per se. Linux can run quite well on marginal hardware, and is available basically for free, or a small fee if the user(s) want support.

Nothing really to see here. Move along.

Re:Fairly Obvious (1)

edis (266347) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696912)

Can't Win98 run further on this hardware? Seems like the most likely end for those stations, that didn't seen support comparable to XP SP2, anyway. No big value for Linux here, actually.

Re:Fairly Obvious (2, Informative)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696960)

I think most companies that still run 98/ME machines have to do so because the specific application they depend upon will not run on newer versions of the operating system, let alone entirely different operating systems.

Besides; don't fix it if it ain't broken.

Re:Fairly Obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15696999)

If Microsoft folded up and quit today, the user would still not pick Linux as their desktop. They would find an alternative or wait for the next easy to use, no compile, works with everything replacement. You guys really live in fantasy land...

Legacy application support and WINE (3, Insightful)

DG (989) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697004)

Although I'm a huge Linux fan, and I've been using it on my primary home desktop since 1997, I doubt that end-of-life on Win95 will push Linux adoption at all.

The issue here isn't keeping old machines running (which Linux does spectacularly) but keeping old APPLICATIONS running - those specialized applications that are in some sense mission-critical, but which won't run on newer hardware or under XP.

I've got a pair of P150 Win95 Toughbooks that I use to talk to the ECU on the race car. I'd love to use my fancy-schmancy HP ZD7280 instead, but it has no serial port, and the ECU doesn't like USB->Serial converters. Yes, I could buy a PCMCIA serial card, but the laptops were cheaper - and they work.

There are a lot of businesses out there with hardware controllers, bespoke business process software etc running on Win95 because their specific application won't run on XP. Linux doesn't help these folks.

Unless WINE is 100% functional for their application and is pre-installed (setting up WINE used to be a real bitch) such that the application can be loaded onto a Linux box and "just works", there's no reason to move to Linux.

DG

Re:Fairly Obvious (2, Insightful)

Chris whatever (980992) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697055)

You actually think that MR and MRs anyone that are running Win98 or ME because they dont know better will change to a completely different O.S?

They barely know the ins and out of internet and have difficulty telling what version of windows they have, they surely wont change to linux and that's THE FAIRLY OBVIOUS ANALYSIS.

Useless (5, Insightful)

John Betonschaar (178617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696872)

What a useless article, the only section that actually mentioned Linux at all was

Silver still believes that some users may decide to switch to Linux instead of upgrading to XP but he said existing applications that require Windows are likely to stop a mass migration.

So how exactly is MS killing '98 support going to 'help linux migration'??

Re:Useless (2, Insightful)

bluebox_rob (948307) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696934)

I agree there won't be a flood of new Linux users as a result of this, but there may be a few - everytime a software vendor cuts off support for a product there is always some backlash from users who don't see why they should have to pay for a new version of something that they see (however naively) as still working perfectly well.

I agree (5, Insightful)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696953)

I work in a 2-way radio business radio shop. All of our programming computers use Windows 98 SE because everything after that had trouble with using the serial ports of out DOS (Now, on Win98, almost everything works. On anything past that, 90% of the software works, but you will run into something here or there that refuses to read or write to a radio).

I would love nothing more to swap each Win98 computer over to Linux, but you know how much of the radio programming software - Kenwood, Motorola, Icom, etc. -- will run on Linux? None.

I would bet that a fair amount of Win98 users still use it because they are in a situation similar to us, too. And you know how many of their critical apps run on Linux? Probably none, too.

Transporter_ii

In A Related Announcement ... (5, Funny)

amelith (920455) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696873)

Microsoft confirmed that they would begin supporting Windows XP sometime during Q3 this year.

Ame

Re:In A Related Announcement ... (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696914)

So expect it around 2007Q2 then? ;-)

...and pigs might fly out of your butt (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15696878)

...and pigs might fly out of your butt. If god had intended linux to ever be on the desktop, he wouldn't have made it so god-damned shitty!

not really. (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696879)

Unless the end of support means that all copies will explode and stop working. I know people that still run windows 95 and they dont care that it is "unsupported" the masses dont care if something is supported anyways, they dont call microsoft, they typically dont go patching or updating.

This means absolutely nothing, windows 98 installed bast sill remain the same and slowly dwindle as the poor upgrade their pc's and use what comes on that.

Re:not really. (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696944)

The thing which has made the biggest difference and actually moved people from Win98 hasn't been the machine dying or the OS getting corrupted, its been Norton Antivirus is no longer supported on it.

One of our customers has a policy that Norton must be installed on every machine (whole other story as to why there is no corporate version...) and now NAV will no longer offer a 12 month subscription to NAV 2002 (the version they all had installed).
I cannot obtain NAV 2003-2005 simply and am forced to "upgrade" to the 2005 shitpile, however oh lookie here (after purchasing and downloading...) it cannot run on 98.

grrrrrrr @ them, but as customers they bought new machines, so woohooo @ norton for that I suppoose :S

Re:not really. (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697047)

um anti-vir still supports win98. I know because we have it installed.

And the poor are not the only ones who haven't upgraded. we do it because MSFT broke networking in win2k on purpose to finish driving out netware installs. well we still have netware installed. it's running along just fine, and since it isn't broken why should we pay money to upgrade to something of lesser performance with twice the power behind it?

Re:not really. (2, Informative)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697052)

One of our customers has a policy that Norton must be installed on every machine (whole other story as to why there is no corporate version...) and now NAV will no longer offer a 12 month subscription to NAV 2002 (the version they all had installed).
I cannot obtain NAV 2003-2005 simply and am forced to "upgrade" to the 2005 shitpile, however oh lookie here (after purchasing and downloading...) it cannot run on 98.


Why the hell are you using consumer software on corporate machines? Switch them to Symantec Antivirus. You can downgrade SAV 10 licenses to SAV 9 for Win98 machines just by asking.

Undoubtedly (5, Funny)

samael (12612) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696880)

The kind of people who are still running Windows 98 are exactly the same people who will happily run Linux. And these same people really care about whether it's supported by Microsoft or not.

Re:Undoubtedly (2, Funny)

Homology (639438) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696928)

> The kind of people who are still running Windows 98 are exactly the same people who will happily run Linux. And these same people really care about whether it's supported by Microsoft or not.

You forgot the /sarcasm, so now you will be modded Insightful ;-)

Re:Undoubtedly (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697102)

>> The kind of people who are still running Windows 98 are exactly the same people who will happily run Linux. And these same people really care about whether it's supported by Microsoft or not.

>You forgot the /sarcasm, so now you will be modded Insightful ;-)

Right... but his sarcasm is insightful. He has a good point, that most home users still running 9x aren't following every move Microsoft makes or for that matter even updating there system. windows 9x in all it's forms will still exist here and there for years, it will likely out live us all. (I doubt MS has a "kill switch" in 98.)

Re:Undoubtedly (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697068)

*calming voice*

Sssshhhh... Its okay. This is Slashdot. Your sarsasm, while funny, is misplaced.

Here drink this kool aid. You'll understand.

Shhhhh... it'll all be clear soon.

Seems unlikely (3, Informative)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696881)

The BBC was having a "Have Your Say" discussion [bbc.co.uk] about this, and no one was talking about Linux at all. The closest it got to talking about alternatives was someone sarcasticly saying they should go back to Windows 3.1 ... It seems that even giving away free Ubuntu CDs containing such a great OS isn't enough to get through to the general population.

Rich.

(PS. That discussion link just stopped working, but I expect it'll be back up shortly).

Re:Seems unlikely (2, Insightful)

Adelbert (873575) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696924)

We can give away all the free stuff we want, but if we don't advertise the fact then the message won't get through. Go to any random person on the street and ask them if they've heard of Ubuntu. Dollars to donuts, they won't have. Yes, Ubuntu is a great OS (I'm using it now). Now, that doesn't mean that it will replace Windows 98 by osmosis.

Re:Seems unlikely (1)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696947)

Go to any random person on the street and ask them if they've heard of Ubuntu. Dollars to donuts, they won't have.

True enough, but I think the real problem is familiarity. People have a huge investment learning all the strangeness of Windows and its applications. They didn't want to learn it then, and they certainly don't want to learn it all over again now.

The best thing to do, therefore, is to wait for the older Windows users to die off[1], and find new Linux users amongst young people and new users in the third world.

Rich.

[1] By old age of course :-)

Re:Seems unlikely (2, Interesting)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696949)

It won't replace Windows 98 because, by and large, the PCs that are running W98 are too slow to run Ubuntu.

Re:Seems unlikely (5, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697100)

I know this will sound as the same old troll but there is, at least with Ubuntu, a long way to go for the Linux desktop mass "takeover".

I just installed Ubuntu in a Pentium 3 400mhz that I found in the trash (I love UK) which had Windows 2000. Unfortunately I do not have an internet connection with that machine.

I configured an account for my flatmate, he is a decent computer literate guy, biologist but he likes technology (he is something like 36 yrold and used to make small BASIC programs in the past).

I am doing an experiment, the first thing he ased when he started using the machine was "but, does it plays MP3"?, I explained him all the situation (he is a "freedom" [in a broad sense, not in libre software as a lot of people is here] activist so, he understands about copyrights and all that shit) and told him about OGG, and showed him that there was support for OGG out of the box.

Of course, I also told him I would install the MP3 support, here is where te problems began, I went to the UBUNTU site, and looked for what was necessary to provide MP3 support [ubuntu.com] , then I downloaded the specified software and tried to installed via USB. None of it installed as every program needed some other program (aka unsatisfied dependency). Even the mp321 needed the id3tag-whatever library. As I didnt wanted to bother I just installed realplayer, and this is what he is using NOW to play mp3 (unfortunatley it does not have a playlist functionality so my friend has to open each file, and there is no way to configure the gnome file manager to make realplayer the default player when you dobule click, it keeps opening in Totem who says that the mp3 is not a multimedia format).

Then, he opened OpenOffice (I told him about how it would be the equivalent for Microsoft Office for his needs). After he opened I went to do something else, and when I returned, he had OO.org in full screen mode and the program was kind of paralyzed. After looking a bit he told me he tried to customize the FullScreen Toolbar (the one that has the "FullScreen" button in it), I just pressed ALT-f4 and then tried again, it seems, the Fullscreen mode in OpenOffice gets "always on top" mode, and then when you try to open the customize screen the window sits under the document window WITH focus, the document window wont get focus unless you close that other window that is behind it. Bad program.

Ok, then I told him about OpenOffice Draw, I use it a lot (it exports to EPS which I use with LaTex). I told him about the Vector graphics format and explained about the SVG and WMF (told him that SVG is the open and standard equivalent to the windows WMF). I made a fast drawing, selected all the elements and exported as SVG. Then I tried to import that image in a DOCUMENT (Open Office Writer Inert/Image/FromFile) and to my surprise THERE IS NO SUPPORT FOR IMPORTING SVG. There is SGV which is I believe a staroffice format, but it is another thing. I tried chaning the extension to whatever (SGV) without success. it was funny that just two minutes before I had told my friend that Linux was cool because it "recognizes the format from the file content and not from the extension", but then it seems OpenOffice.org expects the files to have a specific extension. Bad bad program.

Then I exported the same drawing to WMF (THE WINDOWS PROPIETARY FORMAT) and to my surprise I could import it to OpenOffice Writer without problem (WTF).

Another annoyance, that is of course a RealPlayer problem is that, there is no way to select which soundcard to use. The motherboard has an integraded soundcard and a Soundblaster live (darn Britons, I cant believe I found it in the trash in a rainy day =o). I configured the SoundBlaster live as the default device (in the Ubuntu menu) but the REalPlayer ignored that. What I had to do is connect the speakers to the integraded soundcard jack and then just selected it as the default sound card.

Of course there were things that impressed me in a good way, for example, the fact that both sound cards were recognized and configured transparently (when WIndows2000 was running the onboard soundcard was not configured as there are no drivers available for Win2000, only for win98).

Another thing was Webcam support, yep, I connected a Genius webcam NB and it detected it automagically, unfortunately there is NO program to capture video or at least see it. I thought for a moment and it ocurred to me that EKIGA wold have a video preview. After going after the setup wizzard (I do not have internet so I have to cope with numerous error screens, from them I saw some that spitted something about X.125 [or whatever] protocol, why is that kind of message showed to the "end user" his head would explode :) and then started the video preview. Voila! the camera worked.

I will continue with my experiment, I left my friend in the flat playing with Ubuntu. I hope people do not get me wrong, I like linux, I am now at my office and I am using Fedora Core 4. I like KDE more than Gnome (I think the KDE project has a hell of more applications than the gnome one) but I did not want to install KUBUNTU because I know KDe is more resource hungru (remember, it is a P3-400mhz 128MB ram).

But, what I wanted to show here is that there ARE those small annoyances that just keep getting across the way, until those are not solved it would be difficult for the "normal" people to migrate.

Shame (0)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696882)

Shame then that Linux on the desktop is still effectively a hardware support crapshoot.

Anyway, regardless, I doubt very much that any Windows user would switch to Linux unless someone sold it to them, and I've yet to see an end-user-directed advert for Linux in any medium.

Re:Shame (3, Informative)

Richard W.M. Jones (591125) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696906)

Shame then that Linux on the desktop is still effectively a hardware support crapshoot.

Actually it supports ancient hardware like that quite well, because people have had plenty of time to reverse engineer the hardware and debug device drivers. Even old winmodems are doing quite well [linmodems.org] .

Rich.

Unlikely (5, Insightful)

linvir (970218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696883)

First, a rewrite. Changes are highlighted in bold:

An anonymous reader writes
"Microsoft kills off support [microsoft.com] for Windows 98 and Windows ME today, and nobody is reporting that the move will boost demand for Windows 2000 on bittorrent [thepiratebay.org] . Unlike two years ago -- when support for Win98 was extended because so many people complained about the early cutoff [bbc.co.uk] -- this time it seems there is no turning back."

Seriously, my PIII laptop has 'Designed for Windows 98' on it, and can run Windows 2000 and Windows XP just fine [linuxvirus.net] , but the mainstream Linux distros are too bloaty to even install: the Ubuntu and Fedora installers literally hang, and SUSE and Mandriva are too slow even on my other machine in the +2GHz range.

Linux can't pick up the slack when MS turns off support for old OSes, because the top Linux distros stopped catering for that level of hardware years ago. And with KDE/GNOME being so indispensable for everyday desktop usage, their near-elitist disregard for anything below mid-high range hardware is infuriating.

In fact, here is the quote ZDNet is using to support their claim:

"I suspect that Microsoft's original extension of the Windows 98 support date a couple of years ago was, in part, to make sure Linux was not brought in to replace these systems."

Words cannot express just how much of a non-story this is.

Re:Unlikely (1)

John Betonschaar (178617) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696905)

Seriously, my PIII laptop has 'Designed for Windows 98' on it, and can run Windows 2000 and Windows XP just fine [linuxvirus.net], but the mainstream Linux distros are too bloaty to even install: the Ubuntu and Fedora installers literally hang, and SUSE and Mandriva are too slow even on my other machine in the +2GHz range.

Seriously, you should check your hardware and configuration dude...

I'v been running Ubuntu breezy on a 333Mhz laptop with 256M just fine, and it's notably faster than XP on the same machine. Not to say XP is slow or unusable on that machine, but if your average Linux distro runs worse on the same hardware then XP, there's something wrong with your configuration...

Re:Unlikely (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15696938)

You're replying to an astroturfer. You shouldn't do that - it's like feeding trolls.

Re:Unlikely (1)

linvir (970218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696955)

Wrong again, fatty. I hate everything equally [linuxvirus.net] .

Re:Unlikely (2, Informative)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697070)

Why the assumption that everyone who prefers Windows is an astroturfer?

Believe it or not, Microsoft does have some genuine grassroots support -- for their software, not for their abusive monopoly. Love Windows, hate the uncompetitive practices. It's no harder than being pro-American but anti-Bush.

You probably could install it. (2, Insightful)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696931)

However, all of the things that you would have to do to get it to install (text mode, --nousb, that type of stuff) would not be something the "average" computer user would be willing to deal with.

Re:Unlikely (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696969)

seriously, my PIII laptop has 'Designed for Windows 98' on it, and can run Windows 2000 and Windows XP just fine [linuxvirus.net], but the mainstream Linux distros are too bloaty to even install: the Ubuntu and Fedora installers literally hang, and SUSE and Mandriva are too slow even on my other machine in the +2GHz range.

that is the biggest pile of FUD I have ever heard. I am running Ubuntu on machines ranging from P-III Celeron 700 to AMD 3000+ with 128-512 meg of ram. it ALWAYS runs faster than XP hands down. Finally Mandriva also works well on those machines, although mandriva still has the bug that you need to reboot after the first login to get rid of an installer service that sit's in the background eating cycles. Just like XPMCE 2005 does right now on new installs. (BTW, you want to try a dog? XP tablet edition with SP2 installed is incredibly slow on a P-III 866.)

Ubuntu live-install CD is broken for most hardware It hates legacy Nvidia video cards, the alternative install CD works on everything perfectly. It even worked on a high end workstation I was messing with that XP refused to install on because of the SCSI raid card, linux was happy with it.

Re:Unlikely (1)

linvir (970218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697029)

that is the biggest pile of FUD I have ever heard
This is the second such accusation I've received for that post. Paranoia ahoy!

Re:Unlikely (1)

Cal Paterson (881180) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697094)

When you are told the same thing twice, the probability that they are correct increases.

If there are a number of people telling you you're wrong, chances are, that you are wrong. Not that they're both wrong.

And for the record, you are wrong. I'm running Ubuntu off a 800mhz machine as I write this. It's got 128mb of RAM, and runs fine. You're an idiot.

OT : "404 Not Found" (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696889)

404 File Not Found
The requested URL (linux/06/07/11/0218250.shtml) was not found.

If you feel like it, mail the url, and where ya came from to pater@slashdot.org.


What's the difference between that and "Nothing for you to see here, move along" ?

BTW the item wasn't present on the linux page at the time I got that...

Windows ME (2, Interesting)

9x320 (987156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696892)

I switched from Windows ME a few months ago after having saved enough money to get Windows XP. Really, Windows ME isn't as terrible as people make it seems. I only go to Slashdot, Wikipedia, and CNN with cookies disabled, so really there isn't much to worry about from getting spyware, adware, and computer virii. I never ran any advanced computer programs, so I never had to upgrade computers. I didn't want to switch to Linux because I had the notion that it was too technical and oriented for computer programmers, and the Linux community was too arrogant to help out any new people with basic problems. Really, Windows ME is okay, as long as you don't go exploring anywhere it's obvious you aren't supposed to. I upgraded computers and operating systems in order to run Celestia, an open-source computer program that lets you view the positions of stars and planets. With it, I can navigate the universe in the same way I navigate the planet with Google Earth. Even with 1.1 GHz and about 386MB RAM, it somehow still has great difficulty loading galaxies and planets.

Re:Windows ME (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696980)

I only go to Slashdot, Wikipedia, and CNN with cookies disabled, so really there isn't much to worry about from getting spyware, adware, and computer virii.
How wrong you are. Assuming you are talking about IE (I don't know any other reason you'd state that, so, I am), the "privacy" settings and activeX security is a JOKE. Only the low rung of spyware use activeX, most use methods that you have no way of stopping and sometimes don't even know it has been installed.

Re:Windows ME (1)

9x320 (987156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697032)

Nah, I'm using Firefox. CNN leaves me with "adclick.com" cookies, so I disabled those in order to view the website without getting them.

Which (3, Interesting)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696897)

I've been mulling this issue for a few weeks. I have an old Toshiba laptop that runs Win98. I've considered switching it over to Linux, but I'm unsure of which distro is appropriate. Of course, I've looked at the big name distros, like SuSE and Ubuntu. But, I'm not convinced they'd run well on old hardware. The laptop is a P2 with 64M RAM. So, I ask you Linux gurus, which distro would be the most suitable?

Re:Which (2, Insightful)

MrP-(at work) (839979) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696917)

Xubuntu

It's like Ubuntu but it runs XFce instead of GNOME. It's more lightweight and im my opinion prettier, will probably run good on your laptop.

Although you may want to upgrade the RAM

And install it from the server CD not Desktop CD because the live desktop cd will probably run like crap on 64m

so what about my Win3.1? :) (1)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696898)

I was about to say that this means that I no longer have any supported versions of Windows, but then I remembered that the most recent version I have is Win95 OSR2, not Win98. So I guess haven't had a supported version for a while. '98 was when I finally gave up on dual-booting and dumped Win for good, not when I got my last copy... :)

Re:so what about my Win3.1? :) (0, Flamebait)

SCPRedMage (838040) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696993)

Good for you.

Would you like a cookie?

Why would end of support matter (1)

orin (113079) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696903)

If you've been running a computer with either of these operating systems, you have been doing so for many years now. Chances are you sorted out any kinks you had a long time ago and you are aware of any pertinent security issues and have made your decision to stick where you are. So why would anyone who has stuck with either OS for so long get excited about a lack of official support?

Re:Why would end of support matter (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696950)

It's all paid support anyway. You can get that from your nearest consultant on demand, far into the future. This applies to 95, 98, Linux, or anything else for that matter. Once you're footing the bill, you can get any support you want. I don't see how this will change anything. Support from a private consultant is likely to be better quality support than MS over the phone anyway.

Re:Why would end of support matter (1)

Fezmid (774255) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697025)

Private consultants might be able to cleanup the mess, but they won't be able to prevent the mess from occuring. The lack of Microsoft security patches is where the real problem from lack of support will come from.

I teach a PC security class, mainly to older folks who don't know much about comoputers. A LOT of them are still running Windows 98 and Windows ME, and this will effect them quite a bit I think (as I had them in the habit of going to Windows Update weekly).

Re:Why would end of support matter (2, Insightful)

Stachybotris (936861) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697054)

No, if you're running a system with one of those operating systems, you're probably blissfully ignorant of the security problems and just accept the kinks as they are. Odds are you've never patched your system because you didn't know that you needed to. Your 'decision' to stay with that OS is also probably more along the lines of either a) not wanting to upgrade because you think it's too much work/too expensive or b) because 'it works just fine for me'.

Honestly, how many people on Slashdot routinely run '98 or older except as a test bed for software/web applications that they have to make sure run on anything that Grandma & Grandpa Sixpack might still be using? I know two people who run '98, and one of them does so for the purpose of testing and development. The other runs it because her system won't handle XP and she doesn't have the cash on hand to upgrade.

... or maybe not (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15696910)

Users who haven't bothered upgrading their Win98/ME-machine probably don't care about the (absent) support either. The probability of them installing a completely new OS (Linux) is rather slim... me thinks.

Yeah, like... (0)

rob.churchill (987170) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696923)

...ending iTunes support for Windows may boost Mac sales.
Has about the same possibility of happening...

yeah right (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15696958)

Maybe if linsux didn't suck fo FUCKING bad :)

Invalid topic and story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15696959)

Do you realy think that people using Windows98 updates there computers with patches??

You have a bunch of people without the knowledge/brains to run an updater.
If they had knowledge or brain they would already have updated there computer/operationsystem to something newer.

These people _wont_ migrate to Linux, how clueless can one be?

Support? What support? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15696983)

What, exactly, will change for the average Win98 user when MS "discontinues support"?

Yeah right (1, Troll)

Alioth (221270) | more than 8 years ago | (#15696987)

I tagged the article "wishfulthinking" - because that's what it is. The thing is those still running Windows 98 didn't really have any support to begin with, and are likely home users who haven't moved off Win98 because they don't know how to install Windows XP. Even though things like Fedora Core are really easier to install than Windows these days, most people running Win98 probably have absolutely no interest in learning how to use even an easy-to-use desktop Linux distro.

It will likely be a decade before Linux on the desktop gets even the marketshare that Apple has now - there are just too many impediments (like proprietary codecs) to keep even the clueful from switching, let alone the typical person who still uses Win98 on a daily basis.

Way to use tags! (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697017)

Thanks!
Now I can more easily look for articles that are "wishfulthinking".
That's almost as usefull as those "no", "yes" and "maybe" tags; how often did you find yourself asking "now where is that article that some random guy didn't know to agree with or not?".

good news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15696998)

good to know that with the death of win98 linux is now the leading obsolete os

riiiight (2, Insightful)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697010)

Just as soon as most loons still using win98 stop asking - "so how much is Microsoft Word for Linux cost"?

If they get an answer for that - then Linux is SO in with those folks.

bad strategy (1)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697023)

Those who are still running Windows98 are most likely to do nothing in the immediate future (as opposed to moving to linux or windowsxp/2000). Those who do upgrade their OS are likely to upgrade the whole machine and therefore end up with winxp box.

That being said, however, there are what, 50 million win 98 users (FTFA, if I remember right)? There's a fair chance that at least some of them are going to upgrade the OS only. And here's the funny thing. If MS really continued support for Win98 for 2 years to keep people from switching to linux, then they had a very stupid strategy. The fact is that linux for the desktop today is far more advanced than linux for the desktop was 2 years ago.

2 years ago a fair amount of users who would have tried switching to linux would have been unsatisfied with the experience to the point of being willing to pay to get back into the MS fold. Now, however, there are not only more people likely to switch to linux (given the publicity of switching over the last 2 years) but I think anyone that's used to using windows 95 or 98 would actually prefer running, say, the newest version of Ubuntu (my particular fave distro). (I'm not mentioning Windows ME, because frankly etching onto a cave wall is preferable to running Windows ME for anything.)

In a nutshell: linux wasn't really ready to replace windows 2 years ago for desktop use. By postponing the switch, MS has just allowed linux (and open source in general like open office) to garner publicity and turn into a truly vialbe alternative.

Way to go MS.

-stormin

Re:bad strategy (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697043)

So which version of RedHat or SuSE (the only brands a typical consumer might know) do I have to get to run on my pentium 75MHz box? Most Linux distro's nowadays have a very bad time running on old hardware, especially the distro's that are well known.

Re:bad strategy (1)

theStorminMormon (883615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697098)

So what are they going to do - install win xp on ther 75 Mhz box?

Read my post man. I said a lot of people would upgrade the entire machine (and likely end up buying something with win xp on it). Those aren't the people I'm talking about. I'm talking about those who at least have enough hardware to consider an OS upgrade. And for them which is going to be easier on their old hardware: win xp or a linux distro? Furthermore, if they are willing to put up with the antiquated hardware then they are more likely to be willing to look into finding linux distros that will be kinder and gentler on their aged boxes then the most popular windows-competitors out there.

-stormin

Re:bad strategy (1)

InsaneGeek (175763) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697074)

The problem with your argument is that:

1) If they are going to upgrade they are going to upgrade to a new system with Microsoft preinstalled (they've been using Microsoft products for possibly ~8years, that's what they know and that's what they'll use)

2) If they don't buy any new hardware using any of the new linux desktops that you suggest would be so sluggish that it would be basically unuseable and Win98 would look like a godsend in comparison

This shows that Microsoft is a monopoly (4, Insightful)

dtjohnson (102237) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697024)

Those '50 to 70 million' users of Windows 98 or Windows ME are probably running on older hardware and are unlikely to upgrade to Windows XP due to its increased hardware requirements and slower system response. A normal competitive business with that many users of one of its product would find some way to sell them something such as security fixes, patches, or whatever. Microsoft just kisses them off.

But... (1)

sam0vi (985269) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697033)

...what about apple? They dont 'just' make the ipod, you know

Linux Is Dying (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15697037)

It is official; Netcraft confirms: Linux is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Linux community when IDC confirmed that Linux market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Linux has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Linux is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict Linux's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Linux faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Linux because Linux is dying. Things are looking very bad for Linux. As many of us are already aware, Linux continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

Ubuntu is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time Ubuntu developers only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Ubuntu is dying.

All major surveys show that Linux has steadily declined in market share. Linux is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Linux is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. Linux continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Linux is dead.

Fact: Linux is dying

Win98 will be around for a while due to VMWare! (3, Interesting)

ScottyKUtah (716120) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697039)

I still use Windows 98 as one of my virtual machines. I'll keep it around for quite a while for a few reasons.

1. I use Win98 as a test bed for software I download from the internet. If I don't know what will happen, I'll fire it up under the Win98 virtual machine, and see what happens.

2. Going back to the virtual machines, I use Win98 for all of my Azureus downloading. For some reason, I get the dreaded BSOD when using it on my desktop running XP, but running Azureus under a virtual machine can run for days without a problem.

3. I have my three year old use the computer under a virtual machine. She can have at it on the computer, and if she destroys or deletes anything critical, I simply go back and load a copy from the clone I made and she's back on it.

4. I still have some old games from the 90's that simply refuse to run under XP's compatibility. They don't require the latest video graphics, the video that VMWare work for it. By running them under a virtual machine, I can still play them.

Xubuntu vs. Win98 (1)

Britz (170620) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697060)

Has anyone ever checked if Firefox on Xubuntu runs faster than IE on Win98 on an old machine? Because the current Ubuntu/Fedora/SuSe stuff sure as hell are slower and will likely crawl along on machines that would still have a reasonable speed to work on some old machines I have seen.

And what about Office 97 vs. OpenOffice 2.0?

Or does anyone have a better idea on which office suite to use on those "converted" machines.

Before some people actually ran some tests I doubt that Xubuntu a viable alternative on an old machine running Win98 and Office 97.

The timing of this is curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15697064)

I'm puzzled by the timing. If Microsoft had continued to support Win98/Me for a few more months, then, they could stop support in time to push people to Vista. I wonder if this is an unintended admission that Vista will be even later than the latest slip date. On the other hand, maybe it is just the same old, left hand (OS support organization) not knowing what the right hand (Vista organization) is doing. If so, then one wonders exactly what senior management is doing.

Go directly to Linux; do not purchase XP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15697065)

I just made the switch from Windows 98 to Ubuntu. I used a lot of 2000 and XP in between at work and on my girl's computer, but the last system I actually owned before this new Ubuntu one was Windows 98. I probably wouldn't have switched to Linux if it weren't for Product Activation and the sarcastically-named Genuine Advantage. I actually liked Windows 98. I could still boot into real DOS to efficiently manage my files.

Time for microsoft.ask.slashdot.org? (2, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697077)

TFA mentions Linux only very briefly, yet the summary and the heading would have us believe No Win98 Means More Linux. More and more, it appears these Flamebait and Troll articles are a mechanism for MS to get free and vital feedback from the user / pirating communities.

Some examples:
1. WGA to turn off your PC - source: A Blog! - 800 replies - Subsequent Slashback - Subsequent Denial through a PR firm!
2. Why Vista keeps getting delayed..... atleast a dozen articles!
3. ODF support in Office 2007.
4. WinFS to be dropped.. again, not an authentic source, and no real content whatsoever.
5. UK schools to examine MS school licensing.
6. Vista to boost Linux adoption.
7. Virtualization to boost Linux, kill Windows.
8. And now, No Support for Win98 to boost Linux!

Looks like the MS "Get The FUD" policy has backfired. Every day, the Linux Fear seems to be growing on the giant firm. Rather than getting revenue from new licenses through superior products and tech., MS now appears to have given up.. instead they seem to be hell bent on extracting revenue from the faithful pirates.

Why not create a separate section microsoft.ask.slashdot.org and quit pretending that such articles are "News Items" that "Matter to Nerds"? Alternatively, MS could send a few $$ for every meaningful feedback post to such non-articles.

Personally, I upgraded my home PC from Windows XP Pro (my office's license) to Windows 98SE last week. WinXP needed a lot of support.. the WGA started grumbling moment I took the office PC home.., so I fixed it with Win98 and Opera, de-installed IE, reconfigured my 'hosts' file, and routed all phone-home packets to localhost.

I don't think I neeed any support for Win98, so thanks MS for dropping it.

As if... (1)

TheDrewbert (914334) | more than 8 years ago | (#15697092)

the average user who is still running Win98 regularly patched their system anyway.
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