Feeds

Windows bugs ME – should you upgrade to MS' latest?

We look at the pros, cons, good points and bad points

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Special report It's only a short time since Windows Me - Microsoft's 'final' operating system based on the Win9x kernel - was released, but we're already seeing bug reports, problems and fixes for the new OS, writes Luis Escalante.

Customers buying new systems with Windows Me pre-loaded, aren't likely to be having many problems, but users people trying to upgrade using the $50/£40 upgrade package, have already started to report difficulties and mis-happenings, with driver and application compatibility being a common problem.

Some people aren't even upgrading for one of two reasons: they’re running Windows 2000, or they reckon they don’t need a 'Windows: Third Edition.' There's some point to that; you can download most of the add-ons, and so-called 'enhancements', from the Windows Update Web site. But haven’t we heard this somewhere before? When Windows 98 Second Edition was released, the same gripes and opinions did the rounds, but a lot of people upgraded in the end anyway, and minor improvements are still improvements to the people who want the latest and greatest.

Microsoft of course doesn’t want to admit that Windows Me is a small update, but it hasn't been shouting too loud about the product. In the US it isn't hosting a single launch event like the ones it's done in the past, and instead is mounting promotions in malls across the country. This certainly makes Windows Me seem more like a minor release than a major one.

Bundling and integration

Microsoft's integration of Internet Explorer into the OS is currently the major legal issue for the company, but Windows Me makes it clear it's not about to stop bundling of its own accord. Instead, it's moved further towards bundling and integration of applications, two of the more significant ones being Media Player and Movie Maker. These applications compete with those of companies that provide multimedia players and video-editing software. And here’s the kicker: Microsoft has made it impossible to install Windows Me without also installing the Media Player and Movie Maker apps. Keep in mind we are on the Internet, and the Internet contains everything and anything; so despite Microsoft's efforts we have the product to literally yank those two applications out!

Remember the handy tool, 98Lite, which allowed you to separate Internet Explorer from Windows 98? Well, Shane Brooks, the author, has created 98Lite Me, which creates items in Windows Me’s Control Panel to uninstall Media Player, Movie Maker, and hundreds of megabytes of other programs. 98lite showed that even with Win98 you didn't have to have IE for the OS to run, and 98lite Me does the same trick for Media Player and Movie Maker. It's clear that Microsoft didn't have to make those programs non-removable for technical reasons.

Brooks himself says he easily runs Windows Me in less than 70MB of disk space, even with Me's version of Internet Explorer retained. To get either 98Lite or the most recent 98Lite Me, go to www.98lite.net.

Internet Explorer is obviously bundled into Windows Me, but it comes in a new flavour, version 5.5. To tell you the truth, it went from Vanilla to French Vanilla, because the only thing added was Print Preview, which could have easily been added into IE 5.01, or even 5.02. An interesting fact, uncovered by Paul Thurrott of WinInfo, is that Windows Me doesn’t include the final version of Internet Explorer 5.5, as gold code dates for the two products didn't entirely sync. Considering the fairly small changes in 5.5, it's also worth noting that the new cookie management features Microsoft announced in July are for 5.5 only.

Next Page

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Win a year’s supply of chocolate (no tech knowledge required)
Over £200 worth of the good stuff up for grabs
Facebook's Zuckerberg in EBOLA VIRUS FIGHT: Billionaire battles bug
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contacted as site supremo coughs up
Red Bull does NOT give you wings, $13.5m lawsuit says so
Website letting consumers claim $10 cash back crashes after stampede
Down-under record: Australian gets $140k for pussy
'Tiffany' closes deal - 'it's more common to offer your wife', says agent
Internet finally ready to replace answering machine cassette tape
It's a simple message and I'm leaving out the whistles and bells
Swiss wildlife park serves up furry residents to visitors
'It's ecological' says spokesman, now how would you like your Bambi done?
The iPAD launch BEFORE it happened: SPECULATIVE GUFF ahead of actual event
Nerve-shattering run-up to the pre-planned known event
Space exploration is just so lame. NEW APPS are mankind's future
We feel obliged to point out the headline statement is total, utter cobblers
STONER SHEEP get the MUNCHIES after feasting on £4k worth of cannabis plants
Baaaaaa! Fanny's Farm's woolly flock is high, maaaaaan
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.