Is it worth it? -- One Guy’s Opinion on Windows 98

By Larry Anders, Librarian, Tampa PC Users Group

win98.jpg (3764 bytes)

Just in case you don’t want to read the entire article let me tell you up front …. Yes, I think it is! Why? …. Let me tell you ….

First of all it’s more stable and reliable. With Windows 98 you’re much less likely to experience those dreaded lock-ups that everyone experienced with 95. The bugs of 95 (approximately 3,000 of them) have been corrected and Windows has been optimized to run the way you want it to and be much more reliable doing so. If you should have problems you can now access the Support Online Web site for answers and even update your copy of Windows. System maintenance is now much easier with the Disk Cleanup Wizard, which automatically deletes unnecessary files, and the Maintenance Wizard, which walks you through the scheduling of basic disk maintenance. If you’re a power user, you’ll love the Task Scheduler and System Configuration utility.

It supports all kinds of new hardware like DVD, MMX, and USB. You can now utilize more than one monitor at the same time. FAT32 on my computer recaptured 2.5 gigabytes of hard drive space. That alone made up for the $87 upgrade cost.

It’s just plain all around faster. Internet access, hard drive access and memory access have all been tweaked to make Windows as a whole faster. Programs open faster than before. Choosing the desktop option to single-click, where you used to double-click, makes things faster and … easier.

If you’re into the Web then you’re into Windows 98 already because of the web integration that’s built in. Although Netscape works fine under 98, Microsoft Internet Explorer is included and is as good as Netscape if not better. There’s an Internet Connection Wizard to make connecting to the web a simple process. Also included is Outlook Express for your email, FrontPage Express to create your own web pages, NetMeeting to collaborate and hold conferences on the Internet, NetShow for streaming media, just to name a few.

The one thing I find humorous is the person who says, "Never buy version one of anything.…let them get the bugs out first". Years ago that may have made some sense but considering some 100 million beta testers have spent years testing 98 I think it’s safe to say it’s ready for prime time. And installation for me was really a snap. I just followed the instructions and in about 45 minutes I was upgraded.

No, it isn’t as dramatic a change as it was from 3.1 to 95 but it’s well worth the money and time. Do yourself a big favor and upgrade. For under $90 it well worth it! … and by the time your friends get 98 release 2 you’ll already be a power user. u