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10/24/2012
12:15 PM
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Windows' Worst Mistakes: From Clippy To Vista

Microsoft Windows has hit more than a few bumps in its 27-year history. As Windows 8 launches, let's review some of the low points.
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Acquired by Microsoft in late 1997, Hotmail is still the largest Webmail service worldwide--but of late it has been losing marketshare, while Google's Gmail has enjoyed percentage growth in the double digits. Hotmail went through countless UI changes over the years, but it never quite seemed to be a priority for Microsoft. In the summer of 2012, Microsoft replaced it with a new free email account, Outlook.com, promising a cleaner look that's better suited to tablets and smartphones. Can Outlook.com wrest email users away from Gmail? That's the plan.

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sjacks982
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sjacks982,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/28/2013 | 7:01:10 AM
re: Windows' Worst Mistakes: From Clippy To Vista
WinME was attempt to wean developers from DOS and Win16 (Windows 3.1) code. (See "Unauthorized Windows 95" by Shulman). (Bad example is contemporary Peachtree for Windows used a DOS Btrieve database at its core.) Windows 98 SE and Windows ME extensivel borrowed Windows 2000 Win32 code and WinME attempted to update drivers to Win2K level. Unfortunately, many Hardware (winprinters, winmodems, video; "software assisted/emulated hardware") Vendors were still using Win3 code.
sjacks982
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sjacks982,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/28/2013 | 6:47:21 AM
re: Windows' Worst Mistakes: From Clippy To Vista
So they should have stayed with Symbian? Or WebOS (nee PalmOS, recently sold by HP to LG to run their Washers)? Windows CE (Windows Phone pre 8) has a smaller memory footprint and better hardware response than Linux (e.g. Android) (Toyota's unintended acceleration was Linux). (Symbian usually included JME, q.v. Android's Java presentation interface, and it looks like Java is going to be a non-starter under Oracle.) The Nokia-Microsoft partnership also includes wireless/ARM(cpu) giant Qualcomm
sjacks982
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sjacks982,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/28/2013 | 6:29:01 AM
re: Windows' Worst Mistakes: From Clippy To Vista
Moronic slide show. Reflects ignorant journalism masquerading as IT knowledge. "Clippy", Microsoft Agent implementation of Office Help was crippled by inadequately designed help documentation; never provided help for real problems. Liked by average user, hated by professionals. MS Agent was the "Siri" interface of its time, limited by technology (inadequate hardware speed). Bob was a generic implementation of Packard Bell Navigator, well liked by novice users not familiar with computer GUIs. (Packard Bell was hated by the build-it-yourself types, derided as "proprietary". Compaq, HP, IBM, NEC, and rest of top manufacturers used proprietary designs also and Intel actually built PB computers as well as mail-order-PB Gateway's computers.) Bob 2.0, unreleased, was awesome but limited to top speed systems of the time. Vista was designed for administration by Enterprise Domain Administrators, but did not allow power users to administer their own machine (unless they Group Policy). Most average users from company executives to bank tellers to mom'n'pop liked Vista, lazy power user types did not. HTML rendering issues? Do I really want to see email marketing fill up my inbox, perhaps I didn't see the problem because I deleted them without reading. MS had Pen Windows available before the Apple Newton (makes Apple a Tablet failure?) and MS has consistently supported touch based industrial computers. I had a Nokia Tabet with REAL Linux OS in 2007 (not Google's crippled Android OS) which came out before telco subsidized smartphones opened the tablet market. And messaging on Google has only grown a fraction of Facebook, Twitter, et al. Does anyone actually use Google+?
Aero, Ribbons? Many of the Vista visual interface changes were adopted, for better or worse, by open source (e.g. X windows) systems. RPCs were derived from Rashid et al from their (network centric) BSD Unix experience.
Remember that Microsoft does extensive Usability testing as well as incorporating "alpha" and early round and "community preview" (250,000+ users) beta testing. (note: average users not journalists are not the target audience for testing.)
Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/13/2012 | 7:02:05 PM
re: Windows' Worst Mistakes: From Clippy To Vista
Wow, I felt like I had opened a time capsule when I clicked through to slide 2 and saw the screenshot of Bob. I was 10 when this was released, and I remember disliking Bob even then, despite its child-friendly appearance.
Mike_Acker
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Mike_Acker,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/9/2012 | 11:22:42 AM
re: Windows' Worst Mistakes: From Clippy To Vista
they forgot the infamous "Ribbon" menus. yeeeeecvh

but that ain't the worst of the worst. the stuff mentioned here is mostly just a pita

the biggest errors are in security or rather the total lack thereof until Aug. 2004 and finally the addition of UAC in Vista

but the real trouble remains: RPCs threat remains: RPCs that lead directly into Ring0: the heart of windows o/s
escher7
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escher7,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/29/2012 | 7:00:46 PM
re: Windows' Worst Mistakes: From Clippy To Vista
Personally I liked Clippy. Maybe I just needed friends. But hey - you could turn him off.
Murnende
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Murnende,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/28/2012 | 1:46:21 AM
re: Windows' Worst Mistakes: From Clippy To Vista
Leave Clippy out of this; Clippy rocked! Ah, I miss Clippy.
shk2
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shk2,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/27/2012 | 7:43:02 AM
re: Windows' Worst Mistakes: From Clippy To Vista
It's other way around, Microsoft was Nokia's greatest mistake ever. New Nokia phones are technologically superior to any of its rivals but they wont sell as long as they are using windows.
Stephane Parent
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Stephane Parent,
User Rank: Strategist
10/26/2012 | 5:38:58 PM
re: Windows' Worst Mistakes: From Clippy To Vista
Agreed. We used to call it Moron Edition.
ANON1236119637772
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ANON1236119637772,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/25/2012 | 3:03:02 PM
re: Windows' Worst Mistakes: From Clippy To Vista
Windows Millennium Edition would be top of my list.
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