Windows Me

At a time where there was still a separation between consumer and enterprise operating systems, Windows Me was at the top of its class. What a lot of people forget or don’t even recognize to begin with is that Windows Me is actually a rather innovative and forward-looking operating system. Instead, almost everyone focuses on […]

At a time where there was still a separation between consumer and enterprise operating systems, Windows Me was at the top of its class.

What a lot of people forget or don’t even recognize to begin with is that Windows Me is actually a rather innovative and forward-looking operating system. Instead, almost everyone focuses on its reliability problems which can be largely attributed to the flaky and inherently unstable Win9x kernel.

With the help of Wikipedia, here’s a short list of the most notable features that were introduced or improved in Windows Me. See how many of these have provided some benefit to you in the past. For me, many of these are fundamental to my Windows experience.

  • Windows Movie Maker (new) - allows basic editing of home videos. (However to this date, still highly unstable.)
  • System Restore (new) -allows the restore of system files, drivers and the registry to a previous known state to recover from a system failure. Might not work all the time, but a huge leap from the format and install approach to troubleshooting.
  • System File Protection (improved) - monitors and restores undesired changes to important Windows system files. Might be a hassle for advanced users, but gives some protection over malicious damage of system files.
  • New TCP/IP Stack (improved) - adds ability to sense whether adapters are connected to a network, improved performance and reliability and home networking features.
  • Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) (new) - adds the ability for the computer to request ports autonomously to the router. (An inherent security problem, but simplifies home networking in many scenarios.)
  • Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) (new) - a standardized framework for imaging devices (cameras, webcams, scanners) to communicate with Windows. Before this, device vendors had to write a custom solution on their own leading to many compatibility problems.
  • Automatic Updates (new) - allows for download and installations of Windows Updates directly in Windows. Before, users had to manually check the website.
  • Inbuilt ZIP support (improved) - allows the creation and extraction of ZIP folders natively in Windows.
  • Image preview (new) - inbuilt picture viewer for many of the popular photo and image formats.
  • Bundled games (improved) - Pinball and Spider Solitaire. Nuff said.
  • USB Mass Storage generic driver (new) - the first consumer Windows OS to support any USB mass storage device without third-party drivers. Before, you had to install a custom driver from a floppy to use any USB drive.

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Microsoft, Windows Me, Windows OS