Microsoft Releases Windows XP — Microsoft last week released Windows XP, the first version of the Windows operating system that melds the industrial-strength underpinnings of the Windows NT/2000 line with the more consumer friendly features and interface of the Windows 95/98/Me line. Reactions have been decidedly mixed, with some reviewers enthused over the new interface, built-in tools, and improved reliability, while others have complained that XP feels sloppy and unfinished in places, doesn’t support many existing peripherals, and includes troubling links to Microsoft’s .NET services.
From the perspective of the Macintosh user forced to use a PC, Windows XP is probably a good thing, given that many of the changes made to the obtuse Windows interface resonate more with a Macintosh approach to human interface design and implementation. Upgrades are available, but realistically, they’re probably not worthwhile for machines bought more than a few years ago, given possible problems with older hardware and the low cost of new PCs. As to how Windows XP and Mac OS X compare, well, that will take some time to determine, especially given that Apple has made Mac OS X a fast-moving target, whereas Microsoft tends to release notable operating system revisions less frequently. [ACE]