The thing about Windows XP is that it’s amazingly frightening. I feel a total lack of control that I’ve never felt with any other operating system. I think the biggest reason for this is that it’s the first operating system that is really connected to the mothership pervasively. It starts out by asking whether you want to activate Windows over the Internet. I went ahead and did that. It loads Windows Messenger automatically and asks you for your Passport information. Why? I don’t think it just wants me to try instant messaging, but I have no way to be sure, and I have no idea what else it does. Then there’s Windows Update. I used it with Windows 98, but I have to admit that it scares me with Windows XP. What information is it sending when it connects? I feel like I have little to no control over what gets shared between me and Microsoft. Let me put it this way: it feels more like Microsoft owns my PC than that I own their operating system. It’s really quite creepy.