Microsoft’s July 2006 termination of Windows 98/SE/ME support an opportunity for Apple’s Mac

“It looks like Microsoft is getting users of its operating systems coming and going. Microsoft’s next generation Vista OS may prove too much for older computers, but the company has announced it will no longer support the Windows 9x code base as of later this summer. Luddites who want to stick with Windows 98/SE/ME will be cut off from any further public and technical support for the aging operating systems after July 11, 2006, including all security updates,” Andy Patrizio writes for Internet News. “The delays in shipping Vista had a lot to do with giving the old Windows 9x code base an extended lease on life. Microsoft initially planned to end support for the 9x line as far back as 2002 and set a few dates to end support since then, but held off due to Windows XP and Vista’s lateness. The company will continue to provide Windows 98 and ME help topics through its Web site until at least July 2007, but the loss of security updates will be the main concern.”

Patrizio writes, “Power users may sneer at the thought of using the rickety Windows 9x code base, but Jupiter Research has found that one in four homes with more than one PC is running the old operating system, usually on a hand-me-down PC for the kids. The lack of Internet security may force some people to upgrade, and guess which software company benefits in that scenario?”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Bruce” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Which software company benefits in that scenario? That’s easy: Apple. Microsoft’s brain dead bad timing on this support issue only adds to Apple’s “Windows of Opportunity.” Pretty strangely, especially due to recent evenets, Patrizio ignores the potential benefit to Apple in his article. Of course, most of these “Luddites” won’t do a thing until the hardware physically breaks down, but a certain percentage will be in the market for a new PC. Really, if you want to get a new PC now, why would you waste your money on one that’s OS-limited (Windows-only from the likes of Dell, HP, Toshiba, Sony, Lenovo, Mom & Pop white box, etc.) when you can get a Macintosh that’s OS-universal and can run both Mac OS X, iLife, and other great Apple Mac-only applications along with Windows and all of your old Windows applications? Hint: use Mac OS X for your online banking and for everything else that involves information that you’d like to keep secure. Letting Windows-only users bring along their Windows “insecurity blanket” for the time being (they’ll learn quickly) and running both two major OSes with the ability to run all of the applications for the price of one computer is tough to beat.

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Related articles:
Pre-Boot Camp report: Apple could double market share on Microsoft defections – April 13, 2006
Microsoft Windows Vista Beta running on Apple Intel-based Mac – April 10, 2006
Dude, you got a Dell? What are you, stupid? Only Apple Macs run both Mac OS X and Windows! – April 05, 2006
Microsoft’s inability to ship Windows Vista leaves door open for Apple – March 23, 2006

40 Comments

  1. MicroSoft: “We are ending support for Win98, WinSE or WinME machines. You may purchase WinXP Professional or WinVista when it comes out, provided you have the appropriate hardware.”

    WinUsers Worldwide (with drool coming out the corners of their mouths and eyes glazed over): “Yes, master. I will buy WinXP. Thank you may I have another?”

    If they only knew the joys of Macintosh…

  2. Windows 98 is to Coca-Cola as Windows Vista is to New Coke.

    People will want more than the New Coke taste, and hopefully will jump on board for a slice of Apple to get that bad taste out of their mouth.

  3. I can hear the MS spinmasters at work now…

    “Microsoft has closed 78,527 Windows OS vulnerabilities in one stroke! Windows is now the most secure operating system on the planet!”

    (If MS no longer supports an OS it must not exist anymore.)

  4. MDN – you got the allergies or something? Your takes are often misleading, but they’re not usually flat-out wrong.

    *IF* fear of no-support prompts people to action (it won’t, as the tech press won’t cover it) they’ll just buy XP, or even 2000. A litle RAM boost (not even necessary), and they run just fine on all the systems that 98 did.

    And you don’t get two OSes + ability to run them for “the price of one computer.” If an individual who couldn’t or wouldn’t pay to replace his Win98 system in the past 8-10 years actually somehow comes up with the will and means to purchase a Mac (unlikely!), and decides to install beta software (Boot Camp) to support Windows, he still has to shell out the $ to buy Windows XP.

    MS’s end-of-life for 98 will have no effect on anyone. Move along.

  5. Very quiet around here today. Maybe it’s a good time for somebody tell me what’s so great about the Mac OS. Widgets are novelties – relatively useless, especially the ones that don’t work. iLife has deteriorated with just about every upgrade (especially iMovie) – I assume Apple is about to bail out on that. M’soft Office doesn’t run as well on a Mac. Only thing you guys really can tout is the lack of viruses and that’s changing with the dual boot thing. So, why should I want to leave the Windows OS, with Vista on the way, that dominates the world?

  6. Andrew –

    MS is just taking a page from Apple’s book. Forced upgrades are Apple’s bread and butter.

    Can’t play your new iTMS purchases until you upgrade to the new ugly iTunes. Can’t use our new OS until you upgrade to the new intel hardware. Can’t use your Classic applications (would somebody PLEASE make a replacement for Calender Maker!!?) if you DO upgrade to our new hardware/OS.

    Bah.

  7. “Windows 98 is to Coca-Cola as Windows Vista is to New Coke.”

    It’s more like Windows anything is the Diet Sprite of the computer world. Have you ever tasted that crap? Last time I bought some I used to to clean golf clubs after tasting it.

    But if you’ve never tasted a sweet beverage like Mac Cola, why would you ever think what you have been drinking tastes so bad.

  8. Wasn’t MS the one saying that customer want choice? That we don’t want to be locked into a single propriatary format? Well, the only computer company that offers choice is Apple — buyers are free to chose their OS rather than the tied to a single OS.

  9. From article: “Power users may sneer at the thought of using the rickety Windows 9x code base, but Jupiter Research has found that one in four homes with more than one PC is running the old operating system, usually on a hand-me-down PC for the kids.”

    Hey – MDN macheads – for as long as I can remember you all have been saying that Windows computers all break after a year or two and always have to be replaced (as opposed to Macs that never break LOL). How can a Windows 98 – 6 to 8 years old be running???

    Alas, MDN macheads only put out FUD.

  10. I’ve been using Macs for over 10 years. One of my roomates (who’s working on her Phd) has been using PCs since Windows 3.1. We argue about computer software but not like most fanatics.

    Today, she came home and told me she’s ordering a new MacBook Pro because her three-year old HP notebook died at school (and took some important work with it 8-(.

    I’ve been telling her about BootCamp but not giving her a Mac sales job, low and behold she sold herself because my four year old G4 runs and runs without problems and she’s had to reinstall everything twice this year due to spyware and virus problems. Now the final PC insult, her beloved Thinkpad croaked (estimated $670 repair cost).

    Heather told me if it wasn’t for Bootcamp letting microsoft XP install on a MacBook Pro she would have bought a Toshiba laptop at the bookstore but instead she decided to order the Macbook Pro from the Apple Education Store.

    So for all the nay sayers here’s a real world conversion due to bootcamp, go Apple!

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