Windows ME: 20 Years of Microsoft’s Worst Operating System

It has long been said that Microsoft put out a good Windows and a bad one. And, at the end of the day, it has always been that way. We have very good editions of the operating system that have marked an era, such as Windows 98 SE , XP, 7 and, why not, even 10. But there are also very bad editions. And it is that those of us who have been sitting in front of the computer for some years now have hated some editions of this operating system, such as 95, Vista, 8 and, of course, one of the worst editions in the entire history of Microsoft: Windows ME .

Windows ME, Millennium Edition , or Mistake Edition for some, was one of the operating system updates that served as the link between Windows 98 and XP . After the successful launch of Windows 2000, the new version of the operating system for businesses, Microsoft decided to release this new version to allow home users to update their platforms. And, for a long year, until the release of Windows XP, this operating system caused all kinds of headaches for users.

Windows ME turns 20

A bad Windows 98 done quickly and ahead of its time

Windows ME is roughly what 7 is to Vista or 10 is to Windows 8: an evolution of the operating system. Only the other way around. The users of this operating system were more or less happy, especially after installing Win 98 SE, which fixed all the problems of the first edition and left behind all the errors, bugs and problems of Windows 95.

This Windows was beginning to take its first steps as an operating system for entertainment. This operating system included a new 2D and 3D acceleration system , in addition to finally eliminating all dependency on MS-DOS . It was no longer running on him. This operating system brought programs that, without a doubt, have marked an era within Microsoft software, such as Media Player 7 , Internet Explorer 5.5 and even the first version of Movie Maker , Microsoft’s video editor . In addition, it brought users some of the best features introduced in Windows 2000, such as restore points or the System File Protection function.

Windows ME Desktop

This operating system also brought a great expense for users. A full license from him cost 200 euros , while holders of a 98 license could upgrade for 100 euros. However, those users who buy a license for this operating system will surely think that it has been one of the worst decisions of their lives. From the first moment it was launched, the Russian blue screen roulette began to spin. And, when we least expected it, it was time to restart. Blue screens might even appear during installation.

Windows ME BSOD

Fortunately, these problems did not affect the companies. The professional sector bet from the first moment on Windows 2000, an updated version of NT much more professional and cared for in every way. There were even home users who installed this version at home. Of course, this edition cost 100 euros more than ME’s, both new and updated.

A long year until Windows XP

A year and a month later, Microsoft surprised users again with its new Windows XP. And fear flooded again. Will it be as bad as ME?

Fortunately, this time Microsoft got it right. It removed any dependencies on DOS , improved the NT implementation, and managed to create an operating system that has been running for over 14 years. In addition, this version of Windows united the two branches, domestic and professional, of the operating system with the Home and Pro editions. Users rushed to upgrade to XP, just to flee from ME , and companies in a short time began to abandon 2000 going also to XP Professional. Even after his death in 2014, this operating system has continued to be installed on a large number of computers, despite not being supported. Even today, 19 years later, XP is still active on the network.

Does anyone remember Windows ME, or miss it? The truth is, no. Microsoft continued to support its operating system until 2006, when it finally abandoned it entirely.

Windows XP desktop

What happened to Linux in 2000?

Much is said that every year will be the year of Linux on the desktop . But the free operating system is only losing popularity. However, why didn’t people take advantage of Windows ME issues to make the leap to Linux?

The truth is that although today we say that Linux is just as easy to use as Windows , in reality in 2000 this was not the case. Linux was a very complicated operating system, very terminal-focused, and with very great limitations. Therefore, only a very specific audience dared with him.

It is true that this operating system was much more stable than Microsoft’s system, and much faster (especially on computers at the time). But it was nothing like what we know today. If this had happened today, things would be very different, and Linux would live a true golden age. But the truth is that we do not believe that Microsoft will repeat the same mistakes as in the year 2000.