Really enjoyed this one, and can wholeheartedly agree.
And even though I personally still consider OS/2 Warp (3) & Merlin (4) to be the more extensive environments at that time I also think one cannot deny that Microsoft has done one very important thing right with its Windows environment (apart from the many mishaps and other ickyness which also occurred): the strict design.
Sure; here and there Windows can be picked up as a little bit messy, but its not as if they had to re-design the whole OS structure time and time again (although they did do a few kernel rewrites). With that I'm not referring to the GUI which has seen many changes over the years (including the most heard annoyance regarding programs and options being moved to new places) but the underlying structure.
When Microsoft started with, for example, their management console (mmc.exe) they designed it in such a way that it could be extended, which also happened over the years. And even though it sits in the background and most end users have no clue what it is, the msc "management files" still sit in their comfy home of system32, as they have been from the start.
Microsoft has done a lot of things wrong, and bluffed their way through several encounters, but I also think its fair to state that they managed to set up a rather solid foundation. Which I think may very have added to the eventual success of Windows.
Although OS/2 was obviously better :-)
Seriously though: OS/2 Warp Server (which I kinda missed in the articles) IMO really was way ahead of its time. User management? You could do that the same way you setup folders; from the templates section. Which would also give you a very easy way to pre-customize your objects before creating new ones.
iow: check the properties of an object in the "templates" folder and customize it to your needs. For example; you could set the folder type to "pictures", thus if you created a folder by dragging its object from the templates folder it would always create a folder which view type would be set to "pictures".
Now imagine this same functionality with user accounts. What's that? Annoying to drag an object with the mouse, then having to go to the keyboard to fill in the details, then back to the mouse again to drag in another object (if you had to create several) ?
Indeed; that's why there were also shortcuts available. No need to have your hands leave the keyboard, at all.
aaah, the good ole days. Sure; user management on Windows isn't bad either. But try to setup a default user profile /without/ reading the help screen. It can be found and done, but hardly as easy as "Oh, a user template amongst all the others? Lets customize it!".