Windows ME didn't need XP to fix it.
I used ME for several years on a machine the originally had 95 then upgraded to 98 and had less problems. I found the biggest problem was running IE 3 or 4 would crash 98 or ME, but Netscape would not. ME was released along side Server 2000, more as the workstation version similar to NT 3.5x or 4 having Server and Workstation versions, since the NT/9x line was not merged yet as XP did in 2002. Vista and 7 were more of a massive service pack like 95 and 98 were and version numbers seem to show this. 9x were version 4, XP was version 5, and Vista/7 are version 6, but sometimes Microsoft realized that a new name was needed instead of another service pack.
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