The real problem with windows is not windows

(note: this was originally intended as a reply to Why Is So Hard for Windows Users to Understand That Linux Is Not Windows, but it got so long I felt it should be it’s own post. I’m not sure the title is good, but it’s close enough)

(note: I use the term users in this blog to mean people who use computers that do not, develop, administrate, repair, or are other wise considered power users, and professional computer users.)

I don’t hate windows anymore, like Dan Craciun says they just aren’t the same thing. I switched to linux years ago, I see that it isn’t perfect anymore, but I still like it better than windows.

If you told me that I had to ignore the constant rebooting on windows and the lack of gaming on linux. I would suggest that I can make either system as stable, and equal in terms of usefulness on the desktop. Sure it might take me a few more hours to secure windows, get drivers installed, and install security tools, and the software I like. But in the end they’d be close to the same, in usability and long term stability for me and normal users.

The truth? the problem with windows isn’t entirely windows… it’s users. I could teach a user 99% of what they need to know to maintain their computer and keep it running smooth in an hour, but they wouldn’t listen, they’d continue to use IE to browse promiscuously, not keep their antivirus, antispyware that I installed up to date.

If you were to change everyone running windows xp to ubuntu (I don’t like ubuntu btw) today, I predict in 6 months to a year ubuntu users would have as many problems as windows users today? why? they wouldn’t update there systems… they’d disable their firewalls, they would browse to all sorts of bad sites that contain the new linux malware.

How do I know this? I’ve put ‘users’ on linux, specifically opensuse, which has a nice little update checker… I show them how to use that after resolving the problems of codecs, and drivers and whatever else install problems they might have. In a week that icon is red, and will stay that way indefinitely because they never ever run updates.

So the real problem is users not treating there computers like cars, and ignoring the fact that they need proper maintenance and there are just some things you shouldn’t do with them. True linux is easier for me to fix, mostly due to the lack of a registry, but the problem is not make and model, but lack of maintenance (and yes some makes and models are easier to maintain). If you don’t ever get an oil change or add to your oil your engine will burn up a lot faster than it would if you had take care of it.

The one thing that M$ does that causes me to still hate them, because it affects me, is IE. If I had one thing I wanted from microsoft it would be a browser with the standards compliance on par with the likes of Mozilla Firefox (they don’t have to achieve opera, or webkit) and without their own proprietary syntax, they have to do it the same way as everyone else (e.g. no active X calls instead of XMLHttpRequest..) But even if IE8 managed to be this browser, it wouldn’t help anytime soon… why? because users don’t update their software.


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