Feeds

Windows ME the last Win9x OS? Maybe not…

Word leaks out about Tiger, which seems to be some kind of follow-up project

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Just when you're getting used to the idea that Windows ME really is the last of the Win9x line of operating systems, you get a hint that maybe it's not, after all. Once upon a time Win98 was officially the last of the Win9x line, but since then Microsoft has put out two more upgrades, Win98 SE last year and now Windows ME - the latter is almost certainly definitely the last, but if it is, what's Tiger?

The Register has received information that bugs logged from the ME development programme have been sent to a mysterious new project, codenamed Tiger. Although we can't as yet confirm the truth of this, the information is claimed to have come from Microsoft developers who worked on Windows ME.

If it is true, there clearly has to be continuing development of the Win9x codebase, which would mean that Windows ME isn't the last one after all. It might be that Microsoft is just working on a service pack, but as Windows ME is a service pack really, it seems a little early to be getting into that kind of stuff. And do you give service pack development a flashy codename?

But another Win9x messes up the roadmap more than a little. Microsoft will be starting the beta programme for Whistler, the next version of Win2k, fairly shortly, and Whistler is intended to ship next year, in the slot that's become the traditional one for Microsoft's annual Win9x refresh.

It's possible that Microsoft is already getting cold feet about its ability to fit a rev of Win2k into a consumer-sized footprint. That's basically what happened last time around, and at that time the abandonment/postponement of consumer NT caused quite a few problems, because Microsoft didn't still have 9x development rolling properly.

So maybe Tiger is insurance. Or maybe it's intended as a non-desktop OS, for MSN access devices, or perhaps even in association with X-box. Win9x code has certainly suffered from stops and starts over the years, but it's been honed enough in its life for it to be possible to turn it into something lean, mean and efficient if enough work was just put into it. For starters, you could really take out all that Dos stuff, rather than just hiding it, as in Windows ME. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.