#12: I'm afraid you don't understand...
MS did make things easier for users, but at what expense? It's virtually impossible to compete with them.
Do you honestly think a superior product has a chance to stand against MS? No matter how good it is, people will go "so what? It doesn't run xxx."
In order to break free of MS's restrictiveness, we need something fresh and completely new, and that would cost us compatibility. Sure, you could try providing some sort of emulation for Win32 applications, but good luck with that... if you want to do a good job, you have to think outside of the box and break free.
People won't go for that because MS has gotten too much control, due to a lack of competition (blame for that can be placed on MS's anti-competetive tactics.) Everyone knows how MS made it so Windows wouldn't run on DR-DOS, even though it could. Good luck fighting with people like that.
The open source/free software movements have resulted in competing software being handed out for free, with no strings attached. What a concept? But no, not even that will make a difference. It would take a lot of money to compete with MS, even if you want to give out your goods for free. That's pretty unfair, IMHO, and it shows a major flaw in modern economic policy. Success should be determined more by function than by wealth. That's what capitalism technically strives to achieve, but in practice, it doesn't work that way.
It can be argued that free operating systems like Linux and the BSDs are not ready for prime time, and it's probably true. These operating systems are better targeted at specific groups of people than at the general audience, but efforts have been made to improve the desktop functionality of these systems, but it isn't really helping yet. Eventually, MS is bound to fall apart, but it's going to take way too long.
MS is going around nowadays calling open source a "cancer" and "un-American." Is that good? I don't think so. MS sees open source/free software as a threat, and it knows it can't compete fairly. Instead, they spread fear and lies. That's completely unfair. Business should be more ethical than that. If you're failing, don't attack your competition with lies, face up to it and accept it, then do something to try to improve your situation constructively.
If you put things in perspective, business is meant to serve the good of the people. If anything, business should be a slave to our good will, not the other way around. Business should help us, instead of us helping business out (under the pretense that it returns to us indirectly.)
I think the world is just going through growing pains. People of each time period felt their beliefs were right, but we all know that times change, civilizations collapse, thinking changes. People love to cling to capitalism as the ultimate solution, because if you don't completely agree with it, you might as well be a communist or something. But let's face it... it's not the best system around, it has tons of flaws in practice, and is eventually going to be replaced.
I'm not about to say that the open source movement might be responsible for this, as some radicals would, but I think looking at today's issues with intellectual property and corporate greed, you can see that a successful future will look very different.