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April 21, 2007 12:03 AM

Broken: Windows Millennium update

WindowsmeMike Lerley writes in:

I clicked the "windows update" icon on a client's older laptop running Windows Millennium, and this is what the Windows update site says:

Thank you for interest in obtaining updates from our site.

This website is designed to work with Microsoft Windows operating systems only.

To find updates for Microsoft products that are designed for Macintosh operating systems, please visit

It almost seems like Microsoft has not only discontinued support for Windows Millenium, it's disowned it altogether!


Wouldn't you?

Posted by: krs804 at April 21, 2007 01:08 AM

Microsoft discontinued support for Windows Me back on July 11, 2006

Posted by: klew at April 21, 2007 01:23 AM

I would. It shames me. I hate my own history.

-Bill Gates

Posted by: Xenonym at April 21, 2007 02:44 AM

Ah yes...ME. I hate that OS... Many a time have I had fixing the damn thing so it would work properly. Absolutely the worst OS Microsoft has put out to date (IMHO...I believe Windows 3.1 to be a more stable OS than ME). Hooray for Microsoft's disavowment!! Sucks for Mr. Lerley though... Go buy XP!!

Posted by: ashleyriot_vs at April 21, 2007 03:34 AM


> Microsoft discontinued support for Windows Me back on July 11, 2006

not entirely - you can still get OLD updates, but no new ones are being released


>Ah yes...ME. I hate that OS... Many a time have I had fixing the damn thing so it would work >properly. Absolutely the worst OS Microsoft has put out to date (IMHO...I believe Windows 3.1 >to be a more stable OS than ME). Hooray for Microsoft's disavowment!! Sucks for Mr. Lerley >though... Go buy XP!!

ME really does work. Even though you say it doesn't. I use it. and if he's using ME he probably can't run XP. Or Vista. I like ME. It isn't very stable because, like Windows 3.11, there is still NO kernel.

Posted by: Gabriel J. Smolnycki at April 21, 2007 09:15 AM

I don't blame them, I would too.

Posted by: EricJ2190 at April 21, 2007 12:44 PM

ME was such a bad product, Microsoft probably doesn't want to admit they designed it.

"Oh, Windows ME? Uhh, that was made by Apple. ME stands for Macintosh Emulator."

After the Me disaster, Microsoft seems to be getting their act together. They fixed the kernel with XP, and they fixed Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer, and the user interface with Vista. Now they just need to fix the security (although Vista is much better at this than previous versions of Windows).

Posted by: TIBE4ME at April 21, 2007 11:15 PM

I still use 3.11. Why mess up a good thang? I mean who needs the updates? What do they do anyway?

Posted by: shebaby at April 22, 2007 07:29 AM

Windows ME may work, just not very well. We used to joke around that the operating system wasn't even compatible with itself. If you are running with older hardware, you may not have much choice since Windows XP seems to need at least a 1 Ghz processor to run well with SP2.

Posted by: ebob at April 22, 2007 08:20 AM

There'd be less confusion if Microsoft had released Vista as Windows ME II. Alas, they didn't and it is still possible for ME users to fool themselves into believing they are in fact owners of an operating system and not fraud-victims. Just like the owners of its successor.

Posted by: Bauer vom Dreigestirn at April 22, 2007 11:07 AM

"...Just like the owners of its successor..."

Are you saying that XP owners are fraud victims? I would have to say that XP was one of Microsoft's better ideas. It wasn't too expensive, either.

Posted by: TIBE4ME at April 22, 2007 04:34 PM

TIBE: Not quite.

ME was the last of the 95/98/ME family.

XP was the third of the NT/2K/XP series.

They didn't "fix" the ME kernel for XP; they just dumped support for the old non-NT kernel entirely and made everyone go NT.

(And, really, was it any less stable than 95 or 98?

None of them were stable, because of their inherent design - lack of protected memory, same as in pre-OSX MacOS.)

Bauer: (Assuming I'm reading your rant correctly - ) Vista is an operating system. It works fine. It's nothing like ME; the kernel is entirely different and perfectly stable.

Posted by: Sigivald at April 23, 2007 07:41 PM

Oh yeah, I forgot about NT and 2000. I guess they had a stable kernel before XP, then, but they didn't market it to regular consumers until XP.

An no, ME was not less stable than 95 or 98. From what I've heard (I have owned every Windows generation from 3.11 to Vista except ME), people didn't like ME because it didn't bring anything new (that was useful, anyway), didn't fix any old problems, and placed an even heavier burden on the 9X core that was already over its limit in 98. In fact, one of the major complaints about 98 is that Microsoft "put too much stuff into it".

Posted by: TIBE4ME at April 23, 2007 10:19 PM

TIBE, If you never owned or used WinME, how do you know it wasn't less stable than Win95 or Win98?

I've owned and used every MS O/S since MSDOS. For me, WinME is the worst. In 1999, I bought an HP preinstalled with WinME. It was so unstable, it started crashing the day I took it out of the box, even before I installed any software. It wouldn't run 30 minutes before freezing. I’d turn the PC on, leave it, and come back later to find it locked up solid. I’d have to literally pull the plug to restart it. Then it would insist on doing a ScanDisk because “Window was improperly shutdown… performing scan for disk errors.” And the Scan wouldn’t work for long either. WinME would keep restarting the Scan because it would detect that some “other” program was accessing the drive. The other program was WinME itself! It couldn’t keep track of what it was doing, and would trip over itself.

Out of Win95, Win98, and WinME, Win98 was the most solid O/S. I had a Dell laptop with Win98 and all sorts of programs loaded on it. It rarely crashed. Then I stupidly decided to replace it with the HP preinstalled with ME. BIG mistake. What a piece of junk. I went back to the laptop.

Its like you said. MS didn't address any old issues with WinME, They just added more bloat and unwanted features on an already overloaded 9X core. And this is precisely why ME was so unstable.

Posted by: KarmaBaby at April 24, 2007 12:05 AM

^That was a typo in my post. I meant to say "An no, ME was not as stable as 95 and 98..."

Posted by: TIBE4ME at April 24, 2007 06:24 PM

I saw exactly the same behavior about a week ago. ROFL. Not only is Bill trying to disown it, but he's trying to foist it off on Steve Jobs.

But a reboot cleared up the brain-damage and I was able to upgrade the customer's ME.

Posted by: henrybowmanaz at April 27, 2007 02:52 AM

Wow... until I read the posts on here it didn't even register with me that Windows Update thought I was on a mac .. ha! The guy ended up just buying a new laptop anyway so it didn't matter. Still, I thought it appropriate to capture and share. :)

Posted by: Mike Lerley at April 30, 2007 08:47 PM

ME isnt really broken in fact i use it on a 8 - 9 year old laptop (pentium II 366Mhz 96 meg ram 20gigHD CD drive) and it runs fine except for a reboot every few (2-6)hours apart from that it boots really quickly and after the odd reboot will standby quick too. also ME has better USB support and a few more drivers than 98/98SE.

Posted by: PC_nut at May 1, 2007 05:19 AM

BTW im in new zealand so the time will be like 8 hours ahead were you are

Posted by: PC_nut at May 1, 2007 05:24 AM

ok 16 hours

Posted by: PC_nut at May 1, 2007 05:29 AM

This happened to me too with Windows 98. I went to Windows Update, downloaded the critical updates, and restarted the computer.

Then I started Windows Update again to download the non-critical updates and got the error message. Wierd.

Posted by: Munchkinguy at May 17, 2007 11:04 PM

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