Introduction to Windows 98
Windows 98, code-named Memphis, is a graphical operating system developed by Microsoft. It is a 16-bit and 32-bit hybrid system, whose boot procedure is based on MS-DOS.
It is the successor of Windows 95 and it was distributed starting from mid-May 1998 then initial Windows 98 (called sometimes gold) was replaced by Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) on May 1999, which introduces several improvements.
The main support (mainstream) for Windows 98 and SE lasted until the end of June 2002 while the extended support until July 2006.
Compared to its predecessor Windows 95, Windows 98 supports most of the components introduced at the end of the last century such as DVDs, enhanced USB peripherals, multiple monitors, energy saving technologies and new TCP/IP network protocols.
The main feature of Windows 98, for what we are interested in today, is a pure environment of MS-DOS: MS-DOS version 7.10.
This version of DOS, in addition to integrating all the features of the previous MS-DOS, gives the possibility of accessing files contained in FAT32 partitions which allows us to use DOS even on modern computers.
The next version of MS-DOS, built into Windows ME, is very limited to the point that some DOS software does not run very well.
Why do we choose Windows 98 over MS-DOS?
Unfortunately the hardware to run old systems, such MS-DOS 6.22, is hard to find and it is difficult to share data with new systems, so Windows 98 is our bridge between the new and the old.
In these days, with Windows 10, you install the system, connect it to the Internet (often automatically), wait a little time and any missing or optimized drivers are magically installed; everything is nice and working
Using Windows 98 can be traumatic for those who are not used because many of the things we take for granted today, twenty years ago were not: installing Windows by its own was really difficult!
We often found ourselves with a partially usable but a very slow system if correct drivers are not installed.