If you have read all my previous posts, you probably deduced that I'm a free software fan. Yes, I am, and I love free software. However, as many people, I'm forced to use Windows systems from time to time, specially for university homework.
And every time I sit on a Windows box, all I can say is "great UI". In the inside, it may be worse or better (and I tend to think it's the former), but the outside, what the user uses and looks at, is very good. Note that I'm referring to the classic UI, which got to its best look in Windows 2000, IMVHO. The new interface in Windows XP is also good, but I can't stand it for day to day usage (too bright colors).
The interface is damn fast and usable. Most common things (and not so common) are easily accessible; those that aren't usually need ugly registry tricks (but this is the "inside" view, not what I'm talking about now). The widgets have the right amount of 3D effects and size, and the default gray level is good. And if you are in Windows XP or Windows 2003 with ClearType enabled, they just look extremely well.
At last, we have the Windows Explorer... a tool that Microsoft has got simply right over the years. I still haven't found another file manager that provides me the same balance of usability and features. Konqueror may have lots of functionality but it's slower and not as comfortable. Nautilus, in its spatial mode, is quite fast, but has changed the file management philosophy completely; and in its browser mode it's just slow.
Well, now blame me for these comments, but it's what I think. KDE and GNOME are very good (assuming they are configured properly, like done in some Linux distributions), but I find them too bloated or slow compared to the Windows UI. They'll surely get better in the next years, and I hope that my view changes some day ;-)
To finish, I'm going away for two or three weeks, so there won't be more posts in this period (just in case anybody cares a bit). See you!