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Windows Me

Windows Me (Millennium Edition) is a 32-bit graphical operating system released on September 14, 2000 by the Microsoft Corporation.

The new operating system was built upon Windows 95 and Windows 98. It mainly comprised relatively small upgrades such as Internet Explorer 5.5. One of the greatest improvements was the introduction of Windows Media Player 7, which was meant to rival RealPlayer, the dominant media player. However, both Internet Explorer 5.5 and Windows Media Player 7 could be downloaded for free from the Internet.

Movie Maker was an entirely new program in the operating system. The program provided basic video editing and was designed to be easy to use for the home user.

The most significant change, however, was the complication of user access to legacy DOS functionality, and the introduction of the System Restore logging and reversion system in order to facilitate troubleshooting without having to resort to the commandline. In conception, this change was a big step forward: no longer would the user need knowledge of arcane DOS command-line skills to maintain and troubleshoot a system, though in practice, the lack of DOS functionality was a significant barrier to maintenance. In addition, System Restore caused a number of major problems: performance, which some regard as never being a Windows strength in the first place, was noticeably reduced due; it proved insufficiently robust to deal effectively with a number of common issues; and because it automatically recreated previous system states on every reboot, it made it very difficult for the non-expert user to implement a desired change, even a necessary one such as removing a virus or an unwanted program.

Skeptics were unimpressed with Windows Me, some claiming that it only deserved to be an upgrade to Windows 98, not a version in its own right, others calling it the worst Windows release since 3.0. Microsoft did not release a second edition of Windows Me.

Windows Me has been succeeded by Windows XP, Microsoft's first consumer desktop operating-system based on the technologically superior Windows NT kernel.

See also: History of Microsoft Windows, Blue screen of death.