Windows 98 (codenamed Memphis) is a graphical operating system released on 25 June 1998 by Microsoft and the successor to Windows 95. Like its predecessor, it is a hybrid 16-bit/32-bit monolithic product based on MS-DOS. Windows 98 was succeeded by Windows Me on 14 September 2000.
Windows 98 was the first operating system to use the Windows Driver Model (WDM). This fact was not well published when Windows 98 was released and most hardware producers continued to develop drivers for the older driver standard, VxD. The WDM standard spread years after its release, mostly through Windows 2000 and Windows XP, because these systems are not compatible with the older VxD standard. Today, even if hardware producers are not developing drivers optimized for Windows 98, the drivers written to WDM standards are compatible with Windows 98 based systems.
The release of Windows 98 was preceded by a notable press demonstration at Comdex in April 1998. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates was highlighting the operating system's ease of use and enhanced support for Plug and Play (PnP). However, when presentation assistant Chris Capossela plugged a scanner in and attempted to install it, the operating system crashed, displaying a Blue Screen of Death. Gates remarked after applause and cheering from the audience, "That must be why we're not shipping Windows 98 yet." Video footage of this event became a popular Internet phenomenon.