Windows Millennium (Beta 3: Build 2499.3)

An operating system with a notorious reputation from people who have never ran or used it. ME mainly built off Windows 98SE and came bundled with an updated version of Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player 7 and Windows Movie Maker. Internet enabled games also make an appearance here.

Under the hood not much has changed, but some DOS compatibility has been broken or removed in preparation of migrating to the NT kernel, which was finalized by Windows XP. This means drivers that are reliant on MS-DOS real mode will not function.

Install

The install process is very similar to Windows 98 and is divided into two parts, with Windows itself being responsible for the second part. (First part is somewhat MS-DOS/Win 3.11 like environment)

Desktop

The default desktop features a revised taskbar and UI color scheme, being a lighter shade of grey. Gradients continue to be used in the title bar’s of active applications. Windows Media Player and MSN have more prominence in Windows Me and are featured on the desktop.

Programs

Windows Media Player

Windows Media Player 7 makes its appearance here, which was meant to combine the CD Player, Movie Player and MIDI music player into one application. And introduced a media library and a radio tuner guide for internet radio stations. This would form the basis of later media player versions and was meant to be more competitive to Apple’s QuickTime. Media player 7 is fully skinable, and come with a few preinstalled skins that give a minimal view and control of the media player.

Windows Movie Maker

Windows Movie Maker debuted with Windows Millenium, and was made as a separate download from the Microsoft website. This was a basic video editing applications where video clips could be combined into one video clip which could be exported or burnt to a DVD.

Outlook Express

The default email client bundled with Windows Millenium and integrated with Internet Explorer

Accessories

Sound recorder, many of the utilities from Windows 98 like Paint and Volume Control remain unchanged.

Imaging for Windows – capable of opening JPG, GIF, BMP, TIFF and AWD files. Useful for images received by email, fax or that have been scanned in

Early version of MSN Messenger, Microsoft’s instant messaging service. Sadly not much use since the servers were shutdown.

System Tools

Maintenace Wizard

I believe this was present in Windows 98 but has been slightly revised here. Maintenace wizard lets you schedule when to run scandisk and disk defragmenter, which could be run in background to maintain performance.

System Restore

Windows ME marks the introduction of system restore, this was a feature that took snapshots of your system when applications or changes were made to the system in the event of the system no longer booting correctly. It has since been included with Windows XP.

On Screen Keyboard has been introduced

Feedback utility to provide feedback to Microsoft, does not appear in the final release

Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 5.5 comes bundled with this build, and is somewhat able to load the modern msn homepage. I also decided to test it with some period correct websites from 2000

PCem Specifications

Motherboard: Asus P/I-P55T2P4

Processor: AMD K6/266

Video: Diamond Stealth 3D (S3 ViRGE)

Sound: Ensoniq AudioPCI ES1371

Network: NE2000

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