The first time I sat in front of a computer was about 13 years back, a a cyrix 186 running MS-DOS which booted from 5 inch floppies.. yeah the beautiful piece of innovation didn't even have a Hard disk of its own. But for some one who had all the makings of a psychic geek back then, I just loved the TV with a monochrome screen which I could control and even play games on.
Yes, that was about time when PCs had already come out with superb looking graphics and and seemingly easy control interface given the mouse and a standardized keyboard. But then, it was the privilege of the elite to touch one, let aside own one especially in India.
All the same, I see a windows PC very soon, and it was, well... a dream. The splash screen saying Windows 3.1(which always made me ponder how the previous two versions must have looked like, only to be told later that they never existed... the queer ways of software programmers. That was soon replaced with Windows 95 a so called better offering from Microsoft, and I totally agreed given the overall change in interface(that is where my critical abilities regarding Operating Systems ended those days... It's good enough if it looks good.
And Microsoft carried on with it brilliant work of reading people's minds, there wants needs and aspirations to lauunch one OS after the other every year or so. Thus, we had Windows 98(and its second edition called SE) and the parallel NT and Me and 2000... which has landed us up with today's windows Vista.
I like the new piece of art from Micrsoft. Yups, its just that, a piece of art, superb graphics(my love for things that look good has only grown over the years, as you can well imagine), okie dokie functionality(I'm yet to decipher why they tend to give us all those silly things bundled with the standard OS, when we are never going to use them... and yet I keep trying to find some use for them, more on that in some other post.)and a big waste of system resources(most of us know what's a GOOD PC if you want to enjoy Windows Vista to the max. If not search this page for windows vista compatibility). But, B.U.T. I still am and will continue to be a fan of whatever Bill Gates does.
They say he stole ideas and more from Steve Jobs, suppressed whosoever tried to be a competitor(that's not the case these days... Google, Sun etc. tell different tales), charged us too much for the crap he regularly dished out (?), and above all became a billionaire thug!
Think again, who sells things cheaper? MS or Apple... had the great theft never occurred, most of us would have been buying Macs for don't know how much.
Suppressing competition is the way out in not just business but life these days, choke them out, and ahoy! the monopoly is yours.
OK, MS stuff has been close to crap more often than not, but then what do you use in a world where there is still no substitute for tap water? We have linux coming up, in fact it has been coming up for ages now but never quite at par, it just can't be the USER's Operating System... (how many of you can read this piece off a Linux system, that you installed yourself, off your own free will)?
ANd finally is there a richie rich who's never ever been called a thug his entire life. The day they begin calling you that, you are on your way for sure!
So, when Mr. Gates steps down as MS chief(or has he already done that, I am not quite sure) I'll be drinking a toast to the man who gave us ... DOS! And hope that his ways inspire many more of us to innovate and improvise.
And for all of you who thought that I am a bit biased, I am sorry to say I am more than just a bit biased! I was born the same day as the thug you see... reason enough?