ConclusionWindows ME provides exactly what it set out to do: a few new (better?) features on top of Win98. To be completely honest, I preferred the look and navigation of Windows 98, particularly as MS have removed all DOS integration in ME (the only way to get into dos is to F8 at bootup). I was a big fan of the command prompt window, and I think removing this small feature was a mistake. The extended hardware support is useful, but seeing as most people use fairly standard hardware items, and the rest are supplied with driver discs, I cannot sight this as a huge improvement.
I think ME will catch on, because it is easy for new PC users to handle, it’s faster (slightly) and it makes installing software/hardware very simple. However, for ‘power users’ who like to get their hands into DOS, or for people who get sick of being constantly bombarded with wizards and help screens, it is not ideal.
Faster bootup times
Extended Hardware Support
Faster disc access (HDD and CD-ROM)
Recovers from BSOD better
Extended system information available
No DOS support (no command prompt, no restart in MS-DOS mode)
Too many wizards and help files for experienced users
WinME drivers are thin on the ground: most companies haven’t made them yet
I would say if you have any gripes with win98, go for it – the win98 upgrade can be reversed, and a format only takes 10 minutes. Anyone who used the net a lot will benefit from Windows ME, as the dial up networking features have been streamlined and made far easier to use. However, if you are completely happy with Win98, then I would recommend sticking with it, simply because I don’t believe that it’s worth the effort: for power users you are losing more than you are gaining.