What Microsoft Windows Has in Common with [Original Cast] Star Trek Movies

Skip every other release.

Here are the original cast Star Trek Movies:

VI:  OK, kind of

V: Bad

IV:  Goofy but enjoyable

III:  Truly terrible

II:  Awesome, to the point that the two Chris Pine et al reboot movies have drawn more heavily on the Wrath of Khan than the original show

I:  Flat, boring


Here are the recent Windows releases:

Windows 8:  Sucks

Windows 7:  Excellent

Windows Vista (6?):  God awful

Windows XP :  Very Good

Windows ME:  God awful

Windows 98/2000:  OK

Do you see the pattern?  Windows 7 redeemed the awful Vista in the same way XP redeemed the awful ME.  I can only hope the to-be-released-in-October Windows 8.1 fixes some of the awful mistakes in Windows 8, not the least was the grafting of a butt-ugly touchscreen tablet interface to a PC OS most of us use with mouse and keyboard.  Until then our company is still only buying Windows 7  computers.  Some of my employees buy their own computers -- I provide all the company's tech support and have told them they are on their own if they buy Windows 8 and then can't find the control panel.


  1. Vitaeus:

    I prefer to think of it as the even versions are paid Beta's for the next release.

  2. tmitsss:

    Windows key + C

  3. ErikTheRed:

    "I can only hope the to-be-released-in-October Windows 8.1 fixes some of the awful mistakes in Windows 8, not the least was the grafting of a butt-ugly touchscreen tablet interface to a PC OS most of us use with mouse and keyboard."

    Preview releases say "no." Which is problematic, because Microsoft's suicidal tendencies make long-term corporate IT planning a real bitch.

  4. Stephen_Macklin:

    Even numbered versions of Adobe Illustrator and PhotoShop pretty much sucked too!

  5. Joshua Vanderberg:

    Posting this from my new Mac after dutifully buying every release of windows since Windows 3.0 on my 286. And no, I won't be using bootcamp to run windows.

  6. jdgalt:

    So from now on, Microsoft should release only odd numbered OSes, and Paramount should release only even numbered movies.

  7. obloodyhell:

    The problem with this is that it's really not correct.

    Windows 8: Sucks

    Windows 7: Excellent

    Windows Vista (6?): God awful

    Windows XP : Very Good

    Windows ME: God awful

    Windows 98/2000: OK

    First off, the sequence goes more like this:

    -- this is presuming you consider 95 to be the "starting point" for Windows, which is, I'll grant, a phase change but not a real starting point.

    The second is to grasp that, at one point, Microsoft was attempting to create two tracks for the OS, the "business" track and the "consumer/home" track.
    W98 was not bad, WNT was not awful for a business system. You needed more hardware, and setup was more complex (partly because of floppy release, in those early days with CDs still uncommon)

    WME was, inarguable, a total abortion such that everyone who owned a system pretty much either downgraded it to W98 very quickly, or swtiched to W2000, which was a very good, stable, and reliable version. w98 was NOT released with w2000, but a year or so before. WNT was kind of "between" w95 and w98, and W2000 was to be its successor. W2000 was good enough that I used it as my main OS for about 8 years, only switching to W7 when I got a fully new desktop rather than just upgrading the mobo (W2000 was no longer being supported at all by Microsoft by that time, and hadn't been for a couple years).

    WME was so awful that I rarely saw it in the field. I seem to recall doing computer tech service for two people who used it, that's it.

    Some notes --

    Those "in the know" in computing are aware that 2001's "HAL 9000" was derived by taking the letters of IBM and "subtracting one" from each letter's ordinal to produce "HAL".
    There was an exceptionally popular minicomputer OS that ran on Digital Equipment minis (and others) called Vax VMS or just VMS. While it's never been officially confirmed to the best of my knowledge, it is not supposed to be a coincidence that "WNT" can be produced by "adding one" to the ordinal for "VMS".

    Another thing that always struck me as interesting (also never confirmed) is that Microsoft's internal codename for Windows 2000 was "Cairo". I find it particularly interesting that the Greek letters "Chi" and "Rho" are very similar to X and P.

  8. Bram:

    My Windows 7 computer completely refuses to do any more Microsoft Updates - I gave up and turned off the updates. I just ignore the constant messages now.

  9. Another_Brian:

    Are the odd numbered releases really good, or just better considering the alternative of the even numbered releases? If Vista is your benchmark, the next version doesn't have to be good, it just needs to be better than Vista. And the converse is also true: if 7 saved us from the horror of Vista, then the bar was maybe a little higher for Windows 8 than it would have been otherwise. It could be good, without necessarily being better than the previous version.

    Now compare the releases that were supposedly bad. Given the option of Vista or 8, which would you choose? Likewise, compare the releases that were supposedly good, would you choose XP or 7?

  10. sch:

    The first windows was keyboard centric (1 & 2) and early users learned all the keyboard navigation tricks. Win 3 came out mouse centric and we have since become mouse
    oriented, those of us not young enough to 'grown up with' swiping fingers across the face of first the Ipod touch, then the Iphone/Ipad and all the smart phone menagerie that
    have developed over the past 6-7years. Laptops were a kluge with the miniswipe pads to move the cursor around but people that were laptop centric got used to the miniswipe pads
    if there was no joystick a la IBM. MS was just trying to latch on to this tech trend, but it is one thing to swipe on something in hand or lap and another on the desktop.
    At some point there will be a desktop that tracks eye movement over the screen and allows interaction in that fashion, an expansion on the way Steven Hawking communicates.
    A 2 year old manipulating her mother's Iphone 5 will think it quaint old tech when a teen. I wonder when we will have interactions like Keanu Reeves in "Johnny Mnemonic"

  11. Rocky:

    Never drew this analogy but OK. I would compare Windows to AMC when it comes to the logic upon they use to create new versions. What I find frustrating about Windows is the lack of thought that goes into how the old will interact with the new, which never seems to be first and foremost on their minds. The simply assume you are a new user starting from scratch, with no thought of how your existing data will interface with the new system. I upgrade about every 2-3 years and this has always been an excruciating experience that will typically require both machines running simultaneously for several weeks while the bugs are worked out and programs are converted. Fortunately I went from XP to 7 and hopefully 8 will go the way of Vista by the time I need to do it again.

  12. JoshK:

    Conspiracy theory: Microsoft stops support after two versions. They know that few corporations will upgrade after one cycle, so the interim cycle release is just a flyer to get some new feature feedback and to make some space for the next release which corporations will have to pay for.

  13. norse:

    Windows 8 productivity maxims:
    (1) Move the desktop tile to the top left on the metro start screen. That way, you can always get to the desktop simply with return (or winkey, return from anywhere)
    (2) windows key, just start typing is search and super-efficient once you get used to it
    other than that, speed and performance are actually much better than 7, but I do admit that it took me a few days to switch.

  14. Rick C:

    Everyone always says this. Guess what? Windows Me wasn't that bad: what was bad was all the crapware shoveled onto prebuilt computers. I had an HP that https NEVER worked on. I reinstalled Windows from scratch from a regular OEM CD and never had that problem again.

  15. Arrian:

    Yeah, that's the way I remember it. They had Business OSs and Home OSs.

    Professional Track: NT -> XP -----------------------> 2000
    Home Track: 95 -> 98 -> ME --------------> Combined with the Business Track

    Shortly after ME came online, iirc, they realized that the home track was hopeless, which is why you got XP Pro verses XP Home. Then they gave up completely on the two lines with Win2K which was based on the pro line of OSs. Or maybe that was the plan all along? I stopped paying attention after Win2K, so I don't know what they were doing after that.

    But the professional OSs were always pretty good, from what I understand. I still run XP at home, but then again, I'm a Luddite. Especially when it comes to PCs.

  16. obloodyhell:

    No, 2k preceded the XP line. they merged with XP.

    The only problem with NT was setup. Like 25 freaking floppies (even if you had a CD, it was a pain because you had to enable the CD driver before you could use it, it wasn't yet standardized), and if there was ANY problem during the install (fairly likely unless you had already done it for a dozen machines) then you had to start the whole tedious process over again from scratch. Setting up the network connection was a major pain, too, tweaks and twiddles all over the @#$#@$ place.

    Correction -- NT also had a major problem with Windows Explorer, which BSOD'd often enough that I took to renaming the shortcut to it "Exploder"... LOL.

  17. obloodyhell:

    Choose: 2000, XP, 7 in that order
    Not Choose: Vista, 8

    There are NO circumstances in which I'd choose "ME", which really needs to only be said in conjunction with another word, "F*** ME". I'd make do with an unsupported oddball release of Linux first.

  18. obloodyhell:

    }}} like Keanu Reeves in "Johnny Mnemonic"

    I'd hope never. You'd have t be brain damaged to be like Keanu Reeves in any movie.

    There's a reason the notion is that the only KR movies that work at all are ones where he's playing a character who has no clue what the hell is going on...

  19. obloodyhell:

    Hopefully the Android Desktop will be available by then and everyone will be well along to switching over to it... ;-D

  20. Matt Harris:

    Windows 8 + Windows Classic Shell is actually quite good.

  21. epobirs:

    The main problem with Windows ME was that it had a lot of code running that had never been intended for use on the Win9x kernel. Originally, it had been intended that Windows 2000 would have a consumer version and the Windows 98SE would be the end of the line for that branch of the code base. Everything would be NT derived. But Microsoft ran into issue with some of the features they want the consumer Win2K to have and meanwhile OEMs and retailers were demanding an updated Windows with more up to date drivers and features. Thus ME was cobbled together. Even without the crapware, it had issues because much of the added code was intended for the far better NT kernel. But if you did a little surgery to disable the newer stuff it became much more stable.

    The full story on why an OS release goes awry or a console fails is rarely told. The public instead buys into nonsensical maxims like 'every other release' or 'never more than two successful machines at a time' which don't even come close to telling the real story.

  22. epobirs:

    Simply not true. There was a period not too long ago when Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 were all under full support. Windows 2000 support ended in 2010, over a year after Windows 7 entered the market.

    The ridiculously extended lifespan of XP distorted the normal schedule. There would have been a major Windows release by 2005 but Microsoft decided it needed to do some serious security work that stalled progress on the latest version, and other issues with features not coming together in time for the schedule resulted in the new release being essentially canceled and restarted to become Vista. Despite knowing years in advance that Vista was going to need a reasonably modern GPU to work properly, something that had been a shipping product from ATI and Nvidia for three years when Vista shipped, Intel dawdled on getting their GPU act together. So when Vista shipped, a lot of critical GPU functions were being performed in software on systems using Intel video but Intel forced Microsoft to treat the Intel IGA as a fully qualified DX9 GPU.. This made for lousy performance and soured a lot of people on Vista, even though just adding a $50 video card could produce dramatically better results.