Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Win98, WinME Support Ends

Win98 and ME reach the end-of-life dates

Customers looking for support from Microsoft for Windows 98 and ME will be out of luck after today as both products have reached their end of life date. Microsoft has previously extended the end-of-life (EOL) of the operating systems from January, 2004 to June 30th 2006 and again in January of this year to allow for one final security update before the systems are sent to the chopping blocks.

Microsoft has historically had a product cycle of about 10 years after the date of original release for its products, and the EOL for 98 comes relatively close to hitting that mark. In theory ME should have a few more years on it still, however because of the lack of popularity for the Windows ME OS Microsoft had decided to end support for the OS at the same time as 98.

Although Windows 98 will get one final security push before its EOL Microsoft will not fix a critical vulnerability in the system reasoning that it would take too much time and effort, and that the vulnerability is too difficult to fix given the resources dedicated to such an old product. Of course, there is still an 80% chance Vista will ship by January 2007.

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