Microsoft to Retire Windows 98, Others

The Java lawsuit with Sun is prompting Microsoft to retire many legacy products.

Microsoft Corp. is pulling the plug on many of its legacy products as a result of the Java lawsuit with Sun Microsystems Inc.

The products targeted for phaseout are those that embed Microsofts Java virtual machine technology. They include Windows 98, SQL Server 7 and a number of versions of Office 2000.

The retirements mean that the software will be removed from all Microsoft sites, including the Microsoft Developer Network. The Redmond, Wash., company was to have retired the products this week, but it extended the cutoff date by a week to Dec. 23.

Andy Boyd, MSDN Subscriber Downloads program manager, posted a note Dec. 4 stating that Microsoft intended to remove the products from MSDN downloads and all other Microsoft sales channels. He cited Microsofts legal settlement with Sun over Java as the impetus for the move.

Boyd amended the list of products that Microsoft intends to phase out in an updated posting. A Dec. 8 note explained that the company will retire the NT 4.0 Terminal Server and Option Pack releases only.

In related news, a research paper released last week warned that companies still running Windows 98 face an increased risk of network security breaches after the product is retired. The study, by AssetMetrix Research Labs, of Ottawa, said inventory data from about 670 companies found that more than 80 percent of them were still using Windows 98 and/or Windows 95.