|Windows Me - A Disastrously Bad Release Of Windows
Why am I against WinMe? Well, instead of just posting opinions and heresay, I thought that I'd post my own personal experiences with my own computers and others that I've worked on.
First and foremost reason for No WindowsMe: It's slow! Veeeeeery slow! On a system (with 64MB RAM and a 300MHz AMD K6) I "upgraded" to Me that started out as an able Windows 98 Second Edition machine, Me was just terrible in terms of performance. It kept continually swapping to the disk (virtual memory) and just felt like Windows 3 on a 286 with 1M RAM. No kidding. It was slow. This also seems to be true of even new machines.
Not to be missed, WinMe is also buggier than rotting wood! Whether it be device drivers or application programs, or even the "OS" itself, WinMe loves to crash without provocation. And yes, that's even more so than other Windows versions.
On the 300MHz computer mentioned above that I installed WinMe on, the uninstaller did not do a 100% job. You might say "What uninstaller does?" but this left Internet Explorer corrupted, and it left some very strange shortcuts in the Network Neighborhood "folder".
Also, users of machines slower than 150MHz: Your computer is still more than good enough for you and your programs, right? Well, it isn't for WindowsMe, probably because Me is so slow that it would indeed be unbearable on anything less than 400MHz anyway. I can understand Microsoft's want to "move us along" in the computer world, but I still think that those of us who are happy with our present system should be able to continue using it if it serves our purpose.
Second reason: Microsoft is trying to "throw away the past" with Me. One of the most pronounced ways of doing this is by "shoehorning" the MS-DOS that Me is built on into near invisibility. One of the most obvious ways of doing this is the elimination of MS-DOS mode. But...if you are somehow convinced that Me no longer relies on MS-DOS, go out to the Me Command Prompt (which is the only thing that is prompt under Me) and try to make a bootable floppy using SYS or FORMAT, and you are given an error, stating that these operations are no longer supported. So far, you're convinced. But read the following aside below and see if you are still convinced. Most home users will never even find this a problem or notice it's absence. But, again, what about the people who fix these machines or do have enough technical know-how to want to and have a good reason for making a boot disk? What do you do if your boot files become corrupt? I guess you'd have to re-install the whole OS, or use the System Restore tool, which, also in my opinion is a complete joke.
Oh, and as an aside: If you really are convinced that Microsoft has completely abandoned DOS, look at common system files (FORMAT is a good one) from both Windows98 and Me with a text editor that can handle binary files, like the MS-DOS editor that comes with Windows95 and up.) It will take some looking, but look at the FORMAT file and you will find the following comments:
MS-DOS 7 Copyright Microsoft Corp. 1995 (from Windows95 and all releases of Windows98)
(and, when looking at the Windows Me files, I was surprised to find that the line changed!)
MS-DOS 8 Copyright Microsoft Corp. 2000
This is awfully interesting for a company that denied the existence of MS-DOS 7, it's interesting that now they not only have that to deny, but also MS-DOS version 8! Hmmmm....
Third: Why did Microsoft have to take a good product and completely wreck it? When I say this, I'm talking about the Windows Media Player. Version 6.4 is the last decent version in my experiences. Sure, it had quirks, like no audio when you clicked play, or the occasional bogus error, but it was simple and it worked for what I needed: a quick-loading media player (in most cases) that could play a lot of file formats.
Now, in case you don't know, most media players that are out right now have things such as "skins" and "visualizations" that move to your music. Some people may like this, but I do not. In fact, of all the music players out there, hardly any of them are decent (In my NOT so humble opinion!) and the only one I approve of and recommend is MusicMatch Jukebox.
Anyway, I guess Microsoft just got carried away and felt that they too had to get in on the "skin" and "visualization" craze. So, with the release of Windows Media Player 7, I at first thought that I would be impressed, that maybe Microsoft had made it better. Boy, was I wrong about that. I first downloaded it onto a Windows98 SE machine that had been running WMP 6.4 with no problem at all. I quickly turned off all the skins and visualization crap, and managed to make it look like 6.4. But, no matter what I did, I could no longer play MP3 music to begin with. Secondly, even running on an AMD K6-2 366 MHz processor, it was slow. Damn slow. Slow enough that many times I thought it had just locked up. Again.
Stability was and is no great thing either. The Windows98 version that I ran often had so many protection faults and crashes requiring rebooting that I couldn't even see why I had downloaded it in the first place. The version included with Me is not much better. It's still slow (although that's probably Me's fault) and crashes are even more spectacular (note extreme sarcasm) often resulting in "Blue Screens Of Death" and sometimes just an unresponsive computer is the result as well.
The problems I've had with the WiMP 7 are enough to keep me from even considering an OS upgrade beyond Windows 2000 (NT5) if the new OS will have anything above v6.4 of the WiMP.
Fourth: Based on my and others reported experiences, I cannot see why some of the major computer magazines are calling Me a good idea. What Microsoft must be paying them to say this must be astronomical, to say the least! In fact, I think that Me is really short for "Major Excuse", because in my eyes, that's what WindowsMe is...a Major Excuse for an operating system.
Although I will install Me if you really want it, why you would do so is what I cannot understand.
I also know that there will be doubtless other views on WinMe, as well. So, whether you agree with me or not, if you have something to say about this article (and it's appropriate to tell an average 4th grader, in terms of language used) please let me know what you think by emailing me at this link.
(C) Copyright 2001-2008 by William R. Walsh. All Rights Reserved.