Ten years ago around this very time—April through June 2008—our intrepid Microsoft guru Peter Bright evidently had an identity crisis. Could this lifelong PC user really have been pushed to the brink? Was he considering a switch to… Mac OS?!? While our staff hopefully enjoys a less stressful Memorial Day this year, throughout the weekend we’re resurfacing this three part series that doubles as an existential operating system dilemma circa 2008. Part two ran on May 4, 2008, and it appears unedited below.
Last time, I described how Apple turned its failure to develop a modern OS into a great success. The purchase of NeXT gave Apple a buzzword-compliant OS with a healthy ecosystem of high-quality third-party applications. Meanwhile, Microsoft was lumbering along with Windows XP. Although technically sound, it was shot through with the decisions made more than a decade earlier for 16-bit Windows.
In 2001, when XP was released, this was not such a big deal. The first two or three versions of Mac OS X were troublesome, to say the least. Performance was weak, there were stability issues, and version 10.0 arguably wasn’t even feature complete. It wasn’t until early 2002 that Apple even made Mac OS X the default OS on new Macs; for the first few months of its life, XP was up against “Classic” Mac OS 9.