Re: The ONLY things going for it were ( @AC )
1998 was when I dumped Windows for good and switched to Linux full time... Point 1 is utter nonsense: KDE was already vastly superior in usability, flexibility, reliability and sheer functionality than any version of Windows Explorer until Win 7 (and even then it was superior in some ways.)
Enlightenment made Windows look like something from the stone age and ran incredibly smoothly even on limited hardware.
Point 2 - It may not have had the same range of MS Office copycat equivalents, (though why on earth shouldn't StarOffice count? I used it and it was fine... also WP8 a little later on which was sadly not as good as the Windows version.)
On the other hand, there were many other routes to document creation from a different school of thought - LyX already existed to make LaTeX more accessible and was far better than Word for my (academic) purposes.
Point 4 is mostly nonsense - true, there were specific abominations like WinModems and WinPrinters appearing around this time - (although I had both, and within a year or so both were quite well supported.) Already though, the sheer range of hardware supported was beginning to be extremely impressive - particularly since most of it was done by parties other than the device manufacturers.
Point 5 - modems were a breeze to set up, unless they happened to be cheap junk masquerading as modems but missing most of their important parts. Even then, many of them could be persuaded to work with a little extra effort - probably better spent on obtaining a half reasonable device in the first place though.
And on and on and on - 20 years later I wouldn't dream of running anything else on my own PCs - I waste enough of my day getting paid to fix endless Microsoft induced problems, I have no intention on having to do that after work too!