According to reports, Windows 98 will be arriving earlier than expected. Hardware companies will be able to sell systems with Windows 98 beginning next week and the consumer-packaged version will be available in stores beginning June 15th. Originally, the Microsoft had set a June 25 release date for Windows 98 but companies such as Wal-Mart don't plan on waiting that long it seems.

Microsoft responded to these reports late Friday with two media alerts, including the following statement:

"Microsoft Corp. confirmed today that the Microsoft Windows 98 operating system will be available at retail stores worldwide June 25, as previously announced. PC manufacturers are now in the process of building Windows 98-based systems, which will ship into the distribution channel before June 25 to be available at launch. This will result in some PC manufacturers and retailers selling Windows 98-based PCs prior to June 25. Retail boxes of Windows 98 will be on store shelves beginning June 25