Sunday, May 17, 2015

Windows is fading into history yet...

When I made a visit to some old Microsoft friends of mine a month or so ago, they told me forget Windows - it's history.  And it probably is.
Microsoft, the company that put its software on every desktop in the world shot itself in the foot just too many times.
I recently was in town trying to print up some postcards done in Mail Merge with Word.  The margins weren't quite right and Staples didn't have any workstations for me to fix it.  I had to take it to another place that fixed PCs and pay $27 to tweak it and have it converted to PDF format.  Why PDF?  The person at the computer place explained that Microsoft's many versions of Word were not compatible with themselves and thus PDF format became the preferred printing format.

Here's how I would save Windows if I were the VP in charge:

  1. Separate the Kernel from the rest and sell it as a rock solid separate product.
  2. Sell the GUI and Shell separately and create versions that work on the Kernel that work like NT2000, XP, Win7 and Win8 and let the user chose which shell they want to install.
  3. Make the shells open source and let others make whatever shells they want to for the OS.
  4. Let all non-essential services and features be installed optionally.
  5. Let the user chose between a standard stupid user configuration and a savvy user configuration that doesn't hamper the user from accessing and seeing everything as it really is.
  6. Create a smart interactive website that documents the registry and all other aspects of Windows with the ability for users to contribute and improve it - kinda like a wiki for windows.
  7. Improve setups to install, uninstall and move/relocate each feature or app.
  8. All services or other components that store state should be able to write their state to a file and read it back in - this allows easy state comparisons for research/troubleshooting and helps make components portable.
I don't know if this would save things or not but it would give users much more choices and power to effect changes for themselves instead of this monolithic mess that keeps changing on us.

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