Microsoft Announces Immediate Availability Of Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me)
OEM Partners Including Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and IBM Offering Windows Me on New PCs; Also Available at Retail Locations Worldwide
REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 14, 2000 — Microsoft Corp. today announced the immediate availability of Microsoft® Windows® Millennium Edition (Windows Me), the new operating system for home PC users. Windows Me delivers exciting technology advancements in the areas of PC health, digital media, home networking and the online experience. It is available for retail as a full version as well as an upgrade for users of Windows 95, Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition. PC manufacturers are also offering the Windows Me operating system preinstalled on new consumer PCs.
"Microsoft's investment in understanding both the needs of customers and the exciting technology trends taking place in home computing are the foundation for Windows Me," said Steve Ballmer, president and CEO of Microsoft. "Windows Me was designed specifically with the home user in mind, and customers will be very pleased with the digital media, home-networking, PC health and online experience enhancements."
"Compaq is very excited to offer Windows Me on our new Presario Internet PCs, because it allows users of all backgrounds to get more out of their user experience," said Mike Larson, senior vice president of Compaq's Worldwide Consumer Products Group. "These new PCs boast a variety of features that deliver significant benefits such as the Compaq Knowledge Center, which delivers one-click access to self-guided support solutions, online services, tutorials, technology updates and knowledge-sharing forums. In addition, they offer robust management of digital entertainment, enhanced home networking capabilities and a richer Internet experience. They will bring a new level of simplicity, innovation and fun to our customers."
Experience Windows Me
Consumers can experience Windows Me firsthand through the Meet Me Tour, which is visiting 25 malls across the United States. The Meet Me Tour kicks off today in San Francisco, Chicago and New York and continues through November. Designed to give visitors a hands-on introduction to the latest operating system designed specifically for home users, the tour features an interactive home-like display where visitors can get acquainted with the product by creating and sharing photos, experimenting with music in new ways, producing a video, accessing the Internet and playing games. In this interactive display, visitors can test-drive the latest home PC advances in music, pictures, movies, home networking and the online experience.
"HP is pleased to be one of the sponsors of Microsoft's Meet Me Tour," said Rob Wait, worldwide marketing manager for HP's Home Products Division. "By including Windows Me in our HP Pavilion home PC line, we are ensuring that HP's customers will continue to receive the kind of quality home-computing experience they've come to expect from HP. The advanced features available with Windows Me allow HP to fulfill the wants and needs of its diverse customers."
Those who are interested in learning more about Windows Me can tune in to a 90-minute Windows Me webcast for a guided tour of the product and information about activities taking place at the Meet Me Tour mall locations. The webcast will include product demonstrations, discussions with Windows Me developers and interviews with families who are currently using Windows Me. The webcast can be viewed beginning at 10 a.m. PDT today at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsme/ .
Windows Me-Based PCs Respond to Customer Needs
Windows Me was designed specifically with the home user in mind, and advancements are in response to customer feedback. The resulting operating system, coupled with Windows Me-optimized hardware, will offer the home user a more rewarding home-computing experience.
"IBM and Microsoft recognize that customers want computer devices that are highly functional and deliver anytime, anywhere connectivity. Consumers will benefit from having IBM systems optimized for Windows Me, designed to match their personal computing style," said Ralph Martino, vice president of marketing and strategy at IBM Personal Systems Group. "Tools like Easy Backup, a one-button, auto restore function; a Software Select CD that allows consumers to customize applications based on their needs and preferences; and the IBM Access 'keys,' designed for easy access to IBM's service, support and resources, work in concert with Windows Me, to give users a productive computing experience."
What's New in Windows Me?
Windows Me is a timely technology update for home PC users who want to take advantage of the technology trends today. 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 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. Using PCs to do more with pictures, video, music and games is becoming increasingly popular among home PC users. Windows Me provides advancements in each of these areas with features such as Windows Image Acquisition (WIA), 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 place where users can find, organize and play digital media; and DirectPlay® Voice Chat, which 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.
Online experience. Windows Me will provide one of the best Internet experiences for families by providing enhanced features for doing the things that matter most to them: 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.
Pricing and Availability
Windows Me is available today in 14 languages and will be delivered in a total of 28 languages within 90 days -- the fastest worldwide availability to date. The estimated retail price for Windows Me is $209 (U.S.) for the full version and $109 (U.S.) for a version upgrade from Windows 95. Between now and Jan. 15, 2001, users of Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition can acquire the Windows Me Promotional Step-Up for $59.95, 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. Reseller prices may vary.
More information about Windows Me is available at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/newsroom/winme/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" ) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.
"The Windows® Me operating system provides the consumer with the optimal home-computing experience. Belkin is extremely pleased to support this new operating system by offering the USB VideoBus II, which allows the user to take advantage of Windows Movie Maker, the video-editing feature included with Windows Me."
USB Product Manager
"Compaq is very excited to offer Windows Me on our new Presario Internet PCs because it allows users of all backgrounds to get more out of their user experience. These new PCs boast a variety of features that deliver significant benefits such as the Compaq Knowledge Center, which delivers one-click access to self-guided support solutions, online services, tutorials, technology updates and knowledge-sharing forums. In addition, they offer robust management of digital entertainment, enhanced home networking capabilities and a richer Internet experience. They will bring a new level of simplicity, innovation and fun to our customers."
Senior Vice President
Worldwide Consumer Product Group
Compaq Computer Corp.
"HP is pleased to be one of the sponsors of Microsoft's Meet Me Tour. By including Windows Me in our HP Pavilion home PC line, we are ensuring that HP's customers will continue to receive the kind of quality home-computing experience they've come to expect from HP. The advanced features available with Windows Me allow HP to fulfill the wants and needs of its diverse customers."
Worldwide Marketing Manager
Home Products Division
"IBM and Microsoft recognize that customers want computer devices that are highly functional and deliver anytime, anywhere connectivity. Consumers will benefit from having IBM systems optimized for Windows Me, designed to match their personal computing style. Tools like Easy Backup, a one-button, auto restore function; a Software Select CD that allows consumers to customize applications based on their needs and preferences; and the IBM Access 'keys,' designed for easy access to IBM's service, support and resources, work in concert with Windows Me, to give users a productive computing experience."
Vice President of Marketing and Strategy, Personal Systems Group
"Intel congratulates Microsoft Corp. on the launch of Windows Me. Windows Me running on the performance of Intel Pentium III processor-based platforms provides the consumer with a richer, easier-to-use home-computing experience. Consumers benefit from enhanced features such as Internet interaction capabilities and easy media creation tools that support PC peripherals like the popular Intel Pocket PC Camera."
Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
Intel Architecture Group
"Windows Me provides home users with great new technologies to enjoy digital media and the online experience. We applaud Microsoft for helping expand the market for legal distribution of online music. Digital rights management has been one of the missing pieces that has prevented artists, publishers and consumers from getting together in the online marketplace; affordable storage for portable devices has been another. Now that licensed digital audio is here, we are pleased to offer consumers the affordable Iomega PocketZip disk as the format of choice in portable digital audio storage. Each PocketZip disk is uniquely identifiable, allowing content to be locked to the disk itself to preserve the security of online music."
President and CEO
"We at Nogatech are proud to be part of Microsoft's effort to evolve and develop new applications for the Windows platform. The release of Windows Me offers our OEM customers the opportunity to deliver new and innovative video-enabled PC products and peripherals based on Nogatech's chips and technology."
Arie Heiman, Ph.D.
President and CEO
"Panasonic is happy to provide Microsoft with our Palmcorder digital camcorders and to support the Meet Me Tour. The Palmcorder digital camcorder is the perfect companion product for Windows Me, giving consumers creative, easy ways to combine digital video with home computing."
Consumer Video Division
Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co.
"Windows Me with its Windows Movie Maker feature opens the door for anyone to easily create digital video. Together, Windows Movie Maker and POPcast's Personal Broadcast Network take personal video to the next step and provide a simple and efficient way for users to share their videos with friends and family around the world."
Chairman and Founder
POPcast Communications Corp.
"We are pleased to participate in the Windows Me Meet Me Tour, which will illustrate how consumers can expand their enjoyment of RCA digital products. Among these products are RCA digital high-resolution color televisions, which are easily connected to PCs and serve as computer monitors. Windows Me software will certainly provide versatility in the way consumers interface with these hi-res monitors and other RCA digital products such as the RCA Lyra, camcorders and still cameras."
Vice President of TV Product Management
THOMSON multimedia SA
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