July 11th was the last day of Microsoft's support for Windows 98 and ME. Personally, I always thought ME was Microsoft's way to kill the DOS-based Windows systems (i.e. 95 and 98). They couldn't convince their customers that NT was better than Windows 98, so they created ME. ME was so bad that when I called for support on a new Dell unit that came with ME, they offered to replace the operating system with Windows 2000. Anyway, the long death of DOS is officially upon us. ME was the last version of Windows that ran on top of DOS. All the newer systems only pretend to have DOS. What you see as DOS is actually an emulator.
So what to do with older computers that are running 98/ME? The answer might be Linux. Linux runs pretty well on older equipment. Much depends on the particular hardware in the computer. Xandros has made it core mission of their distribution to help Windows user migrate off Windows with the least amount of pain. Many distributions of Linux don't want to deal with Windows in any manner. So, if you only other option is to toss out your computers, give Xandros a try first.
Xandros 4: relief for Windows 98/ME orphans: "Comprehensive news, information, and resources on using Linux as a desktop operating system for personal and business purposes."