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This is getting off-topic, so if anybody feels the need to discuss this further, let's please take it offline. >>Just about all vendors offer a choice of operating systems to be loaded >>onto a new machine. I would contact customer service and inquire how >>to switch from XP (eXtra Pain) to W98SE. You're unlikely to have any success unless they'll exchange the unit. Reverting to an older OS requires that the drive be reformatted, and a new install done, whereas an 'upgrade' can usually be done relatively easily. >BUT: > >At 11:50 PM -0500 2002/02/27, Fred Langa wrote (in his LangaList newsletter): >>Starting last summer, we began discussing how Microsoft was phasing out >>support for older software, and shortening the length of support for >>newer software. Microsoft is about to pull the plug on support for >>Windows 98, 98SE, and NT; support has already officially ended for >>Windows 3.xx--- and, as one reader found out first-hand--- for Win95 > I can't recall ever consulting Microsoft for a *OS* problem so the support issue is irrelevant to me. About the only Microsoft *application* that's given me grief is Explorer - and that will be supported for a long time to come. Third-party applications are supported by their respective vendors. W98SE will not stop running simply because Microsoft no longer supports it. And where Microsoft steps out I'll bet someone else will step in to fill the void. I'd take that bet! Having become proficient with WinMe and then XP, by 2003, even the shop which sold you the kit will only look at a Win95/8 system _very_ grudgingly. FWIW, there's a page on one of MS's many sites which gives the precise details, but roughly, it amounts to: 3 years after launch, no more service packs/hotfixes. 5 years after launch, no support whatsoever. Seems reasonable to me. > It's a moot question for most. In a year I expect every third-party application and plug-in on my machine will have XP support. The critical factor for me is when those other vendors will drop W98SE support. Given that all still support W95 that day is comfortably far in the future. That depends upon how you define 'support', and exactly what it is that you want supported. If you mean that they'll still make the Win95/98/Me versions available on their websites, you'll be correct in most cases. If you mean that they'll continue to code updates and new features for those older OS's you're probably going to be disappointed, but as I hinted earlier, it depends upon exactly what you want: If it's applications, you may be in luck. Those which don't use NT/XP-specific API calls will function on most OS versions, if the hardware is suitable (eg some really old apps require CGA or 400x600 video mode, which some hardware no longer supports). For instance, you can probably run the Calendar.exe program from Windows 3.01 on all later versions (from which it was strangely omitted), including XP. If it's drivers for new equipment on old OS versions, I'm afraid you're not going to be so lucky once XP is viewed as 'established' (which is pretty much the case already), because XP is a flavour of NT, and NT drivers are not at all suitable for use on 95/98/Me. Some vendors simply will not make the effort to support the older OS's once they've adopted XP and started using its features, because it's too much hassle. Particularly in the case of printer drivers, where the XP API offers considerably more features - which, along with the dialog controls, would have to be omitted from those versions, or coded by the vendors themselves. Windows ICM for instance. > Hopefully by then there will be Linux equivalent to my work suite. I don't lose sleep over sticking with W98SE. Whatever floats your boat, I'll not bring religion into it too :-) What I _would_ recommend, if you don't mind a bit of additional expense, is moving up to Windows 2000, until you feel that XP is 'safe'. Later, when you do the XP upgrade, you'll already have the right drivers for everything you're already using, and if they've been installed correctly (in the application's folder, not in Windows) they won't get replaced by versions which may or may not work for you. In my experience, Win2K has been remarkably stable, my 2 development systems often run non-stop for weeks on end. Apart from 2 blue screens in 18 months, all reboots have been for the right reasons, and at my convenience. It's totally different from what I was accustomed to with Win9x and especially MacOS 7/8/9 where crashes were daily occurrences, even after doing nothing more than reboot. WinMe seemed OK, but I almost bypassed that one completely, and NT4.0 was very stable provided I used SP 5. YMMV. D. - Turn off HTML mail features. Keep quoted material short. Use accurate subject lines. http://www.leben.com/lists for list instructions.