REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 1, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced a limited-time promotional price of $59.95 for the Windows® Millennium Edition (Windows Me) operating system. The special price is available for Microsoft® Windows 98 or Windows 98 Second Edition customers who wish to upgrade their system to the forthcoming Windows Me, the latest operating system designed specifically for the home user. The promotionally priced product, which will be available in retail stores from Sept. 14 through Jan. 15, 2001, will make it more affordable for Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition users to update their systems with the most recent consumer operating system enhancements. Windows Me improves the home-computing experience by delivering enhancements in the areas of PC health, digital media, home networking and the online experience.
"With Windows Me, we're thrilled to be delivering a great upgrade to our Windows 9x customers. The improvements in digital media, home networking, PC health and online experience will make Windows Me the most compelling operating system yet for home users," said John Frederiksen, general manager of the PC Experience Solution Group at Microsoft. "We are excited to offer additional value to our loyal Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition customers through this special promotion."
PC Health, Digital Media, Home Networking and Online Experience Enhancements
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, in the event of a malfunction, 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. Windows Me provides advancements in 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 location where users can find, organize and play digital media; and Voice Chat, the DirectPlay® application programming interface feature that 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. Universal Plug and Play is an architecture that enables devices within a home or office to communicate and share resources simply and automatically.
Online experience. Windows Me provides the best Internet experience for home users by providing enhanced features for 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 add 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 stores on Sept. 14, 2000. Windows Me also 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 from Windows 95. For a limited time, Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition users may
upgrade for the special $59.95 price, after which the $109 price prevails. Parties interested in learning the estimated retail price in local currency for other countries should contact their local Microsoft subsidiary.
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