Why does Windows need so much micromanagement?

Note: This post is over 4 years old. It was first published in December 2006

I sometimes feel like Windows is a bit like a junior employee who looked great on paper, but asks you way too many questions about trivial stuff, and can’t make a decision on their own. In other words, they rely completely on micromanagement. If Windows was this person you would end up snapping at them “Look, just take care of it, I don’t want to have to tell you how!”

Here’s my top 3 micromanagement shortfalls:

1. Not looking after your data

If Windows really cared about my data, it would go to the ends of the earth to keep it safe. Ideally the only time I want to think about backing-up is the first time I set up my PC when I take it out of its box. Sure, I may need to pay extra for a PC with more hard disks, but if I’m willing to do that, Windows should be ready to help me. (If Windows can’t offer it because of anti-trust issues, then a third party app will have to do.)

2. Not keeping itself fit
So you’ve had your PC for a year and its starting to slow down. Argh. What do you do? It’s probably due to one of the many applications you’ve installed- but which one? If slowdown can’t be prevented, then I want my PC to have a degree of self awareness. If it starts running slower than normal, I want it to diagnose itself and take appropriate action- unload some of those tray apps, disable some of those shell hooks, do what needs to be done. And only talk to me when a big decision needs to be made.

3. Allowing file transfers to fail, and just giving up on them
If I am moving a load of files from one place on the network to my PC, I don’t come back a few hours later to find its just failed, with no option to resume. That is sooo lame. If I tell Windows to do something, it should try its very best to do it, not give up at the first hurdle.

Now I know Windows Vista has taken steps to remedy some of the issues listed above, but there are still more buttons to be clicked, settings to be set, and dialogs to be dealt with than are really necessary. Technological progress should make our lives simpler.