People have been complaining about computer glitches since the punch card days. Honestly, it's 2010. Why don't we have simple stuff like drivers and software compatibility fixed yet? Can we blame it all on Bill Gates?
Well, the bad news is that there are really good reasons your PC doesn't work quite right, even now. The worse news is that it's probably never going to get better.
You can blame ...
7PC Parts That Are Manufactured by God Knows Who
Have you ever wondered why the newest computers still start up with a screenful of text and a "Speak-and-Spell"-esque beep? While pretty much every component has been replaced with new standards at least once since, the core of modern computer design is still based on the design of the 1981 IBM PC.
An elegant computer, for a more civilized age.
The reason the IBM PC design was so popular was the same reason the actual IBM PC wasn't -- IBM took a page from Eli Whitney's book and allowed each part of the computer to be interchanged with a part made by a competitor, meaning that you could (and today, almost definitely do) have an entire PC made from non-IBM parts.
So, say that one day the Taiwanese company that made your sound card finally goes bankrupt or is captured by China. If you want to use it with the next version of Windows, you're shit out of luck, as anybody with a sound card more than a year old was when Creative refused to write less-crappy drivers for Windows Vista until Microsoft did it themselves.
Vista was to Windows what The Phantom Menace was to Star Wars.
If you're using Windows 7, you probably see the "blue screen of death" less often than you used to -- it's a lot better about not letting badly written programs crash your system. But when you do see it, you can bet it's due to drivers written by the aforementioned hardware designers, who may not speak English, which, unfortunately for them (and by extension, us), is the language all the books on how to program drivers are written in.
6Software That's Written by God Knows Who
Every version of Windows attracts complaints about old programs not working with the new version. People assume this is because Microsoft is stupid and lazy and didn't bother to accommodate the perfectly reasonable design of older programs.
Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft.
Microsoft deserves a break on this one. The insane work Microsoft does to keep backward compatibility is like one of those games where shit just falls from the sky endlessly, and as you keep catching it, it just falls faster and faster until you miss one, and then the game calls you a loser.
It all seems so very pointless.
There's a lot of responsibility involved in programming, such as making sure the program lets go of resources it's done using, and not making assumptions that, if they turn out to be wrong, will make the user's computer shit its pants. Some programmers take this as a dare.
For instance, the original SimCity was really sloppy about how it used memory (i.e., it told DOS it was finished using a bunch of memory and then immediately start using it anyway). This was fine as long as the system wasn't using much of its memory anyway (and DOS didn't). But then Windows came along and started needing this memory that SimCity was tying up. So the game crashed.
Games didn't tend to outsell Hollywood blockbusters back then.
Microsoft fixed this by writing code so Windows would detect if SimCity were running and do special tricks to make it work. Then Microsoft did that for the next piece of software that fucked up. Then the next. Here is the current list of "we found this program doing stupid shit and have to work around it" applications Windows currently has to look for. There are 6,520 of them.
If you got a funny image in your head of a Microsoft employee running down some store's software aisle with his arms out, knocking every stupid product they hit into his shopping cart so he could look at them ahead of time rather than wait for complaints to roll in, good, that's because that's exactly what he did. If you're Microsoft, you can't just let their software crash the user's PC (the user will blame you), and you can't just wait for the software manufacturer to fix it (hell, it may not even be in business anymore).
Their only other choice is to ban all software that Microsoft hasn't given explicit permission for ahead of time -- but that's what has people furious at Apple. This is why you hear people talking about "jailbreaking" their iPhones -- they're trying to circumvent that system.
Get busy living, or get busy downloading third party apps.
It's a no-win situation.