Windows 98 crashes during Gates' Comdex demo


April 20, 1998
Web posted at: 7:47 p.m. EDT (2347 GMT)

CHICAGO (CNN) -- Microsoft chairman Bill Gates tried to demonstrate his company's latest product Monday, but the product -- Windows 98 -- didn't cooperate.

Gates was demonstrating the newest version of Microsoft's Windows operating system when it crashed during his presentation at the Comdex Spring 1998 Convention. The software is supposed make computers simpler to use.

"I guess we still have some bugs to work out," he said, smiling. "That must be why we're not shipping Windows 98 yet."

The system collapsed when a Microsoft employee attempted to plug a scanner into the computer. Gates moved to another computer to complete his presentation, which was demonstrating how Windows 98 will be simpler to use.

"While we're all very dependent on technology, it doesn't always work," he said.

Gates was the featured speaker at Comdex, a gathering of 85,000 computer professionals. He said Windows 98 will be far simpler to use than the Windows 95 version, which has 150 million copies in use. The new version uses a browser to find everything from documents on an individual computer to Web sites on the Internet.

Gates did not comment about an appeals court hearing scheduled for Tuesday in the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust case against Microsoft.

The government's lawsuit against Microsoft alleges that the company used its dominant Windows 95 software to unfairly gain market share for its Internet Explorer browser software over competitor Netscape Communications Co.

Antitrust laws prevent monopolies from tying two products together to force customers to take one product when buying another. Microsoft says the law doesn't apply because Windows and Internet Explorer are a single product.

Correspondent Rick Lockridge, The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.