Windows 98 is Off to a Great Start

Redmond, Wash., July 10, 1998 — After only two weeks on store shelves, Windows 98 is off to a great start. Growing consumer interest in Microsoft’s new operating system has led to Windows 98 sales that are exceeding industry expectations. PC Data is reporting that Windows 98 sales are keeping pace with initial sales of Windows 95 in the weeks following its launch three years ago. In addition, customer satisfaction appears strong.

“When the product launched two weeks ago, we were thrilled with the enthusiastic response from our customers,” said Larry Mondry, executive vice president of merchandizing for CompUSA. “Two weeks later, sales continue to exceed our expectations, and our customers seem to be very satisfied with their Windows 98 purchase.” Initial feedback from customers, indicates a relatively smooth upgrade experience. With its streamlined and simplified set-up, Windows 98 is generating substantially fewer support calls on a per-unit basis compared with Windows 95. In an effort to respond effectively to customer questions, Microsoft is training and adding additional support engineers and is continually updating Support Online to provide users with the latest support information. In addition, Microsoft is extending the Windows 98 no-charge support hours to include the next two Saturdays for customers who acquire a stand-alone retail copy of Windows 98 software. No-charge support will now be available on Saturday, July 11, and Saturday, July 18, 7a.m.-3 p.m. PDT.

According to feedback from support engineers, questions from customers calling for technical assistance tend to fall into one of three categories — Tasks, Hardware or Installation — with the percentage of calls related to installation down significantly from Windows 95.

Microsoft, which cares deeply about any customer issue, is actively monitoring customer feedback and is committed to ensuring that customers have the best PC experience possible. Microsoft representatives said the company apologizes for any inconvenience the strong demand for Windows 98 has caused customers who are trying to obtain technical support, and is doing everything it can to provide customers with the support they need.

Preparing Your System for Installing Windows 98:

To ensure that customers have the best possible experience, Microsoft has outlined a few simple steps customers can take to prepare their systems for installing Windows 98. Below you will find information on:

  • What to do before purchasing Windows 98

  • What to do before installing Windows 98

  • What to do when installing Windows 98

  • How to obtain additional assistance

System Requirements
Before purchasing Windows 98, customers should make sure that their computer meets the minimum hardware requirements for running Windows 98. The minimum requirements include:

  • 486DX 66 MHz or better processor (Pentium recommended)

  • 16 megabytes (MB) of memory (24 MB recommended)

  • 120 MB minimum of free hard-disk space (Note that typical installation requires approximately 195 MB of free hard-disk space, but may range between 120 MB to 295 MB, depending

  • CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive

  • 3.5-inch high-density floppy disk drive

  • Display adapter and monitor that support VGA or higher resolution

  • Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device.

Hardware Compatibility
Although Windows 98 shipped with more than 1,200 new drivers, not all third-party vendors have had a chance to update legacy hardware drivers. Microsoft cares deeply about making sure that customers have the drivers they need and is working with the vendors to ensure that driver updates will be available soon. The Windows 98 Hardware Compatibility list contains a list of computer systems and peripherals that have been tested and found to run Windows. By searching through the advanced view of the Web site

Before Purchasing Windows 98 , customers will be able to search for Windows 98 product compatibility by company and by category of hardware. Mark Compatible for the Logo Level and Windows 98 for the Operating System for the most complete and accurate search results.

One issue that has caused some recent confusion is which, if any, specific machines need to be modified before being upgraded. Contrary to recent reports, the majority of PC’s can be upgraded to Windows 98 without any trouble. There are, however, a few machines that require updated device drivers or BIOSes to fully support Windows 98’s new power management functionality. Microsoft wants to make sure that any customer who wants to can upgrade to Windows 98 can do so easily. The company is working closely with the OEM’s to ensure that the necessary updates are made available as soon as possible.

Customers who are interested in finding out more information about their specific machines, or who want to identify known incompatibilities or possible workarounds, should review additional information on their PC manufacturer’s Web site.

Windows 98 vs. Windows 98 Upgrade

Customers should purchase Windows 98 Upgrade if they are a licensed user of Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 3.x or Windows for Workgroups 3.1x. If customers aren’t licensed users of any of these earlier versions, they should purchase the full-install version of Windows 98.

To install the non-upgrade (full) version of Windows 98, customers do not need a previous version of Windows, Windows for Workgroups, or MS-DOS. Because the non-upgrade version of Windows 98 includes a bootable floppy disk, customers do not need to be able to boot from the computer’s hard disk.

Before Installing Windows 98

Before you upgrade your existing version of Windows to Windows 98, you should perform the following steps:

  • Scan for Viruses To make sure that the computer is not infected with a virus, customers should run an anti-virus program with the latest virus signatures and allow the program to remove any viruses that it finds.

  • Disable Auto-Starting Programs such as Anti-virus programs Disable any programs that run automatically, including anti-virus programs, screen savers, or system utilities. One place to look for such programs is in the Start>Programs>Startup group. These programs can be re-enabled once Windows 98 installation is complete.

  • Back-up Data While it is unlikely that customers will encounter a serious problem installing Windows 98, it is always a good idea to perform a complete system backup before installing a new operating system. When upgrading a computer’s operating system, it is possible that an error could occur (such as a problem due to incompatible hardware or a power failure), which could temporarily or permanently prevent access to the data on the hard disk.

  • Review Setup File Customers should review the Setup.txt file, which is located in the Win98 folder on the Windows 98 CD-ROM, for issues that may affect their particular configurations. It is also worthwhile to take the time to register on Support Online at and familiarize yourself with the available materials such as “Frequently Asked Questions for Windows 98” and “Windows 98 Troubleshooters.”

Installing Windows 98
If upgrading Windows 95, customers will need to start Windows 95 and then insert the Windows 98 CD-ROM. It is important to follow all instructions on the screen to install Windows 98.

Startup Disk

When Setup prompts to make a new Startup Disk for Windows 98, it is important to do so. Customers should reference the Setup.txt file for additional information about creating a Windows 98 Startup Disk.

Support Options

If a customer has followed the above steps and still runs into a problem with the installation, Microsoft has several support options that allow customers to receive support in the method they prefer.

Internet Support

Support Online – Support Online has become the most popular way customers seek support assistance. Currently, Support Online includes more than 900 articles written by Microsoft’s knowledgeable support engineers to provide customers continuously updated information on common questions, potential problems and features. Support Online can be accessed at ( and is available 24 hours a day, so customers can search any time to obtain details on common support scenarios or on how to get the most out of Windows 98.

WebResponse – WebResponse is for customers who purchase a stand-alone retail copy of Windows 98 and have questions they would like answered while they are working on something else. The support engineers try to offer responses within one business day. Due to customer demand and the resulting spike in technical support questions, however, this cannot be guaranteed.

Phone Support

Customers who purchase a stand-alone retail copy of Windows 98 will receive 90 days (from the customer’s first support call) of standard no-charge telephone support. Support is available 6 a.m.-6 p.m. PDT, Monday through Friday.

Note that strong consumer demand for Windows 98 may be causing some customers inconvenience in trying to obtain technical support assistance by phone. Microsoft cares about each customer who calls and is doing everything it can to provide the support they need. In addition to the 400 Support Engineers trained solely for the launch period, Microsoft has added 50 engineers to the support staff and is training more than 100 others to begin taking calls. Microsoft Technical Support Engineers are available to take calls on Windows 98 at 425-635-7222.

If a customer does need to contact phone support, he or she should have the following information on hand:

  • Contact information

  • Product ID number

  • General description of the problem

  • Details of the computer system and peripherals

OEM Contact Info
Customers who purchased their Windows 98 upgrade through their PC manufacturer, or bought a new machine with Windows 98 already installed, need to contact their PC manufacturer for technical support. A list of manufacturer technical support numbers is available on Microsoft Support Online at

. (If customers have gone through the registration process for Support Online, they should be able to access the manufacturer technical support numbers at this URL: (

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