Windows 98 Second Edition was released generally on May 5, 1999. Microsoft ended support for Windows 98 on July 11, 2006. This was cut short mainly due to a legal dispute over Java and middleware that ended up hurting consumers who ended up short changed on support. Machines in 1999 were still very expensive.
We now have a list of a few old games that do not work with XP. Old games from the Windows 98 period are hit and miss as to whether they can be coaxed into action. Using Windows XP and Virtual PC 2004, Windows 98SE can be launched and run it full screen with CD-ROM and mouse support.
Testing shows Windows 98 SE has excellent DOS game compatibility. We use 1024 MB of RAM for Windows 98 SE which is the max possible. Some reports of stability problems with more than 512MB have been seen. Remember that the AGP aperture is 128MB and it has to be mapped into the address space.
Criticized widely over disk capacity limitations, Windows 98SE can recognize 160 GB of hard disk when we tested it on a machine configured for its best advantage. Vendors were slow to adopt LBA disk access.
We also tried Virtual PC 2007 and it was able to run Windows 98 SE in an existing virtual machine and it was able to upgrade the existing integration components.
The Virtual PC with Windows 7 can also run the Windows 98 SE but some devices are not recognized and drivers are readily available.
Windows 98 SE is best able to be booted up to DOS so that native DOS games can used the machine to best advantage.
There are literally thousands of old DOS games and some of them are very well known. The classic Doom was released back in 1993 when DOS and Windows 3.1 was in widespread use. Doom is widely regarded as one of the most influential titles in gaming history. Released as shareware, it is estimated to have been played by over 10 million users.
We have a CD for Doom 2 and it actually launches fine on anything from Windows 95 through Windows 7.
While DirectX first was released with Windows 95, it was enhanced considerably with Windows 98. With the native 32-bit mode, games could use more memory than the constrained DOS could provide. This created the demand for better graphics and video card vendors responded. Windows 98 supports up to DX9.
OpenGL is another API that found itself in a great rivalry with DirectX. This lead to a rapid evolution in PG hardware as games gave the PC the applications needed to really drive consumer sales. The rest is history.
WINDOWS DRIVER MODEL
Windows 98 was the first version of Windows to support the Windows Driver Model for drivers. Previously drivers were designed for the older VxD approach used by earlier versions of Windows. WDM adoption was slow. Even with Windows 898 SE adoption of WDM was negligible.