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Windows-Help.NET Newsletter24 Jul. 1999, Vol 2 No. 30

 Microsoft Launches Instant Messenger

by Arie Slob

Dear Windows-Help.NET Subscriber,

Microsoft finally launched an instant messaging client to its list of Web-based services. The new client is called MSN Messenger Service (MSN MS), and is Microsoft's competing product to AOL's Instant Messenger and (AOL's) Mirabilis ICQ.

When you use MSN MS, you can not only communicate with other MSN MS users, but also with AOL IM users! MSN MS is also integrated with Hotmail, so you will be notified if you receive new messages in your Hotmail account!

There is only a Windows client at the moment, although a Macintosh version will be made available in the near future. Currently MSN MS lacks the ability to send files to others, although Microsoft has stated this feature will be added in upcoming releases.

FREE Download [384KB].

Windows 98 SE

Windows 98 Second Edition has been available for a month and a half now. Billed as a bug fix (with some extra new features), it was supposed to squash some bugs in the original Windows 98.

This might well have succeeded, only Windows 98 SE introduced a couple of (nasty) bugs of its own!

The most wide spread bug is the "shut down" bug. A lot of people are having problems getting Windows 98 SE to shut down properly. Problems range from Windows "hanging" at the "Windows is shutting down...." screen, to extremely slow (3 minutes or more) shut downs.

The original Windows 98 introduced a new feature called fast shutdown, OK, there were a few people who had problems with this (mainly older hardware), but once fast shutdown was disabled, the systems would shut down properly in almost all cases.

So Microsoft went tinkering with it! And how! Fast shutdown is now disabled by default in Windows 98 SE. Still a lot of people have problems shutting down. You have no problems? Then try this: Select Start > Run and in the Open: box type msconfig, press OK. In msconfig, press the Advanced button (on the General tab) and remove the check-mark from Disable fast shutdown. You will be prompted to restart your system, once you've done that, try to shut down your PC! I would guess that 75% of PC's will actually reboot, and go straight back in to Windows 98. Talk about a bug! You'd think that if you have some fairly recent hardware, fast shutdown should actually work, especially if it was working fine in the original Windows 98, before you upgraded to Windows 98 SE.

According to the rumors Microsoft is aware of the problem, and working on a fix....

I'd like to know, how many of you experience problems once you enable fast shutdown? Come to the Windows 98 Web site, and fill in the QuickPoll. You can check the survey results on the same page!

Happy computing!

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Windows 95 Tops Market Share
According to a recent study by International Data Corporation, Windows 95 accounted for 57.4 percent of the desktop OS market last year, followed by Windows 98 with 17.2 percent.

This trend is not changing in 1999. According to sales figures from PC Data, Windows 95 is still outselling Windows 98, although the latter is catching up.

Surprising? Well, Windows 98 is the number one choice for consumer PC's, but Windows 95 has a tight grip on the corporate marketplace.

IRQ Steering
Windows 95 OEM Service Release 2 (OSR2) and Windows 98 provide support for PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) bus IRQ steering. By using IRQ steering, Windows can dynamically assign ("steer") PCI bus IRQs to PCI devices.


Windows 95 Tip
DUN 1.3
In late August 1998, Microsoft released DUN 1.3. This basically adds Windows 98 (DUN) functionality to Windows 95.


Windows 98 Tip
Using Automatic Skip Driver
Automatic Skip Driver (ASD) identifies potentially dangerous failures that are known to have caused Windows 98 systems to stop responding and marks them so they are bypassed on subsequent startups.


Windows Utility Software List

Windows Utility Software
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  Web site updates

These pages were added/updated in the past week. Information on previously updated/added pages is available on the What's New? page for 1 month.
Added: Microsoft Launches MSN Messenger Service
Updated: IRC Networks and Servers, Listing A - F
Updated: IRC Networks and Servers, Listing O - Z

Windows 98
Added: Restore Full System Backup with the System Recovery Wizard

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