How to install Windows XP
Mark Pilgrim offers How to install Windows XP in 5 hours or less. Five hours is about the time of lost production at work in the past two or three weeks due to critical Microsoft patches to my work machine and a development server (this does not include the time making sure the entire Web team was fully patched).
Yes, 5 hours is about right on my end as two of the MS patches either corrupted MS' URLscan (which is an MS tool to fix huge security holes in MS servers) or required modifications to applications that keep the servers running. This also includes testing of all applications that are essential to performing the work we are paid to do (MS has a solid history of breaking applications with patches and unpatching with new patches).
Given that the server admins on the project I work on (190 person contract) spend 8 times the amount of time on upkeep (including patching and rebuilds) than they do on the UNIX OS machines it is clear that Microsoft has serious problems with their OS. I know more than 10 IT managers that run shops with UNIX and MS and each of them has said the upkeep on MS machines in the past three years has out paced UNIX machines. Their estimates for total cost of ownership vary from 2 to 5 times the cost more to buy and keep MS machines running than it does UNIX machines.
In short it is not "trendy" to criticize MS it is the sign of somebody with experience.