©2007 Mark B. Anstendig

A discussion about the lack of dependability of the Apple/Macintosh operating system and the Windows/Microsoft operating systems was the catalyst for this paper.

Neither computer operating system is, in fact, dependable. Both are fraught with bugs and problems that most users simply live with, until one or another problem makes their lives miserable for an extended period of time.

Both companies started with original operating systems, Microsoft’s DOS and the Apple operating systems up to OS 9, both of which systems were limited in their possibilities in relation to what the computer world needed for the future. Unfortunately, both companies’ newest systems still are limited and fraught with problems and limitations.

The problem was that, instead of starting afresh and writing new systems from the ground up, both companies wrote their new operating systems on top of already existing systems, Microsoft on top of their old DOS system and Apple on top of the old, but larger, possibly more versatile professional UNIX system. And while Window’s newest system may have left DOS behind, it is still fraught with problems that have caused most PC users to stick with their older systems.

Apple lost many functionalities that their old OS had when they changed to UNIX. And they still have many problems in simple, basic computer expectation, like being able to enlarge fonts (type size) at will, and enlarging other things at will that are built into the system, like scroll bars, for example. For viewers with less than perfect eyes, this is a horrible disaster. And most people have less than perfect eyes.
Microsoft’s newest system has many things regulating what can go on and off the beast. But it still hasn’t solved many things that wouldn’t even exist if the system had first been written from scratch, without deference to the old.

Microsoft has tightened their control over what can be put onto their computers. Attempts to control what can be run and what cannot--which I consider a good thing--are still limited by Microsoft’s needing to make the system work with old applications and not cause everyone to rewrite absolutely everything all over again.

Apple seems simply stuck with what they have, as they do not have the enormous means that Microsoft has. Microsoft is not struck that way. At least, IMO, with its means, it does not have to be.

If Microsoft would only use some of their multiple extra billions of dollars for writing and bringing out a whole new computer operating system that is correctly done from the ground up without compromise, they would do the world a huge service for the future. That would be as important a service, IMO, as donating billions around the world where the moneys are often not used at any high percentage of their worth and where much is stolen or misused.

Microsoft and Gates have, between them, enough billions to fund such a remake and also fund programmers redoing their applications to function with the new system, and to put out requisite training materials. But they probably won't do such a great philanthropic thing that would definitely benefit the whole world, including us customers, who are the people they are serving, even though they donate comparable sums for admittedly deserving causes and peoples, for whom their the efficacy of their help is uncertain and just a tiny drop in a huge, very messy bucket, where many countries do not even cooperate.