Some users are reporting problems after downloading a recent update from the Windows Update Web site. The update provides bug fixes and software updates for Microsoft's flagship operating system for consumers.
A patch, marked as a "critical" update for Java technology, contains a bug which apparently results in Windows 98 users losing access to the Windows Update site altogether.
"It's not something that we can confirm that we have been previously made aware of," said a spokesperson from Microsoft's public relations agency. No Windows 98 or Internet Explorer product manager was available for comment today.
Windows 98 is Microsoft's operating system for home and individual computer users, which allocates computer resources and generally acts as a go-between with the computer and other software. Internet Explorer is the company's software for browsing Internet sites.
"Just got off the phone with Microsoft; they are getting calls from people like me who find that once they download and install the new [Java Virtual Machine] they cannot view the Windows Update page," according to an email from one News.com reader affected by the bug.
Although Microsoft has not issued a bug alert or patch for the problem, the company has determined one workaround: installing the newest version of Internet Explorer. IE 5.01, which was made available earlier this week on the Microsoft Web site, contains a fix for the problem which also fixes a variety of browsing problems and email issues, even though Microsoft is apparently not entirely sure what the glitch is all about.
The company has not yet determined whether the problem lies in the version of Internet Explorer for Windows 95 or Windows 98, a company spokesperson said. The update in question apparently contains a bad upgrade to Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine, which allows users to access Web sites with Java. Microsoft is engaged in a high-profile lawsuit with Sun Microsystems over its use of Java, which was developed by Sun.