Before I go any further, and at the risk of suffering the wrath of the Linux police, I would like to mention how incredibly well Windows 98 has worked on my old laptop and desktop systems. In fact, my preliminary experiments with various lean and light Linux distributions left me with new respect for the lowly Win98. Yeah, it was shipped riddled full of security holes and lacked a lot of what you might expect in a modern OS, but it (still) delivers pretty snappy performance on quite modest hardware. It’s very easy to bash Microsoft for delivering compromised solutions—God knows I’ve done it myself often enough. That makes giving credit when it is due even more important. In spite of its shortcomings, Windows 98 was a pretty usable, efficient, and responsive OS.
There is a call from some quarters for Microsoft to open the Windows 98 sources and let a community continue maintenance. It would be awesome if this were to happen, but I would sooner expect the Pope to embrace birth control and gay marriage.