Windows XP Guided Tour

Fake News written by James Baughn on Saturday, April 21, 2001

from the here-we-go-again dept.

When trying to achieve world domination, it's a good idea to know your enemy. That's why we dispatched our Vast Research Labs Of Doom to snatch the latest build of Windows XP (eXceptionally Pathetic) and see just how much of a threat it might pose to Linux.

As you might imagine, our researchers rebelled at the idea of installing a Microsoft product on their computers. We were finally able to convince them that sacrificing one of their computers was necessary for the noble purpose of writing yet another fake news article poking fun at Microsoft.

Installation

We feel that it would be prudent if we did not go into the details of our installation nightmare, for it might unnecessarily frighten young children -- or, for that matter, anybody. Let's just say that Humorix is going to be paying large therapy bills for our technicians who suffered through the Windows XP Installation From Hell.

So what does the Blue Screen look like?

Naturally, as soon as we finally installing Windows XP, we wanted to know what improvements, if any, had been made to the Blue Screen of Death. Unfortunately for us Linux zealots, it seems Windows XP is much more difficult to crash, which could prove a major setback for convincing people to upgrade to Linux. However, our crack team of researchers was still able to discover a method of crashing the system within 10 minutes, and we were on our way.

Microsoft has replaced the standard bluescreen with a new "Crash Wizard":

Windows XP Crash Wizard

Since the Bluescreen was one of the most commonly used portions of the Windows 9x user interface, Microsoft has left in legacy support for the "Classic" bluescreen to ease the transition to the new XP Crash Wizard.

Redmond: The Next Police State

According to some of the more vocal conspiracy theorists within Humorix, Microsoft is laying the foundation for a New World Order with Windows XP.

MS-DOS existed in a state of anarchy, in which any old software program had exclusive access to any old memory location or any old CPU instruction or any old device driver. The first version of Windows just increased the anarchy by making it possible to execute more than one program at a time.

Windows XP, on the other hand, is anything but an anarchy. Microsoft now maintains a list of "signed" (approved) device drivers, much in the same way that totalitarian governments maintain a list of "approved" newspapers. Windows XP treats users as "guilty pirates until proven guilty pirates" with its new anti-MP3 "features".

Just look at what happens if you try to install a software package from a Microsoft competitor:

Are You Sure? [No] [No] [No]

You don't even want to know what happens if you try to play an unsigned MP3.

It BASICally Sucks

Older versions of MS-DOS came with bundled programming languages including GW-BASIC and QBasic. Windows XP continues the Microsoft tradition of ruining budding programmers with horrible programming tools by including XPBasic, an interpreted language in which all of the customary BASIC keywords have been replaced with advertising slogans.

Nike has paid a handsome amount to Microsoft for "keyword rights". Instead of saying PRINT "HELLO WORLD", XPBasic programmers must now type JUST DO IT "HELLO WORLD". Other common XPBasic statements include WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GOTO 20 TODAY? and DIM ARRAY(1 TO 20) AS INTEGER BROUGHT TO YOU BY VERIZON WIRELESS.

Internet Explorer : Windows XP :: Emacs : Unix.

The Mac OS isn't the only operating system that Microsoft is stealing borrowing from. Unix has also become an target for imitation. In particular, Microsoft's programmers have adopted the Emacs mindset, in which a single, bloated application program contains everything, including the kitchen sink. In Windows XP, that bloated, all-encompassing application is Internet Explorer.

Of course, in Windows 98, Microsoft tied IE to the operating system. But now the Web browser is the operating system. For instance, almost every user-interface widget is now controlled by JavaScript (er, VBScript), Java (er, The Language Microsoft Refuses To Call Java), and Flash applets. Pop-up advertisements are bad enough on porn websites, but what about pop-up advertisements as you try to use the Control Panel? Meanwhile, the old "Bad command or file name" error has been replaced with a generic "404 Error".

Luna[tic]

Bob lives. The whole Windows XP user-interface (code-named Luna, because only Lunatics will enjoy it) looks like it comes from the unreleased sequel to Microsoft Bob. Everything is labeled with "My": My Computer, My Documents, My Pirated Music, My Configuration, My Briefcase, My Network Places, My Ass, and My Personal Information Available To Everyone On The Web.

Everything has been dumbed-down into a series of Wizards and menus:

Internet Wizard: Where do you want to go today?

If what you want to do isn't pre-programmed into a Wizard, however, you're out of luck. Microsoft recently patented Two-Hundred-Click Shopping®, a Windows XP feature that requires the user to click through 200 different menus in order to point Internet Explorer at a non-Microsoft e-commerce site.

Conclusion

After reviewing Windows XP, we at Humorix can safely agree with Microsoft's Marketing Department. Windows XP really is the best operating system.

...for throwing in the bottom of the ocean.

We'll stick with Linux, thank you very much.

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