Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) and Windows Millennium Edition (ME) are nearing the end of their life.

Microsoft will stop supporting these operating systems on July 11. After that date users will be unable to get public or technical support, and security updates will also stop being developed and shipped. Online self-help will remain available until July 11, 2007.

Microsoft recommends customers still running these OSes upgrade to newer versions of Windows, such as Windows XP, as soon as possible.

Microsoft originally planned to end support for Windows 98 and ME in January 2004.

The company recently pushed back the consumer release of the next major update to Windows, Windows Vista, until January 2007. Jupiter Media Analyst Joe Wilcox said that means customers still running Windows 98 or ME that must upgrade by July most likely will move to Windows XP, and forego upgrading to Vista on its release in January. This poses a concern for Microsoft, which "still is not getting people to upgrade as quickly as they would like," he said.