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TACKtech Corp. > Articles > Software > Windows Millenium Edition

About Windows Me CD's differences (TTID #17)

Author: Kevin   Views: 31,314 /  Created: August 8, 2001
It's all about Me!

(Before beginning, I would like to warn you that we at TACKtech Corp. love details.)

So, you have seen Microsoft Windows Me on your friend new computer and now you want a copy. Well before you cruise to your local retail store or your favorite online vendor, there is some information you should know. One, there are several versions of the Windows Me package. And two, not all Windows Millennium CD's are created equal.
AutoRun Windows Me OEM Let's have a look at Microsoft Windows Me OEM Disc and what it has to offer. The OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Disc, when auto played, will launch the screen shown to the right. The third option is the one deserving the most recognition.
"Step By Step Interactive" is a brilliant, hands-on training systems. This fine program will introduce a new user to the basics of Windows. I know some of you are saying "I am a computer genius whom never has required any help." But keep this feature in mind the next time some one you know requires some instruction. I recommend anyone shy to the whole Windows environment to give this puppy a whirl. Just Click on the "Start" button and go to

Programs > Accessories > Interactive Training > Interactive Training.

Another thing which separates the OEM Disc from the remaining CD's is that fact that it can be booted from for installation This helps to simplify the setup process. The only catch is your system BIOS requires the option to boot off CD-ROM. Note: OEM's are required to use the Microsoft Windows Millennium System Builder Preinstallation Kit (SBK) when shipping PC's preloaded with this operating systems.

AutoRun Windows Me RetailNext, we look at the retail line up of Microsoft Windows Me. There are currently three known flavors for the English language:
  • Full, for PC's without an existing Operating System ($209)
  • Upgrade, for PCs with Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows 98se ($109)
  • Promotional Step-Up, for PC's with Windows 98 or Windows 98se ($59)

After installation, all of these version appear to be the same. I am however curious about what Microsoft means by "Promotional Encryption Coded Software", listed on the Promotional Step-Up version. The other two packages list "Encryption Coded Software."
Now, if you'll notice in the second picture "Documentation" has replaced "Step By Step Interactive Training." This is a major bummer, especially to anyone who shelled out the whopping $209 for the full retail version. None the retail CD's that I have encountered are bootable like their OEM counterparts. However, the full version package contains a 3.5" floppy diskette for booting. The retail line has been graced with the same user manual.

For the record, the version of Microsoft Windows Me that shipped with MSDN August 2000 is very similar to the retail full version a side from the hard coded product key.

For the details check out the following:

Please pay attention to the minimum hardware requirements specified, when considering the purchase of Windows Me. The list requirements are a Pentium or equivalent, 150 MHz or higher processor, 32 MB of RAM; and between 200 MB and 550 MB of hard disk space, a VGA or higher resolution monitor, CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, ACPI compatible for power management features (may require a BIOS upgrade). I recommend a minimum of an Intel Celeron 233MHz with 64 MB of RAM and a 1 GB hard disk.

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