Reconsidering Windows Me

Long Zheng makes a non-snarky case on behalf of Windows Me:

What a lot of people forget or don’t even recognize to begin with is that Windows Me is actually a rather innovative and forward-looking operating system. Instead, almost everyone focuses on its reliability problems which can be largely attributed to the flaky and inherently unstable Win9x kernel.

Another reason Windows Me got a bad rap was Internet Explorer 5.5, which was bundled by default. It’s hard to remember, but a lot of machines from that era shipped with 64MB or 128MB of RAM, and I recall testing and discovering that a lot of the slow and/or flaky performance of Windows Me was directly attributable to not having enough RAM. The IE 5.5 upgrade was just enough to stress out a system with not enough RAM, and that was true for Windows 98 as well.

Anyway, Long makes a very good point that many of the features introduced in Windows Me are ones we take for granted today.

4 thoughts on “Reconsidering Windows Me

  1. The end user does not care how innovative or forward-looking an OS is if the OS is unreliable.

    I had problems on a HP laptop with ME (and yes, I added more RAM), that required me to reinstall ME, twice. It wasn’t pretty.

    It was a happy day when someone broke into my house and stole that laptop. I replaced it with an HP laptop with XP (thank you insurance company) that has been going strong some 3 or so years.

  2. ME was also the first version Windows that came under Malware attack, as far as I remember. I recall one regular crash that was fixed when I removed some piece of unsolicted junk.

    Still, ME worked poorly overall, while XP was wonderful out of the gate on the same hardware – except for the Ultra-ATA card I had which never received a fully working driver (you’d think this problem was invented by Vista, from all the complaining).

  3. works marvellous on p3 1400 w512RAM, but id bite my tounge if id said its an state of art, somehow though Microsoft did something for users with “planetary” neeeds. However its a pitty they made a system which was only mented the year it was launched. And naturaly it wasnt cheap. But it works swiftly with basics and it also brings fun.

  4. ME was a nightmare in many ways.
    One other issue that hasn’t been mentioned is power management. Put Windows ME to sleep and don’t expect it to wake up without holding down the power button for 10 seconds to reboot.


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