It dawned on me the other day that children Follow the Microsoft Windows Model. Pay close attention to how well kids’ behavior maps to Windows':
Windows 3.1 – At birth, they’re most celebrated for being new. As such, they’re automatically cute and exciting, and a little tiring. They’re fun to play with, but a little slow and not terribly responsive. They’re the best we’ve ever known, but there’s a long way to go.
Windows 95 – Once they hit their first birthday and they’re walking and learning words, they become a full-fledged interactive operating system. They’re capable of going anywhere. They can say anything. Suddenly, they’re easier to use, seem fully functional, and enter an age of innocence that ignores their own safety.
Windows ME – The Terrible Twos. They seem the same, but they aren’t as functional anymore. The party is over. You wish you could go back to Windows 95, but that’s the past and this is supposed to be the future. Despite having an excellent foundation, there’s only heartache and pain.
Windows XP – Then they make it out the other side. They’re fully-formed children, still capable of trouble, but much more secure and very functional.
Windows XP Service Pack 2 – Now they’re in school, doing homework, making new friends, getting things done. They’ve learned enough to be dangerous, but they also know a lot about what they shouldn’t be doing. The only question is how much they choose to do wrong, willingly.
Windows Vista – Now they’re teenagers. You don’t want to deal with them. They’re terribly concerned with how they look and not how they run. They shun their pasts, their parents, etc. They think they’re big and bad, but they’re not. They’re what you were hoping for, yet there are features that didn’t make it into their teenaged packaging that you thought you were coding for.
Windows 7 – Safe, secure, learned from their past. Realize the errors of their way. Ready, at last, to evolve into a new model. This is the end of their college years.
Windows Cloud – Now they leave the nest and move into the real world, out of your clutches. They’re on their own, for better or worse.
Just for kicks:
Mac OS X 10.5 – He’s the good looking, smart kid next door that does most things right out of the gate. Every year he gets better, smarter, stronger. His friends are cooler. All the cool kids gravitate to him.
Linux – The slow kid down the street whose parents let his extended family raise him, confusing him as to the guidelines of human behavior. No two adult role models can agree on his limits or his future course of action. He’s capable of going in ten different directions and often does, just all at once. Still, he started as a command line system, and eventually grew to copy that Windows Vista kid next door that has all the friends, even if none of them are very cool.