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!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Bob Trott

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?