Street Talk: Reader Views


With Microsoft preparing to release its Vista operating system next year, what is the most important thing that can be done to improve desktop operating systems and why? If they could prevent it from "blue-screening," that would be great.

Mike Healy


Partner Insights

Cheshire, Conn.

The most important thing that can be done to improve desktop operating systems is to improve and simplify security settings in a network environment. The security settings should allow the user to run their critical applications while keeping within their IT department's security model.

John C. Peace


New York, N.Y.

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From a functional point of view, most of our problems do not stem from the operating system of any workstation per se, but rather from its interaction (or lack thereof) with the network operating system. We have numerous issues with connectivity and peripheral product support in such areas as Terminal Services and normal network interaction. I would also appreciate a network operating system that was more seamless with the operating systems of the workstations. We are at that size where we can't really justify a full-time network support person and too big to be easy to maintain a network. While most of the operating system functions are straight forward, there seems to be items like joining a network that causes a lot of headaches from time to time. Setting up shared network printers, etc. causes headaches as well.

Robert Carmines

Carmines, Robbins & Co.

Newport News, Va.

The best thing that can be done for desktop operating systems is ease of use, quality, security and elimination of the constant need for updates. A desktop operating system should be like my car engine: I know it is needed to run the car, but I am not required to know anything about it to use my car to get me from one place to another!


y K. Lind

Third Wave Business Systems

Elmwood Park, N.J.

Less memory utilization, increased performance, and beefed-up security. Am I asking too much?

Dave Bilbrey

DBC Systems

Saint Clair Shores, Mich.

For me personally, it's time to boot. If they could perfect a shorter boot and shutdown time, that would be a big timesaver.

Brian L. Wilton

InterDyn Progressive Group Houston

The speed and ease of applying service packs, critical patches, and software updates. ROI-a return on investment in purchasing and using PCs gets killed by a compromised or infected PC. The cost in lost revenue approaches $5,000 between the person with the infected PC and the person having to fix the PC. I expect Vista to improve again on what XP Service Pack 1 laid down in helping SMB users keep their PCs safe and functional for work-related projects.

Kevin Martin

Martin & Associates


The one clear area of improvement that any new operating system should provide is reliability. Reliability may be improved by reduced complexity, ease of administration, better inherent security, and acknowledging that the application should be considered with the OS in terms of hardware needs. We have great expectations for Vista, related to improved functionality and capabilities. However, these must be viewed in conjunction the integration of of these capabilities into business, and the ability of the user community as a whole to assimilate and adopt those changes over time.

Lindsey Mundy



Microsoft should deliver on its promises from back in the 1995 time frame when it promised multi-tasking that was not preemptive. I believe the operating system should be multi-tasking in the most eloquent way (i.e., even better than Unix). We should not be able to notice "preemptive interruptions" or slow downs as other applications fire up in the background. Improving time-slice management of the processor(s) should also be more important to Microsoft. And, applications that bomb should go away without affecting performance of other active applications.

Keith Washburn

Washburn & Associates

Mission, Kan.

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