Microsoft has extended support for Windows 98, 98SE and Millennium Edition (Me) for another 30 months.
The software giant had previously said it would end all support and security patching for Windows 98 on 16 January, with Me support scheduled to end on 31 December 2004.
But Microsoft will now continue to offer paid phone support, and will review any critical security issues and take appropriate steps for the operating systems until 30 June 2006.
The company said in a statement that it had made the decision to "accommodate customers worldwide who are still dependent upon these operating systems and to provide Microsoft with more time to communicate its product lifecycle support guidelines in a handful of markets - particularly smaller and emerging markets".
Microsoft also wanted to bring Windows 98SE into compliance with the company's current lifecycle policy for new products, which provides support for seven years instead of the previous four.
The decision to lengthen support for 98 and Me was taken "in order to provide a clear and consistent date for support conclusion for all of these older products".
According to analyst IDC, there are 39 million Windows 98 users worldwide.
From 15 January more details about the extended support period can be found here.
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