One of the most exciting things for consumers about Microsoft Windows 98 is the new operating system’s ability to transform an ordinary PC into an advanced entertainment center. Designed to work better and play better, Windows 98 not only runs today’s applications faster and with greater reliability, it also offers support for a new generation of easy-to-use hardware devices and entertainment options. Imagine playing computer games with dazzling color, sound and special effects, or watching full-length DVD movies or television programs right on your PC.
By taking advantage of new hardware and graphical enhancements, Windows 98 enables PC gamers to experience graphics and performance similar to those offered by dedicated game consoles. Built-in support for Intel MMX technology and DirectX®
5.0 results in faster and higher-resolution audio and video, which adds up to a more satisfying multimedia and gaming experience.
Native support for Universal Serial Bus (USB) in Windows 98 makes setting up virtually any peripheral hardware as easy as plugging in your coffee pot. Gamers can easily plug in a joystick or add additional monitors without having to restart their machine. Windows 98 support for multiple monitors also means that gamers are no longer limited to a single view of the action.
Peripheral and game suppliers are already beginning to exploit the new possibilities of Windows 98. Concurrently with the launch of Windows 98, Logitech is releasing the new WingMan Force joystick, which supports both USB and the old serial interface.
“The high bandwidth of USB allows force-feedback signals to be transmitted from the computer to the joystick much more quickly–up to 300 times faster than with the serial interface,”
said Fred Swan, Logitech’s director of marketing for entertainment products.
“That speed will enable more exciting and complex effects and make game play faster-paced and more engaging.”
As Swan points out, recent technological advances exemplified by Logitech’s WingMan Force joystick and Windows 98 significantly improve the PC gamer’s experience.
“The convergence of Windows 98, USB and new gaming developments, such as cable technology, is resulting in faster speed and fine-grained effects along with a smoother feel and a whole new level of verisimilitude,”
“The Windows 98 launch is motivating game developers to come out with new products that leverage these new technological advances.”
That message is confirmed by Alicia Bridgewater, manager of public relations for games leader Electronic Arts:
We see Windows 98 as offering a great platform on which to standardize game products for a wide range of users. We’ve updated our Need for Speed III game to take advantage of the ease-of-use capabilities of Windows 98, and we are currently putting all our games through the Microsoft logo and testing process to ensure that they work well on Windows 98.”
Windows 98 also offers new entertainment capabilities for quieter, less competitive moments. Support for DVD means that as long as your machine has a DVD drive, you can easily watch full-length feature movies on your personal computer. DVD can be a treat not only as an entertainment alternative at home, but also when you are traveling and find yourself facing a long wait in an airport. In addition to movies, Windows 98 also allows you to watch TV on your PC.
Windows 98 support for WebTV®
for Windows enables a PC equipped with a tuner card to play both regular and enhanced television programming. Enhanced TV offers the possibility of a richer and more interactive television experience. For example, enhanced TV would supplement a regular TV broadcast with background information and even games. WebTV for Windows also provides a continually updated program guide that lets you review upcoming television shows and set reminders for shows that you don’t want to miss.
Whatever your interests, Windows 98 is an exciting upgrade that provides new entertainment capabilities and plays better than ever. How much better? Find out for yourself on June 25.