Windows 2000 shipping delays spell Win 98 reprieve

With no firm plans to release the promised consumer version of Windows NT, Microsoft will issue service packs and updates for Windows 98 for the foreseeable future.

Microsoft's stated goal has been to phase out the consumer-oriented Windows 9x operating system line in favour of the sturdier NT kernel. It has not publicly stated when the "consumer NT" will be available, except to say that it will come well after Windows 2000 -- formerly called NT 5.0 -- ships.

But as Windows 2000's ship date has slipped into 2000, the timetable for a consumer version apparently has slipped, too.

"We are going to the NT kernel [with Windows 98] as quickly as we can, but there are a lot of factors involved in that," said Rob Bennett, a Windows product manager at Microsoft. "There is a lot of motivation to get there. It is a better kernel, more robust, and more reliable. But at the same time, we are sensitive to where the market is."

"The plan is to make the next major version of Windows on the consumer side based on NT's kernel," Bennett said. "That's still what we want to be working toward. Still, we have to balance that with what customers want us to do."

"We haven't decided on a firm plan either way," Bennett added.

Bennett said press reports indicating that Microsoft would release a full-blown upgrade of Windows 98 -- which was released last June -- were erroneous.

Currently, Microsoft is developing Service Pack 1 for Windows 98, and a corresponding OEM Service Release (OSR) for OEMs. Those two items are expected to be available in the second quarter.

"Windows 98 will be around for at least five more years, most likely on OSR 2.0 or OSR 2.5 by then," said one Windows beta tester who requested anonymity. "Indeed, there are plenty of Windows 95 installs all over the place."

One analyst said the NT-based consumer OS will appear within six months of Windows 2000.

"It's not rocket science to port NT to the consumer desktop," said Chris LeTocq, director of software consulting at Dataquest, in San Jose, California. "Although Windows 98 has some good features in it from a robustness standpoint -- and what that means is less consumer frustration -- Windows NT is a better way to go."

Microsoft: www.microsoft.com.au

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Bob Trott

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?