Vist off

Paul Thurrott, writing in a very appealing Microsoft-fan-betrayed tone, offers a lengthy critique of all the bullshit we can expect in Windows Vista. The biggest problem, it seems, is that Microsoft's version of beefing up security consists of attaching a warning dialog to every single task, so that whenever anything goes wrong the operating system can say, Hey, it's not my fault! You left me unlocked! This is not security; this is ass-covering.

Elsewhere, Jeff Atwood concurs:
The problem with the Security Through Endless Warning Dialogs school of thought is that it doesn’t work. All those earnest warning dialogs eventually blend together into a giant “click here to get work done” button that nobody bothers to read any more. The operating system cries wolf so much that when a real wolf — in the form of a virus or malware — rolls around, you’ll mindlessly allow it access to whatever it wants, just out of habit. [Link via Daring Fireball]
Here's what's strange: Atwood's point is basic, basic stuff. It has been demonstrated and verified in lab tests and confirmed by the everyday experience of millions of users. No one working professionally in interface design can be ignorant of this principle. And yet the biggest software company in history has apparently allowed it to cripple their flagship release of the decade. That's what happens when a company becomes dependent on anticompetitive practices -- on leveraging its monopoly position, rather than winning an actual head-to-head contest for users. This has been the Microsoft story for a decade now, but it's still shocking to me that their competitive skills have atrophied this badly.