Microsoft’s Windows is by far the most widely used operating system on the planet. It got there because clone manufacturers were able to undercut Apple and other Windows competitors in the early nineties on price and as a result, took over the corporate sector. People then started buying Windows PCs for their homes because that is what they used at work.
While Windows is the king of the hill, it still has some major flaws that have proven difficult for Microsoft to overcome. First is security. As the most popular OS, it is also the most popular target for people who write malware. These malware developers have success in attacking home-based systems because at the time, the common user was naïve about that stuff.
The second major issue with Windows is hardware compatibility. There are dozens of different hardware manufacturers. Each uses a different combination of processors, memory, graphics cards, and hard drives. This makes ensuring hardware compatibility virtually impossible for Microsoft.
There are other concerns, but the point is that Microsoft should start fresh with Windows in its next iteration. Since Windows 7 shipped last year, Windows 8 has probably been under development. Windows is the only major operating system left on the market that uses a proprietary kernel and not some flavor of Unix. This should change. Unix has proven itself to be a sturdy, reliable foundation for modern consumer operating systems.
With the advent of 64-bit microprocessors, Microsoft will have an opportunity to make a drastic change with Windows as 32-bit hardware is left to gather dust on the shelf.