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Windows, oh Windows

17th January, 2006

Working part time as a web developer during my studies entails solving a variety of problems, not all directly related to development. Recently I installed Gentoo Linux inside a VMWare virtual machine on a rather slow portable PC running Windows 2000 (you know your hardware is old when it says "designed for Windows 98" on the box).
During initial setup of VMWare, the following dialog box presented itself, reminding me of one of the reasons I don't like Windows in particular:

Windows 2000 Dialog

While the text itself appears unusually descriptive of the problem, note how the question posed whether to disable autorun now conflicts with the remark that it wont be disabled now. A reboot is necessary. Also, in an ideal world, I'd like the recommenced choice (and default button) to be placed to the right and the buttons should be relabeled to something like "Disable autorun" (possibly "Disable after restart") and "Don't disable". That way it becomes much easier to interpret what will happen with each choice like this:

Panther good dialog

On the other hand, not even Apple gets it right every time these days (both screenshots were taken from Mac OS X 10.3):

Panther bad dialog

Messing with virtual machines made me think of the ongoing debate on whether the new Intel Macs will boot Windows XP. I can understand why some people need to run specific Windows-only software (Halflife 2 anyone?), I have no clue as to why anyone will wanna boot it. All we need is a Classic/VirtualPC/VMWare layer to run Windows inside osx. I wouldn't be too surprised if the open source community has something ready before Microsoft finishes recompiling VirtualPC.

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