The collection of bug fixes and application enhancements for Microsoft's newest operating system for consumer PCs is being tested before its eventual release to PC makers.
Although Windows 98 has been the top-selling software since its release last summer, users have complained about problematic upgrade experiences and compatibility issues with some peripherals like modems. The first Windows 98 service pack will address some of these issues, as well as offer some increased functionality.
In a break with tradition, Microsoft has separated the Windows 98 service pack beta testers into two groups, one testing the release for consumers, and one testing the release for PC makers, or original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Consumers will download SP1 to upgrade their store-bought copy of Windows 98, while PC manufacturers will ship systems loaded with the updated version.
The OEM Service Release, or OSR, was made available to its testers this weekend, according to a report Sunday on the BetaNews Web site.
Microsoft was unavailable for comment. Microsoft has said SP1 for Windows 98 will include:
In addition to the features made available to the consumer testers, the OSR group is testing Internet Explorer 5.0, and DirectX 6.1, BetaNews reported.