Windows 98 will no longer perform illegal operations

Starting today Microsoft will no longer support its Windows 98, Windows 98 SE and ME users. This termination of support ranges from over-the-phone support to stop providing critical-fixes to bugs within the OSes.

BBC News Website reports:

Products affected by closing down the support system include Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, and Windows Me (Millennium Edition). Analyst firm IDC believes that more than 70 million users will be hit by the change.

[...] The change means that those still using Windows 98 and Me after 11 July could become more vulnerable to many security risks, as bug fixes for loopholes exploited by hackers will no longer become available.

Microsoft claims that they are ending support for these products due to the fact that they are outdated, and because these OSes can expose customers to security risks. Now, I know that Microsoft has to stay a profitable company, providing support for products which are close to 10 years old may not help the cause. That been said they are still plenty of users out there (70 million if read BBC's article) that will be left in the cold. Matter of fact, the University I attend runs I say most of its client terminals on 98, along with some NT4 Domains, a bit of Linux and a computer lab with some OS9 macs. As you can see in some parts of the world, not everybody is running the latest and greatest OS, mostly in part because the hardware specs on the machines aren't up-to-par to start off with.

What Microsoft should do, and call me crazy all you want, is open-source the OSes. Im pretty sure that a community will build around these projects and will keep these OSes up-to-date, in some cases, even doing a better job that the one Microsoft has done.

technorati tags:, , , , ,

About this entry