One of the things that I think is missing from a lot of desktop operating systems these days are programs that are designed for kids to have fun with.
I remember playing around with Microsoft Fine Artist as a kid, and loving it. I even used it to print out simple text-documents for small school assignments. Windows 95 had a lot of these sort of programs that made exploring the OS fun. The game Hover is another example of a program that Microsoft included on the Windows 95 CD. It wasn’t that special, but the fact that it was a fun time-waster and simultaneously a nice demonstration of the OS’ capabilities meant that people like me came back to play with it.
Another thing that I loved to explore was Microsoft’s Encarta encyclopedia. This didn’t come included with Windows, but it was a virtual encyclopedia was again very fun to look around. Some of the articles included had interactive elements, which encouraged interactivity. Of course this is all completely obsolete thanks to Wikipedia, but back in those days it was a novelty.
With modern Windows and MacOS being this boring, it’s really no wonder that kids these days are moving away from desktop environments. I think any programs that encourage kids to explore and have fun, without talking down to them will be a great way of promoting the OS. That will also show them that Haiku isn’t a “scary thing”.
I hope this made sense without sounding “ramble-y”.