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Windows Me - "Misunderstood Edition"

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Reply 100 of 122, by digger

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jesolo wrote on 2016-04-11, 08:53:
Microsoft already wanted to move on from DOS back in 1987, when OS/2 was supposed to be the "follow up" of DOS. They even ran a […]
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Microsoft already wanted to move on from DOS back in 1987, when OS/2 was supposed to be the "follow up" of DOS. They even ran advertising campaigns stating that "DOS is dead".
With DOS, Microsoft had competitors in the market (most notably DR-DOS) which potentially hurt their sales.
That is why Microsoft eventually released MS-DOS 5.0 & 6.0 (up to 6.22), even though the original intention was to stop at version 4.0.

However, I think with the release of Windows 95 & then Windows 98, Microsoft was finally able to steer developers towards writing software & games for the Windows platform, but many users (mostly businesses) still stuck to their old DOS based software (since it was very costly for small to medium businesses to upgrade their entire software & hardware base to run on Windows in just one go).

I my experience, it was almost purely the games that kept DOS alive past 1990 or so. By the early '90s, all the serious productivity stuff had already moved on to Windows 3.x. It makes sense, since productivity software depends on proper APIs, UI toolkits and abstraction libraries, whereas games needed to remain as close to the metal as possible, in order to squeeze the best performance out of PC hardware. It wasn't until the advent of DirectX that Windows95 became considered at least "on par" with DOS as a PC game platform. Serious top-tier games didn't start to appear for Windows95 until 1996, and even then, DOS continued to be a prime game OS even throughout 1997, with quite a few games being released on CD-ROM with executables both for Protected Mode DOS and Windows.

I kind of lament the point in time when Windows9x/DirectX took over, since right up until then, there had been no effective decades-long PC gaming OS monopoly. In the early DOS era, many PC games were so-called "booters", which didn't even require an OS and gave early PC gamers an almost console-like experience of simply inserting the floppy disk containing the game and switching on or rebooting their computer. Later in the DOS era, PC games ran on DR-DOS just as well as they did on MS-DOS. But once Windows became a necessity for playing modern PC games, there would be no alternative for PC gamers for many years. It wasn't until the Wine project, and later Valve with their Proton project, made Linux an increasingly practical alternative. But it hasn't reached the level of a near-native gaming experience with most modern PC games until fairly recently. But thanks to Valve and especially the hype around Steam Deck, the future of OS-independent quality PC gaming looks bright. 🙂

(Sorry for yet another tangent, by the way. 😅)

Reply 101 of 122, by The Serpent Rider

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I kind of lament the point in time when Windows9x/DirectX took over, since right up until then, there had been no effective decades-long PC gaming OS monopoly.

That's mostly due to other factors. Commodore and Atari were still kicking, Apple computers weren't considered strictly for workstation stuff or as a status symbol for elitist baristas. IBM PC compatibles and Microsoft just simply curb stomped everyone else due to poor business decisions and/or complete ignorance of mainstream market needs.

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Reply 102 of 122, by drosse1meyer

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2021-08-13, 22:57:

The minuscule "minimum" requirement on the box to run an OS with gui was absolutely laughable back then.

I think a large part of it was marketing to attract a larger base for $$$. MS could have absolutely prevented install on lesser machines and mandated better minimum specs. Minimum in my experience always seemed to be, yeah it would work but a torturous experience. Friends dont let friends run on min 😀

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Reply 103 of 122, by crazii

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I picked a laptop with WinME (not original system) and I'd like to give it a try, but unfortunately the laptop manufacturer doesn't offer WinME drivers. I'm afraid the 98SE drivers may have compatibility issues on WinME so I just decide to stick to 98SE.

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Reply 104 of 122, by crazii

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BTW doesn't anyone have the WinME DOS patch? I am not at home and don't have a CDROM/floppy to install 98 in hand, dammit.

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Reply 105 of 122, by zapbuzz

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Wouldn't it be interesting to have a 64bit DOS based windows with EXFAT drive supprt only without ntfs etc.
People could code games in 64bit code for dos too it would make a truely gamer orientated windows machine. No secure buisness class file system journaling but a fat upgrade that includes a backup file table as standard than just boot sector. 😀
They have xbox but the hardware always goes out of date whilst newer teh comes out all the time for windows.
Could call it Me II 🤣
The Win Me dos patch I used (lost it) well its one of those fiddle around replace stuff manually.
Windows XP has a bootable floppy option with a hybrid Me dos with himem built in.
I manually replaced my 98se DOS boot sector to load this floppy from hard disk instead it never plays up and doesn't say windows millennium emergency boot but I wouldn't use it on Millennium windows drive.

Reply 106 of 122, by Gmlb256

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zapbuzz wrote on 2021-10-18, 14:24:

The Win Me dos patch I used (lost it) well its one of those fiddle around replace stuff manually.
Windows XP has a bootable floppy option with a hybrid Me dos with himem built in.
I manually replaced my 98se DOS boot sector to load this floppy from hard disk instead it never plays up and doesn't say windows millennium emergency boot but I wouldn't use it on Millennium windows drive.

I don't bother with Windows Me for DOS because it removes some DOS functionality that worked on previous Windows 9x versions. I couldn't get EMM386 or QEMM working with that and no way to unload that integrated HIMEM.SYS. The patch is just a hack from the "Windows Millennium Emergency" floppy disk and doesn't address all of the problems when using it as a MS-DOS replacement.

Reply 107 of 122, by zapbuzz

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-10-18, 14:38:
zapbuzz wrote on 2021-10-18, 14:24:

The Win Me dos patch I used (lost it) well its one of those fiddle around replace stuff manually.
Windows XP has a bootable floppy option with a hybrid Me dos with himem built in.
I manually replaced my 98se DOS boot sector to load this floppy from hard disk instead it never plays up and doesn't say windows millennium emergency boot but I wouldn't use it on Millennium windows drive.

I don't bother with Windows Me for DOS because it removes some DOS functionality that worked on previous Windows 9x versions. I couldn't get EMM386 or QEMM working with that and no way to unload that integrated HIMEM.SYS. The patch is just a hack from the "Windows Millennium Emergency" floppy disk and doesn't address all of the problems when using it as a MS-DOS replacement.

There are complimentary like 3rd party boot loading managers that can manipulate an co exist with himem and there are alternatives to emm386 basically moving away from microsoft to boot microsoft.

Reply 108 of 122, by Gmlb256

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zapbuzz wrote on 2021-10-18, 14:47:

There are complimentary like 3rd party boot loading managers that can manipulate an co exist with himem and there are alternatives to emm386 basically moving away from microsoft to boot microsoft.

I know about third party boot loaders and expanded memory managers (which I don't recommend except QEMM for compatibility reasons), that wasn't the thing I was talking about. I was talking about being unable to get flexibility within the same hard drive partition and there is at least one game (you can disregard this if you don't care) that refuses to work with HIMEM loaded and it's called Zone 66.

Reply 109 of 122, by zapbuzz

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-10-18, 15:00:
zapbuzz wrote on 2021-10-18, 14:47:

There are complimentary like 3rd party boot loading managers that can manipulate an co exist with himem and there are alternatives to emm386 basically moving away from microsoft to boot microsoft.

I know about third party boot loaders and expanded memory managers (which I don't recommend except QEMM for compatibility reasons), that wasn't the thing I was talking about. I was talking about being unable to get flexibility within the same hard drive partition and there is at least one game (you can disregard this if you don't care) that refuses to work with HIMEM loaded and it's called Zone 66.

yes theres always something that won't work with something else. I can remove himem if i wanted but haven't needed to yet and I think dosbox runs in millennium maybe those games can work there.
I was thinking ipv4 will be gone eventually I hope there'll still be translation support of routers from ipv6 to ipv4 in future

Reply 110 of 122, by mattrock1988

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Wow... I'm amazed my thread was revived recently. Bravo.

Windows ME really still has a special place in my heart, even in 2021.

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Reply 111 of 122, by weldum

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I like a lot windows me, but I understand why is so hated, it was pointless to throw another dos-based os at the time, and it behaved similarly to windows vista in regards to driver support, making it cumbersome to use.
Still, it's a nice os, if installed properly. Of course it doesn't compare very well to either it's older brother 98SE or it's NT cousin 2000
98SE could do most if not all of the same things and was far more stable and compatible at the time
2000 was rock solid and exceptionally fast on some machines (but compatibility with pre-2000 windows games is good at best, as some behave wrong and others simply doesn't work. Something windows xp solved for the most part)

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Reply 112 of 122, by Sphere478

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I actually like it more than 98se. I use it all the time

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Reply 113 of 122, by StevOnehundred

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I ran ME daily from 2003 - 2009 on dual boot PCs - first an MMX Packard Bell, then a PIII Tulip. 98SE was on the other drive but I hardly ever used it. It felt so clunky and old-fashioned compared to ME.

I found that ME ran best with all updates installed and at least 256mb ram.

Reply 114 of 122, by zapbuzz

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Having a dedicated millennium machine with built in SiS gpu I was so happy because millennium allows me to interface to yamaha xg100 midi to my yamaha synthesizer for real time play, that and out of the box HD coax audio built into my motherboard makes for great fun and HD audio that sounds better and allows speakers to last longer. Recording midi into midi files is much more flexible than mp3's, wav's and etc because theres always a better sounding tonebank around the corner to enjoy it, there are music sequencing studios that allow multiple banks at once so the enjoyment deepens as 1 bank has best drums whilst another has best synths for example.
When I use a massive 500gb disk I use largest cluster size and disable system protection and system restore it matches 98se benchmark scores, and sometimes it outscores it. Thats for the edge of dos windows gaming right there and with later system components like a kernel with less leaks! (yes it is a later version)

Reply 115 of 122, by Caluser2000

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crazii wrote on 2021-10-18, 14:14:

BTW doesn't anyone have the WinME DOS patch? I am not at home and don't have a CDROM/floppy to install 98 in hand, dammit.

A quick search by internet search engine should pin point it in a pinch.

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Reply 116 of 122, by digger

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zapbuzz wrote on 2021-10-18, 14:24:

Wouldn't it be interesting to have a 64bit DOS based windows with EXFAT drive supprt only without ntfs etc.

Believe it or not, but someone is actually working on a 64-bit DOS kernel that could be a piece of such a puzzle. 🙂

Reply 117 of 122, by crazii

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Caluser2000 wrote on 2021-11-05, 05:55:
crazii wrote on 2021-10-18, 14:14:

BTW doesn't anyone have the WinME DOS patch? I am not at home and don't have a CDROM/floppy to install 98 in hand, dammit.

A quick search by internet search engine should pin point it in a pinch.

I've installed win98 after using the DOS patch, thanks anyways.

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Reply 118 of 122, by zapbuzz

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digger wrote on 2021-11-08, 19:34:
zapbuzz wrote on 2021-10-18, 14:24:

Wouldn't it be interesting to have a 64bit DOS based windows with EXFAT drive supprt only without ntfs etc.

Believe it or not, but someone is actually working on a 64-bit DOS kernel that could be a piece of such a puzzle. 🙂

whoah! that would mean so much memory, possibility of new GUI's and 64 bit version lemmings 😀

Reply 119 of 122, by andre_6

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I had my first custom retro build with a Pentium III based on Win98SE, soon after I found my old XP PC, and I was offered a Pentium MMX Win95 also. I thought that I would be more than complete with those three. However I found myself wanting badly a 1.4Ghz Tualatin based PC, but lacked true reasons to invest in finding the motherboard for it. I decided to take a chance on Win ME and build it as a roughly 1999-2003 software machine.

It is hands down my favourite computer and OS (and I also rebuilt a 486 after that). I said this already in other threads, I certainly believe the complaints from people at the time, using it as a main pc in that context and not as an occasional retro gaming machine with the benefit of hindsight in every way, namely drivers. But it really is much, much more solid and stable than the Win98SE PC for example, fast booting, USB from scratch (albeit a quick install in 98SE solves that too). What really gets me aside its sturdiness is a particular ambiance and optimism that just oozes from the OS, it really captures well its specific time and I love going back to it.

Paired the Pentium III-S with a Radeon 9600 Pro and it's an absolute blast. Max Payne 1 and 2, GTA III, Mafia, Pharaoh, smooth as silk, not one issue...love it. As a transition build between Win98SE and XP, every time its software overlaps with those two I won't run it on anywhere else other than WinME, that's how happy I am.

To everyone who might be curious, if you want a rock solid Win9x style gaming machine, WinME is an option you should consider with all the drivers and hindsight that we have today, in my view