Sunday, April 13, 2008

Microsoft Successful

Microsoft Windows is the operating system that everyone loves to hate. I recently bought a new computer. Before I bought it, I had to decide whether to stick with the old and familiar, or to go with something new. There are two common alternatives to Windows. One is to buy a Mac. The other is to install Linux. In the process of researching my decision, and in the aftermath of the purchase, I was exposed to the attitudes of Mac users, and having freed up my old computer for experimentation, I decided to try to see how for I could get with Linux.

The predominating attitude of Mac users suggests that I'm not nearly condescending enough to own one [1]. Meanwhile, my attempt with Linux was one of many in my personal history with computers, and like every attempt in the past, I quickly realized that I need to have an advanced to degree in computer science with about a week of nothing to do but tweaking my system before I can read my email, and another week before I can send.

In the end, I realized that my only option was go back to the old and familiar. My experiences since then have inspired me not only to accept Windows, but to defend it against the other commonly available options. In the first of what may or may not be a series of posts on this theme, I would like to declare that, on at least one of their design goals, Microsoft has been incredibly successful.

[1] This is not to say that all Mac owners are condescending. Two out of three of the friends I have who bought Mac computers are quite the opposite, whatever that is. But that third friend just ruins it for the first two. Mac users who have inherited their computers from their supervisors are excluded from this statistic.

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