Mark_Wallace wrote:An operating system is meant to provide users access to their hardware, and to allow them to run the programs they need.
Mark_Wallace wrote:And nothing more.
But here's the problem: Computer science agrees with you. Computer reality is more complex than that now.
We have moved to an era where what in practice we call an 'operating system' is actually an entire application/functionality package. This is true for phones, it is true for Linux distributions, and it has to be true for desktop/laptop Windows too.
There's just no way round this: It is where the market is.
Mark_Wallace wrote:I can't even think of a windows "product" I use that isn't directly related to running the system. For every bloated, sluggish, ugly app that windows welds on top of the OS, there are multiple third-party apps that are hugely better -- and that aren't inextricably linked to the operating system in ways that cause more breakages and problems for users than hackers cause.
Yup, I understand. I don't usually trust or like apps supplied with Windows for similar reasons. But you must surely recognise that neither you nor I are normal users. All those normal users out there... well, they just use what they're given.
Hey, we installed this browser while we were installing the OS, otherwise you would have had trouble getting one. Either keep it or use it to download the one you want -- oh, and we've installed a tiny media player, too, which you can get rid of, if you prefer another one.
Hey, we've spent years turning the best browser in the world into one of the worst, and we've mixed it in with your operating system so intricately that you don't dare uninstall it, or even touch it, because Terrible Things will happen -- oh, and don't even think of removing or disabling the godawful, bloated media player we've installed, because even formatting your drive and starting over won't fix what doing that'll break!
Actually it seems to me that both Linux and Microsoft say exactly the same things in this context nowadays. That is:
"Here's the operating system browser, here's the operating system media player. You can install whatever you want but we all know that most of you (on both Linux and Windows) aren't going to do that. You got a package and most of you are just going to stick to it."
And why is it like that? because phones did it (mainly). They have massively shaped expectations. Also the nature of Linux distributions (with all their pre-loaded packages that users are increasingly loath to deviate from) encourage it too.
Mark_Wallace wrote:No it isn't.
Creating events quickly, easily, transparently, and smoothly is a key function of people -- people who have to create events quickly, easily, transparently, and smoothly.
Arguing over semantics doesn't help. People use software and, in the world we're now in, they expect their operating to come with the software they need to do stuff like create events. If it doesn't come with software built in and ready to go then users see it as weaker or inferior. Thus Windows has to compete with phones and Linux that already do exactly this. Just like phones and Linux, Windows users can install other software if they want. But fewer and fewer seem to be doing this.