Windows Vista. Everyone with a blog and any interest in computers has blogged about it.
I am running a project on it.
Some folks hate it.
Some folks love it.
Most folks can do without it.
Don't get me wrong. It is a nice OS. The problem is that it tries to be so much more than an OS. Same thing with Mac. What consumers want and what they need are always different beasts and a happy middle ground needs to be reached. Let us look for a moment.
Windows has had multiple anti-trust lawsuits against them for including things such as a browser, an email client, and a music player. Since these are installed by defacto and are the prefered program by default and as such are quite integrated into the OS it is an unfair market advantage. Mac provides the exact same integration and I haven't heard much news about how evil their integration is.
OS. This is short for Operating System. Thsi should be an environment for programs to run in. This does not mean that the OS needs to include by default a bunch of games, utilities, and programs. I would much prefer Microsoft to strip out all of the ancelary applications and services and instead concentrate on making a good OS. Sure bells and whistles on the OS level are nice, but save your media player as a download. Provide all of the added functionality as micropurchases or free downloads, or as a seperate CD, but keep the OS trim and slim. Same goes for Mac. Slim it down.
If I want somethign to play music I'll go to the internet and get what I want. You provide a driver base and an interface please. All of the other applications make my life as a tech guy so much more difficult. All of the changes that folks are going to need help with which really should not be an issue will overrun any issues with the actual OS.
Keeping all of these little applications patched is another bother. Why do I need to download megabyte after megabyte of patches for some part application supplied with the OS I'll never use?
So my suggestion for redmond on the next windows release, concentrate on the OS and leave applications out. Develop them for the OS AFTER you have a good OS and make them much more optional. I don't need a media player that is attached to the kernal, nor do I want a web browser as my primary interface with my applications.