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Tip For Windows 98 and Windows ME Users
Windows 98 and Windows ME
We know that most of you still using Windows 98 and Windows ME are doing so because of financial reasons or because you happen to feel comfortable with Windows 98/ME.
But, we're nearing the new year 2007 and Windows 98 is going on 9 years old and the other two operating systems are right behind it. Microsoft is not supporting your operating systems anymore. That means - you don't get any more updates, you don't get anymore security fixes, you don't get anymore operating system patches.
If you're using Windows 98 or ME, you're going to find that in the near future software developers will not even make software for Windows 98 or Windows ME anymore - and the ones who once did will not update their older software. This will have a pretty big impact on you - because at some point in the next couple of years, there may not be any good anti-virus software or anti-spyware software available and those that are still available may not be current or many not be updated.
Now our job is not to scare you into mortgaging all your possessions and running out to buy a new computer. Our goal is to keep you informed and to try to keep you safe. There are still a few million people who still use Windows 98/ME. And this represents a fairly large target group to some misguided miscreants who, for some odd reason, get their kicks out of hurting other people, or more concisely, out of wreaking havoc with personal computers.
There is bound to come a time when Windows 98/ME will be vulnerable to all sorts of attacks launched by these scumbags. Without Windows updates, security fixes and patches - and with software developers concentrating their efforts (understandably) on Windows XP and Windows Vista - you're going to be a sitting duck. Maybe not right away and maybe not even next year. But the day is coming when it will happen.
So what's the solution? Well right now, you should be in a position to pick up a computer very cheap (let's say less than $400.00). And, if you cannot afford that much, you've still got a chance to move up to at least a Windows XP system. As Windows Vista becomes available and gains popularity, those with older computers running Windows XP, that cannot upgrade to Windows Vista, because their computer does not meet the minimum requirements, will have two choices: either spend a few hundred dollars to upgrade components of their computers or sell their computers and buy new ones. Many will choose the latter and you should be able to pick up a nice used computer that runs Windows XP well - but simply is not upgradeable to Windows Vista. You'll be safer using a Windows XP computer than you will be hanging on to that Windows 98/ME computer. After the new year begins, you should see plenty of bargains and it should be a good time for you to make your move up, even if it's only a step up to Windows XP.
And if you're thinking maybe you'll upgrade that old Win98/ME computer so it can run Windows XP? Don't. It will cost you at least $80.00 to buy the Windows XP Home Upgrade disk, $50.00 or more to upgrade the RAM to at least 512MB, around $50.00 for a low-end graphics card (64 MB at least recommended) and at least $60 for a bigger hard drive (40 to 80GB). This assumes, also, that you know how to upgrade the computer yourself, or have a friend or family member who can do it free. For as much as you'd spend on upgrading your old computer, you could buy a brand new one with Windows XP on it.
And, while you may hear that certain Windows XP computers for sale, are not upgradeable to Windows Vista, don't worry about that if money is tight. Your first order of business is getting a more secure operating system and one that can run most new software. Windows XP users are in good shape for another few years yet.
If you're still using Windows 98 or Windows ME, we hope you will give this tip careful consideration. As time goes by you're going to find that your taking bigger risks as your operating systems become more and more out-of-date and less and less software is being released for these older operating systems.
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