posted by Richard Keiichi Yamauchi, Jr. on Mon 27th Jan 2003 17:58 UTC
IconSome of you might be thinking, why? Well, I think it's about time. MCSE's, VB Programmers, and techies have been using Windows for years, and I think it's about time Windows moves to the desktop for ordinary people.

Notice: This article is sort of a satire of another article. Some of the abbreviations/acronyms are purposely wrong on purpose. It's just for fun and not meant to hurt anybody's feelings.

We've heard it year after year after year: "This is the year Windows is for the masses on the desktop." Well, then another version comes out and still "Joe Longkneck" can't use it. I would love to see Windows on the desktop for the newbie. It's just it's going to take some effort.

First off is, "Why?" Well, here's why:

1. It supports not only those common win32 apps, but also those many dos and OS/2 programs now. What other operating system can run OS/2 software? Heck, there's even a few Java VM's for it.

2. Price. Have you ever tried to buy a mainframe OS? We're often talking Hundred's of Thousands of dollars. $199 for XP per head is almost free.

3. Stability. Netcraft has announced that Windows 2000 server has finally gone for over 2 years without a reboot.

4. Security. Bill Gates is really trying here. And security is only getting better. Soon, you won't have to worry about your ATM not functioning because of some SQL worm. I want that amount of security on my desktop!

5. Updating. In case you haven't updated some of your software, I believe MS now will do Automatic updates on your computer if you agree to their EULA for Windows Media player. Also, they'll even let you know if your XP key isn't a valid one. How would you like to be running what you thought was a valid Windows XP key, but it was actually a pirated key? Well, no problem, SP1 will let you know.

6. Signed drivers. Let's say there are many drivers for one device, but only one official driver. Now, that official driver may not be the best, but you still should use it so that you can tell the company about it. If it were not for signed drivers, you might use an older or different driver that does not have all the bugs, and then how are you supposed to report the bugs if you're using a good driver? Nobody will know about them and they'll never get updated.

7. User interface. Look, XP has the best colors on any OS I've ever seen. Why would you use an OS with inferior colors?

8. Customization. You have an amazing amount of control over how you can customize your background. Believe it or not, you can scan ANY picture with you scanner and save it as your background. It's time to upgrade if you're using DOS. Have you ever had a background other than that Old-fashioned (but still cool in my opinion, I'm not knocking the background of command.com and cmd.exe) black command prompt wallpaper?

9. Dev tools. Student versions of VB start at like $100. Try developing something on VMS without spending $60,000, and then try to make application without taking a class or reading book. VB has a WIZARD to create an app. And, if you want the enterprise level, you'll never have to spend more that $1000 for you PC to get all the dev tools.

10. Freedom. You can use the inter net with Windows XP. It's built in.

Okay, there's the why's, but now the HOW's. Yes, there are still some MAJOR hurdles we need to cross before Windows is ready for the "Joe Sixpack" user. Let's look at how we're going to accomplish this.

First of all, the USER INTERFACE is just way to scary. I've seen new users go up to a machine, and the screen is in power save. Immediately, they say "It's not on". Some of them hit the power button and turn off the computer. This needs to be fixed. When the monitor is in Power Save mode, but the computer is on, the monitor should display something like "The Computer is on, but this monitor is in powersave mode. Hit any key to continue or move the mouse".

Secondly of all, is the mouse. This needs a complete re-arrange. I've seen users click when they should double-click, double-click when they should click once, and click twice when they should double click. This is even confusing trying to write in an opinion piece. Let's explain better. Instead of double clicking, they're too slow and end up editing the name of the icon most of the time. This is horrible. So many people panic and don't want to try windows anymore. Don't tell me RTFM, that doesn't help these users. This needs to be better. Yes, I know you can set windows so you have to only single click on icons, but I still see people double clicking in webpages. This needs to be fixed. Microsoft makes all these mice anyways. Why not make a mouse that cannot double-click and make everything a single click.

Table of contents
  1. "Windows on the Desktop, Part I"
  2. "Windows on the Desktop, Part II"
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