Windows XP Reloaded
: Bad Idea"> This is a bad idea for a number of reasonsbut the biggest one has two letters: ME. Remember Windows ME? I sincerely hope that if you do, its just a fading nightmare. Unfortunately way too many users are still stuck with Microsofts worst version of Windows evereven worse than Windows 1.0 (which I still have on floppy, somewhere in the basement).Yet, this Millennium Edition version of Windows was a colossal failure. Neither fish nor fowl, stuck between the past and the future, it frequently broke down, caused uncounted application barfs, and spawned a zillion customer support calls. We might hope that Microsoft would have learned its lesson, and not rush an interim OS to market again. But you would be wrong. XP Reloadedwhatever its feature sethas all the characteristics of a money-hungry grab for upgrade revenue, as a way to squeeze even more dollars out of users happy with their status quo. Why rush a new OS to market? Why not just continue to improve security, stability and capability of the existing operating systems? Because Microsoft cant make money on that. So what will we see in Shorthorn (as many are calling it), or MidHorn (my nickname, because it wont be out shortly)? Not the new WinFS file system, which is built on SQL Server. Not the dreamy new interface thatll leave Mac users droolingalthough we might see the "sidebar." Still, look for Media Center type capabilities to be built in, along with support for Intels new 64-bit hybrid CPUs, the Longhorn Audio Architecture, and perhaps the Indigo communications architecture. For more details on whats close to ready in Longhorn today, check out ExtremeTechs recent hands-on preview of the latest Longhorn Alpha. At any rate, this new interim release is a bad idea. Like ME, it probably wont work all that well, it wont feature an integrated set of new features, and itll probably be rushed to market. Do we really need another Windows ME? Not for me. So if we do get a "MidHorn", follow my lead. Remember ME, and dont forget SP2. And if youre looking for a good way to brighten up your Windows interface, consider Window Blinds from Stardock. You can make your PC look like Longhorn todaywithout any "Reloading". Check out eWEEK.coms Windows Center at http://windows.eweek.com for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Windows ME was designed to provide a bridge between the aging look of Windows 98basically Windows 95 on steroidsand the spiffy new Windows XP. Windows ME shipped in September of 2000, and was the last to use the older 9x kernel. It included a bulked up interface, similar to the NT-based Windows 2000, and closer to the graphical goal of Windows XPwhich didnt ship for another 13 months.