When Microsoft first introduced what was originally codenamed Longhorn, there was hope that for the first time since Windows 2000 was released, some actual progress would be made on the operating system.
For many years, the Microsoft machine churned away, but made the fatal mistake of being far too ambitious with the proposed new features, ultimately trying to manage too many engineering projects at once. While individual projects may have been developed effectively, the integration process for those components closely resembled the human digestive system (input: a variety of potentially valuable materials, output: always a piece of shit).
Already a year behind schedule, Gates needed a solution fast, and decided to solve the problem the Windows Way™: by pushing the giant Longhorn reset button. This was the ultimate fail (alternatively, this fail is also available in Home Basic Fail, Home Premium Fail, and Business Fail editions).
On the bright side, with a clean slate, engineers could now work more effectively, with a simplified focus. As a result, they managed the remarkable feat of un-implementing hundreds of features from XP. This was the single greatest example of Unnovation in history.
Some people will claim that Vista is more about looks than actual features. This is true, which makes the OS mostly about nothing. The “new” UI engine, Aero, is not innovative in any way, nor is it a major enhancement, and it doesn’t do anything you cannot already do in XP. Here are some actual excerpts from the Aero features page:
In Windows Vista, windows are dynamic. When minimized, a window will subtly animate to a specific location on the taskbar, making it easier to locate when you need it later.
Wow. You can now minimize windows. Revolutionary.
Windows Flip is an update of the feature known as ALT+TAB in previous versions of Windows. With Aero, Windows Flip shows you live thumbnails of your open windows.
This feature has been available via the Powertoys add-on for XP for like 10 years. Still, the Aero team gets some points — at least they moved up from un-implementing to re-implementing.
For all you Windows-lovers, don’t worry, there is hope. Steve Ballmer recently announced the future announcement (wtf?) of the next version of Windows. He did not reveal its name, and instead decided to use the name “Windows Cloud” for now.
Ballmer confirmed that geo-replication and other features designed for the cloud would be built into the OS.
I have two issues with this. Firstly, geo-replication with Microsoft essentially means that SharePoint will be replicated on every client. In other words, the bowl of cereal you have been eating everyday will now come with razor blades.
Secondly, Ballmer apparently doesn’t realize the colossal web-two-ohrgasm impact of Microsoft using the word “cloud” in any public announcement of any kind. As if there aren’t enough assclowns out there just waiting to write prophetic proclamations about the forthcoming Care Bear revolution, where everything will be stored in the Magic Rainbow, whose light transcends across the globe and is powered by Heart itself. Before things get out of hand, Microsoft needs to start setting lowered expectations (their engineers may have already accomplished this task).
If all else fails, Microsoft can always keep Project Ship XP With Vista running indefinitely.