The arrival of the second beta release of Microsoft Windows 98 has brought bad news for Windows 3.1 users looking to upgrade to the new version. The word from Redmond is that they'll have to wait longer than Windows 95 users to upgrade to the new OS.
The significant numbers of users of the Windows 3.1 platform will not be able to directly upgrade to Windows 98 when it ships, Microsoft officials say. The Windows 3.1 upgrade will come several months after the upgrade for Windows 95.
Microsoft posted the second Windows 98 beta to its Web site on Friday for download by registered beta users, and sent out CDs of the beta as well, the spokeswoman said. In all, some 15,000 users will receive the beta.
Improvements over the first beta, which was released a month ago, include the bundling of the latest version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 browser, which is in its second preview release. Other stability improvements and bug fixes were also added in the past month, the spokeswoman said.
Microsoft officials have said that at least one more beta will be released before Windows 98, formerly code-named Memphis, ships in the first quarter of next year.