Re: NT - Long filenames
but NT did things properly, such as requiring graphics to be arbitrated by the kernel... and we understood that that was much harder and slower to do. The NT model we knew was the stable, sensible thing to do but we just couldn't afford it yet and there were many times when speed was a more useful attribute than stability.
Yes, 95 was a kludge, but only if coming from NT, not if you were coming from 3.11 and still had to operate in a DOS world. You could say NT 3.51 failed because it was too far ahead of its time (not as far as LISA/Apple ///). W95 gave NT the breathing space needed to let the hardware catch up and when it did NT4/XP was waiting to step in. The software (even OS software) was driving the hardware requirements market and that was ok because it was better (in some way) than what went before.
MS' current problem is that their software is not "better." W8 was written for tablets not PC's. It wasn't better for a PC so no-one wanted it there. It was fine on x86 tablets. W10 with Cortana is actually worse. Apart from Cortana sounding like "[Ford] Cortina", it is basically the PC equivalent of the Samsung fridge which leaks login details. You don't really need the USPs - Windows store and Cortana; the security turns out to leave something to be desired and still with the tablet interface? Is Cortana useful? Probably, like Siri, when you're in your car and want to dictate a text message or for voice calling. On a PC - desktop, laptop or tablet? Not really.
I'm sure how much to blame MS. Yes they've got things really wrong, but if we really have reached the point where we don't need new features then they're in trouble regardless. However, I suspect that like many incumbents they can't think outside the solution they already have. As I've said before, I think they should have spent the time working on a new security model, with the OS arbitrating security access to raw sockets and the like. That would have been a feature to at least make the IT people happy. They could have crowed about it, demonstrated how it keeps your data safely on your computer, rather than snaffling your data themselves. They could have shown how it blocks zero-days and forces malware/trojans to reveal their network traffic via OS-provided HTTP and TLS services. That DVD backup software you downloaded, would you like to allow it to connect to a w.x.y.z? (Located in Outer Mongolia) (Yes/No/Always/Log Transfer/Log Data): Sent A bytes / Received B bytes....
It would be really cool to have IPSEC tied to a user, not a host, providing network connection authentication not a tunnel.
They could have offered a subscription service to their cloud providing IP-address geo-blocking because I rarely need to talk to servers in eastern Europe or China or Russia or the Middle East or Japan or south-east Asia.
How about restricting applications' disk access unless done via an OS-provided and logged GUI element/api call? No, that flash streaming player can't have access to My Documents, even if it running under user "me," but it can store cookies in this nice little ramdisk filesystem I have located here...
All these features would have slowed things down. But would they be worth it? I think so. I think you'd have business such as Sony and the OPM crying out for such features. A new browser MS? Is that what the world needs most?
And yes, the tablet GUI would have been a great option, but I don't need it without a touch-screen so it must be an option. It's one I simply don't need.