What do you get when you take a product used by hundreds of millions of people every day, add a few new features / polish up the interface, and then try to get everyone to shell out a grip of money for this delay- and bug- plagued upgrade? No, we're not talking about New Coke, although Microsoft probably could have learned a lesson from that failed experiment when it went about developing what would end up being Windows Vista, namely that consumers demand more than some glitz and fancy new packaging if they're to abandon an old, reliable friend. And besides that impressive Aero GUI -- which many PCs can't take advantage of anyway -- what is Vista really offering us that XP didn't? A crash-prone new media player? Exclusive "ultimate extras" that have so far amounted to a lame shareware game? A thousand chances a day to feel important when bequeathing "Administrator privileges" on all those demanding processes?

You can probably tell by now that we're no Vista proponents, and having run the new OS exclusively for almost six months at this point, we're actually about to "make the leap" back to XP. But we're not willing to give up on Redmond just yet, and the beauty of all these service packs and "Patch Tuesdays" is that some of our suggestions could conceivably be incorporated into a product that's already hit the market. So, what does Microsoft need to do to make Vista (and its price points) more palatable (short of re-releasing it based on the WinFS file system)? Loosen up the DRM restrictions? Toss the controversial WGA? Put all possible features in a single SKU like certain other companies? Well come on, we're positive that there's no shortage of suggestions out there, so let's hear 'em!

Spare Photomasks used to create coaster set