Window's upcoming OS finally has a name--"Windows Vista." The test release is slated for August third and the final shipment for 2007. The new system is supposed to offer better security, seamless connectivity, and new ways to organize information.
I shudder to think about the organizational scheme they're cooking up. As far as I can tell, each new versions of Windows programming, in an attempt to make things more accessible to neophytes, has created an illogical maze of windows that you have to wade through to find anything. It's as if we've gone from the simple layout of a mom-and-pop store into a giant octogonal mall. MS Money's a great example of this. I've tried to use it to budget and track finances, and it's impossible to find anything. When you do, it often doesn't allow you to enter information with certain cells empty. It's actually simpler and faster for me to simply create everything myself on an Excel Spread Sheet.
The attempt to improve security is laudable, although Microsoft's past attempts to do this don't exactly inspire a great deal of confidence. Explorer has especially been vulnerable to adware and other attacks.
Basically, I think Windows has been moving in the wrong direction ever since its launch. With all the money and hours put into developing the software, I expect a much more powerful and hasslefree OS. I think too much time has gone into developing frills while neglecting the more functional aspects of the program's architecture.
When frills are ignored, it's amazing what some programmers are able to do. I have a tiny freeware Japanese language processer called JWPCe. The program runs completely out of its own directory and offers wonderful search capabilities for kanji and Japanese vocabulary. Users have provided a large repertoire of specialist dictionaries as well, which can all be accessed together or in any combination. The program also allows a person to take Japanese texts from any formatting system and convert to any other. In short, the program's quick, highly functional, adaptable to individual needs, and very easy to learn. (In other words, everything that MS Word isn't, and yet it was created by an individual--Glen Rosenthal--for free!)