Microsoft Announces Windows 98 Is Scheduled to Be Available on June 25
REDMOND, Wash., April 14, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that customer anticipation is high for the upcoming release of the Microsoft® Windows® 98 operating system, scheduled to be available worldwide on June 25, 1998. In addition, a recent consumer-event survey revealed that 95 percent of those surveyed plan to upgrade. Windows 98 will be available simultaneously to customers in stores and on new PCs from leading manufacturers.
“Windows 98 is catching fire among the PC enthusiasts,” said Yusuf Mehdi, director of marketing, personal business systems group at Microsoft. “The beauty of Windows 98 is that it runs applications faster and easier than Windows 95, while unlocking a whole new range of hardware devices and entertainment capabilities for consumers.”
Customer Excitement Builds
As the launch of Windows 98 approaches, consumer anticipation continues to grow – as evidenced by the response to recent programs such as the quarterly Microsoft eXtreme live satellite broadcast. The event, which showcased Windows 98 in 45 theaters across the United States and Canada, was sold out with approximately 40,000 enthusiasts pre-registering to attend. Survey results from the event showed overwhelming support for the forthcoming product, with over 95 percent of attendees announcing their plans to upgrade to Windows 98. In addition, 97 percent of attendees reported they would recommend Windows 98 to their friends and family.
Over 150,000 eager consumers worldwide are participating in Microsoft’s Consumer Beta Preview Program, which offers customers an opportunity to “test drive” the Beta 3 version of the product before the final release.
A recent independent survey by Windows Magazine found that 62 percent of users of Windows who plan to upgrade to Windows 98 will do so within the first six months after the launch of the product, while 87 percent said they will do so within the first year. This compares to 68 percent of users who said they would upgrade to Windows 95 in the first year. Users cited the product’s increased functionality and improved performance as key criteria for their decision.
Windows 98 Works Better, Plays Better
Windows 98 builds on the breakthrough features of Windows 95 by improving performance, reliability and ease of use, as well as unlocking an exciting new range of PC hardware and entertainment capabilities.
In particular, Windows 98 offers the following key consumer benefits:
Improved performance and reliability. With Windows 98, Microsoft has focused on improving the key areas that keep users waiting on their PCs today, including opening applications, which averages 36 percent faster,* accessing the Internet, viewing graphics and shutting down the PC, which is up to two to five times quicker than with Windows 95. Windows 98 dramatically improves performance in these areas so users can spend more time enjoying their PC and the Internet. In addition, Windows provides users an average of 28 percent more disk space through more efficient storage of data on the hard drive.**
Simplified navigation, help and Internet access. Windows 98 improves the key areas where PCs typically present users with difficulties: navigating and locating information, finding help when encountering a problem, and accessing the Internet. The enhanced user interface of Windows 98 makes use of key Internet Explorer technologies to unify and simplify the desktop, making it quick and easy for users to navigate information, whether it resides on their PC or the Internet. Accessing help also becomes easier with the new Web-based online help system that provides easy-to-access information when encountering problems, enabling simplified searching for information. Additionally, Windows Update, a centralized Web-based resource site, allows registered users to keep their PCs running optimally by providing the latest drivers and system updates, ensuring their PCs are always tuned and updated. (Web-based online help and Windows Update require Internet access, which may require a separate fee through a service provider).
A new range of PC hardware and entertainment capabilities. Just as Windows 95 enabled a range of new 32-bit software applications, Windows 98 ushers in a whole new range of hardware and entertainment functionality. Now, not only do games run better on Windows 98-based PCs than on traditional game console devices, but Windows 98 includes native support for universal serial bus (USB), which makes using additional hardware devices as easy as plugging in a toaster. In addition, Windows 98 provides DVD and television broadcast capabilities, allowing a PC with a TV tuner card to seamlessly receive and display television and other data distributed over broadcast networks (reception depends on the availability of broadcast sources in a given area).
Estimated retail pricing for the upgrade version for users of Windows 95 and Windows 3.1 is $109 (U.S.).
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
* Source: National Software Testing Laboratory (NSTL), December 1997. Results based on differences in application load times on identical hardware systems running Windows 98 vs. Windows 95. Systems with Windows 98 used the FAT32 file system and were optimized with the Windows 98 Maintenance Wizard. These results are averages obtained from launching multiple applications on a variety of PCs, with processors ranging from 486/66MHz to Pentium 200 MMX, with 32 MB of RAM. Your own results will vary depending on your system configuration. Best results are obtained with faster processors and more RAM.
** Results based on a test of 200 users’ hard drives. This test calculated the space to be gained by converting from FAT16 to FAT32. To convert to FAT32 you need a 512MB or larger hard drive partition. Actual experience will vary depending on hard drive partition size and number of files on your system. Hard drive partitions in excess of 1 GB and/or a large number of files yield best results.
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