Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ten Things I Hate About MS Windows

1. $500 - give me a break

Most other operating systems for the desktop range from free to about $50, but not MS. They have to squeeze the last ounce of blood from the dying user. True some versions are cheaper - but still over $100. In a day and age where you can buy full systems for way less than the price of the OS there is some rather distorted summs going on here. The price of hardware has dropped substantially over the years but not the OS. This brings me neatly onto No. 2.

2. How many versions for you Sir?

Starter, Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate. Whilst most other operating systems have a single version (desktop, not server) MS have in their wisdom deemed that the user must pay extra for what most other operating systems provide in their base OS.

3. Legacy

When shall we shake off the shackles? In this day and age of virtualisation we are shackled to legacy compatibility. Run a virtual server, there are plenty to choose from, both free and paid. We are being tied to legacy when we could have a much faster and more stream lined OS if we cast off the shackles of the past and went to a clean 64 bit OS.

4. The Registry

Who's wonderful idea was this? As soon as MS created this multi headed monster anyone with half a brain could see what was coming. Corruption, phantom entries, viruses that place protective shields around themselves hiding inside the registry. Admittedly it has improved since earlier versions but it is still a serious issue.

5. Dynamic Linked Libraries.

I am not sure exactly what it is about DLLs that causes so many issues but they seem to be a nightmare. An installation will randomly "upgrade" DLLs at will and trash several other programs as they do so. Why don't we have standard core libraries which are protected and then additional libraries provided by each program vendor as required. This seems to work for other operating systems.

6. Open kernel

Protect the kernel for goodness sakes. To tack on UAC as an after thought in order to annoy the heck out of any one trying to perform a simple operation is shutting the gate after the horse has bolted. Users rejected Protected Computing years ago and this is simply imposing all the inconvenience without any of the protection. If you really want to improve the OS stability protect the kernel and core libraries so that they cannot be changed without a signed package and only by supplying the admin password. The rest of it can be as open as you want. But that means re-designing the OS to behave like a real multi-user milti-tasking OS.

7. The GUI as the OS.

We have this wonderful GUI interface and instead of treating it as an application it has become the OS. The result is that you have this over burden of an overblown program sitting in between the user and the hardware slowing everything down. The GUI should be simply just another program and each user program should run as a separate entry but instead the whole thing has been designed so that the running programs sit on top of the GUI interface. Bring back performance.

8. Paying for bug fixes.

Windows 7 is a bug fix for Vista, whatever MS would have us believe. I fail to see why we have to pay for Microsoft's incompetence. I read recently that Windows ME was a minor upgrade to Windows 98. This was the opposite to Vista/Win 7. ME users were manage to pay for new bugs in 98.

9. Performance Bloat

This is related to, but different from #7. Each OS requires more memory and more processing simply to run the OS. To run the exact same programs I used to run with 512M on XP I need 2G on Win 7. How does that work? If I want to run more powerful tools such as high res 3D gaming or graphics editing then sure, I can accept that. But just to run the OS without any other gains, and then to have the programs run slower into the bargain does not make any sense to me.

10. No economic upgrade path.

It is still a minimum of $100 for an upgrade to the most basic version of Windows. Most other programs are genereous to loyal users but not MS. If they really wanted to stop piracy then price their OS upgrades resonably. Anything more that $50 for a fully blown OS is a rip off IMHO.