Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition Released to Manufacturing

REDMOND, Wash., June 19, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that the development of the Microsoft® Windows® Millennium Edition (Windows Me) consumer operating system is complete and the product has been released to manufacturing. Windows Me is the latest version of the Microsoft operating system designed specifically for the home user. It improves the home computing experience by delivering enhancements in the areas of PC health, digital media, home networking and the online experience. Consumers will be able to purchase retail versions of Windows Me on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2000.

“By focusing principally on the needs of the home user, we were able to create a more simplified PC experience for first-time users while enhancing existing users’ experiences by enabling new home-computing scenarios,” said Paul Maritz, group vice president of the Platforms Strategy and Developer Group at Microsoft. “Windows Me supports our goal to evolve the Windows-based PC to continue to provide a rich and exciting user experience in the connected home.”

PC Health, Digital Media, Home Networking and Online Experience Enhancements

Windows Me is a timely technology update for home PC users. Enhancements to the home-computing experience are focused in the following areas:

  • PC health. Windows Me provides an easier, more intuitive and stable computing experience. New features include System Restore, which enables users to roll back their PC software configuration to a date or time when it was working properly; System File Protection, which prevents the accidental or unauthorized overwriting of critical system files; and AutoUpdate, which can automatically download important Microsoft updates without user intervention. In addition, Windows Me, combined with “fast-boot”-optimized PC hardware, will provide home users with faster access to information, communications and entertainment at any time.

  • Digital media. Using PCs to do more with pictures, video, music and games is becoming increasingly popular among home PC users. Windows Me provides advancements in each of these areas with features such as Windows Image Acquisition, which helps users transfer digital images from digital cameras, scanners and other WIA-compliant devices; Windows Movie Maker, which provides users with the tools to digitally edit, save and share home videos; Windows Media™ Player 7, which offers one powerful, easy-to-use place where users can find, organize and play digital media; and DirectPlay® Voice Chat, which allows PC gamers to talk with one another across the Internet during gameplay.

  • Home networking. Windows Me further enables the “connected home” through the Home Networking Wizard, a feature that helps users quickly and easily find shared resources and connect them; improved Internet Connection Sharing technology; simplified USB networking; and the first implementation of Universal Plug and Play technology in a Microsoft product.

  • Online experience. Windows Me will provide the best Internet experience for families by providing enhanced features for doing the things that matter most to them: browsing the Internet, shopping online, sending and receiving e-mail, playing games online, doing basic Web publishing, and chatting or conferencing with friends and family. Windows Me includes Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 technologies, which adds print preview functionality, core reliability and performance enhancements to improve the home Internet experience.

Windows Me Pricing and Availability

Windows Me will be available in retail boxes on Sept. 14, 2000. In addition, Windows Me will be available preinstalled on new PCs. The estimated retail price for Windows Me is the same as for Windows 98: $209 (U.S.) for the full-package product and $109 (U.S.) for a version upgrade. Parties interested in learning the estimated retail price in local currency for other countries should contact their local Microsoft subsidiary.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

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