Despite upgrades like Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft's most popular operating system remains the clunky, security-plagued, 10-year-old Windows XP. But why? "I'm fascinated—and, in a peculiar way, inspired—by XP's astonishing longevity," writes McCracken in Time. Microsoft is mostly at fault, he says, because Vista was glitzy, "had an unfinished feel," and lagged on many computers. Some users simply "went back to XP; many more who never bought Vista in the first place decided not to go there."
Windows rolled out the well-designed Windows 7 in 2009, but by then "people had discovered that it was possible to just keep on using Windows XP." After all, "technological Luddites" liked it, as did companies that approached upgrades "very, very slowly." McCracken admires these holdouts for shifting power away from Microsoft, the former "800-lb. bully who could shove stuff down its customers' throats with impunity," but please: "Windows 7, is slicker, safer, less annoying and just plain better." (And Windows 8 is coming out next year.)