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Win 98 bug alert feature improved

Microsoft is testing a new feature that will alert Windows 98 users to critical updates as soon as they log on to the Internet.

Microsoft is testing a new feature that will alert users of the Windows 98 operating system to critical updates as soon as they log on to the Internet, the company said.

Windows Update, a new feature of Windows 98, scans the user's system and offers necessary files such as bug patches as well as accessory downloads including wallpapers and screensavers.

So far, the site has been used to distribute important patches for Internet Explorer security issues and a multimedia update for Windows 98.

The Critical Fix Notification Service will be an expanded feature of Windows Update. It will alert users of any new security updates or patches as soon as the system is connected to the Internet, Microsoft said.

"This is a way that a user could be notified that new information has been posted," said Windows product manager Kim Akers. "Fixes, security issues--these will all go into the Critical Fix area."

The Critical Fix Notification Service was posted to Windows 98 beta tester sites last week, Akers said. "It's in beta right now, and all the beta users are giving us feedback. Based on the beta groups' feedback, we will determine when we release the service."

After testing is completed, the component will be available to Windows 98 users via the Windows Update site. The new component will not be a part of any upcoming service release, Akers added.