back to article Twenty years ago today: Windows 98 crashed live on stage with Bill Gates. Let's watch it again...

Let us pause for a moment and reflect on the fact that 20 years have passed since Windows 98 memorably fell over during Bill Gates' presentation at Comdex. A nervous-looking Chris Capossela, now chief marketing officer at Microsoft, attempted to plug a scanner into a Windows 98 PC while Gates looked on. The intent was to …

  1. arctic_haze Silver badge

    It's always great entertainment

    Especially as it happened more than one time to Microsoft.

    Just Google up "Microsoft on stage fail". You may even Bing it but I'm not sure of the results.

    1. Nolveys Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: It's always great entertainment

      Just Google up "Microsoft on stage fail".

      Guests in the first 8 rows will get wet also the splash zone is up to 12 rows.

      WOOOOOOOOO!!!!

      DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS DEVELOPERS!!!

      WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

      1. Korev Silver badge
        1. Def Silver badge

          Re: It's always great entertainment

          I prefer the remix myself.

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=d_AP3SGMxxM

    2. Faceless Man

      Re: It's always great entertainment

      Used to be it wasn't a real Microsoft event until Windows crashed. People used to run a pool on what minute of the presentation it would happen in.

  2. adnim Silver badge

    "That must be why we're not shipping Windows 98 yet," quipped Gates.

    Either quick thinking or a case of anticipated.

    Whatever the case good response.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: "That must be why we're not shipping Windows 98 yet," quipped Gates.

      He knew his baby back then. Can't watch video at work but have a feeling he drew in some breath as that was being done lol.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "That must be why we're not shipping Windows 98 yet," quipped Gates.

      "Either quick thinking or a case of anticipated.

      Whatever the case good response."

      Agreed. Love him or hate him, he did handle that rather well. I can imaging a lot of other CEO types who would handled that rather...rather...differently :-)

      1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

        Re: "That must be why we're not shipping Windows 98 yet," quipped Gates.

        Can you imagine how Elon Musk would have handled it? Screaming tantrum, wild accusations of big oil shills, the poor bugger doing the demonstration sacked before he left the stage and then a blank denial that any of it ever happened.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          Re: "That must be why we're not shipping Windows 98 yet," quipped Gates.

          s/Elon Musk/Tim Cook/

          1. rajivdx

            Re: "That must be why we're not shipping Windows 98 yet," quipped Gates.

            You mean:

            s/Elon Musk/Steve Jobs/

            I wonder how many people would have got fired then and then the audience told the BSOD was a feature and that they were plugging in the scanner wrong...

        2. mrjohn

          Re: "That must be why we're not shipping Windows 98 yet," quipped Gates.

          Or by pointing out that in the infinite possibilities of the universe, somewhere Tesla turns a profit

  3. BRYN

    Still funny, even after all these years

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Unhappy

      " Still funny, even after all these years"

      And still happening, after all these years.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: " Still funny, even after all these years"

        I thought it happened at the 1997 PDC, but apparently I was mistaken.

        'Developers Developers Developers Developers' was in 1993, as i recall [though Ballmer may have done it more than once].

        And I _MUCH_ prefer Win '98 to Win-10-nic, in AS MANY WAYS AS ARE POSSIBLE!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: " Still funny, even after all these years"

        Only it isn't happening all these years after really, is it?

        Unless you use cheap ho-flung-dung hardware then windows 7 is generally rock solid.

        I think I can count the number of bsod ive seen in the last 6 years on one hand.

        1. TonyJ Silver badge

          Re: " Still funny, even after all these years"

          @cornz 1 you beat me to it.

          The last time I saw a machine bsod due to hardware was a win7 machine I forced to use a winxp driver and I knew the chances were high it'd cause problems.

          In fact I can count on one hand the number of times i saw an XP machine bsod

          1. teknopaul Bronze badge

            Re: " Still funny, even after all these years"

            I must have been unlucky.

          2. teknopaul Bronze badge

            Re: " Still funny, even after all these years"

            What do they call the blue screen of cantshutdowndespitegettingonaplane.

            I get that pretty much every flight.

            I think I prefered bsod.

          3. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: " Still funny, even after all these years"

            I still see them from time to time but usual it's a warm day and I've been hammering the machine for a few hours. 5ghz vs the stock 3.1ghz will do that occasionally ..

            (Fire because the psu went that way once..)

        2. rajivdx

          Re: " Still funny, even after all these years"

          Mine only BSOD'd when I used the dodgy fake-FTDI peripherals and the FTDI driver would deliberately BSOD when it detected a counterfeit peripheral...

        3. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: " Still funny, even after all these years"

          I managed to BSoD Win10, but that was a bad stick of RAM. Not cheap stuff either, but it managed to reduce Mint to a screen full of random colours when I tried that, which I guess leaves Windows slightly ahead, because at least it gave me a readable error message.

        4. Shufflemoomin

          Re: " Still funny, even after all these years"

          "cheap ho-flung-dung hardware" Really? Are you that immature and ignorant?

        5. Him_Over_There

          Re: " Still funny, even after all these years"

          Utter bollocks! I have a Dell XPS 13 (i7, 16gb RAM, with Windows 10 etc etc)... Had several BSODs.

          Luckily I have another machine running Linux Mint... which never fails.

          1. TonyJ Silver badge

            Re: " Still funny, even after all these years"

            "...Utter bollocks! I have a Dell XPS 13 (i7, 16gb RAM, with Windows 10 etc etc)... Had several BSODs..."

            Sample size of one. What, exactly, have you done to diagnose the issue on your Dell? Ever stopped to consider it could be hardware related? Or even Dell-created? Tried blowing it away and putting a vanilla copy on?

            Or was it a corporate image? I've never seen them be problematic...

            "...Luckily I have another machine running Linux Mint... which never fails..."

            I had a Mint Cinammon VM that would freeze almost without exception. It was being run on VirtualBox and was a know, but to the best of my knowledge never fixed, issue.

            Sample size of <some> as it was on the various forums.

            Wait one moment whilst I rant about how crap it was...oh hang on.... one use case was problematic and using an alternative OS fixed it.

  4. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Bill Gates

    Bill actually handled that very well. Imagine what Steve Jobs would have done to that guy.

    Always remember, as a famous Commodore engineer once said: "There's nothing nasty about Bill Gates, and nothing nice about Steve Jobs".

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Bill Gates

      I think your famous Commodore engineer should talk to Paul Allen, for example ... yes, Gates' high school buddy with whom he founded Microsoft! For those who do not know, one of the two was undergoing cancer treatment while the other tried the dilute his buddy's shares.

      Besides, when Commodre was still in business, Gates was the most hated professional ... Gates later made ONE promise and has since become a philantropist-hero-angel-demi-dog, all previous lies, betrayals, bullying, extortion ... all forgotten, all thanks to one promise ... I judge people on what they do, NOT what they say ... and I ignore what serial liars say, regardless of what they have done, good or bad.

      PS: I want a reliable source for your quote or I call bullshit. I cannot see how a "famous" (whatever that means in this context) Commode engineer could have any form of affection for Gates.

      PPS: Regarding Steve, I do not think it is right to make up something like that considering he is dead!

      1. Arty Effem

        Re: Bill Gates

        'I cannot see how a "famous" (whatever that means in this context) Commode engineer could have any form of affection for Gates.'

        Perhaps he used Windows Paint to design his portable toilets...

      2. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

        Re: Bill Gates

        The famous Commodore engineer is Chuck Peddle.

        'You might have heard of him.'

      3. David Webb

        Re: Bill Gates

        PPS: Regarding Steve, I do not think it is right to make up something like that considering he is dead!

        Actually when someone is dead is the best time, you can say whatever you want with no libel ;)

        1. JWLong

          Re: Bill Gates

          "Actually when someone is dead is the best time,

          you can say whatever you want with no libel ;)"

          Libel is printed, Slander is spoken.

          1. Bob Magoo

            Re: Bill Gates

            "Libel is printed, Slander is spoken."

            You'll have to speak up, I'm wearing a towel.

          2. bombastic bob Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: Bill Gates

            Libel is printed, Slander is spoken, but it's only libel or slander if it's NOT TRUE.

            So, as long as you can PROVE what you say or write is true, no problem!

            1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

              Re: Bill Gates

              "Libel is printed, Slander is spoken, but it's only libel or slander if it's NOT TRUE."

              Perhaps in your jurisdiction but not in England and Wales. The old saying was "The greater the truth, the greater the libel."

              As an example, suppose you ran a car dealership in a town full of fundie Christians and I printed in the local paper that every Friday night you used to whip Mrs. Bob with a riding crop and then pleasure her with a gigantic vibrator. Regardless of truth, it would be libel because your business would be harmed but your kink would have no relation to the business of selling cars. Unless you were also the local preacher and telling your congregation that anything other than straight sex through a hole in a blanket would send them straight to Hell, when a public interest defence would apply.

              In effect, you have no right in the UK to reveal damaging information about people that has no implications for their interactions with others. And that is surely as it should be.

              1. Peter2 Silver badge

                Re: Bill Gates

                Perhaps in your jurisdiction but not in England and Wales.

                Where did you source your facts from, wikipedia? Let's read the primary legislation, shall we?

                http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2013/26/crossheading/defences/enacted

                Defences

                2 Truth

                (1)It is a defence to an action for defamation for the defendant to show that the imputation conveyed by the statement complained of is substantially true.

                And therefore, should you make a substantially true statement you cannot be found guilty of libel or slander.

      4. jockmcthingiemibobb

        Re: Bill Gates

        by that logic, we could only say good things about Adolf Hitler.

        1. ridley

          Re: Bill Gates

          Wow that was quick.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Bill Gates

          "by that logic, we could only say good things about Adolf Hitler."

          no, because THAT would be LYING.

      5. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: Bill Gates

        Read Steve's official autobiography. It clearly states in there that he was an arsehole. Even his wife didn't want them to hide that fact.

        1. ridley

          Re: Bill Gates

          Confused, was it an autobiography or not?

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Bill Gates

            "Confused, was it an autobiography or not?"

            These days it seems you don't have to write your own autobiography.

            1. Sanguma

              Re: Bill Gates

              "These days it seems you don't have to write your own autobiography."

              Nothing wrong with a posthumous unauthorized autobiography. That's what ghostwriters are for, particularly the posthumous part. Getting the ghost to unauthorize the autobiography can be a little tricky, though, I understand ...

            2. doublelayer Silver badge

              Re: Bill Gates

              To clarify on the autobiography comments, the book was not an autobiography--it was a standard biography, not written by a ghost writer helping Jobs, but by a writer who wrote about him. The writer in question is Walter Isaacson. He got approval to interview people, including long interviews with Jobs and his family, as well as many people who worked with, lived with, knew in some capacity, or talked about Jobs at some point. The number of times the word "jerk" and less complementary synonyms appeared should at least assuage the comments that the book will tell only the story from Jobs's perspective.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bill Gates

        Regarding Steve, I do not think it is right to make up something like that considering he is dead!

        forget the comment was St Jobbs for a moment, but Just because someone is dead does not excuse or alter someone's opinion of them.

        People often recite terrible things about for example Margaret Thatcher. They call her a milk thief for taking the milk from kids in schools. She killed a bunch of Argentinians in a boat heading away from an exclusion zone. She Killed off British coal mining.... Where what she did was take the milk from schools and give it it to the kids in the way of milk tokens that parents could buy milk with (or booze in the pub as I know many of them took milk tokens). The Belgrano was in a direction heading out of the exclusion zone, but with a quick change of direction that could have took but a few minutes, put a significant number of ships in the task force in danger. And she stood her ground to a dictator who called the miners out on strike for a year without a ballot...

        And dont forget, she worked on the team that invented mr whippy icecream....

        Do a little more reading about St Jobbs and you find he really was not a very nice person at all. he was a very driven person getting what he wanted and spitting his dummy if he didnt get his own way..

      7. rajivdx

        Re: Bill Gates

        Interesting story and I'm not surprised - Bill Gates was ruthless in business. But he wouldn't fire anyone for something that wasn't totally in their control - Jobs would.

        About the pledge - I think he will be remembered for his philanthropy a lot longer than his role at Microsoft, even Jobs will be forgotten by then. Its no use hoarding your money if nobody else benefits from it - once you go past a billion it makes absolutely no difference, all those extra billions are just wealth you are keeping from everyone else. Get the hint Mr Bezos?

        1. defiler Silver badge

          Re: Bill Gates

          Its no use hoarding your money if nobody else benefits from it - once you go past a billion it makes absolutely no difference

          Or as Andrew Carnegie put it, "A man who dies rich dies in disgrace."

          Sadly some people seem to think that looking at a big number is the thing that will satisfy them. I know some of these people.

    2. Walter Bishop Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Bill Gates

      Plug-and-play was always a hack, it dynamically bumped a device up and reallocated the old interrupt number to the new device. Unfortunately if the old device was doing something vital the machine went blue-screen. The solution being to manually set the devices to the highest interrupt, that way they won't be changed when a new device is plugged in.

      @J. R. Hartley: 'as a famous Commodore engineer once said: "There's nothing nasty about Bill Gates, and nothing nice about Steve Jobs"'

      A better metric would be to count how many times Steve Jobs has been in court as compared to Bill Gates. Gates faux geek persona was what let him for years, get away with murder.

      Microsoft Litigation Resource Page

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Bill Gates

        "A better metric would be to count how many times Steve Jobs has been in court as compared to Bill Gates. Gates faux geek persona was what let him for years, get away with murder."

        Not wishing to take sides between either of them but the second item on that page is Apple suing Microsoft.

    3. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Bill Gates

      > Imagine what Steve Jobs would have done to that guy.

      The announcement of the first iPhone was said be a scary time for some engineers - it was touch and go that it would make it through the presentation without crashing.

      Still, I seem to remember a technical issue during a Jobs keynote that he handled well - I can't imagine him not having practiced such a response.

      1. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: Bill Gates

        I could be remembering wrong but I think its in his autobiography or written somewhere else I saw recently where they admitted the iPhone didn't actually work and it was all just animated. Steve had to get the timings correct so no one would notice.

        1. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: Bill Gates

          Are the down votes from the people who also believe WWE is real? :) I like WWE despite knowing it's not real.

          Anyway, look it up on YouTube. The first iPhone release. You'll see people who were part of it stating it didn't work and they thought it would crash. Steve had to follow a script with what he was running. There were also multiple phones behind his stand and he, like a magician, would switch phones when one of them wasn't working but everyone was lead to believe it was just one phone.

          I still don't like Apple or Steve but was interesting to see that video.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bill Gates

        > Still, I seem to remember a technical issue during a Jobs keynote that he handled well - I can't imagine him not having practiced such a response.

        The camera with the flat battery?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M4t14s7nSM

    4. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Bill Gates

      Very much doubt that Jobs would have allowed anyone else on the stage with him, also it would have been extensively tested before he plugged in the scanner to ensure that it worked ok.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bill Gates

        "Very much doubt that Jobs would have allowed anyone else on the stage with him,"

        Jobs was famous for inviting people on stage with him. I still remember my excitement at seeing him bring John Carmack on stage to show in-development Doom at the launch of whatever Mac was starting to ship with a Geforce3 onboard.

    5. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Bill Gates

      I always thought Bill was nice but apparently he wasn't that nice. There are a few videos of him around not being so nice I've recently seen. They are old but interesting.

    6. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Bill Gates

      I wonder what Ballmer would've done.

      Probably chucked a couple of chairs hither and thither?

    7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Bill Gates

      "There's nothing nasty about Bill Gates"

      I'm not sure the neighbour from whom he bought QDOS would agree.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bill Gates

        I'm not sure the neighbour from whom he bought QDOS would agree.

        that was just a business deal. Like many other deals before and after.

        you buy something and sell it for more money. Thats the very basics of how business works.

        When Gates bought QDOS, he was selling it on to IBM. He made the money by getting the cravat in on the deal that he could licence DOS to other companies. IBM thought that the money was going to be in the hardware, Gates was thinking otherwise. IBM assumed that Gates may make a few thousand licencing DOS elsewhere so didn't think it would be a big deal.

        the bloke who actually wrote QDOS most likely would not have got through the door at IBM. Gates probably thought he would make a lot from DOS, but probably didn't realise how big it was going to get. But just because it turned out more valuable does not mean you go back and give the person you bought from more money.

        1. AIBailey

          Re: Bill Gates

          He made the money by getting the cravat in on the deal that he could licence DOS to other companies.

          Always important to dress well when making a deal.

      2. mbiggs

        Re: Bill Gates and QDOS

        ....or the people from Stac Electronics who had their technology stolen by M$.

      3. rajivdx

        Re: Bill Gates

        If you didn't think your own product was worth much and you sold off all rights for $100 to someone who thought it was worth a lot more - I wouldn't blame Bill Gates for that. The neighbour who sold the QDOS to Gates is obviously having a case of sour grapes...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can't wait to reminisce about Windows ME. Windows 98 wasn't too bad it was just a lot of trial and error with drivers, hardware and software to avoid the BSOD.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      windows 98 wasnt too bad. it played with citrix faaaar better then 95 (and plus pack). The only issue was good old conventional memory. you needed close to 600k to get 98 booting without any issue. Not a problem for most 95 gamer guys (afterall we had 635k boot disks WITH genius network and mouse drivers).

      NT4 matured nicely at the time and was better than NT3.5 I didnt mind 98. 2k were the hey days. I remember getting an early MCSE on server 2k and thinking it was totally revolutionary.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Alert

        Don't mention

        OS/2!

        "Bill Gates at Comdex - OS/2 is the plaform of the 90s"

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmiwiUeEn4k

        And for those who need to run OS/2 on modern hardware...

        https://www.arcanoae.com/

        https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/19/new_version_of_os_2_arca_os_5/

        1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          Re: Don't mention

          I ran OS/2 from Warp 3 until its final eComStation incarnation until 2006, when I replaced it with Ubuntu. In those nine years I think I had two crashes.

  6. cambsukguy

    My first laptop ran WIn98

    It was an unstable beast. Time computers, poor, even for then.

    To its credit, I put Win2000 on it and, lo and behold, solid as a rock, almost NT like.

    I could even put it in standby, amazing.

    And for the record, my son sent me a message about a year ago saying "Dad, my laptop did a BSOD", he had never seem once on his Win10 laptop, which was about 2 years old and came with Win8 originally.

    My Linux Mint laptop at work has crashed once in the year I have been using it. No 'BSOD', just a common (about 8 times in that year) failure to respond, super slow mouse movement, taking 15 to 20 minutes to get a console so I could killall Firefox (or Chrome, which caused the first few slowdowns); in this case the machine just rebooted before I could recover it.

    To Linux's great credit, it is very nice to almost never have to reboot but Win10 really does not crash much at all. I suspect it is more often than Linux overall, on a per-PC level I mean, but almost everything on Windows carries legacy cruft and it suffers for it. I suspect that it is also technically more complex, not always a good thing of course.

    Basically, it offers so much more (to the non-technical user especially), for so little extra risk, a reboot once per month and the very rare possibility of a BSOD and a restart in 30s.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: My first laptop ran WIn98

      My first PC that ran a "modern" version of Windows run 95 and it was utterly terrible, to the point where I appreciated the direction Windows was going, but stuck with 3.11. I upgraded to 98SE and it was solid and stable. No problem at all. A friend later had ME and it was awful so I avoided that, went directly to XP, which was pretty good once it had matured to the SP3 flavour...

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: My first laptop ran WIn98

        I never had that many problems with ME. I'm sure other people did, but the hate it got and still gets seems to be a bit over the top.

        1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: My first laptop ran WIn98

          ME was fine when it came preinstalled, i.e. the manufacturer ensured everything worked before shipping it. My Gateway Essential 800 came with it and ran very stably for 5 years - I think it bluescreened once in all that time.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: My first laptop ran WIn98

            > ME was fine when it came preinstalled

            Wrong. WinME had severe issues, including stuttering sound, CD burner support was buggy (in the days before buffer-overrun HW support, it meant "broken CD"), lot's of BSOD because of little QA. Win95 C and Win98 SP1 were very stable, Win98 RTM and WinME RTM were super buggy.

            Anyway most people downgraded to Win98 SP1 and dual-booted to Win2000 and shortly afterwards to installed the beloved new WinXP to get rid of the crap that WinME was.

            1. Michael Habel Silver badge

              Re: My first laptop ran WIn98

              Anyway most people downgraded to Win98 SP1 and dual-booted to Win2000 and shortly afterwards to installed the beloved new WinXP to get rid of the crap that WinME was.

              But, what do we downgrade to 14.01.2020? That's what I want to know?

        2. herman Silver badge

          Re: My first laptop ran WIn98

          Yup, WIN ME wasn't too bad. It could run for 49.5 days without crashing.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: My first laptop ran WIn98

            Yup, WIN ME wasn't too bad. It could run for 49.5 days without crashing.

            In most cases that was a total non issue. ME was a desktop operating system so would most likely be shut down at the end of each day. The issue began if you decided to cheap out and try to use it as a server platform instead of using 2000.....

        3. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: My first laptop ran WIn98

          I never had that many problems with ME. I'm sure other people did, but the hate it got and still gets seems to be a bit over the top.

          Still bettter then the last Two versions of Windows. (e.g. Windows 8.x, and Windows 10).

        4. defiler Silver badge

          Re: My first laptop ran WIn98

          I never had that many problems with ME. I'm sure other people did, but the hate it got and still gets seems to be a bit over the top.

          I put Windows ME on my home PC. Between the Diamond Monster MX300 sound card an a Gainward Geforce2 video card I never got the thing to stay up for more than 15 minutes.

          The next day I put 98SE back on it and got back to enjoying it. Fuck Windows ME and everything it ever stood for. I think I saw it on 3 machines ever, and those three caused more headaches for me than Vista.

          (Also put 2000 Workstation on my PC later and it was great until I finally went with XP x64.)

    2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: My first laptop ran WIn98

      I loved both NT4 & Win2K & was heartbroken when my system died & had to upgrade to a new motherboard & XP.

      1. rajivdx

        Re: My first laptop ran WIn98

        NT didn't die - it lives on in Windows 2K, XP, Vista, 7, 10 & Windows Phone. Its Windows 9X that died, and rightly so...

        NT4 was probably the most stable OS I had ever seen...

    3. Danny 14 Silver badge

      Re: My first laptop ran WIn98

      incorrect. time computers were poor because of the kit. they were shit cyrix on shit boards with shit ram. Dell pentiums ran nicely on 98. gateway machines did too.

      I had a small nt4 network with about 100 dell pentium 133s all with 98 (citrix login of course). they ran lotus notes and 123 just fine.

    4. Michael Habel Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: My first laptop ran WIn98

      To its credit, I put Win2000 on it and, lo and behold, solid as a rock, almost NT like.

      I should dare say... seeing as Win2k WAS NT.5.0!

  7. Sanguma

    happy happy joy joy

    I spent a few years working as a volunteer cybercaf guy for a community cybercaf that was originally all higgledy-piggledy second-hand PCs all running MS Win98SE.

    It hurt having to reboot some poor dude's PC because MS Win98SE had frozen, locked up, gone to lunch, BSoDed.

    Some time after I started, we had a meeting, voted to apply for a community grant for a new set of PCs and a non-profit set of WinXP Home licenses, and never had that happen again. But of course, being Microsoft of Monkey Boy Era, it had security holes like a sugar junky has fillings.

  8. tin 2

    It crashed live on stage in the most controlled environment possible...

    ... and Bill quipped that must be why they weren't shipping it yet, however the release date meant that retail boxes had almost certainly shipped from manufacturing - so a complete blag....

    ... yet a shedload of people bought it and still do to this day?

    And they call Apple users sheep.....

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At least Billy G kept his cool and was jovial about it

    For a more recent example, refer to Steven Sinofsky's Surface tablet crash of 2012. That bald twerp was obviously rattled on stage; you could sense the fury welling up within him. I would imagine some backstage tech guys getting screamed at after the event.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QRWa68MtLc

    Yeah, Steven Sinofsky. Julie Larson-Green invented those infamous Metro tiles, Sinofsky green-lighted them and made them ubiquitous. He left (was probably fired) but his horrid legacy endures on.

  10. Mike_JC

    After Windows 98 we had the far worse Windows ME.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      After Windows 98 we had the far worse Windows ME.

      Looks at MicroSofts last Two attempts at OS wizardry. Oh come back ME all is forgiven. Though I still would prefer w2k, over you.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Few Knew

    Many BSOD's were due to autoplay/autorun, Microsoft allowed companies to create a menu for their CD disks. To do this Microsoft had deigned it would be written to the registry and function like other shell right click menus. When the CD was inserted autolpay would enter the menu reference into the Registry, and when the CD was withdrawn from the CD tray, the Registry could not find a registry reference and would BLUE SCREEN. This was one of the most common BSOD's experienced by users. Thanks Microsoft.

    A little "Autoplay Off" tool helped to stop menu creation and hence many BSOD's. most menus were not important to the function of the CD anyway. I had almost none.

    As for Mr Bill the then CEO and chief software engineer, Pffffff! shulda blue screened him long ago.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Few Knew

      > Many BSOD's were due to autoplay/autorun. Microsoft allowed companies to create a menu for their CD disks.

      Bullshit. The BSOD were because of either:

      A) buggy third party device drivers

      B) buggy third party software

      C) buggy WinME, because of rushed release and lacking QA. And yes WinME was horrible buggy. Win95 and Win98 SP1 were very stable, in comparision.

    2. rajivdx

      Re: Few Knew

      The Blue screen you are referring to is the Windows 9X 'Please re enter the disc in drive X' prompt. Being Windows 9X such low level prompts were displayed in a text 'DOS' screen and not using the Windows GUI. This wasn't a BSOD as simply choosing 'Abort, Retry or Ignore' (Anybody remember that??) would make the screen go away.

  12. herman Silver badge

    Hmm, why is it that whenever MS completely rewrites Windows for a new major release, all the old bugs are also faithfully rewritten?

    We are now on W10 and it still BSODs for many of the old reasons and the USB subsystem still doesn't work properly - What a bunch of sad sack developers, developers, developers...

  13. Snar

    Same shit

    Different day :)

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 98 also gave me a lot of expense and trouble....

    ...and in 1999 I moved on to Linux -- first with Red Hat 5.2 to be precise.

    *

    Since then I've used Red Hat and Fedora (currently Fedora27/XFCE). This means I'm involved in the detail of re-imaging and support for my multiple machines. That said, I've never had a repeat with Red Hat or Fedora of the year of aggravation I had with Windows 95 and Windows 98.

    *

    In 1998 I spent around £500 on Windows licences. Since moving to Linux, my total expenditure on licences in twenty years has been less than £200.....and I'm still able to do everything I've ever wanted to do. It's only one data point, but the point is that Linux actually does work well on the desktop, something that the single data point of the Bill Gates demo couldn't demonstrate for Windows 98!

  15. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    I miss XP.

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      I miss XP.

      I miss w2k more...

  16. Shades

    "Windows 10 can still point the way back to simpler and happier times.

    By generating a BSoD when you least expect it."

    Apart from a catastrophically dead hard-drive once being the cause I can't remember the last time I saw a BSOD on 10, 8 or XP.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also in 1998

    Gates was hit in the face with a custard pie, that video I can never get tired of watching.

  18. jb99

    20 years of going backwards

    Amazing how 20 years alter and we have windows 10 which is a large step backwards in almost every way.

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