This was written some time ago by a friend of mine, an expert in UI research. I think everyone who's into computers should read it.
Let me start by saying that Microsoft shook the world of Windows with the exposition of Windows 96 in 1996. Suddently the bar was raised in a world where GUIs did not have many expectations.
Many would have believed that the GUI had reached its ultimate. "My Computer," "My Documents," and "My Briefcase" were overnight sensations, with users of other operating systems migrating en masse to a warm and user friendly "operating system" as they called it at the time.
But Windows 96 was far from perfect. I didn't wonder why Microsoft called it a "work in progress" at Windowscon 96, although this admission made many developers in the crowd irate. Although the icons were accurate and the mouse pointers ornate, there was still something missing. That something was keeping Microsoft from getting 100% of the computer desktops of the world.
Flash forward to 2004. Users have been clamoring for a followup to the now-aged 96. Although officially leaked betas have been around for at least 2 years, "windows: wifebeater edition" has now hit the shelves.
SO WHAT'S NEW?
Well Steve, the first thing you'll notice is that My Documents, My Music, and My Briefcase have all been replaced. (You can still access them by unlockiing the Windows 96 hall of fame, but you have to drag the mouse 14,500 miles). Instead we have the unusual and new "My Cameltoe," "My Coupons," and "My Wifebeater." Although traditionalists may balk at this direction, Microsoft says it actually provides greater productivity and integration.
Now, when you want to beat your wife, you don't select it from the Office toolbar. It's built right into the windows explorer. Simply right click on "My Wifebeater" and select "Put on and beat!." And you can schedule it using Cameltoe manager, which can be found in Windows Control Panel.
All in all, Windows: Wifebeater edition is a welcome followup to Windows 96. Diehard Windows 96 users probably won't be upgrading anytime soon, but that makes sense since I've just defined them as people who won't be upgrading anytime soon.