Windows 98

Definition of Windows 98 in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is Windows 98?

Windows 98 was Microsoft’s upgrade for users of Windows 95 and earlier versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Windows 98 includes the following new features:

  • A Web-aware user interface that allows Web-like views of local resources and a single tool for browsing local, network, and Internet resources
  • Integrated Internet software including Microsoft Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, NetMeeting, Personal Web Server, FrontPad, and NetShow
  • Windows Update Manager for accessing the Internet to download enhancements and fixes to Windows 98
  • Improved networking support with a faster TCP/IP protocol stack, improved dial-up networking, and support for virtual private networking
  • Support for FAT32 drives and a FAT32 conversion utility
  • Maintenance Wizard for scheduling system maintenance utilities and other new utilities that simplify administration of computers running Windows 98, including the Microsoft System Information utility, System File Checker, Registry Checker, and Windows Scripting Host (for running administrative scripts from the desktop)
  • Support for digital versatile disc (DVD) and for multiple monitors on a single computer
  • Support for universal serial bus (USB), FireWire (IEEE 1394), and infrared wireless connectivity based on Infrared Data Association (IrDA) standards
  • Support for DirectX 5.0 and OnNow instant-on technology
  • Built-in Remote Access Service (RAS) for remote dial-up clients
  • HTML-based online help
  • Improved versions of many Windows 95 tools and utilities

The Windows 98 system architecture and user interface are essentially the same as those of Windows 95 with Internet Explorer version 4.0 or later installed using the Active Desktop option.


When you plan an upgrade for your current desktop operating system, choose Windows 2000 over Windows 98 if you need such features as

  • Local desktop file security using the NTFS file system
  • Greater stability and protection for running applications
  • Scalability and portability to multiprocessor and RISC-based machines
  • C2 level security

On the other hand, you should choose Windows 98 over Windows 2000 if you need any of the following:

  • Full backward compatibility with MS-DOS and 16-bit Windows applications
  • Support for legacy hardware and lower overall hardware requirements
  • Advanced Power Management (APM) for mobile users
  • Support for games

See also: