When Windows 98 released, it was drastically different from Windows 3. Built on the Windows 95 platform, it was a significantly improved OS.
The primary advantages Windows 98 had over Windows 95 was that it was simplified, more efficient, and more reliable. “Service Packs” were now the upgrades instead of “current releases,” making it more user friendly to keep up-to-date with the latest OS. A new Power Management system allowed desktops to hibernate, saving energy and time versus rebooting.
The new Start Menu would allow the rearranging of program icons, and the ability to group folders together for better software organization. Icons could be deleted freely, as they were just “shortcuts” to the software applications and not the actual files. The icons could then be readded to the Start Menu at another time.
The new Favorites Folder would allow bookmarks or shortcuts to files, folders or programs; and even your favorite Internet websites. The Quick Launch was another feature added that utilized shortcuts: a floating and customizable toolbar separate from the Start Menu. Clicking the small icons would immediately launch the associated software application.
Windows 98 gave users a choice of a Classic styled view; a Web styled view; even a Customized view of your preferences. The Classic Style view had the usual Windows experience where double clicks on folders and icons would open in separate windows. The Web Style view was like browsing the Internet where a single click would open a file or folder. A Customized view allowed a mix between Web Style and Classic Style, based on the preferred settings.