Tanenbaum outlines his vision for a grandma-proof OS

"Is software reliability important? Ask your grandma," says operating systems guru Dr Andrew Tanenbaum.

When consumers go to buy an electrical appliance such as a TV or stereo they expect to bring it home, plug it in and see it work. And it is exactly what happens -- for years on end. But not so with computers, even though it should, says Tanenbaum, author and .

Tanenbaum used last week's in Australia to introduce his new metric: LFs -- Lifetime Failures, which he says is the number of times software, particularly the operating system, has crashed in a user's lifetime.

He said there was no reason why PC consumers should expect mediocrity from their operating systems. "A TV doesn't have a rest button," he said.

But how to do this?

"I think it is time we rethink operating systems," he said. "We have to rethink where we are going in 2007. We have basically infinite hardware and the only reason it's slow is because the performance is so bad."