Interestingly enough, my experience has been almost opposite!
All my windows systems performed flawlessly and rarely crashed doing things they were made for - everything from playing card games, writing docs and drawing. I did manage to crash it pretty regularly by the time I was using XP, because by then I was trying to get at system devices that it would rather hog for itself.
Things like sampling an 11khz audio stream should be possible in VB without having to make a disk file. Its fast enough on a decent machine to directly poll the audio, but you cant do DMA or access it another way unless you go to C++ and bare-metal it. Windows utterly hates code that runs outside of its control, which is why it tends to be unstable doing anything I'd consider powerful. I dont hate it, it doesnt have its own routines for what I need and wont let me make my own without the Microsoft Waltz.
Oh yes, the car analogy. Well it does ring true with computers too. However, have you looked under the um, hood is it? of a car lately?
I used to lovingly restore the old Morris Travellers at a classics garage as a young man. I specialised in the woodwork, but got to strip everything off them anyway. I can still get my head around the wiring, and even the workings of its old A series engine, but my mum's Hyundai appears to have alien technology in it. I couldnt repair it if I tried - cant buy the tools or parts, and its also illegal now here in the UK to work on a vehicle at the roadside unless its a repair to move it from where it fell. Call the AA, in other words.
Windows has become very similar in that respect.
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