OS X Beta Is Not The Only New Game In Town

In case you have been wrapped up in all the happy Mac vibes surrounding the release of OS X Beta (is there anybody that has used it that is NOT in love with what it promises?), we wanted to let you know that the latest version of Windows also hit store shelves early this week. Windows Millenium, or Windows Me, is the latest incarnation of Microsoftis consumer-oriented OS. Designed as an upgrade to the troubled Windows 98, Windows Me offers a host of new features that Microsoft users are apparently clamoring for.

C|Net is reporting that over 250,000 copies of the latest OS from Redmond have been sold in the first four days of its release. By way of comparison, reports have has as many as 80,000 copies of OS X Beta out of the Apple Store since last week. While OS X Beta is being billed as preview software, although remarkably stable preview software, Windows Me is being targeted squarly at the consumer who feels that he or she needs the latest of whatever it is that Microsoft offers up. So far, so good. The C|Net piece states that, "That put it on track to sell more then 400,000 units in its first month and more than 1 million units at retail stores before the end of the year. Windows 95 and 98 sold 600,000 copies in stores in their first month and 2 million in their first six months on the market."

It seems that sales for the new version will be down from previous releases, but there are a number of potential reasons for that. Windows 2000 has hit the market during the last six months, perhaps taking away some possible sales of Windows Me. Also, users may now be somewhat satisfied with their computing experience, where users of Windows 3.x, upgrading to 95 or 98, clearly were not. Lastly, it is possible that very few users saw a large difference in moving from 95 to 98, and do not feel that they need to make the jump to Me.

C|Net offers up another suggestion, which is that users might be waiting for the next version of Windows, due out next year. "Still, analysts expect many users to wait for the next version of Windows, code-named Whistler, to come out next year. Whistler will represent a huge change for home Windows users because Microsoft is abandoning the underlying code that made up home operating systems Windows 95 and Windows 98 in favor of the more stable code used in their business oriented OS, Windows NT."

Regardless of the reasoning, and the "slow" sales, Windows Me appears to be a consumber retails success. Stay tuned for feedback on performance, compatibility, and stability.