Microsoft has encountered a critical vulnerability in Windows 98, 98 SE and Windows Me that it simply cannot fix, the company acknowledged Friday. The flaw affects Windows Explorer and after investigating the issue, Microsoft said it would need to reengineer a significant amount of the operating system.
The Redmond company says that because it would need to re-architecture Windows Explorer in those legacy systems to better match Windows 2000, a fix just isn’t feasible. According to the updated bulletin, Microsoft could not ensure that applications written for Windows 9x would continue to operate as intended after the changes.
Moreover, Microsoft has little incentive to expend the resources necessary to patch the flaw. Support for Windows 98, 98 SE and Windows Me ends on July 11, which means no more security updates will be released and no technical or public support will be provided.