Windows 98 is released by Microsoft in June 25, 1998. It is a mixed 16 bit/32 bit Windows operating system. The version number is 4.1 and the code name is Menphis.
Windows98 has integrated the Internet standard comprehensively. It unifys ans simplifys desktop with Internet technology and allows the users to find and browse the information on the computer or on the internet more simply and faster. It has a faster speed and greater stability. With the brand new self-maintenance and updating function, users can have more spare time to concentrate on work or games instead of system management.
This new system is edited on the base of Windows95. It improves the hardware standard, such as MMX, and AGP. It has other features like supporting FAT32 file system, multi-display, Web TV and the Internet Explorer integrated to the Windows GUI. That is called Active Desktop.
Besides, in the internal memory management, it improved the problem that when the 16 bit and 32 bit source code are saved to one same storage space, one program error will cause the whole system downtime. From Windows98, the reformation of memory management is to put 16 bit and 32 bit source code to different memory spaces. Once there is a program error, you can just stop that program and the system will not be affected.
From Windows98, the multiprocess operating systems have completely different improvement with the preemptive multitasks of Windows95. The user can choose to averagely distribute system resource for multitasking or put a prigram that needs a lot of time to the backstage. Thus increase the practical applicability of multitasking.
Although Windows98 is not perfect in evry aspect, as all the Windows9x can enter into the pure DOS operation interface so that it needn't DOS startup disk to repair when the system crashes, this is one of its advantages. The present Windows XP/VISTA/2000 can no longer enter into the pure DOS interface, so if you need to repair you have to use DOS starup disk, the other Windows9x or connect the hardware to the other Windows9x computer.
A great improvement compared to Windows95
1. Convenient to install: when installing Windows98, system will lead you to complete the installation, and examine all the common hardwares such as moderm, CD-ROM driver, audio card, and printer, etc.
2. More coordinating with the present soft and hard wares: Windows98 provides internal support for more than 1900 present hardware devices, and has passed the test of compatibility with more than 3500 popular softwares. The internal support includes the 32 bit device driver program. That means the hardware being supported will run faster and more effectively under Windows98 environment.
3. Plug and paly function: when you are using the "plug and play" device on the computer Windows98 will set it automatically.
4. Improved UI: the desktop of Windows98 makes you concentrate more on your own task. There are only a few graphic objests on the desktop, and that is simpler than before. The "start" button leads you to start the daily work with the computer. If you want to quickly start a frequently-used program or document, you can just pull it to the "start" button. It will be listed with other functions (like set-up procedure, open a document, get help, change system settings, and find files) together in the "start" menu. "My computer" makes browsing the content (all kinds of files, folders, and procedures) of computer more convenient. "Network neiborhood" makes examing and using network simpler. "Recycle bin" provides you a temporary space for placing deleted files. You can choose to shift delete or get back to use.
5. Provide better support for MS-DOS without MS-DOS: different from Windows3.1, Windows98 will not run on the MS-DOS operating system. Windows98 is a tightly integrated system. It enters into the GUI directly instead of command line. But Windows98 still supports MS-DOS.
6. Support long file name: in Windows98, the longest file name can be 255 characters. That makes finding files very easy.
7. The function of mouse stands out: in Windows98, point to any object with the mouse pointer and click the right button, you will see a pop-up menu that lists out all the orders related to the object. With this menu, you can copy, delete, rename, create shortcut, and view the file and folder's attributes.
8. Play CD automatically: if you put a CD that supports automatically playing, Windows98 will paly the CD automatically instead of tedious operation procedure to choose play tool.
9. Added and improved the tools of accessories: Windows98 provides a group of tools that adapts to the new interface. "Tablet" is the 32 bit editor. It replaces the "Write" and "Notebook" of Windows3.1. "Picture" is the 32 bit tool that replaces "Brush". As "Picture" is the OLE software, its images can be connected or inset to other documents. The backup of 32 bit makes the backup from computer or disk, magcard easier.
10. Connection with Internet: after the installation of IE4.0 in Windows98, there is a option to open active desktop. That makes IE4.0 one intefrated part of Windows98 desktop. Through choosing active desktop, users can set the wallpaper as the HTML page that can directly get informations from Internet. Besides, changing the traditional explorer to the Internet Explorer makes different Windows intefaces. "Start" menu includes address bar and interlinkage, collection, and so on, making net play more covenient.
Using the Web-aware UI included in Windows98, Internat has become one part of UI. The users needn't leran multi-applications—one for the local information, one for browsing network, and of course one for Internet or Intranet. With this interface, Windows98 makes the process a tool for browsing local, network, Intranet, and Internet data. Therefore you can get informations you want in a faster and easier way.
Tools for Internet Communication
Windows98 also provides abundant tools for on-line communicatiom:
Out Look TM Express: a full-function E-mail and News reader client-side.
Microsoft Net Meeting TM: a solution that provides sound, data, images, meeting function for the Internet meetings.
Personal Web Sewer (and Web Publishing Witard): it provides a simple way to publish a webpage on the Intranet or Internet.
Microsoft Front Pad: a HTML editor that WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). It is developed on the base of the edit tool which is the prize winner, full-function webpage creator and management tool of Microsoft FrontPage97.
Microsoft Net Show: a platform that transfers multimedia through network. The range of network can be from the low bandwidth dial-up Internet to the high bandwidth switching local network.
Windows Update website is the expansion of Windows98.
Improvement of dail-up network
The dial-up network has been updated, and it provides: dial-up script (it can connect to the call-board and online service); the UI of dial-up network has been improved for simplifying settings and dial-up connecting; supporting Multilink Channel Aggregaction enables the users to combine all the dial-up lines for higher transmission rate.
Support for VPN users
Virtual Private Networking is the new network support for the remote users that enter into their company's network through security association.
Online help of HTML
For helping users to find "help" information, Windows98 provides a HTML online help system.
15 breakdown maintenance guides
These guides can help you quickly diagnosing and solving technology problems of Windows98.
The setup of Windows98 has been enhanced for reducing the time cost and increasing the reliability of setup.
FAT 32 file system
FAT 32 is the improved version of FAT file system. It allows formatting a 2G hardware to a single driver. That makes the space of disc more effective.
FAT32 Conversion Utility
Improvement of power source management
Windows98 supports built-in Advaned Configuration and Power Interface port. That allows you to turn on or off your PC as TV.
Windows script host
Windows98 supports direct script from UI or command line (one script is only a command line that can be carried out automatically).
New accessory tools
Windows98 provides two new tools: Accessibility Configuration Wizard and a screen magnifying glass.
Win32 Driver Model
Win32 Driver Model is a brand new and unified driver model for Windows95 and Wndows NT.
Windows Maintenance Wizard
Windows Maintenance Wizard is designed to enhance the self-maintainability of PC.
When the operating system is turned off improperly or heavey mistake of hardware, Windows98 can run the Scan Disk automatically.
Disk Clean Up
Disk Clean Up is a tool that cleans up the useless files from the disc automatically. It can increase the effective space.
Microsoft system information tool4.1
Windows98 provides a compositive information tool to collect system configuration informations about technology support.
System File Checker Utility
Sytem File Checker Utility follows the key files of your computer. If these files are moved or changed, SFCU can restore them in an easy way. Once the file changes are sensed by SFCU, it will provide you a few kinds of solutions.
Registry Checker is a program that finds and solves registry problems, and back-up registry in time, and also provides experiential support.
Windows98 provides a enhanced Dr Watson Utility.
System Configuration Utility
System Configuration Utility replaces Sysedit with imaging way.
Version Conflict Manager
Version Conflict Manager checks the conflict of different versions of installed programs.
New backups Utility
This new program supports SCSI tape device and makes backing up faster and easier.
Remote access server
Windows98 included all the parts of making the desktop a dial-up server.
Display Setting Enhancements
Display Setting Enhancements supports dynamic alteration of screen resolution and color depth.
Active Movie TM
Active Movie is a new media transmission system for Windows. It provides high quality video palying; at the same time providing a group of ports that support multimedia applications and tools.
Support for MMX CPU of Intel
Support the third applications developed on the base of next generation Intel Pentium Multimedia Extesions (MMX) server for faster audio and video support.
Multiple Display Support
Multiple Display Support allows users use multiple displays or graphic adaptor on one single PC.
Support for new generation hardwares
The main purpose of Windows98 is providing support for the innovation of hardwares rencent years.
There are a few enhancement of PCMCIA technology:
Support for PC Card32 (Card bus)
Support for PC Card running in 3.3 volts
Support for Multifunction PC Cards
Support for built-in infrared data transmission
Windows98 supports IrDA (Infraed Data Association Standard).
Distributed Component Object Model
Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) allows software developers creating component applications.
Net ware Directory Services support
Windows98 supports Client Services of Novell Netware Directory Services (NDS).
32 bit Data Link Control
Data Link Control (DLC) agreement is mainly used to enter into IBM mainframe and IBM AS/HOO computer.
Strong functions of computer and supplemental devices
Microsoft Windows98 operating system provides built-in support for external devices, making the using of these widely used devices easier.
Much more fun
Adding more entertainment functions and built-in support for new technology such as MMX, DVD and Microsoft DirectX5.0, Microsoft Windows98 system creates a harmony relationship between users and the computer and brings more fun.
December 4, 2003, MSDN users download plan manager Andy Boyd announced in a public news group that according to the settlement agreement with Sun Company in 2001, a series of products including Winsdows98 would be obsoleted gradually and deleted from the MSDN users download content from December 15. MSDN distribution channel would not provide these products, either. It is the time to say goodbye to Window98.
These obsoleting products are inset with Java virtual machine technique. The Sun Company who owns Java has sued Microsoft in 1998 for the improper use of Java technique. Sun and Microsoft have reached an accommodation in 2001. Microsoft compensates Sun 200 million dollars and promises to obsolete those old version Java products which infringe the patent and trademark right of Sun.
Winodws98 has stopped the major security update as of July 11, 2006.