I remember Windows 95 on floppies and it was rubbish
I think it came on about 17 of the little buggers (proprietary 2MB formatted so don’t think you’ll be backing any of them up).
Of course, I couldn’t wait to crowbar the thing on to my 486. As the “Start me up” advert with the Rolling Stones resonated in my memory, I was about to install the RTM version of Chicago!! The true power of my Multi-Media PC was about to spring to life! It was all going to be perfect, because Mick said so!
Well, it made a grown man cry.
I swear, Microsoft have never recovered from Windows 95. Although it offered the most advanced PC OS at the time for home users (save OS/2, but honestly, who cares about that?) it was always toppling over on its skinny little DOS legs. No matter what they ever do, no matter how innovative or dependable their software becomes, there will always be a standing joke that Microsoft = Crashing = Blue Screen Of Death = Rubbish Untested Software and the blame for this rests mostly on the shoulders of Windows 95. It was just too much, too soon and it folded. Frequently.
I think that’s a shame, because I think a lot of great work has come out of Redmond these past 10 years, not least of which is Vista.
What most people don’t understand of course, is the impossible job that Microsoft has to undertake in order for Windows to work at all. Let me put it this way: Imagine you have to create software that will work with an almost infinite combination of hardware (some of which isn’t even invented yet) and it also has to work with software that you didn’t write, you’ve never seen, or if you have, you certainly would never endorse, but that doesn’t matter. If any combination of this software / hardware hotchpotch doesn’t work, it’s your fault. I know you had nothing to do with it, but it’s still your fault. Welcome to Microsoft!
This misunderstanding of what responsibility an OS manufacturer generally has in a system crash, coupled with a general distrust of the increasing necessity of computers running Windows in every day life, has let to a seemingly universal distrust and deriding of Microsoft. On to this bleak stage then, steps Windows Vista.
I remember Longhorn M4 and it was rubbish
There was nothing much that actually worked outside of your PC. Scanners were out, web-cams were a non-starter and some sound cards were fine, providing you didn’t want Longhorn to actually load. Printers were mostly OK, apart from if they were all-in-ones (If you’ve got a scanner, you can’t come in). I once tried to install a PCI ADSL modem in to a Longhorn machine. Can you guess how that went?
Of course, the haters had a field day again. Never mind that it was BETA software, it was Microsoft so it was fair game. To this day, I still have issues with certain tech journalists because of the way they treated Longhorn, reviewing it like a shrink wrapped finished product with such finality in their words. It’s FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) from people who should know better. Anyway, I’ll get off my soap box now.
Vista had landed to a very luke-warm reception in the tech community and it was only going to get worse as it came to the attention of the average Joe and launch day approached. In When The Windows Blows – Part 2, I’ll look at one of the most confusing marketing strategies ever conceived and why I think the public BETA2 of Vista was the biggest favour Microsoft ever did for Apple. Stay tuned!
The final part in this series then concludes on what the future holds for Windows in When The Windows Blows – Part 3.
Review by ‘The Average Windows Nerd’