Well, I kind of did this just for fun since I already took a look at Windows 7, Vista, and XP I thought I would look at ME, the spiritual ancestor to XP. Windows ME was released, for one thing, to be a home operating system, unlike Windows 95 and 98 which were designed to do both home and work. Windows ME was all about digital media and at that time it was just really taking off. My first Windows-based computer would run Windows 3.11 Windows for Workgroups and then later Windows 95. My parents would have Windows 98 and 98 SE and I got a computer with ME. I hated 98 with a passion. I constantly had problems with their computer and it seemed to me like I had fewer problems with ME. This may be due to the fact that I was running an Intel Pentium 4 and they were running an AMD K6-2, I told them to get Intel but they did not listen, and it was the last time they did not listen to my advice I might add. Anyway for me growing up with 3.11 and 95, ME felt just like them, yeah a little buggy but I used it for years and did not give it up until after Service Pack 1 was released for XP because I still had programs that would not run in XP even with the compatibility tab options. It is also interesting to note that Windows 2000 was released on February 17, 2000, while Windows ME was released on September 14, 2000, so ME is newer than Windows 2000 and that is why there are different features between the two, also Microsoft was already combining the Home and Professional lines of Windows into one product. So let’s take a look at where we came from, let’s look at our past and check out my list of five new features in Windows ME.
1. System Restore was a good edition to Windows, however, it did have a nasty habit of backing up viruses, spyware, and all. It was a step in the right direction and saved my butt a few times. Take a look at the interesting interface that seemed to not fit into ME at all.
2. Compressed Folders, finally Zip file support was a part of Windows. I still use this to this day. I think this was the best thing about ME and was glad to see it stay in every Windows version since.
3. Windows Movie Maker was started in Windows ME. This little program was actually pretty neat considering it came with the operating system unlike iMovie for Mac which was part of iLife which was purchased separately. iMovie was better than Movie Maker but Movie Maker still did basic editing. This program would evolve as Windows did and now is a separate download for Vista and 7. You can download the new version of Movie Maker at http://download.live.com/moviemaker
4. MSN Messenger, Windows ME was the first version of Windows that came with MSN Messenger. It was replaced in Windows XP by Windows Messenger and in Vista, all that was left was an icon to download Windows Live Messenger. I remember using MSN Messenger to talk to my friends on Hotmail a lot when I was younger. You can download the newest version of Windows Live Messenger for Windows XP, Vista, and 7 at http://download.live.com/messenger/
5. Windows Media Player 7, while Windows Media Player is not new, this was the first one to have a skin to it that would become familiar. Windows Media Player went from looking like any other program to being something that stood out and was a lot more functional. While the newest version, version 12 is not available for download yet you can get version 11 for Windows XP at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/player/11/default.aspx
It is interesting to see where we are today in computing and look back at where we were. I wonder what will come next as we move on. I hope you enjoyed this blast from the past. I sure did.