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Microsoft plans to Windows You in Y2K

Barking-mad marketing plan suggests no further Windows revs until 3000 AD

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The final (maybe, we reckon) Microsoft retread of the old Dos-Windows 9x code will ship this year under the tag Windows Millennium Edition, according to the usually reliable Paul Thurrott. We say usually reliable because, love him as we do, we can't help recalling he was assuring the world earlier this month that the blessed thing would be called Windows 98 Third Edition. But if you play games with the mercurial and eminently changeable minds of Microsoft marketing spin doctors, you're going to get burned, so we don't hold it against him. From the look of the explanation the spinmeisters probably only thought of how they were going to market the blessed thing the other morning, after a seriously damaging session at TGI Friday's the previous night. Paul's explanation, which appears to come from the horse's, ah, mouth, defeats satire. There were once great plans for Millennium, but it's now to all intents and purposes a point release. Microsoft is going to market it using the useful conceit that ME stands for Millennium Edition (not for the lassitude condition that affects high achievers and interferes - hello Brad - with their ability to get out of bed and go to work). This happy circumstance leaves open untold opportunity for desperate marketeers. Microsoft will aim ME at the consumer market under the slogan "Microsoft Windows Me." Yes, we know. "Microsoft **** Me" could be a Register competition, but we've just done one of those, so please don't write in. You couldn't make it up, and frankly, we're very glad somebody else did before we tried. Remember, folks, that this is a point release that'll do you little good if you're already running Windows 98, and you also remember that Windows 98 SE is, er, currently the official bestest Microsoft OS for the, er, consumer market. But a serious marketing campaign is going to underpin its launch, so we can assume it really is going to pushed at retail as well as via OEM channels. Paul, bless him, also mentions the gags - the reason you should consider very carefully whether or not you need to get ME when you haven't even IPOed yet. It'll include AutoUpdate, so you can keep your system up to date over the Internet (and so Microsoft can dictate whose products it updates to, and so Microsoft can make sure you're registered). It'll also have a new HTML-based help centre, and a movie maker application. We cynical old observers at The Register wonder out loud if this mightn't be something to do with the Intel movie making application we saw a few months back. ® See Paul's article: Millennium to launch as Millennium Edition

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