ARCHIVED: What are Windows 98 and Windows 98SE?
Note: UITS recommends that you use a current version of Windows on computers connected to the Indiana University network; see Recommended Windows operating systems at IU.
Windows 98 is an upgrade to Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system. It incorporates most of the features of its predecessor and includes some new features and additional device drivers, as well as fixing many of the bugs in Windows 95.
Windows 98 integrates the many new interface changes introduced by Internet Explorer 4.0, such as Active Desktop (which allows you to use a web page as a desktop) and single-click access to all your files and folders.
Following are some of the Windows 98 features:
Universal Serial Bus (USB) support:
USB ports allow for true Plug and Play on your computer.
You can plug a device into the USB port (even while the computer is
on), install the drivers for the device, and use the device, without a
lengthy installation process or restarting. Common USB
devices include removable media (e.g., Zip drives), digital cameras,
and game controllers.
Power management features: These configure your
computer to turn your monitor and/or hard drive off after a period of
inactivity, and allow you to create different schemes for use in different
- FAT32: Windows 98 also introduces the FAT32 file system. FAT32 allows for more efficient use of your hard drive, so that less disk space is wasted. It also allows you to format and use a hard disk drive as big as 2TB (terabytes) without creating separate partitions on the hard drive. Previous versions of Windows allowed for only 2GB (gigabyte) partitions.
Windows 98 Second Edition, or 98SE, was released in 1999 and improves tremendously on 98. Some of its unique features include:
DVD-ROM support: With a DVD drive, you
can read data from a DVD and play movies on your PC. A DVD will hold
much more data than a standard CD-ROM.
Internet Connection Sharing: This allows two
computers, both running 98SE, to share a single connection to the
- Improvements on Windows 98: These improvements include faster startup time for running applications, better USB support, and improved power management features.
Last modified on March 31, 2010.