There are times I get questions that really get me scratching my head. I wouldn’t label them as dumb questions, but they are definitely quite bizarre. One such question was sent to me in the last week. It said “Foster can you please tell me where I can buy a Wacom tablet for windows 98.”
If you are a regular reader, you’ll know that I love Wacom tablets and always make a point to write about the latest models. So asking me where to buy a Wacom tablet is a question I get every now and then. Last week I told you about the Wacom Cintiq 24HD Graphic Tablet and Monitor. In March I told you about the Wacom Intuos5 series of tablets. The Wacom Bamboo series was written about last October. Those three posts cover the wide range of tablets and price ranges and each of the posts included links to purchase the tablets from Amazon. In this case, the person asking was in the United States. For those of you outside of the US, I simply don’t know where Wacom tablets are sold, sorry.
The baffling part of the question for me was the requirement of support for Windows 98. Microsoft ceased all support for Windows 98 (and Windows ME) on July 11, 2006. As of this writing, that is more than six years ago. With Microsoft ending all support, I don’t see any hardware manufacturer selling new hardware with drivers that still work on such an ancient operating system. Even if the manufacturer did have a driver, I can’t believe they would support it on Windows 98. My answer to the customer included that they needed to get rid of Windows 98.
Since we are talking about the support of Windows, I should also point out that support for Windows XP will end on August 8, 2014. That’s a little over two years from today. There are still a couple of machines in our office running Windows XP and I will certainly look at either moving them to a newer operating system or replacing them before the end of support. Going forward, it is quite possible that software will no longer support Windows XP. Microsoft announced Office 2013 this week and it won’t run on Windows XP or Windows Vista. I’ve also told you that Corel had to implement a major workaround simply to keep compatibility with Windows XP for CorelDRAW X6. While it is way too early to say what the next version of CorelDRAW will support, I will be pretty shocked if it still supports Windows XP.
Yesterday Microsoft set the Windows 8 launch for October 26, 2012. I’m certainly not suggesting you run out and get it right now. I’ve yet to try it myself and it doesn’t seem very appealing at all from what I’ve seen so far. That could make it very important that you move to Windows 7 soon if you are not interested in Windows 8. Sure, you can buy a Windows 8 along with Windows 7 for only an extra $15. Then you can move whenever you like.
For those of you still running computers on anything before Windows 7, you should at least begin the process of investigating what it would take to update your computers. Plan now for a move before support is dropped and you are left with no choice.