That’s it. I’ve had enough. Today I draw a line in the sand with me and Windows XP on one side and Microsoft and any of its new operating systems—including Vista—on the other, for ever more.

What got me started on this—the reason for this pledge—is simple: Yesterday Microsoft said again (but I believe it this time,) that it will stop selling Windows XP in January, 2009. WHAT? Why on Earth would a company discontinue its most stable release yet? Simple. Because it wants to sell more copies of Vista, which in my (admittedly inexperienced but reasonably well-read) opinion is inferior.

Hey Microsoft, since you won’t be using Windows XP any more, why not contribute it the open source community? There’s obviously lots of people who still want to use it. But does that matter? Of course not.

For a company as successful as Microsoft, they sure act like they don’t know what they’re doing a lot of the time. And that’s especially true when it comes to user interface design. This fact was brought to the attention of Microsoft leaders by Gates in a letter to Jim Allchin (et. al.) dated January 15, 2003, proof the company has known that Windows was “an absolute mess” as were (and are) its Web sites for more than five years.

Now I’m no huge fan of Windows XP, but at least it’s relatively stable compared with prior versions. But the company’s flagship brand is still a mess. Vista isn’t being adopted as readily as Microsoft wanted, and from what I’ve read, it’s still a bit buggy and unstable.

If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a thousand times: When will Microsoft scrap Windows all together build a new version from scratch? Apple has done it several times; Mac OS X is just the most recent; Systems 7 and 9 were major upgrades that didn’t look back.

Sure, there are a few bumps along the migration path with each successive upgrade, but they’re far outweighed by the benefits of the new operating system. And Apple always goes out of its way to include backward compatibility through stable emulation.

I’m not saying it anymore. Microsoft, you’re on your own. You won’t have Eddie Correia to get crash reports from anymore.

About the Author

I am Technical Editor of the [url=]CRN Test Center[/url], a kind of computer-centric "Consumer Reports" for retailers and VARs ([url=][/url]). I bought my first computer in 1980, an Atari 800. In addition to adventure games like Zork, I also played with the hardware, dabbling with ROM dumps and mods to the 810 disk drive. That's also where I learned BASIC programming. After 1984, I moved to PCs, clones and NetWare, and then to Apple IIs and Macs until around 1990. In July of that year I got my first job at a publishing company, supporting about 25 Mac users (including the staff of "MacWeek").

Between '06 and '09 I was editor of [URL=]ST&P[/URL], a software testing trade magazine. I also wrote a software [URL=]Test & QA [/URL]newsletter, and was chairman of the [url=]Software Test & Performance conference[/url].

Just get on the Mac bandwagon and dont look back at the monolith that is microsoft, where the motto is: "make all software as confusing as possible, so people have to rely on us for the rest of their lives!"...

You are right, the latest Mac software versions are so stable that I dont recall having any major issues that dont get taken care off by simply restarting the application..

To the above comment: windows isn't confusing at all. It couldn't be much easier to use really.

To the blog post: Have you actually used Vista? It's as good and better than XP in my opinion.

I've had plenty of experience with Windows XP, Vista and Mac OS. At work we run Windows XP on all our machines and Server 2003 on the servers (obviously!). We have a really clued up system admin and a team of smart-as-hell programmers so Windows is so solid. I've kicked the shit out of my machine with loads of stuff going on and it's been great. The thing is, it takes a team of amazing tech heads to keep it that stable and continous flushing of databases, DOS typing and a whole lot of other stuff I haven't a clue about.

When I was in uni I was using Macs and sorry to use the clique: they just work. Everything is so simple to use. Plug in an Ethernet cable and you're connected to the network. Macs disguise the amount of work they do. If there's a problem it usually finds the solution without you ever knowing there was a problem. Windows tells you straight away about the fault and does nothing to try and fix it! You have to mess around with settings and it makes your computer run so slow when you start applying these new settings. With a Mac you can open programs within seconds of each other whilst it's still starting up or trying to connect you to a dodgy wireless network. They're incredibly efficient too. We were doing intense audio work on them and working with multiple tracks of 24bit, 96Khz linear audio. Even my 6 month old Quad Core running XP with 4Gb RAM has trouble running Pro Tools as well as the 4 year old G4s with 1Gb RAM in uni!

As for Vista, I am shocked that it was released unfinished. It's a sign of Microsoft's greed. "Screw it, release it now and we'll patch it sometime later!" I start up our machine with Vista and I'm greeted with about 7 or 8 error messages and programs shutting down due to compatibility issues. It makes a song and dance of everything! Saving word documents from Office 2007 causes it to lock up! Opening Firefox causes it to promptly shut it down again and send an error report. Windows Mail keeps messing up the mail connection settings. The list goes on!

Windows XP can be good if you're semi-clued up on computers, do a fresh re-install anually and don't load it up with too much stuff. Vista just doesn't work and Macs can do anything you throw at them and never break into a sweat. I'm keeping XP for the forseeable future but as soon as I come to replace this machine it's Mac from now on. It's worth the extra money.

Epic Tissue: Did you read my post? :) I copped to not having used it myself, but from what I've read, I never want to. I'm writing this on my MacBook Pro and have no plans to look back! Thanks websurfer!