REDMOND, Wash., June 25, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the availability of the Microsoft® Windows® 98 operating system, the consumer operating system upgrade that works better and plays better. The new operating system is immediately available in more than 40 countries worldwide and from more than 12,000 retail outlets in North America. In addition, more than 200 PC manufacturers - including the top 25 manufacturers - are scheduled to ship Windows 98-based consumer machines today or within 30 days. Windows 98 is expected to be available on more than 90 percent of all new consumer PCs within 30 days.
"Windows 98 is the first version of Windows that we designed specifically for home users," said Bill Gates, chairman and CEO of Microsoft. "As a result, this is the easiest-to-use version of Windows yet and will help bring the power of the PC to new users worldwide."
Microsoft will celebrate the worldwide availability of Windows 98 with industry launch partners and consumers this evening at a launch event in San Francisco. Many leaders will be on hand to demonstrate hardware and entertainment solutions that take advantage of the consumer capabilities in Windows 98.
Windows 98 Extends Opportunities for the PC Industry
Leading PC manufacturers and hardware and software vendors are taking advantage of new features in Windows 98, including enhanced broadcast capabilities and support for the latest technologies such as Universal Serial Bus (USB) and Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) to deliver innovative new solutions to their customers (see addendum for a list of vendors).
"Windows 98 is not only a win for consumers, but it is a win for the entire PC industry," said Rod Schrock, vice president and group general manager, consumer products group, Compaq Computer Corp. "The powerful, easy-to-use, consumer-oriented features will appeal to experienced and new users alike, helping to grow the entire market."
Top desktop and portable PC manufacturers worldwide are delivering Windows 98 preinstalled on their new consumer systems. Manufacturers include Acer America, Compaq Computer Corp., Dell Computer Corp., Gateway, Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp., Micron Electronics Inc., Packard Bell NEC Inc., Sony Electronics Inc., Siemens Nixdorf Inc. and Toshiba America Inc. In addition, more than 10,000 systems builders are participating in the Microsoft OEM System Builders Program to deliver tailor-made solutions featuring Windows 98.
The native support for USB in Windows 98 also presents hardware vendors with a tremendous opportunity to deliver exciting and innovative peripherals, from realistic "force feedback" joysticks to digital cameras, to consumers. USB dramatically simplifies the installation of these peripherals, delivering to consumers true "plug and play" functionality. Currently, a breadth of USB devices are being developed by the industry's leading manufacturers. According to David Fair, chairman of the USB Implementers Forum (USB IF) and technology initiative manager at Intel Corp., consumers can expect to see a steady increase in the number and type of USB devices available, with more than 150 new products due to hit the market over the course of the next year.
"Thanks to the support for USB in Windows 98, a wide array of easy-to-use USB devices are poised to flood the marketplace," Fair said. "USB technology enables a whole new spectrum of computing options that will help lower the barriers to broader PC adoption, expand the market and create a better end-user PC experience."
Windows 98 Works Better, Plays Better
As the first version of Windows designed specifically for consumers, Windows 98 builds on the breakthrough features in Windows 95 to offer the following benefits:
Improved ease of use through Internet integration. Windows 98 makes use of key Internet Explorer technologies to unify and simplify the desktop, making it quick and easy for users to find and navigate to information, whether it resides on their PCs or the Internet. In addition, finding help has been dramatically simplified with the addition of new troubleshooting wizards and Web-based help features.
Enhanced performance and reliability. Windows 98 dramatically improves the key areas that keep users waiting on their PC today, including opening applications, accessing the Internet and shutting down the PC. This enhanced performance along with powerful new self-maintenance and update features empower users to spend more time enjoying their PCs and less time managing their system.
A new range of PC hardware and entertainment capabilities. Windows 98 ushers in a new range of hardware and entertainment functionality. Now, not only do games run better on Windows 98-based PCs than on traditional game console devices, but Windows 98 includes native support for USB, which makes adding hardware devices as easy as plugging in a toaster. In addition, Windows 98 provides DVD and television broadcast capabilities, allowing a PC with a television tuner card to seamlessly receive and display television and other data distributed over broadcast networks.
Microsoft also announced today the worldwide availability of Microsoft Plus! 98, the consumer companion for Windows 98. Plus! 98 extends the advanced functionality in
Windows 98 by adding new utilities, desktop themes and games to let customers further manage, customize and enjoy their PC.
Support, Availability and Pricing
In anticipation of the strong demand for Windows 98, Microsoft will extend its standard technical support hours (in the United States and Canada) to include the first two weekends following today's launch (7 a.m. to 3 p.m. PDT June 27 and 28 and July 3 through 5). Microsoft previously announced that in preparation for the launch it had increased the number of support engineers for Windows by
40 percent, for a total of more than 1,000 trained professionals. Customers who purchase a standalone retail copy of Windows 98 will receive 90 days (from the user's first support call) of standard no-charge telephone support, available from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PDT Monday through Friday. In addition, Microsoft has added more than 200 Windows 98-specific "how to" articles to Support Online, the most popular way customers seek support assistance. Support Online is located at http://microsoft.com/support/ and is available 24 hours a day so customers can search any time for details on how to get the most out of Windows 98 and its new features.
Windows 98 is now available in more than 40 countries around the world. By Nov. 1, 1998, Windows 98 is planned to be available in the following 30 languages: Arabic, Basque, Catalan, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Japanese NEC, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Brazilian Portuguese, Iberian Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai and Turkish.
Estimated retail pricing for the upgrade version for users of Windows 95 and Windows 3.1 is $109 (U.S.). For estimated retail pricing in local currency around the world, please contact your local Microsoft subsidiary.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" ) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.
Microsoft, Windows, Monster Truck Madness and SideWinder are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Outwars is a trademark of SingleTrac Studio, a GT Interactive Company.
Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft's corporate information pages. Additional information on Windows 98 is located at http://www.microsoft.com/
Below is a listing of hardware and software vendors expected to participate in today's launch event. They have built products that take advantage of the functionality in Windows 98 to offer consumers a more enhanced and dynamic PC experience.
Agfa: Agfa ePhoto 1280 Digital Camera
Altec Lansing Technologies Inc.: ADA70 Digital PowerCube speakers
American Power Conversion Corp. (APC): APC Back-UPS Pro
Andrea Electronics Corp.: Voice Solutions PC Headsets
ATI Technologies Inc.: All-in-Wonder Pro TV tuner, video and graphics card; XPERT@Play 98 3-D graphics card; XPERT 98 3-D, 2-D and DVD-quality video acceleration card
Connectix Corp.: QuickCamVC PC camera
Diamond Multimedia Systems Inc.: Monster 3D II and Stealth II graphics accelerators; Monster Sound audio cards; SupraExpress 56 and SupraSonic II modems
Eastman Kodak Co.: Kodak PhotoNet online; Kodak Digital Science DVC323 Digital Video Camera; Kodak Digital Science DC260 Zoom Camera; Kodak Digital Science DC220 Zoom Camera; Kodak Digital Science DC210 Zoom Camera; Kodak Digital Science DC200 Camera; Kodak Digital Science DC120 Zoom Camera
Electronic Arts: EA Sports; Need for Speed; SimCity
Hauppauge Computer Works Inc.: WinTV TV tuner boards
Hewlett-Packard Co.: HP ScanJet 5100 C color scanner
Iomega Corp.: Iomega Jaz 2GB drive, zip drive and disks
Kingston Technology Co.: Kingston Memory
Lernout & Hauspie Speech Products (L & H): L & H Voice Xpress Plus
Logitech: Logitech WingMan Force USB joystick; Logitech .cam Internet Video Camera
Microsoft Corp. (games): Microsoft Baseball 3D; Microsoft Golf 1998 Edition; Monster Truck Madness® racing simulation version 2; Outwars ™
Microsoft Corp. (hardware): SideWinder® Precision Pro joystick (USB)
Philips Consumer Electronics: Brilliance Monitors; USB Digital Multimedia Speakers
Samsung Electronics America Inc.: SyncMaster Monitors
Storm Technology Inc.: PageScan USB
US Robotics/3Com Corp.: U.S. Robotics 56K Faxmodem
WavePhore Inc.: WaveTop
Xirlink Inc.: C-It Digital Video PC Camera
Following is a list of more than 200 PC manufacturers scheduled to deliver Windows 98-based consumer machines to customers worldwide:
100Mega Revoluncni, SPOL.S.R.O.; 3D Microcomputer Inc.; Abacus Equipement Electronique; Acer America; ACS Innovations INTL PTE LTD; Actebis Holding GMBH; Advance Creative Computer Corp.; Advanced Digital Line Computers, S.; Advance-Interface Electronic Inc.; Akhter Group PLC; Akia Corp.; Alcatel Alsthom; Alcotini A/S; Altec S.A.;
Amax Engineering Corp.; Ananbelle Bits PTY Ltd; Arche Technologies Ltd; ARSYS Innotech Corp.; Associates Mega Sub-System Inc.; AST Research Inc.; At Computers A.S.; Athena Informatica S.R.L.; AVER; Beko Elektronik A.S.; Blue Ridge International Computers; BTG Inc.; BULL S.A.; Byte On Industria E Comercio LTDA; C.D.C. Point SPA; Canon Inc.; Centerprise International Limited; Centre for Educational Technology; Chayon-MLL Computer Systems Ltd.; Cibox-LCI S.A.; Cinet A/S; Cofiman S. L.; Comark DBA USA Flex; Compaq Computer Corp.; Compucomp (Pty) Ltd.; CompUSA; Computer 2000 Espana S.A.; Computer Center S.A.; Computer Store M.S.Z. LTD.; Comrace Computers SRL; Comstor Corp.; Comtrade (Comtrade Express); Comtron; Critierium Sistemas; CSS Laboratories Inc.; CTX International Inc.; Daewoo Telecom Ltd.; Dan Technology Ltd.; Data General Corp.; Data Logic S.A.; Datateknik Bilgisayar Sistemleri; Debis Systemhaus PCM Computer AG; Dell Computer Corp.; DFI Inc.; Digital Equipment Corp.; Dynamic Decisions Inc.; E.I. System Computer S.A.; Eldor Computers Ltd.; Elonex PLC; Empac International Inc.; Equus Computer Systems; Escort Computer Elektronik SAN; Estron Elektronik Sanayi VE Ticaret; European Computer Group; Evercom Network ANS; Evesham Micros Ltd.; Executive S.P.A.; First International Computer Inc.; Flexiline S.A.; Fountain Marketing Group Inc.; Fountain Technologies Inc.; Frank & Walter Computer GMBH; Fujitsu Computers OY; Fujitsu ICL Espana S.A.; Fujitsu Ltd.; Fujitsu PC
(Asia) PTE Ltd.; Future Computer System; Gandalf AB; Gateway; GES Singapore PTE Ltd.; Global InSync Inc.; Government Micro Resources Inc.; Granville Technology Group Ltd.; H. Essers Electronic B.V.; Hertz Computers Information Systems; Hewitt Rand Corp.; Hewlett-Packard Co.; Hi Grade Computers PLC; Hitachi Ltd.; Hyundai Electronics Industries Co.; I.C.P. B.V.; IBM Corp.; ID Computer SA; Infoquest S.A.; Informatics Computers Electronics;
Ingram Micro Deutschland GMBH; Intergraph Corp.; International Data Products Corp.;
Investronica S.A.; IPC Corporation Ltd.; Itautec Philco, S.A.; Jerovsek Computers;
K+K Computer Vertriebs S.R.O.; Kaiser NV; Lan Plus Inc.; Lancom; Lanix Technology S.A. DE CV; LAP Power AB; Laser Computer Europe BV; LEB International Resort S.A.;
Lehmann & Partner GMBH; LG Electronics Inc.; Ligad Technical Data Ltd.; Lucky Computer Co.; Macedonian Peripherals S.A.; Magitech Corp.; Manor AG; Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.; Mediatek Computers Ltd.; Medion Elect. Handelsg. MBH & CO.KG; Mega World Distribution; Merit Distributing Inc.; Mesh Computers PLC; Metrobook Computer Corp.; Micro Electronics Inc. (Microcenter); Micron Electronics Inc.; MicroSupply Inc.; Midern Computer Inc.; MidWest Micro Corp.; Mind Computer Products; MIPS A/S; Mitsuba Corp.; Monorail Inc.; Mor Levi Technologies Ltd.; Mynix Technology; NCR Corp.; NEC Corp.; NeTpower; Northern Micro; Novadata Sistemas E Computadores; O.P. Computers S.P.A.; Ocean Office Automation Pty Ltd.; OKI Electric Industry Company Ltd.; Olidata S.P.A.; Omega Electronic Equipment (Europe); Omni Tech Corp.; Opal Technologies Inc.; Optima Computer Technology; OT Computers Ltd.; OY Mikrolog Ltd.; Packard Bell NEC Inc.; Pacomp Edv Produkte GMBH; Patriot Computer Corp.; PC Club; PC Direct; Pegasus Electronics (Wholesale) Ltd.; Pennu Computer Technology Ltd.; Pinnacle Micro (PTY) Ltd.; Pohjanmaan Mikro OY; Pony Computer Inc.; Premio Computer Inc.; Priminfo; Proca S.R.O.; Procomp Amazonia Industria Electroni; Progen Technology Inc.; Promethean Electronics Dist. (PVT); Rask Engros A.S.; Research Machines Ltd; RFC Distribution (S) PTE Ltd.; S.C. Sowah Romania S.R.L.; Sagem; Samsung Electronics Company Ltd.; Schadt Computertechnik GMBH; Seanix Technology Inc.; Seiko Epson Corp.; Sejin Computer Land Ltd.; Sellers Distribution BV; Semp Toshiba Informatica LTDA; SGM Computers Ltd.; Sharp Corp.; Sidus Systems Inc.; Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme; SIMECO Beschaffungs AG; Sintronic S.A.; Soft-Tronik Polska SP. ZO.O.; Solbi LDA.; Sony Electronics Inc .; Sprint SRL; STD Systems Inc.; Synnex Technology International; Systems Technology PTE Ltd.; Takapana Investments Pty T/A Ipex; Talcom Benelux B.V.; Tatung Co.; Team Computers & System Ltd.; Tech Ware Computer SA; Tecnodiffusione Italia S.P.A.; Telecode Computers Ltd.; Tesco Trading Ltd.; Todaytech Wholesale (Australia) PTY; Toshiba America Inc.; Total Peripherals Pty Ltd.; Transtec AG; Trigem Computer Inc.; Twinhead International Corp.; ULC Computers Ltd.; Ultra Technology Dist. (PTY) Ltd.; Unisys Corp.; Vestel Elektronik San. ve Tic. A.S.; Videocomputer SPA; Viglen Technology PLC; Vikomt CZ S.R.O.; Vist Trading Company Ltd.; Vitech America Inc.; Vobis Microcomputer AG; Warehouse & Club Ltd.; Win Laboratories Ltd.; Win Production I/S; Worldtech Systems PTE Ltd.; Wortmann Terra IMPEX GMBH; YAD Electronics Ltd.; Yildiz Elektronik Bilgi Islem