with Art Pettigrue, Product Manager: Microsoft Windows
Millennium Edition (Me)
features does Windows Me have that make it a stepping-stone towards a
consumer OS based on the Windows 2000 kernel and not Win 9x?
Art Pettigrue: Our
goal for the holiday season 2001 is to deliver a Windows 2000-based OS
for consumers. We made significant steps in Windows Me, particularly in
the areas of PC Health, to lay a solid foundation that has aimed us in
the right direction. For
instance, Windows Me includes advanced features such as:
of Real Mode DOS.
the removal of “Real Mode” code, which was an older environment
that MS-DOS® operating system-based programs ran in, the
Windows Me start-up (or “boot”) process is simpler, faster and
more reliable. Windows Me utilizes a modern environment (called
“Protect Mode”) exclusively.
This environment provides a more reliable way for
applications and the operating system to work together.
File Protection (SFP).
provides users with a more reliable operating environment by
proactively and “silently” preventing problems before they
occur. SFP prevents the accidental or unauthorized overwriting of
system files (e.g., DLLS and INFS) and helps keep the system stable.
For example, a common problem for home users today occurs when they
install a new application on their PC. The application may attempt
to overwrite a current system file with an older, outdated system
file or even an altered system file that has been optimized to work
with that particular application. This can affect the system’s
stability or cause other applications that depend on the same system
file to stop working normally. System File Protection improves the
user experience by preserving the correct system file and keeping
the system stable and the programs working properly.
Signing We continue to work with independent hardware vendors to
ensure that users of Windows Me will enjoy increased stability when
using the main classes of devices that cause the most problems for
home PC users today, including audio and display devices. By working
with industry partners to ensure that drivers are tested and
certified to run well in Windows, and by giving Windows Me the
ability to recognize certified drivers, Microsoft is working to
ensure that home PC users will enjoy increased performance and
ActiveWin.com: A lot
of people say that they are worried by the folders and filenames that
appear in caps. Is this a bug or a feature? If it is a bug do you plan to
Art Pettigrue: Worried?
Really? We did not
receive a significant amount of feedback on this during the beta testing
process. I guess I’d need
a better understanding of what they are worried about.
The name and character set of the file names does not have an
affect on the system.
are the goals of the new system file protection features? Will these
features ease consumer users' troubles in the future?
Art Pettigrue: This
feature protects the operating system from being accidentally damaged or
overwritten by a user or by any application or driver.
are the new UPnP (Universal Plug & Play) standards set to benefit
Art Pettigrue: Universal
Plug and Play enables devices within a home, office and everywhere in
between to communicate and share resources simply and automatically.
UPnP uses Internet protocols to seamlessly connect PCs,
intelligent appliances, and wireless devices over a network.
For example, a UPnP-enabled clock radio and a UPnP-enabled
thermostat could automatically communicate over the network and perform
functions like turning on the furnace before you wake up. With this
added convenience your home is warm and cozy before the alarm goes off
each morning, even if you wake up earlier than normal.
It’s all about convenience, fun and getting more mileage out of
the devices and appliances in your home. It all adds up to giving some
time back to consumers.
long was the development time of Windows Me? Did you overcome any setbacks
or set any milestones? How many people were on the development team?
Art Pettigrue: Windows
Me took a little over a year to develop, test and release.
We had multiple beta milestones during the project and released
builds almost weekly to our beta sites.
There were well over 1,000 people on the Millennium development
team. Many teams around Microsoft contributed to the Windows
is the hibernation feature of Windows Me so sensitive? Were you expecting
some compatibility problems with this feature when it was in development?
Art Pettigrue: The hibernate
feature is only present on new PCs.
It will not be present in Retail versions.
The reason is simple: There are a lot of prerequisites for
hibernation to work properly that may not have been available when older
machines were purchased.
feature will enable home PC users to stop and start their PCs faster and
return instantly to where they left off. When users are finished using
their PCs, they can select “hibernate,” rather than “shut down.”
The hibernate feature takes a snapshot of the current state of the PC,
recording which applications and documents were open, saves that
information to the hard disk, and quickly powers off. When the user next
uses the PC, the PC will respond faster (compared with starting from
shut-down mode) and will restore the PC to the previous state. This
feature will enable home users to enjoy increased responsiveness and
convenience from their computers.
was your main goal for consumers with the release of Windows Me?
Art Pettigrue: Our
main goal was to deliver a timely update for people who want to take
advantage of the richness of the digital world. Based on the feedback
from home users, we are delivering on this goal by focusing on the four
key areas they told us were most important to them:
Windows Me makes it easy – even for a beginner – to
create, share, store and edit photographs and movies.
Home Networking: With
Windows Me, all kinds of devices can be connected – other PC’s,
digital music players, digital cameras and camcorders, and new
intelligent devices that will be available soon.
Windows Me makes the whole PC experience more simple.
If something goes wrong, it’s easy to trouble-shoot and
Online Experience: Windows Me helps everyone – from the advanced PC user to
the beginner. It’s
easier now to get on the Internet and take advantage of all the
services it has to offer.
you expect a lot of hardware companies to start producing drivers worthy
of being digitally signed for Windows Me?
Art Pettigrue: We
have been working closely with IHV’s sense the early development
stages of the product. We
will continue to work very hard in this area.
there any features that you would have liked to have added to the
operating system but didn't? If so, what was excluded?
Art Pettigrue: Personally,
I’m still dreaming of a Jetsons-like Windows PC that will fix my
breakfast and get me dressed in the morning.
I’d also like it to have Star Trek-like voice recognition, but
we’re not quite there yet. Seriously though, we are working hard on things like voice
recognition and text-to-speech technologies that didn’t make it into
was your favorite moment during the development of this operating system?
What is your favorite feature of Windows Me?
Art Pettigrue: There
were so many great moments during
the development of Windows Millennium.
We were a close-knit team who had worked well together in the
past to deliver Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition and now Windows
Me. We had people walking
around in pink bunny suites, blue hair...you name it and it happened. The day we finally released to manufacturing was a wonderful
time for the entire team. It
was the conclusion of an exciting year and a time for all of us to
celebrate releasing a great product.
personal favorite feature is Movie Maker.
I love the fact that all my home videos, VHS, 8mm, as well as
digital, which have been collecting dust over the years, can easily be
shared with friends and family anywhere in the world.
is the System Restore feature set to help users?
Art Pettigrue: The
System Restore feature provides a safety net for Windows Me users,
enabling them to easily restore their system. If users experience a
problem that prevents their PC from operating normally, System Restore
can provide them with the ability to easily “roll back” their PC to
a state of normal operation so they can more easily determine what
caused the problem and, most important, quickly and easily get their PC
working again. Users can choose as a restore point a date (such as
before the installation of a particular application that caused a
problem) or one of the predefined system check points.
people who haven't seen or used Windows Me are calling it Windows 98 Third
Edition, what would you say to try and convince them that it is a much
more than just a bug fix this time around?
Art Pettigrue: Windows
Me offers significant advances in the areas our customers tell us are
very important to them: Digital Media, Home Networking, PC Health and a
better overall online experience. With
the incredible explosion of new devices and technologies, many of which
weren’t even available as recently as two years ago, Windows Me make
is easy to connect, share, play, communicate and learn.
there an expected Service Pack release for Windows Me? If so, what are
some of the features/fixes that will be included?
Art Pettigrue: We
don’t plan to release a Service Pack for Windows Me at this stage.
However, with the inclusion of AutoUpdate, the latest
enhancements to Windows Me can be obtained automatically.
provides a simpler way of keeping the PC up to date without requiring
users to remember to install updates manually.
AutoUpdate recognizes when a user is online and utilizes moments
when the modem is not active (e.g., when a user is reading text on a Web
page) to unobtrusively download critical updates to the PC; the update
won’t install until the user chooses for it to do so. When the user
initiates the modem, AutoUpdate stops the current download to maximize
the user’s Internet experience, automatically continuing with the
download at the next available moment. When an update package is fully
downloaded, AutoUpdate informs the user and provides an opportunity to
install the update. AutoUpdate is easily configurable to suit the
preferences of each user. This feature provides users with a convenient
way to keep their system up to date without having to remember to visit
a Web site or wait for downloads.
Me comes with an interesting video tool: Windows Movie Maker. Do you plan
to regularly update this software like you do for IE & the Windows
Media Player 7?
Art Pettigrue: Movie
Maker is a feature of Windows Me that will evolve as the OS evolves.
At this point we have no plans to make it available for download.
new features are in WinMe that support processor-heavy desktop gaming? Is
there any support for 64-bit processors?
Art Pettigrue: Windows
Me is the ultimate PC gaming platform.
Direct X 7.0 is included in the OS, which includes the richest
gaming technologies available. Direct
X 7.0 offers excellent
graphics, faster frame rates, and more immersive audio when running and
displaying programs rich in multimedia elements such as full-color
graphics, video, 3-D animation, and surround sound.
you have anything else to add?
Art Pettigrue: Windows
Me was designed solely with the home user in mind.
It is an OS that offers great new features and an even better
online experience; so home users can take full advantage of the trends
in computing today. Whether you are a beginner or advanced user, Windows Me has
something for everyone.
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