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  1. 1. Windows Millennium Edition, or Windows ME  is a graphical operating system from Microsoft released to manufacturing on June 19, 2000 and launched on September 14, 2000. It was the last operating system released in the Windows 9x series.  Windows ME was the successor to Windows 98 and was targeted specifically at home PC users. It included Internet Explorer 5.5, Windows Media Player 7, and the new Windows Movie Maker software, which provided basic video editing and was designed to be easy to use for home users. Microsoft also updated the graphical user interface, shell features, and Windows Explorer in Windows ME with some of those first introduced in Windows 2000, which had been released as a business-oriented operating system seven months earlier. Windows ME could be upgraded to Internet Explorer 6 SP1 (but not to SP2 (SV1) or Internet Explorer 7), Outlook Express 6 SP1 and Windows Media Player 9 Series. Microsoft .NET Framework up to and including version 2.0 is supported; however, versions 2.0 SP1, 3.x, and greater are not. Office XP was the last version of Microsoft Office to be compatible with Windows ME.
  2. 2.  In 1998, Microsoft stated that there would be no version of Windows 9x after Windows 98. In May 1999, however, Microsoft released Windows 98 Second Edition, and then announced a new version ofWindows 9x which was later revealed to be codenamed Millennium. In 2000, this was released as Windows Millennium Edition (Windows ME).  At least three beta versions of Windows ME were available during its development phase. On September 24, 1999, Microsoft announced that Windows Millennium Beta 1 was released.Windows Millennium Beta 2 was released on November 24, 1999, and added a couple of new features such as System File Protection and Game Options Control Panel. Several interim builds were released between Beta 1 and 2, and added features such as automatic updates and personalized menus. Beta 3 was released on April 11, 2000, and this version marked the first appearance of its final version startup and shutdown sounds (derived from Windows 2000), as the previous betas used Windows 98's startup and shutdown sounds. The final version boot screen was first featured in Beta 3 build 2513. The general availability date was December 31, 2000. Microsoft ended mainstream support for Windows Millennium Edition on December 31, 2003. Extended support ended on July 11, 2006. Windows 98 Extended support ended the same day. Windows ME also contained the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine, which caused it and Windows 98 to be pulled from the Microsoft Developer Network at the end of 2003. At launch time, Microsoft announced a time-limited promotion from September 2000–January 2001 which entitled Windows 95 or Windows 98 users to upgrade to Windows ME for $59.95 instead of the regular retail upgrade price of $109.  Shortly after Windows ME was released, Microsoft launched a campaign-initiative to promote Windows ME in the U.S., which they dubbed the Meet Me Tour. A national partnered promotional program featured Windows ME, OEMs and other partners in an interactive multimedia attraction in 25 cities across the U.S.[13]
  3. 3.  User interface  Hardware support improvements  Digital media  Networking technologies  Accessibility features
  4. 4. Windows ME featured the shell enhancements inherited from Windows 2000 such as personalized menus, customizable Windows Explorer toolbars, auto-complete in Windows Explorer address bar and Run box, Windows 2000 advanced file type association features, displaying comments in shortcuts as tooltips, extensible columns in Details view (IColumnProvider interface), icon overlays, integrated search pane in Windows Explorer, sort by name function for menus, Places bar in common dialogs for Open and Save, cascading Start menu special folders, some Plus! 95 and Plus! 98 themes, and updated graphics. The notification area in Windows ME and later supported 16-bit high color icons. The Multimedia control panel was also updated from Windows 98. Taskbar and Start Menu options allowed disabling of the drag and drop feature and could prevent moving or resizing the taskbar.
  5. 5.  Faster boot times: Windows ME features numerous improvements for improving cold boot time, pre and post-logon boot times and time required for resuming from hibernation  USB Human Interface Device Class: Generic support for 5-button mice is also included as standard and installing IntelliPoint allows reassigning the programmable buttons. Windows 98 lacked generic support.  Windows Image Acquisition: Windows ME introduced the Windows Image Acquisition API for a standardized method of allowing Windows applications to transparently and more easily communicate with image acquisition devices, such as digital cameras and scanners. Improved power management and suspend/resume operations: The OEM version of Windows ME supports OS-controlled ACPI S4 sleep state (hibernation) and other power management features without manufacturer-supplied drivers.  USB and FireWire support improvements: Windows ME is the only operating system in the Windows 9x series that includes generic drivers for USB mass storage devices and USB printers .Support for FireWire SBP- 2 scanners and storage devices is also improved.  The waveOut, DirectSound, and DirectShow APIs support non-PCM formats such as AC-3 or WMA over S/PDIF.
  6. 6.  Windows Movie Maker: This utility is based on DirectShow and Windows Media technologies to provide Microsoft Windows computer systems with basic video capture and edit capabilities.  Windows Media Player 7: The new version of the Windows multimedia player software introduces jukebox functionality featuring the Media Library, support for CD burning, an integrated media encoder, and the ability to transfer music directly to portable devices.  Windows DVD Player: The software DVD player in Windows ME is a redesigned version of the one featured in Windows 98 which, unlike its predecessor, does not require a dedicated decoder card for DVD playback. Instead, it supports software decoding through a third-party decoder.  Image Preview: In Windows ME, images can be viewed by using the Image Preview utility. It allows users to rotate an image, print or zoom in/out an image. Image Preview supports images with .BMP, .DIB, .EMF, .GIF, .JPEG, .PNG, .TIF and .WMF file formats. The My Pictures folder also integrates previewing images.  Games: Windows ME includes version 7.1 of the DirectX API which introduced DirectPlay Voice, and also offers several new games: Internet Backgammon, Internet Checkers, Internet Hearts, Internet Reverse, Internet Spades. It also includes Spider Solitaire from Plus! 98 and Pinball from Plus! for Windows 95. The final version of DirectX available for Windows ME is DirectX 9.0c, which was released on 7 April 2006.
  7. 7.  Net Crawler: Windows ME introduced a net crawling feature  New TCP/IP Stack: Windows ME includes the Windows 2000 networking stack and architecture  The Home Networking Wizard is designed to help users to set up a computer that is running Windows ME for use on a small home network.  Dial-up Networking component was updated in Windows ME, and provides several enhancements while maintaining the desired features of prior releases of the operating system.  Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS) NDIS version 5.0 for Windows ME was enhanced to provide programming interface parity with NDIS version 5.0 in Windows 2000. Universal Plug and Play: Windows ME introduced support for Universal Plug and Play (UPnP).
  8. 8.  System Restore: Windows ME introduced the "System Restore" logging and reversion system, which was meant to simplify troubleshooting and solve problems.  System File Protection: First introduced with Windows 2000 (as Windows File Protection), and expanding on the capabilities introduced with System File Checker in Windows 98, System File Protection aimed to protect system files from modification and corruption silently and automatically.  System Configuration Utility allows users to manually extract and restore individual system files from the Windows ME setup files.  System Monitor has been updated with a Dial-Up Adapter section.  SCANDISK runs from within Windows upon an improper shutdown before the Windows Shell loads.  Automatic Updates: The Automatic Updates utility automatically downloads and installs critical updates from the Windows Update Web site with little user interaction.  Compressed Folders: Windows ME includes support for ZIP files through a shell extension known as Compressed Folders.
  9. 9. Windows ME was complemented by NT-based Windows 2000, which was aimed at professional users. Both operating systems were succeeded by Windows XP with their features unified. All Windows ME support, including security updates and security related hotfixes, was terminated on July 11, 2006. Support for Windows 98 and Windows 98 SE was also terminated on that date. Microsoft ended support for these products because the company considers them obsolete and running these products can expose users to security risks. Many third-party applications written for earlier editions of Microsoft Windows, especially older games, run under Windows ME but not under Windows 2000. This fact has become less relevant with the sharp decline in popularity of Windows ME after the release of Windows XP, which features a compatibility mode which allows many of these older applications to run. If an installation CD-ROM from the Windows 2000 family is inserted into the drive of a computer running Windows ME, the user is prompted to upgrade to Windows 2000 because Windows ME has an older version number than Windows 2000. While this is not technically so (Windows ME was released several months after Windows 2000), Windows ME is in fact derived from the older, monolithic MS-DOS codebase (Windows 4.x) while Windows 2000 is the first of the NT 5.0 family, making the latter an upgrade.
  10. 10.  Windows 2000 cannot, however, be upgraded to Windows ME. If an installation CD-ROM from Windows ME is inserted while running Windows 2000, the user will receive an error message that Setup cannot run from within Windows 2000. The user is prompted to shut down Windows 2000, restart the computer using Windows 95 or 98, or start MS-DOS and then run Setup from the MS-DOS command prompt.  Windows XP, which is NT-based, became the successor to Windows ME. It also closed the gap between consumer Windows and Windows NT. In addition, no service packs for Windows ME were released.  Along with Windows 2000 from the NT family, Windows ME was the last version of Windows that lacked product activation.  Windows ME was the last Windows release to be based on the Windows 9x (monolithic) kernel and MS-DOS.
  11. 11.  Processor: Pentium 150 MHz  Hard drive space: 320 MB  RAM: 32 MB Recommended system specifications Processor: Pentium II 300 MHz Hard drive space: 2 GB RAM: 64 MB
  12. 12. Physical RAM limit Windows ME is not designed to handle more than 1 GB of RAM. Any amount beyond this amount leads to system instability.