Windows Ain't So Bad

Prior to four years ago, my work machine always ran Windows. At home, I usually had a desktop running Ubuntu Linux, but the laptop was Windows XP for a solid decade.

Then, I was issued a MacBookPro, and quickly learned to enjoy OS X. What I liked best about the MacBookPro wasn't the software, but the hardware. It was incredibly stable and almost never crashed.

I speak about the MacBookPro in the past tense because it was recently replaced by a Dell laptop running Windows 7. I've been working exclusively in Windows for the past 3 weeks and I must admit I prefer the Windows OS to OS X. I've just had to remember to CTRL instead of CMD.

Windows gets a bad rap, but it ain't so bad. Of course, I haven't tried Windows 8 yet... and I don't ever plan to.

What OS do you prefer on your desktop or laptop?


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Cheryl

I have Windows 7 on both my home computer and work computer. I have two computers so home computer is this one and my other is my work one. I never used a Mac. It would be learning all over again to do that.

April 23, 2015 @ 10:01 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

It's worth noting that the Windows laptop I'm now using is about 50% the cost of the MacBookPro it's replacing.

If I had to spend my own money on a new personal computer tomorrow, I'd buy a laptop running Windows 7.

April 23, 2015 @ 10:03 AM

Stan

Apple is an amazing marketing company, but you overpay for that logo.

I'll stick with Windows, thank you very much.

April 23, 2015 @ 10:15 AM

Lyle Lanley

Windows for me.

April 23, 2015 @ 10:53 AM

Anonymous

I like how the ad is for vinyl windows.

April 23, 2015 @ 10:57 AM

Lynne

That's interesting Mike. That comment kind of made my day. I have never been rich enough to fork over the extra cash for Apple, but I secretly envied those who did. I run Windows 7 and am so relieved that I bought my laptops when I did (2012), so I luckily avoided Windows 8. I hate those dreaded updates (but of course I always do them) and Internet Explorer, version after version, is just a bloated pig. I wonder what fresh hell Windows 10 will bring... They say they are getting rid of IE. Five years late in my humble opinion. I will stick to Chrome.

April 23, 2015 @ 11:01 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Lynne

This Dell laptop I'm using right now was purchased four weeks ago and came with Windows 7. They let you choose 7 or 8 when you buy it.

I'm all about Chrome, regardless of whether I'm on a Mac or PC. I even use it on my Android device.

April 23, 2015 @ 11:10 AM

Mrmojorisinca

I use both OSX Yosemite and Win 8 Pro..

I enjoy both..Win 8 I use more like Win 7 anyway..aside from a few things..but after about two weeks I didn't mind it..
and like Mike, if I was using my own money I'd buy a PC..

April 23, 2015 @ 11:13 AM

RobG

At work we run Windows 7. At home we use a MacBook Pro. I prefer the Mac OS over windows. It's a matter of retraining your brain for commands, etx. But you know what Apple does the best? Their ecosystem.

We have mostly Apple products at home and the synergy between the Mac and the iPhone and the iPads and the Apple TV's and the Time Capsule make it worth the extra $$$ to choose the Mac over a Windows-based laptop or PC.

I may come across as an Apple-snob but when the background thinking is done for me and everything works together and in tandom...that's extra coin is worth it for me rather than spend countless hours fighting with Windows.

April 23, 2015 @ 11:36 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@RobG

Funnily enough, it's that ecosystem that turns me off Apple products. My daughter has an iPad Mini, and every time I use it I'm glad my phone is Android.

April 23, 2015 @ 11:46 AM

m m

I don't know the stats, but is there a demographic difference of users for Win vs ios/OS X vs Android, across devices?
Even without the price difference, I'm good with Win. It's built for general purpose, which fits me just fine. Apple devices are not built for that. When it comes to proprietary software and restrictions, Apple IMO is the bigger culprit.

April 23, 2015 @ 11:49 AM

Andrew

I live in the Mac world, but mostly because some of the software I use is Mac only. I do have Bootcamp installed on my laptop and go back and forth.

I just built a new gaming PC with Win 8.1 and it's ok. 8.1 is a lot better than what 8 was.

Mac is great for the closed environment, Windows is great for larger software pool. Just depends on what you use your products for.

Cheers,
Andrew

April 23, 2015 @ 12:37 PM

Lynne

@Mike
I know you can get Win7 or 8 from Dell. I just meant that a later-than-2012 purchase at BestBuy would have come with Win8 installed (and most still do, except for refurbished). And, having moved from XP in 2012, I would have been oblivious to the superior Win7 if the new ones came with Win8. Now I know better and see that I made the right move at the right time (by dumb luck). I keep my laptops for10 years by reinstalling everything every 3 years or so and running great security in the meantime.

April 23, 2015 @ 1:47 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Lynne

The nice thing is that Windows 10 is coming soon and I believe it's a free upgrade for both Windows 7 and 8 users.

April 23, 2015 @ 1:52 PM

Irv

I use Linux, Windows and OS X and would consider myself "functionally literate" in all 3. Windows 7 was a solid product & Windows 8.1 is superior. It takes a while to adapt to the GUI, but once you understand the flow of it, you realize it's faster. My main "work machine" is an HP EliteBook (upper end) and it costs about the same as a MacBook Pro. When I put on the battery sleeve, I can get up to 24 hours of power without charging. It costs the same as the 15" MacBook Pro (the basic model).

I think both Mac and Windows are solid products. My "concern" with all Apple products is the lack of transparency (or is that secrecy) when it comes to security. Microsoft does a much superior job in that department. It's a myth that Mac is secure & doesn't get viruses.

As for the closed ecosystem of Mac, well it can make sense. For media at home, I have Mac products (Mac Mini, SAN, Apple TV, 2 iPad's & an iPhone). There app ecosystem is also inherently more secure than what Google can offer.

AND..I'm replacing my iPhone with...*drums*...a Blackberry. I did some testing on a BB Passport. I want to get the Leap. I am IMPRESSED. BB 10 nukes iPhone in usability & it's security is rock fucking solid. You can set permissions in a very granular level, something you can't do elsewhere. The whole "BES/BB" ecosytem is just rock solid too and secure.

Overall though, my favourite OS is Linux. I use Kali Linux (Intelligence gathering & technical hacking). I call it my "weapon of mass destruction" lol. Otherwise, at home when not working I use Linux Mint. It's solid & it's a thing of beauty. I prefer the XFCE desktop, but Cinnamon is pretty freaking nice too. I'm not a fan of Ubuntu mostly because of UNITY. I prefer the Debian food chain.

April 23, 2015 @ 2:51 PM

Argie

Instead of making cell phones bigger (5" plus displays) they should be making them smaller. I realize most people want to surf, play games and text with a large display but don't most people today also have a tablet or access to a laptop nearby?

I would like a phone that would fit in my jacket pocket (I'm thinking 4"x2" in size). I don't even need a touch style phone. All I need in a phone (besides the phone part) is a qwerty keyboard for texting or the odd email and a solid camera.

Does anyone out there agree with this thinking? Just curious.

April 23, 2015 @ 3:53 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Argie

Not me.

I love the size of my L3 G3. It's 146.3 mm (5.76 in) H; 74.6 mm (2.94 in) W and fits perfectly in my pocket. But I really use it as a mini computer so I love the big screen.

April 23, 2015 @ 4:01 PM

Argie

Of course my perfect phone would also have a good media player, some storage and thin. Oh and definitely NOT a flip phone.

April 23, 2015 @ 4:09 PM

Jason from Sudbury

Windows 7 on both pc and laptop. Up until over a year ago I had an old laptop with xp on it. I actually kinda miss XP in a way.

As for phones I agree with Argie. I'm also not a fan of touch screens but you just can't avoid that shit now days. What can I say...I have fat fingers and prefer my buttons. lol

April 23, 2015 @ 7:57 PM

Sammi

Apple is completely over-rated and actually quite cumbersome. At work they gave me a MacBook and I find it awful. Windows 7 is way better.

April 23, 2015 @ 8:18 PM

Jody Thornton

I am running an older workstation class PC (though it's a nice dual Xeon system). I run an HP xw8200 workstation with 7 gb of RAM, and I'm still running Vista on it. I was going to migrate to 7 but I think it was the disk controller that's incompatible with it. Despite all of the hate Vista gets, once you have SP2 built in, the x64 build makes for quite a solid platform.

I was never all of that fancy on Windows 7, but I've reluctantly come around to Windows 8.1. I find it more responsive than 7, and you can hide a lot of the Metro/Modern stuff quite easily. Plus use Classic Shell, and you have the Start Menu back.

I really liked Windows XP x64 Edition A LOT. It was a perfect match for my machine, but Microsoft treated the OS as an afterthought, especially where driver support was concerned.

April 23, 2015 @ 8:50 PM

Lynne

@Mike
Yes, it will be a free upgrade. Microsoft is currently issuing optional updates to accommodate those of us who want to be the first to run it. I believe they will ask us to partition our hard drives before installing. I'm installing their 'get ready for 10 updates', but don't know if I will bite or not. It's probably going to be a major pain in the neck for months afterwards. Their new operating systems are notorious, and not in a good way.

April 24, 2015 @ 9:22 AM

Jody Thornton

I was running the Windows 10 TP for a couple of months, but it just did not WOW me. At first, it was really just "Windows 8.2" with a paltry start menu. It included features like multiple desktops which I never made use of on Linux, Unix or OS/2 desktops. So it's not something I ever cared for in Windows. Plus, in later revisions I hate the new caption buttons.

Other than that, there were some new window animations, Cortana and Spartan (the replacement for IE). I just don't get the excitement, and so even a free upgrade wouldn't woo me over.

April 24, 2015 @ 9:48 AM

Cambo

@Lynne

I'm using Windows 8.1 with a custom Start menu, and it's far superior to Win 7 in every way. Windows 7 runs on the old code, which is much slower and more inefficient than 8.1/10.

That said, I've been using Windows 10 in a virtual machine. It's not finished yet and there are some quirks but I can see where they're going. You will enjoy this update much more than 8.1, and 7. It's what 8.1 should have been.

The only problem with 8.1 was (is) the UI. Other than that, it's a solid OS. Start8 fixed that for me and I hate going back to 7 now.

April 24, 2015 @ 11:23 AM

Irv

@Jody:

Windows "desktop development" is now aimed at the corporation & not designed for the standard user. Things like multiple desktops make a great deal of sense in corporate IT. They aren't important to the home user but that's not who Win 10 was designed for.

Even the Microsoft Certification track for "Desktop" is now all about WDS, imaging, etc. They don't test you on changing your own resolution. It's assumed you know that as it's 2015. One of the hardest certification tracks I ever took was the Windows 7 MCSA. Combined with SCCM it's now a "full time job".

As for Win 7 versus Win 8.1, the winner is definitely 8.1 from a technical standpoint. First and foremost is the inclusion of Hyper V on Windows 8.1. Any technical guy, even a lazy, junior tech, appreciates the ability to spool up virtual machines for testing, study, etc. Other cool factors are "Direct Access" which is a VPN on steroids. Windows 8.1 is also fast, especially on a SSD drive. I have a 1 TB SSD drive on my Windows 8.1 laptop and from cold boot to "operational" is about 8 seconds.

Having used MS products since Windows 3, the introduction of any new MS product always comes with it's naysayers. I remember the cries of how much XP sucked in the early days. Later, XP rules and Windows 7 sucked. Now Win 7 rules and 8.1 sucks. Not to say MS hasn't fucked up at times but most of the time the complaints are from technical quakers who just don't like change. Or should I say they like change when it suits them.

Tech is tech. Change is constant & that's what makes it cool. Would you prefer to return to the days of 8 Track tapes, paying with "cheques" and having no internet? lol. No. Most people couldn't survive with just a flip phone.

April 24, 2015 @ 11:44 AM

Jody Thornton

@Irv: (you wrote)

"Tech is tech. Change is constant & that's what makes it cool. Would you prefer to return to the days of 8 Track tapes, paying with "cheques" and having no internet? lol. No. Most people couldn't survive with just a flip phone. "

It depends. Some new tech I can appreciate; some I like better in its older incarnation. I wouldn't consider myself a "home" user, though my IT skills are fading fast, I would still say that I am somewhat an advanced user. Even in the corporate world, I never cared for mulitple desktops (either in xNix or OS/2). I preferred multiple monitors if I so needed multiple desktop displays, and even then, naw.

I just find change for the sake of change can be a bit tiresome though too. What's wrong longevity, or counting on something? Those are good attributes too. I would love a desktop that had all of the inner advances and security, yet looks like Windows 2000 Professional. See what I mean? I don't hate progress, but I don't always need to change my working style.

Whew! You'll be glad to see that I managed to mention all of that without talking about CHUM or AM Stereo....lol

Take care!

April 24, 2015 @ 12:01 PM

Irv

@Jody

Multiple desktops might be used in a case where you're monitoring oil drilling or pipeline production. You have all data on specific desktops & flip over to see them. It beats having 6 monitors (I had that many once, it's ADHD...

Yes, I know you hate change for the sake of change..which is why you fit into the AM radio world so well LOL. But, the reality is there is very little "change for the sake of change" in technology. The code behind the UI is continuously changing & the UI changes because it's what people want. It's technology. It's supposed to be cool, new & exciting. It's the same reason we don't wear flannel shirts till or drive boxy cars (ala the K Car).

As for radio, I'll be happy when they disco the whole FM dial anyway. Digital is far superior & why should I be limited by geography as to what I listen too.

April 24, 2015 @ 12:14 PM

Lynne

@Cambo

I believe you. However, as long as it's supported, I will stay with Win 7. I am just an average user with average (or below-average) computing needs and the ability to keep laptops going indefinitely. I am cheap, cheap, cheap when it comes to technology. If it ain't broke, I keep it going. A couple of weeks ago I upgraded the memory in a netbook my husband likes. It runs like a dream now.

April 25, 2015 @ 8:09 AM

Stephanie

I use Windows 7 at work and my laptop is Windows 8.1 (although I do have an iMac Pro that the 8.1 replaced). While I still prefer the Windows platform, the 7 is still the best. I don't know what they will come up with when they switch to 10 but I hope it's some sort of hybrid version. As for phones, and I have now been on all four platforms, I preferred the ease of the Windows phone. I still actually miss it but in terms of app design they were always behind and there were always bugs. If I was just using it for email, text, Facebook and Twitter, then it would be all I need, but in the world of apps making life easier I have recently switched to the iPhone and am quite happy (couldn't ever feel happy with Android).

April 25, 2015 @ 3:37 PM

markosaar

@Toronto Mike,

Really nothing wrong with Windows 8(.1), but you may as well skip it for Win10, assuming that launches in a stable state. Free, too.

There were fears that Win8 was Microsoft's foray into a walled-ecosystem. I wouldn't say those fears were unfounded, but the experiment was mostly a joke. Win8 "apps" are functionally crippled on regular desktop PCs. You could run all your regular desktop software anyway so it was moot and easily bypassed.

April 28, 2015 @ 1:30 AM

CQ

I still love Windows XP Professional, with service pack 2 - has long as I can have ALL of the nifty small freeware programs that I've discovered. My Windows 2000 laptop just isn't the same. I hate the Windows 7 Home edition; no confidence in awaiting a Windows 10 (the alternate bad/good microsoft o/s theory: 95, 98, 2000, XP, Vista, 7, RT and 8.

April 28, 2015 @ 10:18 AM

bdot

Max OS and IOS is for hipsters!!

April 30, 2015 @ 3:45 PM

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