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Nowadays, it͛s impossible to introduce desktop computers without seeing the name of Microsoft
around sooner or later. This company totally managed to take over this world. If they tell your computer
to commit suicide, unless you͛re some kind of bearded geek not using their software, it will.

The story of Microsoft begins with the emergence of personal computers, and with two clever guys
called Bill Gates and Paul Allen who loved to mess around with computers. They were popular at the
time in the computing world, because they wrote useful software (things that made writing other
software much easier, a spreadsheet, a world processor͙) on a low-cost computer called the Altair 8800
(that didn͛t even included a keyboard and a monitor). When people at IBM ʹ who ruled a big part of the
computer world at the time ʹ started having an interest in micro-computers, building what was going to
be a big hit called the IBM PC, they were attracted by this popularity and licensed some of Gates͛s
software. And when they failed to get the major operating system of those days, CP/M, they went back
to Gates and asked him if he could provide them for an OS for it. Gates found one, bought it, and hired
the one who wrote it in order to modify it so that it fits IBM͛s need. MS-DOS was born.

The first releases of MS-DOS essentially provided the G  

(ie the ability to consider that disk
space is divided into chunks of data called files, allowing one to ignore the actual structure of the floppy
disk he works on), some primitive tools to manipulate internal memory and  G  (ie files containing
text and numbers), and basic configuration routines, everything being stolen from the dominant OS of
those days, CP/M. One used it by typing commands on a keyboard, pressing Return, and reading a
resulting dump of text on the screen, an interface that͛s called
  . However, it introduced a
new commercial idea that was here to last : the idea of selling an operating system bundled with a
computer, betting that users won͛t bother using another one if there͛s already something working

The command line interface

Subsequent releases included support for higher-capacity data storage, directories (a kind of box which
may contain files and other directories, and hence a hierarchical way to organize files), then for more
languages, then for clocks (a chip whose goal is to measure time, useful not only for calendar/watches-
like applications but also for real-time applications) and even higher data storage, then for computer
networks. After that, DOS 4, 10 times heavier than the first release of DOS with 110 KB memory usage
(which is 1/30 the size of a common MP3 file), introduced ͞dosshell͟, a new optional way to explore files
that was a little less linear than the command line, direct ancestor of windows͛s file explorer.

The Shell interface

Subsequent releases of MS-DOS, besides adding up support for a higher storage space (again͙) through
multiple hard drives management and a new file management system, and managing more RAM,
introduced three new tools : one to compress files in order to economize disk space (at the cost of
slower data access), one to check the hard drive for errors (due to bad machine shutdown as an
example) and try to fix them, and a simple antivirus, MSAV.
As one may figure out, at this stage, DOS didn͛t really evolved anymore. Those last things really were
secondary, questionable features, that were added just to sell new releases of the operating system and
make money from it, and maintenance improvements for keeping in touch with new hardware. MS-DOS
had reached a mature stage of evolution, and was a bit left behind while Microsoft were now working
on their new product, Windows, initially running on top of DOS, which we͛re going to describe in a later

Now that we have described the features and evolution of MS-DOS, we can discuss them. A few points
shine, especially :



    Some releases of DOS took months, years of development, just to add support for newer,
higher-capacity diskettes. Improvement on OS support of other kind of hardware was very limited.This
may be partly explained by the fact that, at the time, everyone was okay with letting programs deal with
the bare hardware. Hardware manufacturers made the thing a lot easier by letting everyone know how
to interact with their hardware, and by introducing hardware that was dead easy to manipulate for
someone used to assembly language. Standards were the rule rather than the exception, so if you could
make your program work on a computer, you were 95% sure that it would work on other hardware
without modifying it in any way. There wasn͛t that much viral software at the time to harm the machine
given direct access to it, especially due to the fact that people didn͛t downloaded and run random
software from the internet, for the internet didn͛t exist for most people. On the other hand,
performance was a critical issues, and there͛s no program faster on a specific hardware that one written
specifically for it, using it directly.
Part of that wasn͛t true for storage hardware. First, there wasn͛t any kind of dominating storage
medium, there was a jungle of incompatible technologies (multiple kinds of tapes, various flavors of
diskettes, the first hard drive disks͙), and they shared the common characteristic of being awful to
manipulate. Then, performance wasn͛t such an issue for file storage : if you store something, it͛s not for
using it right away, and you don͛t spend your time reading and storing files on a diskette in your
programs when you͛ve got a main memory that͛s a lotfaster. Last, file storage and manipulation was
almost the sole thing that an average unskilled user, trying to use software rather than write it, was
forced to get into, in order to find and run the software he used, or to copy the text files he wrote to
disk, so the process had to be as simple as possible. The Shell, whose only purpose was to better
visualize the hierarchical structure of directories and find files quicker, perfectly illustrates that.


  Let͛s see͙ As DOS aged up, 2 different file systems ʹ
ways to manage the file abstraction ʹ were used, one after another, called FAT12 and FAT16. FAT16 was
introduced to address the maximum disk capacity limit of FAT12. They are extremely close to each other
for older programs maximum compatibility reasons, so that differentiating FAT12 and FAT16 is
extremely difficult, but at the same time they are structurally incompatible. This is a typical example of a
hack, a modification in a program that a developer introduces when he understands that he messed up,
but don͛t want to make a new design doc and other silly rigorous conception, just want to fix the sole
thing that doesn͛t work. Perhaps the most common source of bugs in software is when people forget
about the hack (or don͛t even know about it) and push it to its limits.
At the time of DOS, they couldn͛t plan things, since they didn͛t have a clue of how the computer
business would move on, so they introduced gradual changes, leading to hack accumulation, and hence
bug multiplications. Let͛s anticipate the following articles by saying that this is one of the reasons that
led to the abandon of DOS later : managing, correcting, and more generally modifying it had become too
complicated, since no one could ever understand how it exactly worked. The operating system needed a
complete rewrite.

From the history of DOS, we may extract the following keys of its success and subsequent fall :


 G  Well, reasons for that are pretty obvious

    Or, sooner or latter, hacks will occur.

     And you save people a lot of trouble, preventing
effort duplication on the way. Hardware manufacturers knew that, at the time.

   After all, there͛s a lot more users than there͛s developers, so you know
which one makes lots of sales.


G    It always seems fine at the time, but it is the source of most of
computer lack of reliability nowadays.

G   G

  This will
be even more obvious after we study the story of Windows.

G  G

 There are times when only hack will make

a program faster. Though if I were you, I͛d better choose reliability and simplicity of design over
performance, as long as said performance is sufficient.

With those last three points, one figures out that OS design is often made of dilemmas. This is not the
last time I͛ll be saying it. Thanks for reading !

„ ???? ??



!c "# "!$

First, what is windows initially, and why would Microsoft wish to introduce such a product ? Well, from
an average user͛s point of view, DOS sucked badly by one point : it was using a command-line interface
(CLI), which is, I recall you, when one types in a command, hits Return, after what the computer starts
some computation and displays the results.

Command-line is a preferred interface for most power users and developers because :

$G Text manipulation is a relatively easy task from a computing point of view, and the command
line syntax is made so that the computer may analyze commands very quickly. On the user side, typing a
command is a speedy task because it doesn͛t require you to analyze what the computer tells you. The
whole command line syntax is engraved in your brain, you just have to remember it, which is pretty
quick if you use it everyday. And even if you͛ve got thousands of programs, typing in command-line isn͛t
slowed down the tiniest bit.

%    Modern graphical interfaces have important resource
consumption. They have to track the motion of the mouse, constantly re-draw windows as needed,
putting flashy, real-time-rendered, animated eye-candy everywhere, keep in memory big uncompressed
images corresponding to what͛s displayed on the screen, along with some temporary data used for
quicker and smoother drawing͙ By comparison, command line only requires a few KB of memory, few
CPU power, and no advanced graphic card.


 Suppose that there is a single thing that you want to do on twelve
computers. You know what commands you have to type in order to obtain this result. Then you can just
put those commands in a text file (called a batch file or a shell script depending on the computing
church you belong to), one after the other, and give the text file to your operating system, which is
going to automatically read and execute all the commands in it. Think of it : twelve computers to
manipulate, a single batch file to carry around and run͙

$   Command-line input and output may be redirected from and to various I/O devices
and disk files. The former allows one very low-powered, dumb terminal computer to only read input
from and send input to a central server, which was practical when computers were big and expensive
because it allowed people to work on tiny, inexpensive machines, that would cost far less to replace if
they died because of a misplaced cup of coffee. Though not needed anymore, this way of doing things
still is loved by the paranoiac and dictatorial system administrator. Streaming to a file allows to keep a
record of the huge dump of text spurred out by some command-line programs in order to keep a track
of it and carefully analyze it later. Newer command-line interfaces also allows one to use the output
from a program as input for another program directly. Just think of the possibilities : if you want to
delete all files containing ͞foo͟ in their name, you just use ͞DIR *foo*͟ to list such files and directly send
the output of it to the ͞REM͟ program which deletes files.

  Latter interfaces also introduced loops (do a
task multiple times) and conditional structures (if certain things happen, do this, otherwise do that),
making command-line a (relatively) simple way to make little programs that work on almost any
computer provided they use the same operating system.
$     Any program may, under certain simple conditions, become a new command in a
command-line interface, and managing thousands of programs in command-line isn͛t nearly as
complicated as it can be with other interface paradigms

However, command-line is just awful for normal people because :


 You can͛t learn how the system works progressively, knowing only a
few basic concepts. You have to immediately stick in your memory several basic commands (CD, REM,
DIR, TYPE, HELP͙) and what they͛re used for, because without that you just can͛t do anything. Such a
necessity is very frustrating for new users, who generally prefer to jump in and learn later as much as
possible. It͛s also a major source of errors while one gets used to the system, which is even more


  Suppose that you͛ve been starting to type a big command. But the
second word is wrong, because you were sleepy or don͛t know anything by heart yet. In a command line
system, the computer does not analyses what you told him to do before you press Return. So it͛s only
after you͛ve sent the whole command that the computer says ͞I͛m sorry, Dave. I͛m afraid I can͛t do
that͟ (or rather ͞Bad command or filename͟ in DOS͛s poetic words), and then you have to check the
entire long command for errors.


 The basic structure of most command line systems is made so

that several frequent and simple errors can͛t be properly detected and reported to the user by the
system. Hence the user must do error correction all by himself. Simple example : several command
accept an infinite number of parameters, so that you can͛t know by the number of parameters given by
the user if a mandatory parameter is missing. All the operating system can say is that there is an
incorrect parameter somewhere. Even worse, there are (several) cases where the operating system
can͛t detect the error at all and does nonsense, making the user think that it͛s buggy.

G   Even though the average user is only going to use five commands or
so, the operating system treats ALL commands as being equal. This means that if you want to type
͞DIR͟, the command for displaying the content of directories, but only remember that it starts with a D,
have lost your manual, and want the system to display all commands starting with a D, you may get
something like͙

͙or, usually, something much longer, and have to read through the entire list, looking for your

So while command-line satisfies perfectly old-school and professional people, it should now be obvious
that it͛s not okay for average users, that together form, say, 95% of Microsoft͛s targeted audience.
Clearly, something was wrong in this core concept of MS-DOS, and had to be fixed.

A solution to this problem came from research made by the team of Doug Engelbart (Stanford Research
institute), and later by people working in a huge laboratory called Xerox PARC. It͛s called the GUI
(Graphical User Interface), and more specifically the WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointer) paradigm.
The user interacts with programs, including the operating system, through the use of a pointing-and-
clicking device (generally a mouse, but touchscreen are gradually getting popular nowadays) that allows
an on-screen cursor, the pointer, to be moved on the screen. Programs and certain functionalities are
launched by clicking on icons, tiny pictures that should more or less indicate what they͛re used for, but
usually helpfully associated with a tiny text explaining it. Those programs work in well-defined areas of
the screen called windows (that the user can usually conveniently move or resize). The icon model isn͛t
that great when a large set of actions must be provided, so one uses the menu system : a list of action
that is shown temporary for interaction purposes an then disappears (just right-click on the present text
and you͛ll get a perfect example of menu).


Just one year after Windows Me, Windows XP was out. It merged together professional-oriented
features and superior core from Windows NT on one side and consumer-oriented features from
Windows Me and 9x on the other side, in one product that sold like hotcakes, including :

O ?
? ? 
 ??Coming from the NT branch, this neat feature makes sure that
applications can͛t mess with each other͛s data and that they can͛t gain direct access to the hardware.
This makes Windows XP the first consumer-oriented OS from Microsoft with serious security


? ? ??Also coming from the NT branch. One may now create several users for the
OS. Those users might have more or less limited capabilities as needed, and they have their own private
folder, which other users (except administrators) cannot read, in which any user-specific data (wallpaper
used, games saves) are stored..

 ?  ?   ??NT-related too. All the hardware specific-code is limited to a subset of
the kernel and can easily be changed. This allowed Windows XP to be easily ported to 64-bit processors
as they came out, for the sake of improved performance.

á ?  ? 

??Windows XP was by far one of the most reliable OSs ever conceived by
Microsoft. Complete system crashes (aka Blue Screens of Death or BSODs) that were quite common at
the time of Windows 98 and even more with Windows Me became rather the exception than the rule,
especially after the introduction of several Service Packs, because applications bugs weren͛t capable of
doing much harm anymore.

??Though not perfect on that side, Windows XP made great
efforts to ensure application compatibility with Windows Me, Windows 9x, and DOS. Even some
Windows 1 applications can still run flawlessly on it.

O  ?
 ?  ??With Windows XP, multimedia features finally reached a perfectly mature
state. As an example, there was out-of-the-box excellent support for scanners and cameras. Movie
maker became somewhat less laughable. All the power of Windows 9x DirectX multimedia
infrastructure was flawlessly introduced to Windows XP. Folders could display little thumbnails of
images in order to help managing photos. One could burn data CDs easily since CD burners became a
common thing at the time. And so on͙

O ?   ??The successive releases of Windows XP implemented all newer networking devices
and protocols one by one : DSL, Wi-Fi, WEP then WPA encryption protocols͙

= ?? ??  ?

? ??The new start menu now displays frequently used
applications and various user folders, the file explorer displays ͞common tasks͟ in order to interact
quickly with files, big icons makes it easy to target important elements, and other delicate attentions,
sadly including even more annoying popup windows filled with garbage than ever͙ Windows XP also
introduced ability for the user to change the appearance of windows and controls using ͞themes͟, a
very popular feature. Especially looking at the childish and hard on the eyes theme bundled with
Windows XP.

 ? ? ??Windows 95 and later featured the Ctl+Alt+Suppr keystroke, used in order to
close hanged programs. It displayed a list of opened programs, along with a button to close one, with
extreme simplicity and efficiency. However, starting with Windows XP, things won͛t go this way
anymore. The Task Manager, as it͛s called, will allow one to know about CPU usage, memory usage,
networking, users logged in, and so forth. When an application is hanged, taking 100% CPU, this
application will take minutes to load. Hence the ͞improvements͟ make it quite inefficient at closing
buggy application, and one has to wonder what else it had to be used for in Microsoft͛s engineers mind.
 ? ? ?? 
? ??Though NT included more interesting feature in its internals
than I may describe here (in fact, Microsoft included almost any existing solution for each OS design
problem in it), this came with a cost : Windows NT internals are horribly complicated, and have a high
footprint on performance and memory usage. Developing for it is a hard task, because there are, say,
ten alternative approaches to each problem, with no clue which one is the fastest for a specific

??Somewhat related to the preceding issue. Windows͛s NT core includes a lot of
abstractions, alternative ways to manage the same task, but also running as privileged applications were
hardware drivers. This makes a lot of machine code running as maximum-privilege software, reducing
the benefit of kernel data isolation by the hardware (since several unauthorized operations can occur
using bugs in this huge mass of computer code), and more generally that the system is prone to failure
due to buggy software with high security privileges. This led to poor security in Windows XP, albeit still
better than that of preceding consumer-oriented releases of Windows.

 ? ? ??Windows XP was quite slow at doing everyday tasks like file management or launching
applications, close to Windows 98 in that respect despite running on hardware that was four times
faster. Microsoft͛s plans to reduce boot time to 30s turned out to take the form of showing the desktop
a long time before it͛s really usable, with the operating system silently continuing to load in the

  ?  ??On the early days of computing, one would just buy software, put the diskette or cd-
rom in the drive, install it, and use it. However, a new trend dawned by the time of Windows XP : clearly
stating that the user wasn͛t proprietary anymore of the software he was using. Alongside with several
piracy concern, this led to an ͞activation͟ process, where the owner of a Windows XP licence had to call
microsoft or go on some website, with failure to do so leading to software not functioning after 30 days.
This process had to be repeated anytime an important piece of hardware was changed on the PC. This
process allowed Microsoft to make sure that a product key of Windows XP wasn͛t used multiple times.
(As an aside, it didn͛t stop piracy at all, but it made several users angry, like any copy protection
measure of this type.)

Windows XP was extremely well perceived, noticeably because of its great reliability and well-
implemented multimedia features. Its slowness and somewhat poor security led to some criticism, but
globally there was far more supporters than haters. This led Microsoft to give a focus on improving
Windows XP͛s security, rather than release a new operating system right away, perhaps one of the
wisest design decision they ever made.


The?= "$ G

c   '= c ?is an
enterprise-wide information system built around an?? ??(EHR), used
throughout the??
 ?  ?? ?  ?(VA) medical system, known
as the? ? ?  ?(VHA).?It's a collection of about 100 integrated
software modules.

By 2003, the VHA was the largest single medical system in the United States,?providing care to
over 4 million veterans, employing 180,000 medical personnel and operating 163 hospitals,
over 800 clinics, and 135 nursing homes.?About a quarter of the nation's population is
potentially eligible for VA benefits and services because they are veterans, family members, or
survivors of veterans.

By providing electronic health records capability, VistA is thereby one of the most widely
used??in the world. Nearly half of all US hospitals that have a full implementation of
an??are VA hospitals using VistA.

á  ?
The?  ?? ?  ?(VA) has had automated data processing systems, including extensive
clinical and administrative capabilities, within its? ? ?since before 1985.!"#?Initially called the
Decentralized Hospital Computer Program (DHCP) information system, DHCP was enshrined as a
recipient of the Computerworld?
 ?  ?for best use of Information Technology in Medicine in

VistA supports both ambulatory and inpatient care, and includes several significant enhancements to
the original DHCP system. The most significant is a?$  ?? ?for clinicians known as the
Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS), which was released in 1997. In addition, VistA
includes?%??,?& ??medication administration,??&$?and? ?

CPRS provides a?'?interface that allows health care providers to review and update a patient's
electronic medical record. This includes the ability to place orders, including those for medications,
special procedures, X-rays, nursing interventions, diets, and laboratory tests. CPRS provides flexibility in
a wide variety of settings so that a consistent, event-driven,?-style interface is presented to a
broad spectrum of health care workers.

? ?

j ? ?  ? ?   ? ?


There is an entire new GUI for Windows Vista. The appearance of window, desktop, start button, start
menu, taskbar, everything got a new look. Now, the window in Windows Vista looks similar to that of
in? ?
(. Minimize, maximize and the close buttons wore an entire new strange look. The windows
can be made to appear in translucent, 3D modes, if the new Aero is applied. The start button has been
modified to give a new look. The word ͞start͟ has been removed. Only the???logo gets appear
in start button. Start menu also got a new look. The desktop wallpapers got a new look too. The desktop
contains a side bar, which shows a clock, and some of the widgets. Widgets are small programs, which is
equivalent to standard short cuts.

ë   ???? ?   ??

One can control kids by using parental controls in Windows Vista. Parents can now deny access to
certain programs especially, the games. Through separate child account, parents can now keep track of
what all activities done by the child. It also enables parents to control the activities by blocking certain
activities such as running a game program, blocking some sites that, the child might have visited etc. For
this to work, parent must setup separate account for the child with different password.

ï  ?  ? ? ?  ?  ?  ??

The latest version of Windows Media Player bundled with Windows Vista. The??  ?) ?
?enhances video, audio quality when playing sound, music, videos. It has got new look and has got a
series of rich features. These features include URGE services from MTV digital??', Simplified
Library, Library layouts. The newest URGE services provide access to the huge collection of??,
song collections. The simplified library improves customization options. Whenever, one plugs some of
the latest media player compatible devices, the media player detects the device and installs the drivers
associated with the device automatically.

  ? ? ?  ??

In Windows Vista, you will get the? ?result as and when you type some letters of a particular word.
The explorer shows a list of all files in the folder by default. When one types in, the few letters of words
in the?search?box, the files will get filtered out according to the letters. Suppose, if one searches for
filenames of ͞govt. services͟, the?search?will filter out and displays only files with filenames with the
name ͞gov͟, if you type ͞gov͟ in the?search?text box. It will further filter the filenames, when you type
full form. Also, the look of Windows Explorer got changed rapidly. More sorting options are also
provided. Different kinds of listing is also got introduced.

‰ ?  ??? ??  ??

Windows Vista has got an inbuilt tool called as?)?* ?to manage digital photos. Using it, one can
modify the photos. It has got ability to show previews of movie files, a , which was not there with
Windows XP. Using this tool, one can transfer or share the photos from computer to devices such as
mobile phones, PDA͛s, etc. The?photo gallery?also has the ability to work high precision, high quality
images, which are produced by latest high quality cameras.

 ?!   ?

" ?# $  ? ??? ?

Windows Vista,??+?generation operating system requires superb computer to install. It consumes a

lot more resources than its predecessor windows XP. For vista Aero to work, you need to invest
something more than what you would have expected to invest before. The graphics card requirement is
quite high. The graphics card must be of DirectX 10 supported. The required minimum graphics memory
on the graphics card is 128 MB. For better performance, graphics memory must be of 256 MB. The
minimum hard?,? ?required is 20 GB for installation of Windows Vista. Processor speed is also
expected to be high for Aero to work smoothly without causing any hiccups. The memory requirement
for Windows Vista system is high. The system will work smoothly when one has got RAM of about 2 GB
installed. Totally, I would like to say that, Windows vista eats up lot of resources, than its predecessor,
the Windows XP.

ë ?#  ? ? ?? ?  ? ?

The price of Windows Vista Ultimate edition seems to be too high. Ordinary user cannot thus, have a
look into all the features of Vista, which is only available in the Ultimate Edition. Microsoft seems to be
not so interested in country wise markets. The prices are set according to the US market. However these
prices are on higher side for developing asian countries. Microsoft should set the price of Vista as per
the market. It is the time for Microsoft to think over this aspect, having introduced stricter validation

ï ?#   ? ? ?  ? ??   ?

This is a usual problem, which always exists whenever new operating system gets released, and you
have an old system or have some old components in the system. If one decides to? ??' ?in
the old system, then they should check the compatibility of system components, checking whether Vista
supports them or not. Some manufacturers will still provide Vista support for the oldies by providing the
latest drivers for the same. If manufacturers are not providing the latest drivers, you need to purchase a
new device as a replacement for the existing device. Before, you purchase a new device you need to
check out for Vista compatible or Vista ready logo, which is put up on the device.

 ?    ?!?? ? ?  ?%?

In Windows Vista, the window appearance underwent lot of unwanted changes. The windows in
Windows Vista, the window appears similar to that of? MAC OSX. The Minimize, Maximize, and Close
buttons, wore a different look. The three buttons got reduced in their sizes, making them unclear to
aged people, people with eye sight problems. The minimize, maximize, and close buttons have reduced
in sizes. The icon in the other end has disappeared, which makes the window slightly dull in appearance.

In overall, the new operating system, Windows Vista is said to be an ideal replacement to its
predecessor, the Windows XP.

This led Microsoft to be more cautious with the next release of Windows, Windows 7. They didn͛t gave
up on any idea or technology from Vista, even keeping the highly laughable Flip 3D, but didn͛t
introduced lots of destabilizing new feature this time, and rather focused on improving performance as
much as technically possible and fine-tuning any new concept from Vista. It included :

O ? ??   ? ??UAC showed less popups. Disk footprint was reduced to around
6 GB and memory footprint to around 512 MB. CPU usage was dropped. Animations were a little bit
more quiet. The system boots and shuts down faster than Vista, though a bit slower than Windows XP
(but the desktop is available faster). In one word, they made software that used Vista technology while
being able to run smoothly on a netbook, and that was somewhat less annoying from an end user

 ?   ??Perhaps the first time Microsoft do this. Most Windows Live-related
content (Messenger/Calendar/Mail) was moved out of Windows, along with the movie making
functions. Those are now only available for download on Windows Live͛s website.

? ? ?   ??In Windows Vista, it was possible to turn off the transparency
effects of the windows, in order to see their title better or to push laptop battery life a bit further. In
Windows 7, I didn͛t get to find that settings window anymore and suspect that it͛s gone. Windows 7 also
introduced a new way to manage peripherals that͛s a lot more user-friendly than the old one, but that
feels somewhat incomplete facing its older counterpart. The advanced search windows, along with its
interesting options like specifying where to search and the like, is now gone, making using search bars

O?  ?   ??No gray translucent thing on the desktop anymore. However, its gadgets are
still around. They just show up directly on the desktop now.

á ??  ? ??Windows 7 finishes the work in Vista to introduce proper support for this. By
proper support, I mean that one may now easily right-click, scroll in windows, zoom in and out, get an
on-screen keyboard, or use some windows features through gestures. In no way were Windows
applications display modified to make them touch-friendly, meaning that menus, toolbars, and the like
are pretty much unusable because of their small size. Only some special touch-enhanced applications
are available. Still Microsoft has time : computers with touch screen still aren͛t common or useful
enough to make improvements like this the top priority.

ð   ??Microsoft discovers symbolic linking technology. Libraries are a special kind of folder that only
contains links to the files in it. Their link nature is hidden to normal applications, making it possible to
interact with those links exactly the same way one interacts with the real file. Such technology allows
one to organize its file better, by putting them in more than one place without needing extra disk space.
Its worth nothing to point out that this feature has been available in about all other significant OSs for
ages, without the need to create a special kind of folder in order to use it.

O ?O ?  ??Made bigger in order to be easier operated on touch screens, the Taskbar now
steals several ideas and design principles from Apple OSX͛s own taskbar-like application called the Dock
(Apple having themselves stolen the taskbar idea from Microsoft, this looks somewhat fair) and
introduces some new concepts. First, it͛s now application-oriented, meaning that instead of showing
one button for each opened window it shows one button for each opened application. Then there͛s only
few distinction between buttons to launch favorite programs and opened windows, especially since
program icons aren͛t accompanied by their title anymore : there͛s only icons. That͛s somewhat bad,
because it͛s sometimes not that easy to figure out what an icon is about, introducing the need to move
the mouse on the icon in order to know more.
When one moves the mouse on top of the icon corresponding to an opened program, a popup appears,
allowing one to choose one of the opened windows (this choice being helped by hiding all other
windows with a useless glassy effect, see screenshot below). Another improvement, minor at the
moment but having some potential, is the introduction of Jump lists : by right-clicking on one program͛s
icon, one gets access to a list of commonly used options and recently opened files, provided said
program is compatible with this feature.
Last but not least. the Notification area has been redone. Windows XP introduced the ability to auto-
hide inactive icons, which was a feature somewhere between inefficient and useless, but Windows 7
finally introduces something grand : the ability to prevent them from showing popup balloons endlessly.
Basically, if a program keeps annoying you with stupid popups such as ͞connexion lost, awaiting
connexion͙͟ or ͞is your antivirus up to date ?͟, you may now tell it to shut up either definitely, or the
time before you͛re ready to listen to them. That͛s what any long-time Windows user will call really great

O  O

= ?  ?? ??The shut down button now really shuts down the computer, and is labelled
as such to advertise this important improvement (though its function may be changed, too). Jump lists
of applications are available here too. The search box may now search control panel items.

= ? ? ? ??Some windows management can now be done using mouse
gestures, by grabbing the windows to one side of the screen. It͛s now easier to have two maximized
windows side by side : dragging one to the left makes it maximized and taking the left half of the screen,
dragging the other to the right make it do the same but on the right side of the screen.
O  !

Okay, so now is the time for a global review of Microsoft Windows and for a word of conclusion.

„ „& ?

So what can be globally said about Microsoft Windows and remembered as a lesson from the past ?

O  ? ? ? 

?? ? ?   
??This is one of the best explanations to
Microsoft͛s monopoly nowadays, since it͛s one of those things that allow Windows͛s application catalog
to be so huge. Though, sadly, it͛s often the applications that matter (like games or working applications
costing hundreds of dollars) that won͛t work, lots of Windows 1 applications still run on windows vista
32bit, even though it uses a totally different core. In the same way, core interface concepts like the
Taskbar, windows maximize/iconize/close buttons, or file explorer, have gone a long way without
significant modification, and still no one would complain about them before Vista and 7 would tweak it.

 ?  ?  ? 

? ?   ??  ??   ? ???This is not
always a bad thing, since it brought several innovations in the computing world. But overdoing this is
dangerous. The Windows NT structure is insanely complicated, because for almost each problem
encountered in operating system design it͛s made so that it would support many different solutions
provided in the past. And that͛s just the core. Almost each new releases of Windows, introduces quite a
revolution in the development kit, meaning that developers have to get used to a new way of doing
things in order to benefit from the new features and to get compatibility. And, as you͛d guess, only the
latest version is totally supported by Microsoft engineers, though the older GDI, MFC, and the like still
remain around. In one word, compatibility + feature-adding frenzy = a mess. From an average user͛s
point of view, Windows used to be somewhat more stable and less͙ surprising, but starting with Vista,
it looks like those times are over.
á  ?  ?

 ? ?

 ??Who the hell needs Wordpad for anything ?

Whatever you may think of, this piece of software sucks at it͙ Vista͛s explorer revamp was globally
unwanted and not very well-perceived, whereas one had to wait for Windows 7 to see the cleanup and
increase in performance that just everybody was waiting for after the release of Windows XP.

?   ???
 ? ??? ??  ??This has somewhat been lost
starting with Windows Vista, sadly.

?   ? ? 

?? ? ?? ?
 ??Just look at the Programs menu length
on most computers͙

?   ? 

?? ??And how ! If I was to choose just one example, it would be the
͞integration͟ of IE, Media Player, and C#/.NET͙

? ?

? ? ? ? ??? ? ?  ? !??Popups filled with garbage, endless

͞are you sure you want to do this ?͟ questioning, lack of system access for the user since windows Me͙
And let͛s not talk about all those Windows Update popup just waiting for you to click ͞OK͟ instead of
just doing it themselves͙

„ ??-? ?./(?
Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX, sometimes also written as UNIX with small caps) is a
multitasking, multi-user computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at
Bell Labs, including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Brian Kernighan, Douglas McIlroy, and Joe Ossanna. The Unix
operating system was first developed in assembly language, but by 1973 had been almost entirely recoded in C,
greatly facilitating its further development and porting to other hardware. Today's Unix systems are split into various
branches, developed over time by AT&T as well as various commercial vendors and non-profit organizations.
The Open Group, an industry standards consortium, owns the ƠUNIXơ trademark. Only systems fully compliant with
and certified according to the Single UNIX Specification are qualified to use the trademark; others might be called
"Unix system-like" or "Unix-like" (though the Open Group disapproves of this term[1]). However, the term "Unix" is
often used informally to denote any operating system that closely resembles the trademarked system.
During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the influence of Unix in academic circles led to large-scale adoption of Unix
(particularly of the BSD variant, originating from the University of California, Berkeley) by commercial startups, the
most notable of which are Solaris, HP-UX and AIX. Today, in addition to certified Unix systems such as those already
mentioned, Unix-like operating systems such as Linux and BSD descendants (FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD) are
commonly encountered. The term "traditional Unix" may be used to describe a Unix or an operating system that has
the characteristics of either Version 7 Unix or UNIX System V.

Features Of Unix
ƥ multi-user
more than one user can use the machine at a time
supported via terminals (serial or network connection)
ƥ multi-tasking
more than one program can be run at a time
ƥ hierarchical directory structure
to support the organisation and maintenance of files
ƥ portability
only the kernel ( <10%) written in assembler
a wide range of support tools (debuggers, compilers)
ƥ The tools for program development

UNIX Operating System

Consists of
ƥ kernel
schedules tasks
manages data/file access and storage
enforces security mechanisms
performs all hardware access
ƥ shell
presents each user with a prompt
interprets commands types by a user
executes user commands
supports a custom environment for each user
ƥ utilities
file management (rm, cat, ls, rmdir, mkdir)
user management (passwd, chmod, chgrp)
process management (kill, ps)
printing (lpr)

A Unix shell is a command-line interpreter or shell that provides a traditional user interface for the Unix operating
system and forUnix-like systems. Users direct the operation of the computer by entering command input as
text for a command line interpreterto execute or by creating text scripts of one or more such commands.

The most influential Unix shells have been the Bourne shell and the C shell. The Bourne shell, sh, was
written by Stephen Bourne at AT&T as the original Unix command line interpreter; it introduced the basic
features common to all the Unix shells, including piping, here documents, command substitution, variables, control
structures for condition-testing and looping and filename wildcarding. The language, including the use of a
reversed keyword to mark the end of a block, was influenced byALGOL 68.[1]

The C shell, csh, was written by Bill Joy while a graduate student at University of California, Berkeley. The
language, including the control structures and the expression grammar, was modeled on C. The C shell
also introduced a large number of features for interactive work, including
the history and editing mechanisms, aliases, directory stacks, tilde notation, cdpath, job control andpath hashing.

Both shells have been used as coding base and model for many derivative and work-alike shells with
extended feature sets.

The most generic sense of the term ‘  means any program that users employ to type commands. In
the Unix operating system users may select which shell to use for interactive sessions. When the
user logs in to the system the shell program is automatically executed. Many types of shells have been
developed for this purpose. The program is called a "shell" because it hides the details of the underlying
operating system behind the shell's interface. The shell manages the technical details of the operating
system kernel interface, which is the lowest-level, or 'inner-most' component of an operating system.

Similarly, graphical user interfaces for Unix, such as GNOME, KDE, and Xfce can be called ‘
‘ ‘ or  
 ‘ ‘.

By itself, the term ‘  is usually associated with the command line. In Unix, users who want to use a
different syntax for typing commands can specify a different program as their shell, though in practice
this usually requires administrator rights.

The Unix shell was unusual when it was first created. Since it is both an interactive command language as
well as a scripting programming language it is used by Unix as the facility to control (see shell script) the
execution of the system.

Many shells created for other operating systems offer rough equivalents to Unix shell functionality.

On systems using a windowing system, some users may never use the shell directly. On Unix systems, the
shell is still the implementation language of system startup scripts, including the program that starts the
windowing system, the programs that facilitate access to the Internet, and many other essential

Many users of a Unix system still find a modern command line shell more convenient for many tasks
than any GUI application.

Due to the recent movement in favor of free and open source software, most Unix shells have at least one
version that is distributed under an open source or free software license.

The Bourne shell was one of the major shells used in early versions of the Unix operating system and became a ÷
  standard. It was written by Stephen Bourne at Bell Labs and was first distributed with Version 7 Unix, circa 1977. Every
Unix-like system has at least one shell compatible with the Bourne shell. The Bourne shell program name is ‘ and it is typically
located in the Unix file system hierarchy at ‘ . On many systems, however, ‘ may be a symbolic link or hard
link to a compatible, but more feature-rich shell than the Bourne shell. The POSIX standard specifies its standard shell as a strict
subset of the Korn shell. From a user's perspective the Bourne shell was immediately recognized when active by its
characteristic default command line prompt character, the dollar sign (ö).

The C shell was developed by Bill Joy for the Berkeley Software Distribution, a line of Unix operating systems derived from Unix
and developed at the University of California, Berkeley. It was originally derived from the 6th Edition Unix shell (Thompson
shell). Its syntax is modeled after the C programming language. It is used primarily for interactive terminal use, but less
frequently for scripting and operating system control. C shell has many interactive commands.

Advantages Of Unix
ƥ Full multitasking with protected memory. Multiple users can run multiple programs each at the same time without
interfering with each other or crashing the system.
ƥ Very efficient virtual memory, so many programs can run with a modest amount of physical memory.
ƥ Access controls and security. All users must be authenticated by a valid account and password to use the system at
all. All files are owned by particular accounts. The owner can decide whether others have read or write access to his
ƥ A rich set of small commands and utilities that do specific tasks well -- not cluttered up with lots of special options.
Unix is a well-stocked toolbox, not a giant do-it-all Swiss Army Knife.
ƥ A lean kernel that does the basics for you but doesn't get in the way when you try to do the unusual.
ƥ Available on a wide variety of machines - the most truly portable operating system.
ƥ Optimized for program development, and thus for the unusual circumstances that are the rule in research.

Disadvantages Of Unix
ƥ The traditional command line shell interface is user hostile -- designed for the programmer, not the casual user.
ƥ Commands often have cryptic names and give very little response to tell the user what they are doing. Much use of
special keyboard characters - little typos have unexpected results.
ƥ To use Unix well, you need to understand some of the main design features. Its power comes from knowing how to
make commands and programs interact with each other, not just from treating each as a fixed black box. ?

„ ??0?? ))1? „?

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The "classic" Mac OS is characterized by its total lack of a? ?; it is a completely graphical
operating system. Noted for its ease of use and its? '? ,$, it was criticized for its very
limited??  $, lack of??, and susceptibility to conflicts among operating
system "+" that provide additional functionality (such as networking) or support for a particular
device. Some extensions may not work properly together, or work only when loaded in a particular
order. Troubleshooting Mac OS extensions could be a time-consuming process of? ? ?.
The Macintosh originally used the? ?A?
?(MFS), a? ???with only one level of
folders. This was quickly replaced in 1985 by the?  ?A?
?(HFS), which had a
true??tree. Both file systems are otherwise compatible.

Most file systems used with DOS, Unix, or other operating systems treat a file as simply a sequence of
bytes, requiring an application to know which bytes represent what type of information. By contrast,
MFS and HFS give files two different "forks". The data fork contains the same sort of information as
other file systems, such as the text of a document or the bitmaps of an image file. The??
,?contains other structured data such as menu definitions, graphics, sounds, or code segments. A file
might consist only of resources with an empty data fork, or only a data fork with no resource fork. A text
file could contain its text in the data fork and styling information in the resource fork, so that an
application, which doesn͛t recognize the styling information, can still read the raw text. On the other
hand, these forks provide a challenge to interoperability with other operating systems; copying a file
from a Mac to a non-Mac system strips it of its resource fork, necessitating such encoding schemes
as?B+?and? B .

PowerPC versions of Mac OS X up to and including Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger (support for Classic was
dropped by Apple with Leopard's release and it is no longer included) include a compatibility layer for
running older Mac applications, the?„ ?'. This runs a full copy of the older Mac OS, version
9.1 or later, in a Mac OS X process. PowerPC-based Macs shipped with Mac OS 9.2 as well as Mac OS X.
Mac OS 9.2 had to be installed by the user Ͷ it was not installed by default on hardware revisions
released after the release of? ?
?(?=20?6$. Most well-written "classic" applications function
properly under this environment, but compatibility is only assured if the software was written to be
unaware of the actual hardware, and to interact solely with the operating system. The Classic
Environment is not available on Intel-based Macintosh systems due to the incompatibility of? ?
8?with the?+9<?hardware.

Users of the classic Mac OS generally upgraded to Mac OS X, but many criticized it as being more
difficult and less user-friendly than the original Mac OS, for the lack of certain features that had not
been re-implemented in the new OS, or for being slower on the same hardware (especially older
hardware), or other, sometimes serious incompatibilities with the older OS. Because drivers (for
printers, scanners, tablets, etc.) written for the older Mac OS are not compatible with Mac OS X, and
due to the lack of Mac OS X support for older Apple machines, a significant number of Macintosh users
have still continued using the older classic Mac OS.

In June 2005,?
'?C&?announced at the?? '?„?keynote that Apple computers
would be transitioning from PowerPC to?/?processors and thus dropping compatibility on new
machines for Mac OS Classic. At the same conference, Jobs announced Developer Transition Kits that
included beta versions of Apple software including Mac OS X that developers could use to test their
applications as they ported them to run on Intel-powered Macs. In January 2006, Apple released the
first Macintosh computers with Intel processors, an? ?and the? B,?), and in February 2006,
Apple released a? ??with an Intel Core Solo and Duo processor. On May 16, 2006, Apple released
the? B,, before completing the Intel transition on August 7 with the? ?). To ease the transition
for early buyers of the new machines, Intel-based Macs include an emulation technology called? ,
which allows them to run Mac OS X software that was compiled for PowerPC-based Macintoshes.
Rosetta runs transparently, creating a user experience identical to running the software on a PowerPC
machine, though execution is typically slower than with native code.

O ????
O (?is the newest of? ?/2's Mac OS line of operating systems. Although it is officially
designated as simply "version 10" of the Mac OS, it has a history largely independent of the earlier Mac
OS releases.

The operating system is the successor to? ?

?8?and the "classic" Mac OS. It is a?+?operating
system, based on the?.(6
6)?operating system and the? ?,?which Apple acquired after
purchasing?.(6?„, with its CEO?
'?C&?returning to Apple at this time. Mac OS X also makes
use of the?B
?code base. There have been six significant releases of the client version, the most recent
being Mac OS X 10.6, referred to as?
?1 . On Apple's October 20th 2010 "Back to the Mac"
event, Mac OS X 10.7 Lion was previewed, showing improvements and additions including a Mac App

As well as the client versions, Mac OS X has also had six significant releases as a server version,
called?O (. The first of these,? ?
'?2=, was released in?& ?in 1999. The server
versions are architecturally identical to the client versions, with the differentiation found in their
inclusion of tools for server management, including tools for managing Mac OS X-based,$, mail
servers, and web servers, amongst other tools. It is currently the default operating system for
the?('?server hardware, and as an optional feature on the? ? , as well as being installable on
most other Macs. Unlike the client version, Mac OS X Server can be run in a?' ? ?using
emulation software such as?)  ? ,.

Mac OS X is also the basis for?

, (previously iPhone OS) used on Apple's?),?)?6, and?) , as
well as being the basis for the operating system used in the? ?6.


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,?The current generation of Macbook Pros feature LED monitors, multi-touch
mouse trackpad and a CNC machined aluminum case. Desktop Mac Pros feature up to 8 core processors
(yes, eight) and up to 4 TB of storage (TB=Terabyte). Thats four thousand (4000) GB.

A good overview of the Macbook Pro is available?.

A Mac can do anything a Windows PC can. With Apple computers now using Intel processors, they are
able to run Windows. With programs like Bootcamp or software emulation, you are able to install and
run Windows on your Mac and switch between the two OSs easily. Macs come with a Mail utility with
the same functionality as Microsoft Outlook. The iWork line of software comes with Pages, Keynote and
Numbers which can function as replacements for Word, Powerpoint and Excel. Each of these programs
can export files in a format that can be used in Windows software. Or, if you don͛t want to try iWork, Microsoft
offers a Mac-compatible version of Office.

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