Dear Windows-Help.NET Subscriber,
Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 98 Second Edition was released to manufacturing on the 5th of May.
Windows 98 Second Edition will be available in a retail box as well as preinstalled on personal computers. Estimated retail pricing for Windows 98 Second Edition for users of Windows 95 and Windows 3.1 remains $109 (USD), the current estimated retail price of Windows 98. We can probably expect it to be available for around $89 USD from certain retail stores.
Current users of the Windows 98 operating system can receive the updated functionality by ordering a CD-ROM called Windows 98 Second Edition Updates, scheduled to be available from the Microsoft Web site in early summer. In addition to receiving the updated code, users of Windows 98 who order Windows 98 Second Edition Updates will receive "Windows 98 and the Internet," a book detailing the new features and benefits of Windows 98 Second Edition and the Internet. The cost of Windows 98 Second Edition Updates is $19.95 (USD) plus shipping and handling.
Windows 98 Second Edition offers consumers a variety of new and enhanced capabilities related to the Internet, and hardware compatibility:
- Internet Explorer 5. Microsoft's popular browsing technologies provide breakthroughs in Web performance, usability and flexibility.
- Windows NetMeeting 3. The latest version of NetMeeting®, Microsoft's award-winning Windows-based conferencing software, brings Internet conferencing capability to consumers by offering enhanced usability, performance, security and support for Internet standards.
- Internet Connection Sharing (ICS). ICS is a set of advanced home networking technologies that enable multiple users to share a single connection to the Internet for simultaneous Internet access.
- Enhanced hardware support. Windows 98 Second Edition offers improved native support for technologies such as Universal Serial Bus (USB), IEEE 1394 and ACPI as well as broadband network connections, enabling consumers to connect to and more easily use a wider range of devices.
- Windows 98 Service Pack. Windows 98 Service Pack addresses top issues in existing features, such as year 2000 updates. Windows 98 Service Pack is planned to be available to existing users of Windows 98 for free download from the Microsoft Web site in the coming weeks (connect-time charges may apply).
So , it appears that if you are an existing Windows 98 user, you get the Internet Connection Sharing (ICS), Enhanced hardware support and Windows 98 Service Pack all on 1 CD for $19.95 (plus S&H). Compared to the cost of programs which allow you to share 1 modem with more then 1 PC, this is indeed a bargain, but I realise that not all of you will need this functionality.
The Enhanced hardware support might be interesting for you if you are having problems in that area right now, but my guess is that this will apply more for new machines. But there is still the convenience of having all bug fixes ready on your CD in the form of the Windows 98 Service Pack.
It is common knowledge, however, that Internet Explorer 5 & Windows NetMeeting 3 are available individually for free download from Microsoft, as are all the patches that make up the Windows 98 Service Pack.
Draw your own conclusion - I will be ordering the upgrade CD.
In other news, it was reported on Thursday that Microsoft and AT&T are to form an alliance. Microsoft said it will invest $5 billion in AT&T and AT&T said it will increase its use of Microsoft's software.
AT&T's Takeover Strategy -- 'Ma Cable' -- AOL Left Out