Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Windows Vista, More Than Just a Pretty Face

Quoting myself to someone who complained about dings on Vista found in Slashdot:

I don't want to seem insensitive (although I am rather), but--DO [upgrade].

I mean I don't go on various forums and tell everyone what new operating systems I'm upgrading too. I don't hold press conferences and issue press releases about the wonders of my latest OS. Why can't Microsoft just STFU about Vista and let people just upgrade if they want to? Why does it have to come on every new computer I can find in almost any store?

Do I try and tell everyone else in the world what OS to run? Do I go to device makers and offer them incentives to NOT support other OSes? Do I dance around a stage until I"m about too have a coronary and dripping sweat from my armpits shout "Give-it-up-for ME"?

The average computer user DOESN'T CARE what OS they are running, nor do they care about glass interfaces, rotating cubes or anything else likely to be discussed on Slashdot (why are you even reading here by the way?). Slashdot is to computers what a classic 50's car convention is to transportation. If at such an event I ask you what you drive I don't want to know that it is a pink 57 Chevy coup, I want to know the freaking serial number!

But for the average computer user, the details of operating systems behavior are so... so... LAST CENTURY!

For average people the OS should be just part of the box, like it is on my TV set (yes there is and OS in there of sorts, even if it is defined by the arrangement of vacuum tubes). The company responsible for it (if it is a company at all) shouldn't even have their name on the box, much less be contributing a sizable portion of the cost to the thing. The OS, as an integral part of the box should JUST WORK, start up instantly (and not with the help of flash drives that further add to the cost), be impervious to viruses, not need monthly updates, and not put up splash screens reminding me what version it is, who wrote it, and what it's catchy cute name is. I DON'T CARE!

Looking at my home entertainment system I can think of three fundamental changes that have taken place in more than 50 years: The TV set is now in color. HDTV has raised the resolution a bit. The buttons and dial on the tuner now have fewer moving parts. Many of these devices will last for twenty years or more and NEVER need a repair during that time. My current equipment, which I've already had for more than ten years, will probably outlive me, and unless I spend too much time looking at the splashy ads in magazines or watch too much (aka any) TV I won't find myself lusting after upgrades. The sound quality is already beyond my ability to discern any difference, and the video is more than adequate (if anything I'd go to flat panel HDTV to save electricity).

So, why, would anyone who is not a paid member of the "computer industry" care about this new OS, or whether the company that produces it continues to exist? I can't think of a reason. Stop reading Slashdot and worrying yourself on what these geeks say about the latest MS OS. In fifty years, most people will not have heard of Microsoft and there will be no such thing as "personal computers". I hope I live to see it.

Now, how about those new cell phones with the built-in infra-red massage (no, not message) capability?

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