Independent Developer Releases Win98 SE Service Pack - InformationWeek

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Software // Enterprise Applications

Independent Developer Releases Win98 SE Service Pack

The package, labeled unofficial, contains updates and 70 hot fixes collected from the Windows Update service site and Microsoft's Knowledge Base database.

A service pack for Windows 98 Second Edition has been released. Big deal, right? It is if it doesn't come from Microsoft.

Last Friday, Windows enthusiast Alper Coskun posted something he dubbed "Service Pack 1.5" for Windows 98 SE on his Web site.

Although clearly labeled "Unofficial," the service pack uses updates and hot fixes Coskun collected from the Windows Update service site and Microsoft's Knowledge Base database.

The service pack includes 70 hot fixes, a solution to the 512-Mbyte memory limit of Windows 98 SE, and better USB support, Coskun says on his Web site.

The self-extracting, self-installing pack only includes updates to the operating system, not fixes for such bundled software such as Internet Explorer or Media Player.

Although Microsoft produced a Service Pack for Windows 98 in 1999, it never rolled out one for Second Edition.

Coskun's site even has a legal disclaimer at the bottom of the page whose fine print reads: "This software is provided 'as-is,' without any express or implied warranty."

Microsoft doesn't seem to have a problem with Coskun's not-from-Redmond creation. When contacted, a spokesperson said only, "Microsoft does not have a comment on this specific site; however, the company urges its customers to obtain Microsoft downloads directly from Microsoft. Microsoft cannot vouch for the validity or quality of download packages offered by third parties not sanctioned by Microsoft."

Windows 98 SE is in what Microsoft calls the "extended" part of its support life cycle. That means that free tech support and hot fixes for noncritical issues have expired--as of June 30, 2003. However, critical security updates will continue to be posted as necessary through June 30, 2006.

For those willing to take the third-party plunge, Coskun's service pack can be downloaded here.

Coskun, a widely published freeware developer, did not respond to an E-mail.

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