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Microsoft launch Windows Millennium

Microsoft has released its latest home PC operating system, Windows Millennium, and unlike usual product launches, both Arabic and English versions are available here before they reach the US.

Microsoft officially launched its latest operating system for home PC users today, with the release of Windows Millennium. And in a change to previous product launches, both Windows Millennium Arabic and English are available before they hit the shelves in the USA.

“This is the first time ever in the Gulf that we have released Windows English and Arabic products at the same time,” commented Etienne Jacques, sales director for Microsoft Gulf and Eastern Mediterranean. “We are very pleased to have a simultaneous launch, and to launch a few hours ahead of the US.”

The upgraded operating system features a number of major areas of enhancement, that are specifically aimed at the home user, according to Microsoft. Multimedia is given added functionality with improved picture handling software, a new version of Windows Media Player complete with user skins, and a new application, the Windows Movie Maker, which can be used for editing and distributing video files.

Disaster recovery has also been upgraded, with the addition of system restore snapshots, system file protection and a streamlined help system. Windows updates can also be set to download automatically, and smart windows will help users get to grips with the operating system.

Microsoft have also added a number of new Internet functions to improve the web-surfing experience, including access to MSN messenger, the ability to access Hotmail through Outlook Express, video conferencing with NetMeeting 3.1 and version 5.5 of Internet Explorer. A wizard has also been added for home networking. The Arabic version has also been mirrored, so that users can work from right to left as they do when writing Arabic.

“We are proud and extremely happy to be able to provide home users with an operating system that is tailor-made to suit their specific needs: and available on the shelves in both Arabic and English today,” said Wasim Fayed, Redmond-based project manager for Windows ME.

“Each feature of Windows ME not only represents a host of enhancements to the Windows OS, but also brings us a step closer to fully integrating home entertainment with home computing,” continued Mazen Shehadeh, product manager, desktop application division for Microsoft GEM. “A variety of multimedia tools, unlimited plug and play options and much more, together with easy access to the wealth of entertainment that the Internet offers will now be available via a single home computing platform.”

Development of Windows ME used over 13,000 developers and 15,000 Beta testers, using 55 million lines of test codes. This version of Windows is aimed squarely at home users, Microsoft were keen to point out, with business users still served by Windows 2000.

Jon Westley, Editor, Windows User, commented: "Windows Millennium has the technological innovation of the first near bombproof operating system, and excellent digital video and sound entertainment."

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