Do you hear the word "Snide" a lot, out of curiosity?
What is the purpose of Windows? to manage hardware resources, and provide common services for the efficient execution of applications.
If a User only used a word processor, then the ultimate OS for that person would be an OS that booted the system directly into that application. But we don't have a lot of people with just one application; I've got about 100 +/-, so i want my OS to:
A) not get in the way of running my applications, making it easy to locate the program and then initiate it. With just a few applications, one obvious way to do this would be to have icons on the screen corresponding to the applications (or even better, programmable keys on a keyboard). With more than a few you really can't do that, so you bring up the problem of locating the applications. The Traditional ways: 1) memorize the file names, then type them in the "RUN" bar/box/whatever. Works great, and has for decades, but there is no framework to help you remember, and you have to have a working memory. of course, operating systems have always included some method to search for the stuff on the system, but, once again, you have to have SOME memory for this to work. 2) have a menu that lists the applications, perhaps grouping them by type of application; this has been established as the most useful method by long practice, and is The Industry Standard.
B) Use a minimum of system resources, and pass along as many of those resources as possible to the direct control of the applications. This would mean that anything done to beautify the operating system is counterproductive, and that is really the whole point; if the OS wastes a clock cycle or a byte of resources on ANYTHING besides running the applications that the user wants to run, it is not efficient.
OK, back to the real world. we like hi res backgrounds, and fading transparent resource screens. The companies that make operating systems have their own agenda, so they build in backdoors, DRM schemes, and planned obsolescence.
Also, all users are different. one user wants an icon on his desktop for each application, and if there isn't enough space, they increase the res and use smaller icons. another wants to type in the name of the apps and launch them that way, and may never look at a menu. Another might have Voice Command integration, and go through the hassle of training her computer to recognize her voice so that she can literally ask for the application that she wants.
The majority of users are going to want what they have always had, which is a Start menu, with icons representing applications, usually organized into categories by type. the girl with voice command will find this boring, the guy who wants to type in applications will find this old fashioned, and the guy working on the direct neural interface will find all this hopelessly obsolescent.
I would be running Windows 2000 if there were drivers to support my motherboard available, because it uses the least system resources. Since thee are no drivers, I use XP, because it uses less resources than other available Windows operating systems, and provides a simple interface to launch my applications, meeting the criteria for being the Most Efficient Operating System for my purposes.
If someone wants to run another Operating System, fine. But singing the praises of DRM, or justifying resource bloat, or bragging about the way your desktop transitions between screens, or criticizing people for using a menu system, etc, is just...annoying? yeah, I think that is the best word.