Microsoft has ended its support for its older operating systems. From today, the estimated 70 million users world-wide of Windows 98, 98 Se and Windows Me will not longer be provided with telephone help or security updates by the software giant.
Suppliers of some free security software such as the free edition of the Zonealarm firewall will also no longer support these operating systems. However anti-virus software shouldn’t be affected. The end has been a long time coming; support for the software was originally due to end in 2003, but following protests from customers this was extended. Microsoft urged consumers still using these operating systems to upgrade to a system such as XP. It warned those still using Windows 98 and Me after today could become more vulnerable to online attacks as the company will not fix bugs and loopholes that hackers could exploit.
However people may be able to fix more generic problems as Microsoft has collected a raft of support information which is available on its website. Microsoft said it will keep this data online for another year – “until at least July 11 2007”.