Jan 24, 2007

Microsoft Really Can Make an OS That Looks Good?

Yes, if you believe Paul Boutin's review of Vista in Slate. He describes a visually exciting update of the PC's operating system. Just how far Redmond has to go is obvious to anyone who uses OS X on a Mac and then gets thrown back into the freezing cold swimming pool of XP ugliness. Boutin makes a great point about all the bells and whistles, though:

Operating systems shouldn't be exciting. Like a good government, a good OS should mostly get out of the way. It needs to stay up and running, prevent invasions from intruders, and avoid ugly surprises. When judged by those criteria, Vista is up to the task.
He goes on to say that Microsoft got religion on security and is now taking its various flaws more seriously. A lot of people remain skeptical, though, and you can be guaranteed there will be hundreds of indignant journalists writing anti-Gates screeds as soon as Vista's problems bubble to the surface. They'll be right, of course. Nonetheless, if you don't want to buy into the Apple worldview (err, price structure) and aren't ready to spend weekends learning Linux, you're stuck in Gates' world, and well... we're just living in it.

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