Walt Mossberg is perhaps the most influential tech columnist around. He’s become less and less impressed with Microsoft for a while now; check this out:
I’m talking about two main problems. One is the plethora of teaser software and advertisements for products that must be cleared and uninstalled to make way for your own stuff. The second is the confusing welter of security programs you have to master and update, even on a virgin machine.
I’m also referring to how slowly a new Windows Vista machine starts and restarts, even if you haven’t yet loaded or launched any of your own software. […]
The problem is a lack of respect for the consumer. The manufacturers don’t act as if the computer belongs to you. They act as if it is a billboard for restricted trial versions of software and ads for Web sites and services that they can sell to third-party companies who want you to buy these products. […]
I also was shocked at how long this machine took to restart and to do a cold start after being completely shut down. Restarting took over three minutes, and a cold start took more than two minutes. That suggests the computer is loading a bunch of stuff I neither know about nor want. By contrast, a brand new Apple MacBook laptop, under the same test conditions, restarted in 34 seconds and did a cold start in 29 seconds.
Perhaps this is why Paul Graham thinks Microsoft is not just doomed, but already dead.