Windows is Broken
It isn't suprising that Jim Allchin went up to Bill Gates and told him that Longhorn couldn't be created in its current form. What is suprising is that Bill Gates didn't know that the set of deliverables he had set before the Windows team was impossible to deliver. It speaks volumes to the huge sense of loss Micrsoft must be feeling to have someone like Jim Allchin retire. Who else in the technical team would have the nerve to stand up to Bill Gates. The winner in the long run will be the consumer, but in the short term it appears that we will be getting windows 5.8 or something. Not that it matters all that much to me anymore from a daily use point of view since I have gone completely Mac. For a time I was considering switching, but recently I have ruled that out. It just doesn't make sense for me to switch back to the PC. The reasons I switched away are still to compelling.
Mac OS X is still not bug-free, or any better line for line than Windows, it is just newer, and completely incompatible with legacy software. I believe that Windows XP without all the Windows 95 compatability crap that cripples the OS would be every bit as good as Windows 2000 was. That being said, that is exactly what we are getting with Windows Vista. The platform that Windows 2000 was, and Windows XP should have been. The fact that they have had to spend so much time and energy just to get to the same point that the Linux community reached years ago says to me that the Linux / GNU model works. Even Apple, while OS X's interface is a technical marvel, is riding on a GNU open-source kernel and underlying OS. Much of what Apple develops floats back out into the darwin community, and the awesome developers that support BSD tear it to shreds, fix it and send it back.
I wasn't necessarily convinced that the open source model was definitively better than the proprietary model, as it was very clear that the proprietary model had some definite benefits over open source, but nothing could be clearer than Allchin taking Microsoft back down to the rigorous approach most open-source developers take to avoid the chiding of their fellow programmers. This is what is leading to almost bug-free code in Redmond. It is my belief that some sort of open-source Linux based web platform from Google will eventually steal the show from Microsoft, but as the link below indicates. It will be some time before this happens.