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(Japanese Site)

  • Microsoft's Gates Introduces Windows 98 to Japan
  • June 18, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Microsoft Co., Ltd., the Japanese subsidiary of Microsoft Corp. of the United States, announced that on July 25 it will ship the Japanese version of Windows 98 to the local market.
    It was the first official announcement of the new operating system in the world, preceding the U.S. announcement to be held in San Francisco, Calif., on June 25.

    With the adoption of Universal Serial Bus (USB) and IEEE1394 for Windows 98, Microsoft can fill the gap between PC and home appliances, said Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, who emphasized that the new operating system primarily targets the home PC market.

    "We are very proud that we could accomplish localization for the Japanese language in 30 days. For Windows 95 it took three months," he added.

    Windows 98 carries an open price. The Japanese subsidiary expects the retail price to be 24,800 yen (US$171) for new purchases and 13 ,800 yen (US$95) for upgrades from either Windows 95 or 3.1.

    Windows 98 prices will be identical with those of Windows 95.

    "We expect 50,000 units to be shipped, primarily to the consumer market, within three months," said Makoto Naruke, president of Microsoft's Japan subsidiary.

    Top executives of major Japanese PC makers, including Fujitsu Ltd., NEC Corp. and Sony Corp., were present at the press conference as guest speakers.

    They told reporters that Windows 98 could stimulate the consumer market, which has been suffering from a severe economic downturn.

    Windows 98 Announcement at Tokyo
    From left to right , Makoto Naruke, president of Microsoft Co., Ltd.; Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft Corp.; Susumu Furukawa, chairman and CEO of Microsoft Co., Ltd.

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    (Atsushi Mochizuki, Asia BizTech Tokyo Editorial Bureau)

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    Updated: Wed Jun 17 23:47:18 1998