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Windows98: A Mine Field?
by Dr. Raj Mehta

Taken in by the hype of having the latest and the greatest? You may be thinking "must have" Window98? Well, look before you leap. The path to upgrade to Windows98 may be lined with land mines. Follow the links on this page to get the glimpse of difficulties you may run into in upgrading to much touted OS!

Microsoft is releasing an upgrade on August 18, 1998 or there abouts. Click Here. to read about it. They claim to be Multimedia Upgrade. But people in the industry feel it is a bug fixes for the problems which have been there for people who want to upgrade.

Start Here for many Links related to this issue.

May be, Windows 98 can work well for new PCs that are modified to tap into its features. However, it can be a very different story for those seeking to upgrade from previous Windows systems. Click Here for difficulties with upgrading your existing system.

What was expected as an easy upgrade may become a nightmare of cryptic messages and installation dead-ends requiring BIOS upgradation and new drivers for your existing hardware.

Microsoft is usual is blaming the users and their hardware/software. Kim Akers, Windows 98 group product manager. "In the ideal world, we would ship software that every single person has the best possible experience with. But there's lots and lots of different configurations." Click Here for more details.

If you do have Windows98 problems, contact your hardware supplier and Microsoft first. For details Click Here for this story.

When Windows 98 crashes--it is not unlikely that programs like Netscape Navigator or Lotus Notes are responsible.

Yet another set of problems, with the upgrade to win98 is that it may replace your newer .dll files with old ones and disable some of the applications:

"With Windows98, there seems to be a new utility which would be easily defended in some quarters. The ``Version Conflict Manager'' is designed to eliminate one of the problems that have plagued Windows users for some time. That of installing new software with .dll's which overwrite others and thereby cripple the software that was already running. But, InfoWorld has a different slant on it, and frankly, the description here is _so_ conformant to Microsoft standard designs, that I can't fault the writer. Click Here to find out more about it.

The setup routine for Microsoft's new Windows 98 operating system deliberately disables files used by competitors' software and installs different versions of those files for the use of Windows 98.

The Version Conflict Manager lets the user select a file and trade the older version for the newer version. But a Win98 user typically has no knowledge of what applications use which shared files or which version of each file would be "better." Moreover, the utility is unlikely to be found routinely by users, because it is buried deep within Win98's menu structure:

Click Start-->Programs-->Accessories-->System Tools-->System Information-->Tools-->Version--> Conflict Manager

-- and then you will find it.

Any user who installs Windows 98 should check the Version Conflict Manager immediately after the setup routine is complete to see if any shared files were changed.

So, this also, of course, can affect net users, who may end up finding thatWindows98 install has disabled their connection by installing an OLDER less featured .dll atop a newer one provided by the ISP."

One procedure to fix this problem is given in an article at CNN. To find out the details Click Here.

Read one person's woes about windows98 crashing Click Here.

Users opionion about Windows98 is divided. About 52 percent have had positive experience, but a large 48 percent have had unpleasant experience. To read about these comments Click Here.

And THIS one you HAVE TO READ!!!!

BUGS 'r' us
By Jai Singh

"Aren't you glad the Justice Department was unsuccessful in halting the release of Windows 98? Microsoft was able to launch the new operating system on June 25, as it had wanted. Because of this, the U.S. economy (or was it global?) did not collapse."

"Sure, there are all these reports of all the bugs and major upgrade headaches. But really, what's the big deal? You are not going to let the little pain of changing your BIOS (or your basic input-output system) get you down."

Get the full story Click Here.

As editor of News.Com, Jai Singh is responsible for overseeing all the news efforts of CNET: The Computer Network.


So who is the loser? Obviously not Microsoft. The sales for Windows98 has far exceeded their expectations--about One Million copies getting them revenue of about 89 Million dollars(as of July 10,1998). You think Microsoft is going to do anything about the problems users are facing? Think again. They are not. They, as usual will come up with new versions and collect more money from the users. Hardware manufacturers & vendors are also not not likely to raise much fuss about this, as users will be wanting new "Windows98 compliant Hardware" and it will improve their sales. So, who remains at the receiving end? Of course YOU, THE USER. Microsoft can always say that we make product which users are willing to buy. Over the years, we have become USED to getting shoddy software, did I say software(?), I meant bloatware from Microsoft. As long as we are willing to buy their product why should they improve the quality of the software? So, the user, the ball is in your court, your action or inaction will determine what kind of software we will have.

Important Note

The opinion expressed above is totally that of the author, and VSNL has nothing to do with it, in any way shape or form.

Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998 Dr. Raj Mehta. All rights reserved.