Link: Critical Section - Shorthorn.
I remember Windows 386 (do you?), and Windows 3.0, and 3.1, and 3.11, and 95, and 95b, and 98, and 98SP.� And ME.� I remember NT 3.1 (do you?), and NT 4, and Windows 2000.� Now we have XP and 2003.� All through this evolution, Windows has solved three main problems, or should I say, has provided to software developers the means to create solutions for three main problems.� First, it enables development of reasonable and consistent graphical user interfaces.� Second, it enables multiple large programs to be run concurrently.� And third, it enables machines to be networked together.� Everything else - device management, multimedia, security, etc. - is peripheral.� (That ought to get me some email!)
I remember Win 1.0, a horrible monstrosity my roommate bought and regretted fairly quickly.
I spent most of this weekend updating my XP box, what a pain that was. Because once it was done updating and after the restart it no longer saw my network. Argh. I wasted 4 hours troubleshooting that.
I have long considered Windows boxes to be best deployed as single application machines. One for video, another for games, and another for productivity. I managed and used PCs for a long time before I got my Macs and the change is profound.
I've felt for the longest time that I had to help the PC do the job I asked it to do. I am helping the computer. But once I figured out the Mac it was the other way around, the computer is helping me.
On the PC I constantly have to make sure nothing is running that could interfere with what I am trying to do and maybe it will work all the way. And if I am having it burn a disk or something heavy I just leave it alone until it is done. It just feels as though trying to get anything done on a PC is just that trying, but not often succeeding.
With my Mac I just keep doing anything I feel like doing. Having stiff running in the background is no big deal until I end up having a lot of applications running and my old hard drive filled up with virtual memory. A bigger faster harddrive made a big difference in performance.
Creating a network between a pair of macs was a piece of cake, and adding a wireless base-station was as easy as pie.
Can MS make a Shorthorn? I am not sure, they have a huge base to cater to, and the inertia of backwards compatibility is a big drain on them. They would have a better chance with extending their Win CE product line, since it has a more limited hardware requirement. Going the Apple route with limited hardware support might make it easier.
Computers are commodities, but they are not yet appliances. Hopefully the Xbox 360 and the Pocket PC products will be developed into something useful someday.