Every now and then I try Windows. Why? I don't know.. maybe it's unconscious guilt: am I really being fair to the little guy? I mean, I barely give it a chance, always putting it down, making fun of it. Is it fair without giving it a fighting chance to impress me? After all, most of the immediate dislike I experience is just the normal uncomfortable strangeness of a different environment: the keys I am used to for searching, for cut and paste and so on don't work, or do something unexpected. A Windows user switching to Mac is going to have the same problems; heck, my wife showed me that. That's all cosmetic and what we are used to.. it's not right to dislike Windows just because it's different.
Well, yeah, there is that virus stuff. Windows has a pretty bad rep there, and it is well deserved. While Symantec recently reported another Mac OS X Virus, that's only the second reported so far, it's extremely low risk, so the whole subject of Mac OS X or Linux viruses is very much a non-issue.
But let's ignore that. We'll load up with A/V products and pretend the issues and annoyances they add aren't part of Windows. Is there anything else that ticks me off and keeps me running on Mac and Linux?
There is that command line. That's the biggy. DOS is pathethic, and Monad seems like a horribly bad joke. A lot of Windows folk just can't understand why this is so important. Part of that is simple ignorance: if you've never had a good command line, you don't know what you are missing. But there may be more: almost a decade ago, Thomas Scoville suggested that general reading and writing skills had influence here. Whatever the reason, I can't stand not having a strong command line shell.
Hardware bloat definitely causes part of my distaste. The bigger and badder your hardware, the better Windows runs. Of course that's also true for Mac and Linux machines, but Windows appetite for ram and cpu cycles seems to be much worse. Tangential to this is the gaggle of mysterious processes running. OK, you could argue that any Unix or Linux machine has its own mysteries in a "ps" listing, but it's not quite the same. First, there's the immediate separation of "my" processes: "ps" by itself doesn't show all the system activity. Second, there's the aspect of openness: I *can* track down information, man pages, and probably source code on everything I see in a Mac/Linux/Unix ps listing.
And then there's that damn Registry. Of all things Windowish, that's the most galling. Configuration data should be text based and if binary data is absolutely necessary (which it seldom is), that part should be separate and pointed to by the real (text) configuration file. But again: if you don't understand the value of text tools, you won't grok the value of text configuration files.
I can't leave this subject without mentioning my disgust at Microsoft's predatory business practices. That doesn't have any direct relationship to disliking Windows, but it does affect my attitude in general: I don't like their morals. No, I'm not saying that Apple, RedHat, IBM or anyone else is pure of heart and beyond reproach, but I do think Microsoft has taken dirty business to new heights (or lows, if you prefer). I simply find it offensive, and more offensive than anyone else in the same market space.
What about you? If you aren't a Windows user, why? Is it just the viruses and bloatware or is there more to it? Do you have your own list of reasons not to like Windows?
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