In reply to nunfetishist:
"I think you've been blinkered so much that you couldn't acknowlege it if it were perfect."
I'd like to think not. I'm merely working from my experience. By the way, don't think I'm just talking about the user experience when it is working, at least in some sense. Windows doesn't seem to be stable in the sense that it is very easy to break, or rather, for it to break itself.
"I think to say Microsoft don't worry about usability at all is extremely unfair."
I agree, it would be, but if you read carefully I didn't say that. This was a comment on the initial GUI design, which still lingers on in many respects, and indeed the odd new stupidity. Apple, on the other hand, did a much better job. I once found a very interesting article by someone involved with the original Mac GUI, and the trials and experiments they'd done.
Your comment about pushing the middle button is in a sense true - it isn't obvious from first principles. But I think that is not really the appropriate level to consider. Remember that scene from a Star Trek film where Scotty picks up a mouse and speaks into it?
The thing is, the menu button, and indeed RISC OS generally, is all described by a style guide so as to be consistent. Acorn were quite explicit as to how things should function, and to a large extent they did a good job. The right button on Windows has various context sensitive effects, and sometimes you can only (as far as I can tell) get certain functions using it, rather than the other set of menus along the top of each window. Which is more intuitive; one menu system or two overlapping sets? (actually, three..)
I'm not really sure about the amount of state hidden by RISC OS, it doesn't 'feel' like that much to me; could you elaborate? (particularly, where Win/Lin/Mac is superior)
We shouldn't really get into the details of multitasking here, but thanks for the info, it is an interesting subject. I agree that PMT makes programming easier, but am not sure about your comment that there isn't much call for 'blocking'. I would have thought that many interactive programs would need to update at regular intervals. Time must increment, cursors must flash, time-dependent data must be updated and so on.
If it is easy then of course good.