Friday, 7 March 2008

Hate Vista, love C#

Came across this blog post, while following-up on a semantic-web related Google Code project:

Why I hate Windows Vista (and can’t wait to re-install XP) « The Wandering Glitch 2

I have often wondered: how can the company which brought us C#, the .NET Framework and the CLR possibly be the same company which excreted Vista?

The guy behind the above referenced post is clearly a fan of C# (as I am), but despises Vista (as I do, along with those who made all the colourful comments on his post). I have left Vista on my new laptop, but in a much reduced partition, and have given over the lion's share of the drive to my copy of XP Professional, which I still think is pretty damn good.

What about the competition? On the desktop, there isn't much that's credible. (I'm not considering MacOS because to get that you have to buy the hardware). So I spent (or should that read wasted?) a few hours with some of the latest crop of Linux distros last weekend: Fedora 8, openSUSE 10.3, the latest Mandriva, PCLinuxOS 2007 and probably another one but I can't be bothered to recall which. None of them impressed me in the least. Only ONE of them (PCLinuxOS) correctly detected all of the important devices on this laptop, including the wireless chipset. Plus they all looked terrible when compared to Windows XP, especially in terms of font rendering, so they couldn't even seduce me with glamorous graphics.

What really drives me mad is that none of these distros really stands out: they all look virtually the same (Gnome or KDE, plus or minus a colour-scheme and some desktop wallpaper), they all contain more or less the same rag-tag collection of packages, but (and here's the kicker) they're all different in irritatingly detailed respects, some of which are downright inconvenient such as package management or filesystem layout! Every year is heralded as 'the year of Linux on the desktop', and every year I dutifully have another look, then gratefully boot back into Windows XP and get on with business.

I wonder what's next for Windows? With Microsoft so chock full of truly bright and talented folk, I'm really hoping that we can look forward to the Windows that Vista should have been. And when they do finally release that, why not give away XP? Or, to avoid the inevitable complaints about anti-competitive pricing, make it 50 bucks? Then nobody except the bigots or fundamentalists will need to waste time with Linux. Go on Microsoft, do us all a favour.

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