Windows 98, the
barely-heralded Microsoft upgrade to Windows 95, hit UK retailer shelves on 25 June.
Well excuse you if you missed the fanfare. There wasnt any.
In stark contrast to its launch of Windows 95,
Microsoft has been oddly low-key about it newest product. Even stranger given their claim
that Win98 will ship on 90% of new PC systems by the end of July.
So why the silence? Well, there just isnt
anything revolutionary to talk about. It has some nice features, of course. Particularly
useful is the Maintenance Wizard that allows you to schedule routine chores on your PC.
This includes the new Disk Cleanup utility that frees space by deleting your
various caches of temporary files.
Communications get a boost from new on-board fax
software that actually works and is easy to use. Games benefit as well, with support for
the latest-generation multimedia and gaming technologies including DVD and multiple
monitors. Theres also a built-in WebTV, which is a nice touch.
But despite the fact that Windows 98 is supposed
to be so very Internet-hip, the truth remains that most of the new features are already a
part of Internet Explorer 4.0. For people already running Windows 95 with IE 4 and the
Active Desktop, life will look very much the same.
The real bonus comes in speed, with faster
application launches, a quick shut down and a recovery of up to 25% of your hard drive
space thanks to FAT32 and its efficient file allocation.
Those interested can expect to pay around £80
and will need 120 300 MB of free space for the upgrade.
for more information.