Read this notice from HP, if I read this right it sounds to me like MS is now denying manufacturers starting July 2007 access or permission to access specific 98/se/me files needed for manufacturers to provide drivers for their products for 98/se/me users. The 98/se/me drivers that came with the product(s) will still work, however it appears that MS does not allow manufacturers across the board to release drivers made for 98/se/me. You're thinking, well yeah for new products that seems to make sense regarding inevitible obsolescence, but what appears to be happening is DENIAL OF ACCESS to EXISTING 98/se/me drivers for products that were manufactured at the time when 98/se/me WERE supported by MS. It sounds to me that HP is only too happy to provide these drivers for their customers, who purchased HP products in good faith, trusting them to provide drivers for their products to continue functioning, however it appears that MS will not allow across the board release of 98/se/me drivers. What seems to be happening is HP HAS the drivers, but MS has turned off their right to release them.
In all fairness to MS, 98/se/me users can be extremely resourceful and continue to trudge along despite the frostbite shoulder treatment, for example digging up product drivers that were downloaded in previous years and using those, or going to websites where old drivers are archived for enthusiasts. But I find it almost humorous how hard MS seems to try to alienate their customers. When I just fly my flight simulators (today I just completed my 372nd flight around the world in Airbus A340 and 380's in FS6, 7, and 8), and just concentrate on flying and improving my skills, I get all warm and fuzzy about MS. Then I read about their current and future policies, and it just seems so unfriendly and bracing I feel dumb, duh, considering purchasing new products from MS. Real money was paid for these 98/se/me products, I have a receipt for one computer that cost $2,200 originally, and it will not run any other OS than 98/se/me, it is too weak and too low on resources. But hey, I'm a billionaire who can toss away out of fashion equipment--NOT!
What I need to work harder on is expanding into LINUX, UNIX, and OSX. All of these products are friendly, and not controlled by management determined to have everyone upgrade whether they want to or not, and to accept their new big brother policies. This is a free country, I am not obligated to pay an arm and a leg for new MS products with big brother programming that is designed to shut down at the whim of the software manufacturer. I am going to try even harder to expand into LINUX, UNIX, and OSX. MS products: phooey!