Microsoft Reaches First Milestone for Future Version of Consumer Windows

REDMOND, Wash., July 26, 1999 — Microsoft today delivered to a select group of testers the first in a series of test-code releases for the next version of Consumer Windows, code-named Millennium.

With Millennium, Microsoft’s newly formed Consumer Windows Division (CWD) will take an important step toward realizing its vision of simplifying the home computing experience. The CWD will focus its efforts on making the PC easier for first-time users and enhancing the experience of existing users by enabling new and exciting computing scenarios, such as digital media and entertainment and creating a connected home. Millennium, which is expected to be widely available to consumers next year, will be the first deliverable from CWD.

The Developer Preview is a pre-beta version of Millennium, consisting of the product’s framework. Today, a targeted group of partners and beta testers will receive the code to begin evaluating Millennium from a technical ‘backbone’ standpoint and to provide Microsoft with valuable feedback early in the development cycle.

“The Consumer Windows Division is focused on truly making computing easy for consumers,” said David Cole, vice president of the Consumer Windows Division at Microsoft. “We are excited to reach this first milestone on the path toward delivering a version of Windows specifically designed to enable consumers to take full advantage of their PCs in the 21st century.”

As a result of extensive consumer research, Microsoft decided that the core areas of focus for the Consumer Windows Division over the next several years would be digital media and entertainment, the online experience, enabling a connected home and making the PC ‘just work.’ Millennium will make significant progress in each of those four key areas:

  • Digital Media and Entertainment: Digital media is becoming increasingly popular, as illustrated by the exponential growth in areas like music on the Web and digital photography. The Consumer Windows Division will focus on enabling users to take advantage of all this new content, making it easy to access, play/view and store as well as providing an enhanced PC gaming experience.

  • Online Experience: Providing consumers a premier home online experience is a primary goal for the Consumer Windows Division. This means ensuring consumers can easily connect to the Web, locate desired content and determine which content is right for their family.

  • Home Networking: With more than 15 million households now owning two computers and the cost of new PCs continuing to fall, as well as the many intelligent hardware devices being created, networking at home is becoming a reality for more people. The Consumer Windows Division will work to simplify the process of connecting multiple computers in the home, enabling them to share information and an Internet connection, and provide the infrastructure for connecting different intelligent devices to the PC.

  • It Just Works: The Consumer Windows Division is committed to providing consumers with a solution that ‘just works,’ from the moment a user starts their PC and throughout their daily computing experience. This promise will be delivered upon by the advancement of the PC’s self-healing functionality, in addition to providing a simpler set-up and a great out-of-the-box experience for new computer users.

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