Local News

Do You Need Windows 98?

Posted June 24, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— After months of waiting, and close to two dozen lawsuits, Windows 98 is finally on sale. Some computer gurus are snatching up the software as quickly as possible. Still, the new version isn't expected to cause as much of a sensation as Windows 95.

Should you buy and what can it do better than Windows 95 are questions being asked by a lot of PC users.

Microsoft says hundreds of thousands of people have already bought the Windows 98 upgrade -- and that's what it is, an evolutionary upgrade, not the revolutionary product found in Windows 95.

"Just have to have it" buyers lined streets and jammed stores in major cities, including Raleigh, at midnight to buy. Microsoft claims 98 runs programs faster and more efficiently, provides easier use of peripherals and better access to the Internet.

"You've always had the option to run Netscape's browser and you can do so again today so the great thing about Windows 98 is you get choice," says Windows Marketing Director Yusef Mehdi. "You get to run what you believe is the best product."

Office and computer stores in the Triangle say Windows 98 is selling well. Alfred Friedrich still runs Windows 3.1 but considers upgrading to 98.

"Finding that there's a lot of software that's coming along that won't run on 3.1 and that's the real reason."

Analysts say primary sale of Windows 98 will be on new computers. Two hundred computer makers are already shipping machines with the new version.

Do you need Windows 98? If you're happy with the 95 version probably not. You do get universal serial bus and Microsoft says more disk space. Mehdi says 98 stores data more efficiently "so you can get up to a third of your entire disk space back just by upgrading to Windows 98."

But some are buying because many stores offer "free" versions of additional software. The list price is $109, but it's selling for less most everywhere.

Microsoft has not promoted Windows 98 like it did Windows 95. But lots of people were lured to retailers for special deals like $98 computers and other one-time deals. Bill Gates himself hosts a big party tonight in San Francisco to kick off his newest product to the world.

Today we asked if you were planning on buying Windows 98. Of the hundreds of Microsoft Windows users who responded to today's WRAL OnLine Hot Button poll, only 32% say they'll buy Windows 98. 68% feel they can do without it.