Slashdot links to a UK ZDNet story reporting that Microsoft Extends Win98/SE Support, which in turn is linked to an Australian ZDnet story. I have yet to see confirmation on a major news feed, nor on the Microsoft site, where I could still find this announcement of support’s imminent demise.
Some of my clients (software developers) and many of their customers (end users, small businesses) still have machines with Windows 98 on them, and have no reason to want to upgrade. Microsoft has had the luxury during the Win95 and Win98 eras of dragging along most of their customer base onto a new platform, but it’s hard for a lot of small businesses to see the ROI in an expensive upgrade likely to require matching hardware upgrades. It’s good to see Microsoft recognizing the reality of the marketplace, and grudgingly continuing support.
An interesting theory on SlashDot was that the U.S. government, afraid of exploits of Win98 machines turning into a cyberterror attack, may have encouraged Microsoft to consider the move.