Windows Vista: Emperor Microsoft’s new clothes

Apple Store“…Vista sales are far from impressive… I believe there are a number of factors working together here, principally the high cost of the OS, the need to buy better hardware, driver/hardware incompatibility issues and the plain fact that – sexy party dress aside – it’s the same old tart underneath. Contrasting what was originally promised with what was finally delivered, Vista (nee Longhorn) has spectacularly failed,” Dave Jewell writes for The Register.

In “2004, I met with one of the biggest disappointments of my life. Part of the source code to Windows 2000 was leaked onto the net and – yes, you’ve guessed – I took a little peek at it. Instead of the finely honed (well, fairly finely honed) assembler code which had graced the early days of MSDOS, I found a vast sprawl of spaghetti in assembler, C, C++, all held together with blu-tack,” Jewell writes. “I hated that loathsome, tangled, interdependent, unstructured source code. I knew that it would take forever and a day to understand it all, and frankly – why bother? Just one word stuck in my mind: unmaintainable.”

Jewell writes, “As you may remember, Windows XP was already out by the time that source code got leaked. In fact, back in 2004, Microsoft had been talking about Longhorn/Vista for three years. Just a few months after the leak, it was announced that WinFS, the flagship relational file system, wouldn’t ship with Vista after all. And I knew why: unmaintainable.”

Jewell writes, “Microsoft have managed to cobble together a new look and feel for Windows, but a lot of folks are scratching their heads wondering what other advantages there are in upgrading your graphics card and adding another GByte of RAM? What’s the reason? Unmaintainable.”

“In the long years since XP was launched, Apple have come out with five major upgrades to OS X, upgrades which (dare I say it?) install with about as much effort as it takes to brush your teeth in the morning. No nightmare calls to tech-support, no sudden hardware incompatibilities, no hassle. Why hasn’t Microsoft kept up? Unmaintainable,” Jewell writes.

Jewell writes, “Right now, Microsoft has nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. After all the hype surrounding Vista, the Emperor has finally been revealed in all his naked glory. Some folks have been predicting the demise of Microsoft. I wouldn’t go that far, but I am wondering how we’re ever going to take Microsoft seriously again?”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Chas,” “RadDoc,” “Switched,” and “LinuxGuy and Mac Prodigal Son” for the heads up.]


  1. Well, I agree with most of what Dave says. Except for this one bit: “Instead of the finely honed (well, fairly finely honed) assembler code which had graced the early days of MSDOS…” What the hell. Does he really think a modern operating system should be written in assembly? That’s assinine. Sure, there will be some functions and methods that contain inline assembly for optimized inner loops, but the bulk of the OS will be C or C++.

  2. “…Vista sales are far from impressive…

    I completely disagree. That fact that someone would relinquish their hard earned cash to Microsoft to receive Vista is mind-blowing. I guess that Microsoft now has the most updated database of morons and profligrates.

  3. Sum Jung Gai,
    No, he doesn’t expecit it all to be in assembly language, but neither should he exect it to be spaghetti.
    “I found a vast sprawl of spaghetti in assembler, C, C++, all held together with blu-tack.”

  4. This article needs to be picked up by every publication on the planet, because this is the truth about Microsoft.

    Like it or not MS is damned and no amount of spin and cover up will stop it.

    About time.

  5. Every single day we see more and more evidence of how horrifically Micro$haft sucks. It gets tiresome at times, but the clarion call must continue. Why, you ask? Simply this: among the Windoze sufferers are people we love. We must help them overcome their Stockholm Sydrome-like love of this inferior piece o’ s#!t.

  6. There is a road in front of my late grandmother’s house that the city has been patching for over 30 years. Never resurfaced. Never stripped down and rebuilt. Just patched.

    The original road is not even visible, just little mounds of patches.

    It is a very bumpy ride.

  7. Chris, like I said, I agree with most of what he said. Spaghetti bad. No argument there.

    My only criticism is that he seems to be implying that it’s bad to have some assembly, some C, and some C++. That’s nonsense. Every modern application or operating system will, <i>and should<i>, be built of modules created in different languages.

    Mac OS X, and all of the major Apple applications, are combinations of Objective-C, C++, C, and assembly. Many also use Objective-C++. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s the spaghetti that’s bad in Windows, not the combination of languages.

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