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The King Is Dead - Long Live The King!
The best - and worst - of 1998

And while we're on the subject of money, 1998 saw quite a few new IPOs by Internet companies; chief among these were GeoCities, the free home page provider, and Ebay, the online auction house. Technology stocks continued to dominate the market - if you bought Micro$oft or Intel a few years ago, you're probably a very happy camper right about now ;-)

GeoCities is available at http://www.geocities.com

Ebay is available at http://www.ebay.com

Micro$oft rolled out a new version of Windows this year - it was christened Windows 98, and amidst the hype and hoopla that always accompanies a Micro$oft product launch, company spin doctors heralded it as "the friendliest, most advanced operating system yet"!

Discerning users [and we're proud to include ourselves in this select group] begged to differ.

Many of them found Windows 98 to be nothing more than a collection of bug fixes...and slow too! The close integration of the operating system with the Internet Explorer Web browser failed to impress, and quite a few people switched back to Windows 95 out of frustration with the eccentricities of the "most advanced operating system yet" ;-)

If you would like more information on Windows 98, try the Micro$oft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windows

And Micro$oft found itself a new enemy this year too - the US Department of Justice, which dragged it into court on charges of stifling competition [read Netscape :) ] by bundling the Internet Explorer browser with the Windows 98 operating system. Micro$oft's defense: the two could not be separated, as they had been integrated to a point that one could not work without the other.

And this time, the court begged to differ. Testimony by the CEOs of Apple Computer, Sun Microsystems and Netscape Communcations [among others] painted a picture of Micro$oft as a ruthless competitor willing to do *anything* to get ahead, and Bill Gates as a modern-day robber baron ;-)

Who will win this game of trust and anti-trust ? Don't hold your breath...it looks like we'll be well into the next century before a winner is crowned ;-)

Curious? Read more about the latest development in the anti-trust lawsuit at http://www.wired.com/news/news/antitrust/

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