Microsoft Corporation quietly released Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) to retail stores this week, bypassing the hoopla from its previous Windows releases. Windows 98 SE, which includes bug fixes, drivers for new hardware, and some new features, will replace the original version of Windows 98 in retail stores effectively immediately. Existing Windows 98 users will be able to order a $20 upgrade CD from the Microsoft Web site or download many of the new features for free from the Internet.

In the year since Windows 98 went on sale, the operating system has sold over 45 million copies, including several million at retail, a huge jump in sales when compared with Windows 95. Microsoft is currently in the early stages of working on a new consumer OS that will ship in late 2000.

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