Microsoft needs to find its own paradigm ?
MS has created an OS environment which does have a lot of positives. It has also saddled it with quite a few process-intensive background tasks - and a whole truckload of useless stuff.
My suggestion ? MS should get back to its roots. Forget Vista and give the consumers an OS that is worthy of the word.
If Open Source coders donating their free time can bring us an OS installer with hundreds of options to choose from, MS should one-up them and make an installer that allows the user to choose each and every single option he wants. With the caveats and usual warnings, but the OS should be totally configurable without any hidden strings (no Frontpage folder you can't get rid of because the system says it needs it).
Of course, just as with some Linux distros, MS can have the "general user" installation, which gives XP as we know it today. Several other install options are easy to think of, but it is the fact that an über-geek mode would be made available that would simply knock everybody's socks off.
If MS gives that, not only it cuts the legs off of every single monopoly lawsuit it has coming its way, but it also puts a major dent in the teeth of the Linux fans and it polishes its image to a sharp shine.
Oh sure, it might not retain dominance in the Media Player for very long, nor will it keep IE at #1 position for decades to come, but given that MS has the lock of DirectX, plus the immense legacy situation in its favor, I think that with a true OS not masquerading as a total desktop ownership thing, it will keep its dominant position on the the desktop for decades yet.
Come on Steve, see the light.