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Microsoft Windows 98

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Replaces Windows 95. The "Second Edition" version is popular for vintage computing and gaming hobbyists.

What is Windows 98?

Microsoft Windows 98 is the latest version of the Windows operating system. Designed for consumers, Windows 98 allows users' PCs to work better and play better. Building on the breakthrough features of Windows 95, Windows 98 improves performance, reliability, Internet access and ease of use, as well as unlocking an exciting new range of PC hardware and entertainment capabilities.

Better performance and reliability

Microsoft Windows 98 improves on key areas that keep users waiting on their PCs today, including opening applications an average of 36 percent faster, rendering Internet pages up to 25 percent faster and shutting down the PC up to two to five times more quickly than with Windows 95. In addition, Windows 98 can provide users an average of 28 percent more disk space through more efficient storage of data on the hard drive.

Key performance and reliability features include the following:

  • Setup enhancements reduce the number of setup steps, allowing for a faster and simplified setup.
  • Applications load faster by identifying the most frequently used applications and placing the files associated with their startup together on the user's hard drive so they load quickly.
  • Faster shutdown dramatically reduces the time needed to shut down the computer.
  • More disk space is available as a result of the ability to store information more efficiently with a new feature called FAT32.
  • Windows Maintenance Wizard automatically schedules and executes "tune-up" activities to keep users' PCs running in top form.

Improved ease of user and Internet access

Windows 98 was built on customer feedback and with the goal of delivering a simple, easy-to-use operating system. This focus combined with the rapid growth of the Internet over the past three years has resulted in an operating system designed with the consumer and the Internet in mind.

Windows 98 integrates both the navigational paradigm of the Web and graphical nature of HTML to provide users with a much richer and simpler experience. Windows 98 delivers a simpler, easier experience that allows users to take full advantage of the Internet, making it easier for users to find information regardless of where it is located, get help, keep their systems updated and install new hardware.

Key benefits of improved ease of use and Internet integration include the following:

  • Consistent navigational paradigm provides users with a consistent way of finding and navigating to information regardless of where it lives - on the hard drive or the Internet.
  • Richer information is delivered through support for HTML and Dynamic HTML in Windows 98. For example, users go to My Computer and click on the Control Panel Folder to get text that describes the contents of the folder.
  • Enhanced Internet browsing functionality includes ease of use and personalization innovations such as Explorer bars and improvements in security.
  • Dial-up networking improvements provide users with faster remote network and Internet connections as well as an automated connection to online services.
  • HTML-based Help along with Troubleshooting Wizards and Web Help makes it easier than ever to trouble-shoot problems and dramatically simplifies finding help information online.

A new generation of hardware and entertainment

Just as Windows 95 enabled a range of new software applications, Windows 98 empowers a new range of hardware and entertainment functionality. Now, not only can games run as well on Windows 98-based PCs as on traditional game console devices, Windows 98 also includes native support for Universal Serial Bus (USB), which makes setting up additional hardware as easy as plugging in a toaster. Windows 98 also provides DVD and television reception capabilities, allowing a PC with a TV tuner card to seamlessly receive and display television and other data distributed over broadcast networks.

Key new hardware and entertainment features include the following:

  • Next-generation hardware support in Windows 98 lets users take advantage of the newest innovations and standards in PC hardware such as USB devices.
  • Multiple monitor support can be extremely beneficial to users in many areas, including desktop publishing, Web-site development, video editing and gaming.
  • DirectX 5.0, included in the operating system, provides a better audio and video experience enhancing multimedia and games.
  • Intel MMX technology support provides faster audio and video functionality.
  • WebTV for Windows feature provides the capability to watch regular and enhanced television programs on PCs with a tuner card. It also provides a searchable program guide for reviewing current and upcoming television shows.


System Requirements

  • Computer/processor: 486DX/66 MHz or higher processor.
  • Memory: 16 megabytes (MB) of memory; more memory improves performance.
  • Hard disk: Typical installation requires approximately 195 MB of free hard-disk space, but may range between 120 MB to 295 MB, depending on your system configuration and the options you choose to install.
  • Drive: CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive (3.5" high-density disks available for additional charge).
  • Display: VGA or higher-resolution monitor.
  • Peripheral/miscellaneous: Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device.

See Also