Microsoft plans to distribute Release Candidate 0 (RC-0) of Windows 98 later this week to beta testers. The release of RC-0 usually is an indication that the operating system is virtually feature-complete.
Microsoft has highlighted the second quarter of 1998 for delivery of Windows 98, which was originally slated for release last year. With the release candidate debuting this week, the final ship could be as early as April or May.
Windows 98 will feature complete integration with Microsoft's Web browser Internet Explorer 4.0, a plethora of Windows 95 bug fixes, upgrade aids, Universal Serial Bus support, digital video disc support, and a Registry scan and repair tool.
The upgrade to Windows 95 will be the last in the Windows 9x line, according to Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and other company officials. Microsoft plans to focus future OS development on Windows NT.
Earlier this week, Microsoft began selling consumer versions of Beta 3, which was released to testers in December of last year. CDs of the beta are available to home users for US$29.95.