How is What Done?

By schimeck ·
I'm not sure I understand the question. I don't think my post was overly critical of Windows. I simply tried to raise the issue of why discussions about operating systems tend to devolve to the name-calling stage when it is obvious that most of the existing operating systems (even OS/2 and definitely Mac and Linux) can do the job as well as Windows, if not better.

If you are asking me how Microsoft could have done better, I have a number of suggestions:
1. Focus on security and reliability - these are characteristics which most users would value.
2. Don't compromise #1 (above) by trying to be all things to all people. For example, opening up the hardware through Active X/Direct X violates a basic security tenet - don't let applications speak directly to the hardware. NT got this idea right with the introduction of the Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL), but no sooner was it introduced than MS poked holes through it for the sake of game players. As far as I'm concerned, gamers should be encouraged to buy an XBox - their so-called "needs" shouldn't compromise the security of all the other Windows users.
3. Display some architectural (and ethical) consistency. The original rationale for Windows was to provide an OS layer which would serve as a common platform for all applications, obviating the need for every application developer to supply and support all the device drivers required to make their software function. Instead of continuing to play on a level field, Microsoft has consistently provided its own applications with a "leg up" in terms of working with Windows. Why should it be twice as hard to obtain updates if I choose not to use IE? Why should Media Player be hopelessly intertwined with the OS? Don't get me wrong - Microsoft's applications are often very good and I use quite a few of them, but there is no reason other than greed to provide them with an unfair competitive advantage on Windows. Before you accuse me of Microsoft bashing, try to imagine how popular Windows would be if the only applications available for it were those from MS. About as popular as OS/2 turned out to be! The success of the OS is directly dependent on the success of vendors and individuals who write code for the platform. I don't think MS has shown sufficient respect for the commitment of the vendors who have embraced the OS.
4. Don't be a playground bully. While Microsoft has some excellent products, it continues to act as though the only hardware platform is a PC and the only OS is Windows. Anyone who has worked in a larger organization has come to the realization that neither PCs nor Windows are the answer to every IT question. I would love to see MS act as though it didn't have artificial advantages in the marketplace and that it would compete on the merits of its products. I'm sure the many talented people in MS would amaze us with what they were able to come up with.

Let me know if I've come anywhere close to answering your question.

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