Rather than waste precious brain cells explaining why Randall Stross’s shrilly anti-Windows op-ed in the New York Times (Windows could use rush of fresh air) is full of crap, allow me to outsource the job:
Anonymous Microsoft blogger Shipping Seven, New York Times gets it wrong:
Trying to future proof software over more than a decade is like trying to predict the weather at 2pm, on the 4th of July 2045. Windows is pretty modern, just like everything else out there. I can’t really think of any ancient technology in Windows that is beyond salvage; everything important that needs to be overhauled can be overhauled, and has been…
Robert McLaws, I Can’t Believe New York Times Let This Get Published:
I believe that Mr. Stross has allowed his prejudices to cloud his search for the real facts. He uses Singularity as the impetus for his overall argument (hardly a novel strategy, as others with similarly nonexistent experience with this research OS have also taken this tack) without ever actually using the OS that he suggests should replace Windows on the at least 800M PCs it is currently running on. Singularity is designed to help people re-think application isolation for robust security, not for getting your 9-year-old printer to work.
Paul Thurrott, Randall Stross jumps the shark:
I am freaked to be saying this, but you, sir, know absolutely nothing about either Windows or Mac OS X and shouldn’t be giving this kind of advice. Shame on you for publishing such a story. Microsoft is right now working on further componentization of Windows ("MinWin"), a project that could very well result in the type of "just-enough" OS that, no, Apple doesn’t have today either. But even today’s Windows versions (Vista and Server 2008) are architecturally and factually quite different–i.e. "superior"–to what you’ve described.
Brandon Paddock, NYT article says we should throw away Windows:
Stross and others seem to be under the mistaken impression that Microsoft is somehow unable to change the existing Windows codebase. These guys present two options:
1) Build stuff on top of the last version of Windows
2) Start over.
Why pretend that these are the only two options? Especially when historically Microsoft has always chosen door number 3:
Take what you have and make it better.
Replace the parts that need replacing.
Don’t break something without a good reason.
For a professor of business, Stross sure is fast and loose with his facts and sloppy with his research. I lost track of the number of gross factual errors I read in Stross’s original article. Here’s my favorite part:
Microsoft … should take heart from Apple’s willingness to brave the wrath of its users when, in 2001, it introduced Mac OS X. It was based on a modern microkernel design, which runs a very small set of essential services that make the system less vulnerable to crashes.
Quick quiz: When was the Windows NT kernel (which is at the heart of all current Windows versions) written? When was the Mach microkernel (which is at the heart of all current OS X versions) written? Answer: Both date back to the early 1990s. So why is one more “modern” than the other?