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2023-06-14 19:23:53

The Windows Me Experience - Was It THAT Bad

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Greetings and welcome to an L G R thing about uh Windows Millennium edition .

Yes , it is , it is time to dive into this and uh see if it really was better living in the digital world .

You know , this is a fascinating product really .

And despite my own mixed personal experiences with it , just looking back at this thing's release , it's exception and it's 20 years of people deriding it .

I mean , it's just become one of the most often maligned and highly criticized Microsoft operating systems and tech products of all time , whether that's completely deserved or not .

Let's hopefully figure some of that out in this video .

But yeah , either way Millennium Edition has appeared on so many different lists of the worst tech products ever and things like that over the years .

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And it's become the subject of memes , the butt of jokes and is often called something like mistake edition or major embarrassment or multiple enemas or whatever people want to say that I actually stands for the ongoing narrative being that it was so bad that it led people to move on to a Windows 2000 or just downgrade to Windows 98 S E or not even bother changing anything with their OS at all , especially since Windows X P was just around the corner in October of 2001 .

This came out in .

Well , it was released to manufacture in June 19th of 2000 and actually hit store shelves .

September 14th 2000 , meaning that it remained current for a little over a year .

And that was that now as for my own personal thoughts as to whether or not this was really as bad as everyone says .

Well , to be honest , at the point , I'm recording this at this very moment .

I haven't used it in at least 18 years .

I had it on my compact Presario 5000 Us .

It came preinstalled on there .

I used it for a year , maybe two I believe .

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And it just got so unstable at that point that I did actually downgrade to Windows 98 2nd edition and that worked a lot better .

At least in my recollection .

I don't actually know the specifics of what was causing the instability either way I was not a fan of it back then .

And I've always had lingering feelings about me ever since .

And yes , it is officially pronounced me just the way it's spelled there .

You'll often hear it said M E and as far as I'm concerned , that's legitimate as well .

But if you look at old articles in the press and such , you got journalists and Microsoft reps were repeatedly making the point back then that it was meant to be said me for better or worse .

And the marketing reflected this .

There were lots of Meet me ads and me is the operating system for me and things like that .

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It's still an initialism standing for millennium edition , of course , but the pr really wanted to try and differentiate it Windows 2000 because that was another beast entirely sold at the same time .

And it was really meant for business and enterprise users , a proper successor to Windows N T 4.0 .

Whereas millennium edition was meant to be the next big mainstream consumer operating system .

And originally , it was actually going to be based on the NT kernel and file system like Windows 2000 was .

But for many multiple reasons , it ended up being the final Windows built on top of MS DOS are several videos going more in depth as to why this happened and the details of the development of it .

In fact , there's one by Science Elf I watched not too long ago recommend that .

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But right now , I'm more interested in seeing whether or not it really was the best in digital media and improved user experience , enhanced home networking and a rich internet experience compared to Windows 98 S E plus I have this big box version here of the full complete edition of Windows something I didn't get until recently because this is oddly enough become somewhat hard to find , especially sealed in complete inbox like this .

I've never opened up one of these .

I've never had it myself back in the day .

Like I said , it came with my compact as far as I can tell , that's the way most people got Millennium edition and was actually just a pre installed thing .

Otherwise , there were three different versions available at retail .

A $60 limited edition for upgrading Windows .

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98 S E 100 $10 upgrade edition for Windows 95 98 1st edition users and the $210 full version complete in the box with all the goodies as we have right here .

And this is also one that if you bought it from comp USA , then you'd get a limited edition Windows me watch with the purchase of one of the 1st 25,000 units sold at those stores .

I don't have one of those watches here , but I do have the original packaging .

So yeah , let's just open it up and see what is packed inside .

I mean , I'm pretty sure we all know it's gonna be operating system stuff .

Microsoft didn't exactly go crazy with their uh boxed Os contents still though .

I'm curious what is contained .

Oh , there goes the seal .

All right .

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Hm .

Imagine paying $210 in the year 2000 and this is what you get , man .

Look at that .

You get that hologram dis the way this is worded , amuses me .

The product ships with an advanced hologram technology .

I just imagine like Tupac popping out of the box .

Yeah .

Oh man , I've never seen a Windows millennium edition disk in person .

And honestly , that looks fantastic .

I'm legitimately impressed .

That looks so much cooler than any other version of Windows .

I have .

Honestly , that's a , that's legit products key on the back there and uh not a whole lot else inside .

As expected , we got a nice little Windows minium edition boot disk .

It's always cool that they include this uh for a couple of reasons actually for this version of Windows .

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And we've got a slip for America online gold version five point oh hm .

Try it for 500 hours free .

Indeed .

Yeah .

The fact that you'd pay $210 and then still get advertised AOL anyway , Microsoft and we got the quick start guide the bummer that it doesn't come with any kind of actual manual or full documentation or anything .

But you know what ?

That's just what they were doing at this point .

One of the things they were pushing though was the interactive help system .

It was supposedly much more improved .

I mean , it was improved over what came with like Windows 95 98 .

But yeah , this really is just the , it's just a quick startup guide .

So basically telling you the basics , that's , that's that man rant over .

I just don't like quick start guides and prefer actual manuals .

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Anyway , this is all you get inside here .

Let's get this delightful looking CD installed on the L G R mega Luna monster , which is currently a windows 98 S E PC .

But I guess now it's gonna have millennium edition on it , at least for today .

All right .

Got the L G R Me Aluminum monster here ready to go .

And next time we see it , it will be booted into Windows Me .

Hm .

Let's get this CD in here .

This CD ROM contains a newer version of Windows and the one you're presently using .

Would you like to upgrade it ?

Yes , I mean , we don't have to do it from here .

We could just reboot and you know , do things like that .

But yeah , why not ?

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I'm gonna try the , oh , there's music sort of , yeah , I'm just gonna try the upgrade version of this first just taking 98 S E and upgrading to Millennium edition .

Seeing how that goes .

I've read mixed results may occur .

So that could be fun .

And if it's a complete disaster , we will try a clean install .

But upgrade is first .

Welcome to Windows me set up .

Congratulations on choosing Windows Millennium Edition .

I'm not sure if I chose it or if you guys chose it by requesting it for years .

But anyway , there we go .

Now , checking my hard disk for problems .

There is no hard disk .

This is running off of SD .

Cards .

There's a Scuzzy two S D installed in here , which is nice because I don't plan on keeping this running Millennium edition after this .

So I can just swap back to a Windows 98 S D card .

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I've got them cloned and everything .

So I actually just swap them out all the time .

But anyway , behind the scenes stuff , Windows just got better , helps you get the most out of your computer by providing the best in digital media and improved user experience enhanced on networking and rich internet .

Yes , they were hyping those four aspects in particular constantly in all the marketing that I've been looking up here recently .

It's fascinating though because a lot of those enhance were actually available on Windows 98 S E without the need for millennium edition , even though I mean , you know , they're advertised right here in the back of showing like Windows media player seven for instance and talking about internet Explorer 5.5 .

Both of those were available as free updates , free downloads from Microsoft online for 98 S E .

You didn't need me for that .

And it led to a lot of people again , just looking at like old user reviews and journalists and stuff to believe that you really didn't need to upgrade to this .

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It wasn't worth upgrading because the most attractive features like media player seven and I E 5.5 and MSN Messenger was a big exciting thing that me came with , those are all available on 98 .

So why would you upgrade ?

Well , but you know , you had other things that this came with that weren't available on 98 S E at least not that I know of like windows movie maker .

That was a big deal , man .

I know I loved messing around with that .

In fact , I believe movie maker was my very first video editor of any kind .

It's restarted .

There's a more familiar looking windows set up , set up at least visually .

Alrighty , I believe that was it .

So let's see if it works first boot here about half an hour later .

Oh , that splash screen .

Uh I feel like I need a crucifix now .

There's a startup I haven't heard in a very long time .

Wow , it seems like everything is working .

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I was expecting at least one thing to maybe need to be installed or whatever , but no man , it's just straight up working .

I do have like the latest drivers for my audio Vortex sound card and the Voodoo three graphics card .

I was wondering because I have two sound cards in there and a 64 gold and the Vortex two .

I have the game port disabled in that one and it's enabled on a 64 and it kept that too like everything is in here working perfectly .

It looks like so far .

Be honest .

That is a bit of a surprise .

I was expecting at least one or two drivers not to be ok .

But , hm .

And we got some extra things .

So we've got the new media player seven here .

Oh , how exciting .

Oh , man .

Has seen that in forever .

Oh , I gotta stop that because copyright , I forgot that it played beck .

Look at all this , like the skins and crazy stuff .

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Just extraneously popping out everywhere .

I need a higher resolution .

Huh ?

I can't .

Well , why not ?

Ok .

So there we go .

I made the monitor the V X 700 by gateway here .

So now we can actually change ah 800 by 600 good stuff .

So now we can get all the , the full nonsense of media players .

Seven here .

It brings back so many weird memories immediately .

All these , these terrible skins and such .

Oh head space .

There's a classic of like , yeah , new millennium kind of aesthetic .

What in the world ?

Uh All these terrible designs , the eyeballs .

Oh man .

Look at this .

Just what in the world , the , the whole design language of the time period U I U X is just a nightmare , but it was , it's kind of oddly appealing in a retro futurism kind of way .

Yeah .

When does update ?

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Uh Yes , this was a new thing and just have it connect straight to here , you know , and it would download things every day if you wanted it to and , and keep your windows updated instead of having to go to a website and download individual files or whatever , which is probably what I will do if I end up updating this because I am not going to connect to the internet .

Uh just copy files over and see desktop themes .

This is also something it came with a lot of them from like plus , which I think I had installed on here already .

So I don't even know which ones were new .

But yeah , all these like classic themes , man , I loved inside your computer .

I mean , who didn't ?

Uh Yeah , all those sounds and uh yeah , like I said , these were on 98 as well .

So , but it came with a bunch of them .

Uh And this one is the , I guess what in the world ?

Too many sounds just nonsense .

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Uh Yeah , scanners and cameras .

This was a new thing as well because you could just like add devices right here .

I remember that being much more convenient than 98 S E uh there was also some things in the task bar and like just regular , yeah , like a lot more customization options uh as well as like , yeah , this personalized menus , I've never liked this .

You could have it just uh well , it's not gonna do it because it's a fresh install but only pop up the individual things that you use the most in the start menu .

I don't like that .

Never have .

It was also like autocomplete .

Yeah .

So that was the thing I was like , oh , man , you don't have to like necessarily remember exactly what's on your hard drive .

You can just autocomplete things .

Whoa , you got Duke 3d in here somewhere there it is .

That was exciting at the time also came with some new games which I always appreciated .

So you have the internet games .

So internet back end and Checkers Hearts Reversing and Spades .

Those were all new in millennium edition .

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Of course , you got to be online and play through the MS N gaming zone playing spider Solitaire was also new Timeless Classic right there or so it became right .

I don't even remember how to play this .

Uh , and you got Classic solitaires .

It's now called Just , just Classic Solitaire to differentiate it .

And then of course , you can't knock it for having 3d pinball Space Cadet .

Again .

This is included in some of the versions of plus before this .

And of course , it was included in X P later on .

But you got to give Amy props for including a classic for the first time by default in Windows .

Well , that was awful .

Ah , Windows minium edition preview .

I'll see .

When is this shock wave ?

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It's just a video .

Yep .

I had those exact speakers .

The year 2000 .

I've got a couple of those cameras too recover from problems easily if a kid is smashing the computer with a hammer , all that Billy ruining computers .

Yeah .

System restore .

I never used this on Windows .

Me ever .

It doesn't even have any restore points because we just installed it .

But still , I , I don't think I started using this until X P .

So let's just create a , a point .

What I was reading , some folks weren't necessarily a fan of it at the time because not only did it seem to bug out , but it took up a good chunk of hard disk space like 100 and 5200 megs or something per restore point and running things in the background and slowing down the computer .

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So you ended up getting slower performance than Windows 98 .

But there we go .

Created a restore point .

Check out that new help and support system .

Yeah , this is pretty advanced man .

Compared to what Windows 98 had .

It's like a full on Arda Encyclopedia kind of design .

Very html centric .

I'm sure some folks took advantage of it , especially since this didn't come with a manual .

Dang it .

Ah , here we go .

Windows movie maker .

Look at that .

Whoa .

Ok .

Get music for every Yep .

Do I have anything to import ?

There's a sample file ?

So that's good .

Oh , look at the , look at these .

It automatically made those clips .

Oh , that is the best quality .

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OK .

So we can edit this together .

Let's put that right here and then we'll do , do a beck bit map .

Put that right here .

Import uh I guess we can just do wave files .

Yeah , we'll add some , add some sound effects .

Uh It could be the best video .

I don't believe this one actually lets you put like uh static text boxes or anything like that in this one .

I may be wrong .

I don't know , but I , I'm not seeing that .

Uh Anyway , OK .

I'm gonna save that movie highest quality which is what , 256 K B P S3 196 K file size .

Hm .

Saving it as a Windows media video file .

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Look at that encoder .

Go uh Magnificent .

Yes .

Watch it now .

An editing masterpiece .

Yeah , in retrospect , I definitely use the media uh movie maker and X P much more often than this .

This is 1.0 point 1376 oh and of course , one of the biggest changes is the fact that there is no longer and MS DOS mode .

I mean , it's here , this is still built on top of DOS , but they straight up hid it and you'd have to re enable it through ways .

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It wasn't actually long at all before some folks online and journalists and what not were sharing methods of restoring the MS Dos functionality or you know , making it easier to access because it's still here .

I mean , you've got a MS Dos prompt so you could like run things that don't require real mode for instance .

Uh But like , I mean , that was pretty much it because it took away the real mode stuff .

So um it definitely broke certain games but others worked perfectly fine .

Good .

So , yeah , Jazz Jack Credit .

It works .

Then you have games like Epic Pinball that aren't ideal running under windows .

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You get some , like weird choppiness with the scrolling .

Yeah , I , I never liked that .

So , yeah , if you could run that under like actual dos mode , then that'd be great .

Normally you'd just be able to , you know , go in here and create like a Piff or whatever and you just tell it to go into a DOS mode , but it's straight up .

Not even an option anymore .

Do 3D though .

I mean , you know , that works .

So it's all you need .

Let's rock Dad the eighth of shooting up by R die .

I'm killing you with Windows Millennium edition .

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It's pretty deadly that Scott still , despite a lot of my favorites working fine , there's a number of games and programs that just won't work properly or at all without dos running in real mode .

Not a problem in older versions of Windows where you can just restart an MS DOS mode at any time .

No such luck in me though .

So as for getting that to work , there are a few well known methods I tried out first is writing a boot disk or just using the one millennium edition came with , which will boot into a menu letting you select Windows or DOS mode either with or without CD ROM support , same as you could on Windows 95 98 such .

This is definitely the easiest way to access dos mode in me MS dos eight point oh .

In this case , you won't have sound blaster or mouse support yet .

But I imagine amending the discs , autoexec and running the needed T S R S is an option .

Next up .

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I tried Manifest Destiny's real mode dos patch version 1.3 something hosted all over the web back in the day and even got a write up an info world magazine in October of 2000 .

It's a simple patch or program where you copy three different windows , system files into one folder , run the program and it'll modify things .

So you're ready to overwrite the originals , add a couple of lines to config si and autoexec dot bat .

And that's that , that basically this tricks windows me into thinking it's always running a boot disk no matter what , which is somewhat annoying personally , but it does work .

The last one I tried is DOS fix me version 3.0 from over clockers , Australia .

Supposedly the last and best version from them .

In contrast to the manual nature of the other methods .

This one presents you with a comparatively nice menu system letting you apply and undo the patch as well as disable potentially unwanted features like PC health and system restore .

Unfortunately , it didn't seem to work for me at all .

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Completely messing up a whole load of system files to the point where the undo didn't work and the system became un bootle whatever man .

Even if it did work , it still wouldn't restore features like being able to tell , do program information files to boo to program and real dos mode or enable restarting an M dos mode from the start menu .

Each of which I use all the dang time on Windows 98 S E S .

So yeah , even with the patches and workarounds , Windows me simply isn't the operating system of choice if you need a proper dos .

Again , the majority of games I've tried work just fine under a Windows dos prompt , at least as well as they do under Windows 98 better than I remember honestly .

But it's just not ideal if you have the choice .

But what about the Windows side of gaming after all ?

Windows me is a flavor of nine X .

So anything designed for 95 98 should work just as well .

Right .

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Well , maybe something I ran across in my research is that millennium edition is consistently slower than 98 S E even using the exact same hardware and drivers when running certain games and benchmarks .

So I figured I'd run a few myself starting with the lovely Unreal Tournament from Epic Mega games .

I've just got this running a time demo on the intro sequence at 800 by 600 resolution V sync disabled and 16 bit color since this is running a 16 megabyte voodoo three graphics card , same drivers and same direct X seven , same everything between me and 98 .

And at first glance , they look pretty darn similar , but the final numbers reveal that 98 S E ran the game slightly faster at 69.49 frames per second average .

Whereas me pulled off 68.75 not enough to make a visual difference .

But there it is .

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Blake Fiorina provided similar testing with the time demo playing a match I recorded to provide some hard numbers for us to peru still running at 16 bit 800 by 600 resolution by the way .

And yeah , once again , 98 S E came out on top by a narrow margin .

71.3 F P S average on 98 68.8 F P S on Millennium edition .

Intriguing .

Next , I decided to try a need for speed Porsche unleashed since along with U T and Q three , it was one of the top games I played on my compact running knee back then and it doesn't have a built in time demo or benchmark .

So I just recorded a race replay and ran fresh on each Os and yeah , without any totals or averages at the end , just a frame rate counter on the top left .

It's tough to say which is better though .

I'd wager windows 98 wins by a tiny amount if the other examples are any indication either way it's not enough difference to matter .

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Finally , I had to try 3D mark 2000 since it runs a whole string of tests of varying types and gives a nice overall score at the end .

And yeah , and no surprise here that the final results were crazy .

Cool .

Just like all the others 4229 3d marks on 98 S E versus 4226 on Windows .

Me within the margin of error as far as I'm concerned .

So yeah , in terms of direct 3d open G L and glide mode gaming , I can't say it's worth choosing one Os over the other .

There are no doubt outliers that will work on 98 not M E and perhaps vice versa , but I haven't come across any on this particular setup yet .

And I think that's worth noting one more time as we wrap up here .

I've built this PC piece by piece over the years to be as awesome as possible at running the exact games I want in the exact way that I want .

This is all solid hardware with excellent vendor support .

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And I already had well made drivers and software set up and ready to go on 98 S E when Millennium edition took the reins here .

So I've really given it the best possible chance to succeed and I think that may be one reason it's working so well considering the weird point in time that me came out in regards to things like low quality sound and graphics hardware , wonky 56 K modems , terrible printer and scanner software , crapper made games , spinning hard disks , ill advised airflow and cooling , mismatched drivers .

Of course , the whole wild west of internet garbage being downloaded on a regular basis .

Yeah , when you take all that into consideration , it's no wonder they had a worse time back in the day along with thousands of other users of Windows run enough garbage on any older Windows system and it's going to slow to a crawl and die in unstable blue screen death .

But give it a quality set of components and carefully selected drivers and software and millennium edition is fine .

It's fine , just fine .

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Nothing amazing , of course , but not nearly as god awful as its reputation implies .

As is often said , it really is like Windows 98 3rd edition .

It's the same exact overall experience that runs the exact same stuff with a slew of little tweaks updates and add ons that may or may not be necessary depending on your needs .

In my case , they absolutely aren't needed since I'll take my few additional frames per second and a bit less in terms of Microsoft bloat .

Thank you very much .

And the lack of an easily accessible MS DOS mode alone is a personal deal breaker .

Quite an annoyingly arbitrary limitation , man .

I know Microsoft did it in order to try and speed up boot times and minimize device conflicts and yeah , it is quicker to start up and I haven't had any blue screens of death so far , but the tradeoff isn't really worth it .

At least not on this machine .

That being said , I think I'll install it on another PC .

Instead something I don't use as much for L G R things because I don't know why not .

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It's weirdly enjoyable to go back and mess around with Millennium edition .

I admit not something I ever thought I'd say .

But yeah , I absolutely understand the jaded feelings I've been there , but I also don't think all the hate is entirely warranted .

Either that's not to say I recommend it though or even have much love for it .

Windows 98 S E is still the better choice for PC gaming from around 1994 to 2001 and just go with Windows X P after that .

But it's also not the end of the world at least when set up on a clean reliable system .

Heck , I'd say Windows Me is actually kind of fun in that goofy turn of the millennium kind of way and that's worth at least a little something .

And if you enjoyed this L G R video , then I'm sure you'd probably dig some of the others that I've made covering old hardware and software and environments like Microsoft Bob and whatever else .

I do videos like this .

Every week .


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