Choosing the right OS for Inspiron 3800 laptop

I have a old Dell Inspiron 3800 running win 98. I would like to get it up and running again for basic Internet surfing, Skype and office applications. My concern is the operating system is old, may not be supported by current applications and is not secure.

I am wondering should I try to install some version on Linux or take my chances with an Windows '98?

Advice is greatly appreciated. Thnx.
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Brad GrouxConnect With a Mentor Senior Manager (Wintel Engineering)Commented:
I would run Windows XP. I have XP on multiple old notebooks that lay around my house all over the place (room to room wireless surfing for myself and friends) and they run fine... this includes. None of the notebooks I use for this have over a 800MHz. processor or 256MB of RAM.

How much RAM do you have in notebook? How fast is the CPU? if you have 128MB of RAM and a 500MHz. processor XP will run just fine for basic applications... especially if you turn off the Windows XP Theme (Right Click Desktop --> Properties --> Themes --> Windows Classic). I have a latitude that has 500/128 and IE/Firefox/Messenger all run fine on it.
How much memory and hard drive you have on that system? Why dont install XP? If you like Linux, then try free Ubuntu.
For a i3800 i would say either linux or win2kpro over xp.
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i would choose win2000 too over win98.
How much ram do you have, and what cpu ?
I suggest you have Windows 2000 as the OS in this machine. XP would still run, but it may be sluggish in performance. I have a Latitude CPX with the same specs with the Insp 3800 running XP, and the boot up time could take up to 2 mins, just after a fresh install. It has a Pentium III processor with 512 MB RAM already. Windows 2000 should be ideal since the support page from Dell ( still has the all the drivers. Anyway, if you just need to use the notebook for basic computing, just get the OS that supports most apps, without requiring a lot from the hardware, in this case, Windows 2000.
I'd suggest windows 2000, if you think you need windows; it's pretty mature, stable and has not much against it, really. Latest service pack and security updates, of course...

If you're not tied to MS O/S, I'd suggest KUbuntu or Ubuntu for their great hardware support and the multitude of software items that can be installed from the repositories. The basic system is on a (live) CD so install is pretty easily taken care of; download, burn, boot up and install: voilà! I'd be prepared to wager you'll  have all drivers on the one CD, sound, graphics, networking (even wireless), which makes things easy.

You can try it out using the live CD without installing anything, that should tell you if you have a driver problem.

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