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

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.