HP to do it right by doing it itself?

One of the weird things about the Mac-PC rivalry is that "Mac" and "PCs" aren't necessarily two items that can be seen in direct opposition within the same category. The first big Mac advocate in my life -- a friend's mother and IT pioneer -- swooned over the two Steves but always admonished me that a Mac was as much of a personal computer as anything IBM put out. And in fact the PC makers that are in the same basic personal computer market with Apple nevertheless have a completely different business model, since their hardware runs an OS -- the thing that in the end the users really spend most of their time interacting with -- made by someone else.

But what do you do when that OS is becoming widely hated, as Vista is? Well, a fascinating article in BusinessWeek offers a peek behind the scenes at HP, where this problem is causing a bit of panic. Apparently they're throwing together a "customer experience group" that will try to make Vista better (but how?)

or maybe even create a customized Linux distro (without annoying Redmond?). And of course Apple, the only PC maker not selling Vista boxes, is a big driver behind this, as their OS is widely regarded as not being terrible, and yet this is not a problem that HP can really fix.

I have no illusions that Apple's OS will always be better than Microsoft's, having lived through the dark days of the late '90s; but at least when Apple is falling behind in the OS race, it can do something about it. The other PC makers are just stuck.

What’s wrong? The new clean desk test
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