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November 18, 1998

   In a huge legal blow, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:MSFT - news) has been ordered to stop selling Windows 98 until it removes an altered version of the programming language Java that is incompatible with software made by its rivals.

   The order Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte also forces the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant to change Internet Explorer 4.0 and other Java-incorporating software, or stop shipping the products within 90 days.

   Whyte also wrote that the lawsuit filed by Sun Microsystems Inc. (Nasdaq:SUNW - news) - which originally designed Java - has merit and should be tried in court.

   Sun claims Microsoft failed to adhere to terms of a 1995 licensing agreement between the two companies. Under that agreement, Microsoft in 1997 began including Java in programs such as Windows 98 and Internet Explorer. But in doing so, it tinkered with the language, effectively creating a Windows-only form of Java that won't work on competitors' operating systems. Conversely, the standard form of Java won't work as designed with Microsoft's systems and software.

   Sun originally created Java as a "universal'' language that offered software developers the capability to write a program once and have it run on any number of computer operating systems.

   Microsoft claimed its rewritten version simply improved Java, but Sun and some others in the industry said it was an attempt to ``pollute'' the programming language that challenged Microsoft's dominance and ultimately posed a financial threat to Microsoft.

   Whyte's order - which does not involve software that already has been shipped or sold - will not affect most computer users. But the modifications are a windfall for people who program computers, allowing them more flexibility in the systems they use.

   More broadly, the ruling sends a message to the burgeoning computer industry that Microsoft's strength can be challenged - at least temporarily - in court.

    Paul Maritz, vice president for Microsoft's platforms and applications group, said new shipments of Windows 98 would be modified to comply with the order. He would not estimate the cost of changing the software, other than to say it was "non-trivial'' but "well within our capabilities.''

   Palo Alto-based Sun sued Microsoft last October, seeking the changes and $35 million in damages.

   Whyte's order is short term. The case is still headed for trial, although no court date has been set.

   Sun's complaints are echoed in part of the Justice Department's litigation against Microsoft in an ongoing antitrust trial. But both Sun and Microsoft officials said they didn't think Tuesday's ruling in San Jose would bring any changes in the case in Washington, D.C.

   However, Sun Microsystems' president of Java Software, Alan Baratz, said the ruling will help his company improve and expand the programming language.

   "While this case proceeds through the court, we'll continue to use our enormous energy in the marketplace - as will the other companies that are the cornerstones of the Java technology industry - to deliver high-performing Java technology that outperforms Microsoft's incompatible technology,'' he said.

   Microsoft attorney Tom Burt said Microsoft was studying the ruling and might appeal. Microsoft officials also said they are considering simply pulling Java off their software.

   "The option of not supporting Java is one open to us'' Maritz said. However, he said that at this point, their highest priority is ``to make sure that our customers are taken care of. We will consider these longer-term options in due course.''

Sun's Baratz said, "it would be a mistake and unlikely that Microsoft would pull that technology out of their products at this point.''

He noted that they have a five-year contract with Microsoft to include the language.

  "Microsoft entered into this agreement in the first place because they understood the importance of Java, as conveyed to them by their developers and users,'' Baratz said.

   Instead, he said, he would be like to help Microsoft incorporate the requirements from the judge.

  "This is an opportunity for Microsoft to rejoin the Java community,'' he said. "We'd be more than happy to help Microsoft do the development work.''


November 4, 1998

   Windows Update now houses: IE 5 Beta 2, The Critical Update Notification Component, The DirectAnimation Beta, Windows Media Player 6 Beta, and tons, and we mean tons of other products, most of which are beta products!

October 25, 1998

Both of the following stories are from BetaNews.com.

  Just when you thought we had posted all that you could possibly know on the matter, there's more SP1 information to pass on, and remember, you heard it here first. The build number of Windows 98 once the service pack is installed, is 4.10.2088. Word on the streets is that Windows 98 seems more stable once SP1 is installed, however there is no verification on why as of yet. If you haven't read below yet, you might want to take a look at the interesting things being updated. Keep checking back as we will try to get you some information on exact release dates.

   As promised, here is some more information about the much anticipated Service Pack 1 for Windows 98. First off, for those of you who don't know what a service pack is, here is the description from Microsoft:

    "As you know, Windows 98 was released earlier this year. This operating system has been very well-received and our customers are highly satisfied. However, to make Windows 98 the best version of Windows that we’ve ever shipped, we’re releasing SP1 at the beginning of next year. The SP1 is a downloadable patch that will help you keep your Windows 98 system up-to-date, and ensure that you can continue to take advantage of new hardware and software advances."

   Now that that's out of the way, lets get to the hardcore specifics. The official word from the Big M, is that the SP 1 will include:

  • Internet Explorer 4.0 Service Pack 2
    This will contain more accessibility support which we will talk about later, speech recognition software compatibility and keyboard commands for those who cannot use a mouse. The update will also include the Outlook Express security patch which stops the file attachment exploit.
  • Microsoft Active Accessibility (MSAA)
    This includes support for on-screen keyboard and screen readers.
  • Component Object Model 98 (DCOM98)
    DCOM98 is a way to run applications across a network, including the internet. Changes in the SP1 version of DCOM will include higher page table limits, MTA support, and more Visual Basic compatibility.
  • Device Bay Support
    The new Device Bay support will allow for a simple way to upgrade and expand your PC. Device Bay will also allow use of next-generation I/O cables and contains support for a wide range of peripherals.
  • Brooktree Hardware Support
    SP1 will provide support for Brooktree 848/849/878/879 chipset based TV display cards.
  • V-Chip Technology for WebTV
    This will allow parents to block certain programs from being watched by their kids.
  • TV Listings from Gemstar
    Now that a new company is providing TV listings for WebTV, the SP1 will update your WebTV allowing for Gemstar to provide TV listings to your PC.
  • WaveTop WebTV Update
    SP1 will allow your PC to receive WaveTop data without having to be restarted.
  • Wake-on-LAN
    This allows your PC to be 'awoken' when it is suspended once it receives data over a Network.
  • IP/PPP/ATM Update
    The major change in this, will be the support for ADSL and UADSL.
  • Windows Driver Model (WDM) Modem Support
    This will allow WDM driver based modems to function correctly under Windows 98. Support for WDM sound cards was a big change in Windows 98, so Microsoft has decided to include support for modems also.
  • Dial-Up Networking 1.3 Update
    This will be the same update to DUN that was released a few months ago. It basically fixed a security hole by strengthening password management and encryption.
  • Euro Font Compatibility
    Microsoft has re-written a few of their fonts to include the Euro glyph.
  • Removed Support for NetWare Directory Services (NDS)
    Once SP1 is installed, the Microsoft Service for NetWare Directory Services will be disabled, however you should be using Novell Client32 to manage your NDS any ways. It is disabled due to the fact that the Microsoft one never worked correctly.

     Well, that's a lot of information to understand in one day, so I'll stop there. Might as well read it here, because I can assure you no other website will have this information unless they take it from us. Hopefully the above will also help you decide if you really want the Service Pack, or have no need for it whatsoever.

October 23, 1998

  Testing began yesterday for the first beta of Windows 98 Service Pack 1.

The Service Pack will contain:

  • Internet Explorer 4 Service Pack 2
  • DirectX 6.1

And the OEM Service Release will contain:

  • Internet Explorer 5.0
  • DirectX 6.1

October 20, 1998

   Windows 98 Central reports that DirectX 6.1 is available on Windows Update, but I haven't been able to see that even when I hit the Show All button, I think he means the Windows Media Player 6.0, but I haven't been able to verify that either.

October 18, 1998

   Microsoft has been working on a limited edition 'Halloween' desktop theme for the end of this month. It will be like the 'Route98' theme, a special occasion release available only on Windows Update. Who knows when it will appear, but I can assure you it will be there by the 31st and chock full of neat icons for the 'holiday'.(Source- BetaNews.com)

October 13, 1998

  Check out our new sub-section, Plus!98.

October 11, 1998

   Jim Roche just announced to testers that upcoming Windows 98 fixes will be split into to versions. One for the Service Pack (SP) and one for the the OEM Service Release (OSR). This means that there will be something similar coming down the road for Windows 98. Who knows, maybe we'll have Windows 98 OSR1 and OSR2? (Source- BetaNews.com)

October 6, 1998

   Microsoft will issue its first service pack for Windows 98 early next year, according to officials at the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant. Service Pack 1 (SP1), which will include several improvements and additions to Windows 98, is expected to be released privately to technical beta testers by the end of October. When SP1 is ready for public consumption, it will be distributed via Microsoft's Windows Update Web site, (http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/).

   Topping the list of additions in SP1 is new support for Device Bay, a specification that permits Plug-and-Play hot swapping of all kinds of internal PC components and peripherals in a new modular packaging.

   But SP1 also provides some needed fixes for Microsoft's latest OS. For example, the service pack will address certain installation issues concerning Win98's new Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) power management and some makes of PCs, as well as provide support for newer ACPI hardware components. Microsoft also notes that it will be providing specific hardware support for some other technologies, including IBM's new Shark system, which uses a new embedded controller. SP1 also adds new operating system support for Wake on LAN features increasingly being offered on new enterprise managed PC hardware.

   Windows 98 hasn't specifically supported so SP1 will remedy that situation with its new Windows Driver Model modem support. This feature also implements the infrastructure needed for hardware makers to create a single modem driver that supports both Windows 98 and NT 5.0.

   The service pack will also contain enhancements to the browsing experience, including improved connection performance and reliability, though Microsoft could not provide specific details by press time. Networking improvements will focus on extending support for Asynchronous Transfer Mode in conjunction with controls for the TCP/IP stack and Dial-Up Networking.

   Win98's Active Accessibility module will also be updated in SP1 so that it provides improved performance for third-party accessibility products, as well as support for a greater variety of accessibility devices.

   Any important security updates, such as the Outlook Express File Attachment Security Update, will also be included.

   Finally, SP1 will add an unspecified update to Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM), which supports objects distributed across Windows networks.
                                                                                         --Windows Magazine

September 22, 1998

   Creative Labs has posted new SoundBlaster Live Drivers, they fix a few problems in Windows 98 and improve sound quality in Windows 95/NT 4.

September 19, 1998

   The Windows 98 SP(or MM Update, code name: Elvis) is now in beta and should be released in the next few weeks.(Source- Windows 98 Central)

September 18, 1998

   A new component is in the works that will allow you to know if there is a Critical Update on Windows Update without having to go to the Windows Update Site. It will be for Windows 98 but one for NT 5 is also being developed.

September 16, 1998

   The Windows 98 MM update(Elvis) will include DirectX 6.1. And, in case you didn't know, Windows 98 has exceeded sales exceptions.


Copyrightę 1998 of The Code Name: Windows 98 Team