Farewell Windows 98 and ME

So farewell then, Windows 98 and ME. You were slow and buggy and now Microsoft has disowned you entirely… From today, Microsoft will no longer support these two operating systems or offer helpline advice.

Microsoft says that it is retiring support for these products because they are outdated and can expose customers to security risks. Instead it recommends that users should upgrade to a newer, secure operating system such as, err, Windows XP… as soon as possible.

However, many computers in homes are still running 98 and ME because the hardware is often unable to upgrade to a newer operating system. According to the Wall Street Journal, thirteen per cent of Microsoft customers, or some 70 million PCs still use these operating systems and are effectively abandoned.

Existing support documentation will remain on the Microsoft website, which will host How-to, Troubleshooting, and Configuration information but users will be on their own.

The company has also slipped in the news that as of today it will no longer be supporting Windows XP Service Pack 1 as of 10 October 2006. Microsoft says that users should upgrade to Service Pack 2 which is available for free.

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