On September 14th Microsoft officially released Windows Millennium Edition (Win Me), Microsoft's latest consumer OS, to the public. Most of our reviews have focused on consumer level hardware so when this new OS was released, I decided that I'd move my testing over to the new OS after a bit of validation on my part. My main concern was the general loss of performance due to the bloated nature of Microsoft's newer OSes trying to create a "friendlier" user interface. I also didn't plan to waste time on a generally unstable OS for future testing either. We'll take a look at what new features this OS has to offer, run through some benchmarks and give you some general feedback on this OS.
In a nutshell, Win Me is Win98 with the addition of updated digital media support, a System Restore feature, somewhat update driver support and possibly boots faster. Of that list, only two features are of any real big interest to many of us at best.
The new digital media support is basically achieved through the standard addition of Media Player 7 and Microsoft Movie Maker. Media Player 7 is already available through download so it's nothing unique to Win Me. It offers digital playback of today's most popular formats as well as CD burning and ripping capabilities.
MS Movie Maker is basically what it sounds like, a movie editing tool. With this tool you can create or edit home movies with or without sound. I was able to create videos with my webcam very quickly but ran into somewhat of a wall. Unfortunately there was only one format to save as, Windows Media Video Format (*.WMV). As you can imagine I was a bit annoyed but it's further evidence that Microsoft wants to be in control of more than just our OS. Still pictures can be taken or saved as JPEG only. This is obviously nothing ground breaking but it's available for free.