The Microsoft Beat Down

I am sitting here typing this editorial in Word 2002. I have Winamp running in the background streaming my Internet music as I type away and Outlook running in the background checking for e-mailevery minute. Occasionally I receive a message from one of my friends through ICQ, MSN Messenger or AIM.Am I worried about my computer crashing? Not a chance; I am running Windows XP Professional.Windows XP is the most stable version of Windows to date.

That?s the problem, ?to date…? What does this mean? A year ago I was running Windows Millennium Edition, and a year before that Windows 98 SE (second edition). The truth of the matter is that whileeach version of Windows is more stable, we have nothing to compare it to except the previous version of Windows. There is no other consumer operating system other than Windows. Sure, some form ofLinux would be a possibility, but just how many home users know how to use Linux, let alone support it. We are being taken advantage of; we know it and we support it. That?s right; I said we ?supportit?.

Would you ever support a single monopolistic bank that charged you high rates, randomly closed-up, was unreliable and randomly ?lost? your money? Of course not, it?s your money we are talking about.You just got ?Sucker Punched?, hit where it hurts and when you weren?t looking. Well guess what? Microsoft threw the blow at you.

For years we have been using software on our home machines that randomly crash, freeze, lose your documents, has security holes and leaves you frustrated with no clue as to how to prevent theproblems you were having. Then the ?next generation? OS comes out from Microsoft

This new version of Windows comes out promising increased reliability and usability. It seemed more stable, would only freeze up and crash occasionally instead of frequently and automatically?recovered? my documents in case the whole system crashed while you were typing. A year would pass and then again a new version of Microsoft?s operating system would come out, and once againpromising more stability and better usability. So without thinking, we head to the store to buy this new ?upgrade?, spending our hard earned money. We notice that while the new operating system ismore stable, your computer seems to be running slower, often taking longer to close programs and open new ones. So you spend more money and buy new memory for your system hoping to speed back up tonormal speed.

Each year you have been upgrading an incomplete operating system, old code that has been reworked and candied up so it looks and performs just a little better with each new release. Do you reallyneed an upgraded operating system? Probably not. Would you enjoy your computer a little more with an upgraded operating system? Maybe. Is it worth upgrading to a new operating system that fixes themajor bugs and issues of the previous version? Absolutely. The sad part of this all is that most versions of Windows do NOT have major overhauls over the previous versions, just minor bug fixes andfeatures.

The bottom line is that until there is an easy to use alternative to Microsoft Windows, we will continue to spend more money upgrading our software and hardware in the hopes of creating a more stablecomputer. My goal is to have a computer that can run 20 programs at one time, fast and stable. Windows XP is one step closer to achieving this goal for me. I think most consumers will be glad thatWindows XP comes with a media player, video maker, CD burning and web browser integrated. This helps to create a more intuitive and stable system to the average home user. Although this is not fairto other software companies, most people don’t care as long as their home computer runs better and is easier to use.

Microsoft needs to be careful as to not bite the hand that feeds them. People will eventually get tired of system upgrades and will either hold on to their current version or look for an alternativeoperating system that promises stability and reliability without an operating system upgrade every year. As for now, roll with the punches until there is a viable OS contender.

The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs of Digital Trends.


Nose cam no more. How Dell avoided a notch and fixed the XPS 13’s biggest flaw

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.

Printing to PDF in Windows is easy, no matter which method you use

Microsoft's latest operating system makes it easier than ever to print to PDF in Windows, but there are alternative methods for doing so, even if you want to forgo Adobe Acrobat. Here's how.

Microsoft will end support for Windows 7 one year from now

Microsoft is set to end extended support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020, putting a halt on the free bug fixes, and security patches for most who have the operating system installed. 

Having problems with your Xbox One console? We have the solutions

The Xbox One has evolved over the years, but so have its problems. Thankfully, we have solutions for some of the console's most enduring problems, whether you're experiencing issues with connectivity or your discs.

‘Fallout 76’ may have online multiplayer but it’s still a desolate wasteland

"Is Fallout 76 an MMO?" That depends on who you ask. Critics and players often cite its online multiplayer capabilities as a reason it qualifies. Yet calling the game an MMO only confuses matters, and takes away from what could make…
Digital Trends Live

Microsoft has #*!@ed up to-do lists on an epic scale

Microsoft has mucked up to-do lists on a scale you simply can’t imagine, a failure that spans multiple products and teams, like a lil’ bit of salmonella that contaminates the entire output from a factory.

As Amazon turns up the volume on streaming, Spotify should shudder

Multiple players are all looking to capitalize on the popularity of streaming, but it has thus far proved nearly impossible to make a profit. Could major tech companies like Amazon be primed for a streaming take-over?

Throw out the sandbox. ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ is a fully realized western world

Despite featuring around 100 story missions, the real destination in Red Dead Redemption 2 is the journey you make for yourself in the Rockstar's open world, and the game is better for it.

‘Diablo Immortal’ is just the beginning. Mobile games are the future

Diablo fans were furious about Diablo Immortal, but in truth, mobile games are the future. From Apple and Samsung to Bethesda and Blizzard, we’re seeing a new incentive for games that fit on your phone.
Movies & TV

He created comics, movies, and superheroes. But Stan Lee lived for joy

Stan Lee was a creator, a celebrity, an icon, and beneath it all, a real-life good guy with all the same human qualities that made his superheroes so relatable. And his greatest joy was sharing his creations with the world.

Brian Eno sets out to change music (again) with Bloom: 10 World

We always felt that Bloom was a musical system that could be developed further -- it was as if we’d built a CD player and only ever released one CD. For this release, we’ve created ten new worlds, starting with a reimagined version of…

Can two operating systems coexist? The Pixel Slate thinks so

The Pixel Slate is a 2-in-1 device like no other. It’s not the most polished product we’ve ever used, but Google has laid the foundation for letting mobile and desktop software live side-by-side in peace.

Why commercials in Android Auto could turn your dashboard into a dumpster fire

Google announced some tweaks to the Android Auto experience, focused on making messaging and media easier, but I worry about the future of the platform. For better or worse, there’s a real chance our dashboards could turn into dumpster…

These are the best video games you shouldn't leave 2018 without

Developers showed up with a number of amazing games this year. Each capitalized on something unique but there's always one that outdoes them all. Here are our picks for the best video games of 2018 and game of the year.