Windows Vista Is Windows 98 Reincarnated!

I first want to thank Kyle Keeton for sending me this link to an article that was written back on 5-25-98 by Daniel Will-Harris. It jogged my memory to a time when people were saying that we didn’t need Windows 98 for almost the exact same reasons that are being said why we don’t need Vista today. Here are some quotes and all you have to do is substitute 98 with Vista:

Chances are about 100% that the mission-critical software you rely on now was not developed with these new changes, however minor, in mind. That means that despite all the testing Microsoft has done, there are sure to be incompatibilities with software, printer drivers, scanner drivers and other things you rely on. Since publishing tends to work computers to the max, the chances are even greater that you’ll run into unexpected problems because of these changes. I don’t know about you, but when I get my system running right, I don’t want to mess with it unless I’m sure it’s going to continue to run right. There are no such assurances with Windows 98.

Windows 98 is a much more minor upgrade — it’s more like a bunch of utilities and “bug fixes” than it is like a new operating system.

Its biggest claim to fame is that you see everything through the browser, the Internet Explorer. Big deal. Remember, Microsoft is busy giving away the Internet Explorer (complete with the very same “take over your desktop if you want it” interface that Windows 98 offers). If you want that new interface, download it for free from the Microsoft site. I have heard horror stories about installing IE with the “Active Desktop,” so my copy of IE was installed without this feature, but if you want the Win98 interface, this is basically all you need to do to get it for free.

There are new features that check system files and replace corrupted ones, and check your system registry and back it up. Those are good features, to be sure, but you’ve gotten along without them for years, haven’t you? I have.

And if you have a TV card (who does?) then you basically get “Web-TV” like capabilities, as if your browser isn’t enough. You can watch CNN and view their web site at the same time. That sounds like a real productivity enhancer to me.

Yeap, software wasn’t going to work right, lack of drivers, and a bunch of utilities we really didn’t need. But the one sentence that really said it all was this one:

I don’t know about you, but when I get my system running right, I don’t want to mess with it unless I’m sure it’s going to continue to run right.

Sound familiar? I must have said it a dozen times myself. Windows XP works so well and I got my systems working the way I like them, why do I need Vista? LOL I had to laugh at myself when I read this article. Not much has really changed in the past nine years, has it?

Comments welcome.

Thanks again, Kyle. This was a gem of an article! Link to the originally article is located here.

[tags]windows, vista, 98, reincarnated, [/tags]

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • Ernesto Pereira

    Unfortunatley it is this type of thinking that keeps companies from wanting to really innovate. Windows Vista could have probably been REALLY different if they created it as a new platform instead of keeping all of the backwards compatability.

    Its the same reason that Macs havn’t surged to take a huge chunk or any flavor of linux (both of wich I have used and enjoyed).

    Also, we can’t only blame microsoft for the lack of hardware drivers. I recently built a new work machine and put vista on it ( I use it at home, can’t stand to look at XP anymore). My HP printer wasn’t supported by HP….but microsofts built in driver worked. Same situation with my friends Cannon printer I just set up last night on his new Vista machine.

    It is of my opinion that lack of availability of Vista tuned software, hardware and drivers is the fault of the other companies. The same could be said for the lack of Mac and Linux versions of popular games and software…the developers. Thats where the blame lies in my book.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Ernesto,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It is appreciated.

  • Mike

    Win98 and Win98SE are quite different, so I am going to wait for Vista SE…lol.

  • Kyle Keeton


    I had to laugh reading this article.

    I heard a saying once, ” The ancients have already done it once before!”

    It is true, there is nothing new under the sun, we grumble and mumble about technology changes.

    We spent years, grumbling and mumbling about when is Vista going to be done. Now thats its done we are going to spend years grumbling and mumbling about how it should be better!!!!

    Kyle Keeton

  • Burak KALAYCI

    I don’t remember W98 being infested with the DRM virus. Also W98 didn’t run considerably slower than W95.

    Active desktop? Still exists? Was never a good reason to upgrade to W98.

    There needs to be a reason to upgrade. Did you upgrade to win ME, because it was the latest offering from MS? It was more like a downgrade.

    For most people Vista just doesn’t have enough advantages for making the change. There’s always disadvantages when you make a change. So there you see even pirated copies of Vista not selling well.

    People may “upgrade” to Vista, or the one that will come after that, or to another OS, when the time comes. As far as I’m concerned XP is fine for another year or two.

  • Gene Koesling

    Yes, I have to agree, it certainly sounds like history repeating itself. To a lot of people, 98 sounded like a bad idea back then and to a lot of people now, Vista sounds equally bad. But bear in mind that 98 brought us many good things: chief among which was the ability to capitalize on new and upcoming advances in hardware. It also laid the foundation for progressively more powerful operating systems like NT, 2000, XP and yes, even Vista.

    So, I feel like asking, is Daniel Will-Harris still running Windows 95 or did he eventually upgrade? I imagine that if we looked hard enough, we could probably find an editorial from a newspaper back in 1895 that would read something like this: “I don’t know about you, but when I get my flint-lock running right, I don’t want to mess with it unless I’m sure it’s going to continue to run right. There are no such assurances with a Winchester.”

  • Christopher

    I recently made the mistake of letting Windows install an update it kept demanding to install everytime I went online, an innocuously labeled Microsoft Works Calendar Services Update – that completely screwed up my entire system – imposing IE7 over Firefox, removing all my customizations & personal settings from (nearly) every program I use, and putting my profile into a subdirectory of a temp folder (fortunately that didn’t get emptied before I discovered it).
    MS Word will not open without first trying to install, Palm PDA manager refuses to recognize me or disclose any of my archived data….I could go on & on – but you get the picture. Even system restore did not solve the screw-ups.

    I feel like sending Microsoft a bill for my hours trying to get my computer back to productive functionality.


    Apple’s PC/MAC ad are looking better every day.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the info – another rumor – Vista SE! :-)

    Hi Kyle,
    So you are saying we are malcontents? LOL

    Hello Burack,
    ME ? Ouch! So in the past 9 years we have had 98, ME, 2000, XP now Vista. It does make one wonder why we are always having something forced down our throat.

    Heh Gene,
    Two thumbs up! People will never buy a Winchester because it is to prone to jamming. LOL

    Hi Christopher,
    This is why there are EULAs which basically state, if we mess up your system, tough. Unfair and one sided? You bet.

    Thanks everyone for your comments,

    All the best, Ron

  • Scott

    While you’re bitching about Vista, add the lack of ‘Active Desktop’ support to the top of the list. Just when it was gaining acceptability, the feature is dropped. ARGH.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Scott,
    Good point.

  • Mark Sheahan

    I’ve grown “tolerant” of change in life but I refuse to change something that is doing what I need it to do. Especially if it’s doing it wonderfully (XP).
    What really ticks me off is constant change with tiny improvements causing me to constantly deal with making the computer run right when it was already fine! I’m referring to Flash, Java, other program updates, Etc.
    And when you consider, with Vista all of the DRM, the bloat and other issues it’s a no brainer to me to stick with XP. When I do replace XP, it certainly wont be with Vista. Unfortunately, I don’t see any “savior” operating systems on the horizon (although maybe just past it).

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Mark,

    I think many may agree with you.

    Thanks for the comment, Ron

  • Mark Sheahan

    LOL!! I have to add a comment about the flintlock.
    IF Vista were a Winchester compared to a flintlock, I would upgrade as fast as I could run to the store. But it’s more like a flintlock with a big lead weight hanging from the barrel to stabilize it, a special bullet that requires some sort of payment just before firing, 14 padlocks and new experimental gunpowder that tends to self ignite. But it IS pretty.

    And a comment on Microsoft maybe “causing” you to have a reason to upgrade. My XP recently had problems that I couldn’t solve including performance.
    I’m a very knowledgeable user and an expert on XP. When I read about some updates causing slowdowns in the last six months, I uninstalled updates back to last September (none of which I really needed) and the problems went away. I’m not going to update again until I upgrade.
    I know it’s sounds like I’m a nut-job, but I don’t trust Microsoft anymore and will be getting away from them when I’m done with XP in a couple of years.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Mark,
    Thanks for the info. Many over look updates as the cause of the problem.
    Regards, Ron

  • mike

    Vista sucks. many reasons here:

    I took the plunge in 2006 and tried various (about 30) different *nix distributions and i was pleasantly surprised. i have been running linux ever since. I have the option of booting XP, and when I do, its so damn slow compared to linux…. take the tip from me, you don’t need to pay for windows. linux is a very capable alternative, you can cancel your anti-virus subscription too, seeing as nearly all viruses target M$ systems :p

    And for the ultimate two finger salute to Microsoft – i can even play DirectX 9 games using Cedega (formerly wineX) – whilst spinning my desktop cube (beryl) i.e. 3D game in 3D window environment – i’d love to see that in Vista – you’d probably need 16gig of RAM lol

    obviously the linux operating system isn’t without its flaws – but name me one OS thats perfect. one thing i do know is that the unix variants are a hell of a lot more secure than windows.

    anyway, great article – made me smile

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Mike,

    Congrats on using Linux. It sounds like you are a happy camper. :-)


  • jBombard

    I don’t mind installing a new OS, reconfiguring it, finding the latest drivers. Even if everything is running just fine now. That’s not really the point. The point is chances are you need to buy a new computer or do a serious overhall if you want to use Vista with any level of performance. I have been using PCs since the days of DOS and windows 3.1, and I have installed every windows OS since then except for ME.(well I’ve installed ME just not on one of my computers) I have never upgraded my PC just for an OS.(then I again it was never necessary)

    The only thing Vista gives to the average user is a new flashy visual style. I am also a proud owner of Window Blinds so my PC already looks cooler than Vista and runs 10x smoother as well. Well Vista does come with some cooler games than XP but with that price tag I think I’ll wait until my current PC no longer does what I need it to before I even think of switching to Vista. And in the past I have usually upgraded my OS within the first month of release.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello jBombard,
    Your comments fit quite a few folks who have been using systems since the days of DOS. Skipping ME – most of us did. Also I have always been a early adopter like yourself. I’m also skipping this one for now.

    Thanks for your comments, Ron

  • Beau Raines

    My wife uses AIM and I tried it out with her the other day. I now have a new email address for her in my contact list Unfortunately, later in the week, when I was sending an email from my phone, that email address autocompleted first (and I didn’t realize it) and I sent to that address. On the good/bad side, it was kicked back as undeliverable.

    The IM part works just fine though, but it comes with some contact list overhead.