I just don't get it. Windows, after all these years, continues to be an unmanageable mess. For example:
My customer runs Win XP on almost all workstations, company wide, except for the few that are specifically used by Unix application developers or HPC engineers. The customer is large, so that is tens of thousands of Windows laptops and desktops.
I have been consulting with them for just over two years, and was issued one of their laptops in order to be able to interconnect properly on the company networks; vendor supplied equipment is prevented from being used at all.
Since the laptop was issued, their desktop support organization has been forced to wipe-and-replace the OS image three times. In all three cases, a configuration problem of some kind developed within in the registry or underneath C:\WINDOWS somewhere that was never even diagnosed, either because of a lack of time, interest, tools, or skill. The average lifespan of an OS image has been 7 months, for me, before something happens where the support staff feels it necessary to scrape the drive clean and start over. I'm not a "power" user -- the laptop is used for office automation, and little else. Each event was usually preceded by a hang, power cycle, then a failure to operate properly on reboot.Re-imaging Windows desktops is such a common task at my customer's facilities that their trouble ticket system has a button to press to request it.
Whenever I mumble something about Windows non-manageability to someone at my customer's IT shop who has no infrastructure or OS background and only Windows desktop experience, I get questioning looks, if not an outright "What are you talking about?"
My usual response is: "So, how long since your laptop had to be 'slammed' then?" Once I ask the question, I see recognition dawn on their faces.
I know, I know. The world runs business communication on MS Office. OO has come a long way, but it is not a complete replacement, nor is it plug-compatible.
But there -must- be a better way to manage Windows than what I've seen, which has stayed pretty much the way it's been since the Windows 3.0 / 3.1 days. And, is there anyone on the planet -- including in Redmond -- who actually understands the current Windows Registry completely, and can diagnose its problems and make appropriate reparations? I don't think so.
Last edited by jggimi; 23rd September 2009 at 03:31 PM.