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Why Does Windows Still Suck?


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One of the most insightful articles I've read in a long time, about Windows and its problems. Saw it on Slashdot (as usual :)):

RatBastard writes "SF Gate's Mark Morford asks: Why Does Windows Still Suck? After wtaching his significant other's Windows PC drown in a sea of viruses and worms after only 4 minutes on her new DSL connection, Mark Morford wonders why the masses have not stormed Redmond waving torches and scythes in anger over the never-ending security flaws in Windows. Why haven't they jetisoned the foul beast from Redmond and migrated en mass to the Macintosh or even Linux?"
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Rob, I know those motives B)

The topic was actually supposed to be the name of the article, "Why Does Windows Still Suck?", not "Why do you still use Windows.

I just wrote it wrong. Not my fault, blame my lack of sleep :)

 

Still, although a very simple one, it is still one of the most insightful questions (not "why you still use windows" but the big question he asks) I've seen in a long time :P

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Windows has the problems that it has primarily because users of Windows demanded that it be able to do some of the very things that led to it's vulnerabilities. That's certainly no excuse, but I'm certain it was not deliberate on Microsoft's part to say "OK, we can let the hackers in through here...and here...". The Linux vs. Windows "war" is interesting, from an intellectual, IT-minded point of view. But for the average user that wants to go to Wal-Mart or Best Buy and pick up the latest game or digital camera software, Linux isn't even on the map. Maybe one day it will be, but we ain't there yet.

 

Regards,

Dan

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I believe it to be because of my favorite Pet Peeve... the one-man-band approach to software authoring.

 

In the beginning a program did a thing. If it was an email program it did email. If it was a calendar it held dates, if it was a contact manager it managed my contacts.

 

Then came greed. In order for me to take money away from you, I wrote an email program that can do everything your calendar program does and also everything Joe-Bob's contact manager can do. Why not? After all, it's everyone for themselves, right? Nevermind that the basic user that wants to read email will never need a contact manager.

 

Then came the corporate money which fed the greed monster. If big business could be sold on my product then I'm set. If I can convince Fortune 500 companies that with my software they can save millions by online collaboration then I'll be rich!

 

So now days we have big, nasty, unruly, bug-infested software that we spend hundreds for and use only a small percentage of throughout the land. The greed monster rules and everyone fears it because they will be swallowed up by it. Small programmers have no chance and the large ones keep doing what they are doing - trying to beat the little guy out of the game.

 

The examples speak mostly of Outlook but the same kind of thing is true with Windows. They add in IM and special "hidden secrets" that make Office work better than anything else possibly could and create it so the internet, which is the latest craze, looks just like the OS so everyone wants to use them and they end up giving the keys to the OS to the wob browsers. Stupid indeed but again driven by greed to chase the others out of business (IM clients, web browsers, etc.)

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I just wrote it wrong. Not my fault, blame my lack of sleep mellow.gif

 

Cant use that excuse, Bill owns the copyright to it. ;)

LOL :lol: ;)

 

The Linux vs. Windows "war" is interesting, from an intellectual, IT-minded point of view. But for the average user that wants to go to Wal-Mart or Best Buy and pick up the latest game or digital camera software, Linux isn't even on the map.
Note that this isn't about a Windows vs. Linux war, this is about a very simple question: if a product used by millions of people simply doesn't work right, never did and only gets worst, why don't those millions of people protest against the product maker? This happens everywhere else (well, almost everywhere else) except when it comes to Windows.

 

I completely agree with Jim but I don't think that's the only reason. Or at least not alone. I think that nowadays, most people who use a computer are people who don't like computers, don't want to know how they work, think they're a seven-head monster or Medusa and if you look at them for more than 5 minutes you'll be petrified.

 

This leads us to having stupidly simple programs and instead of focusing on security and usability, their creators focus on simplicity and good-looks. My position about this is probably a bit extreme but I think that if someone wants to use a computer, they should know what they have in their hands. I'm not saying they should know how to program in assembly language but come on, people should at least know that they need to turn on the darn thing before using it...

 

 

As to the question that popped into my mind, about "why do you still use windows?", I do know that since Windows dominated the home operating system market for so long, most games and some other very specific software is mostly available only on Windows but what about the rest of the computer users? Why is Windows used on most companies and governments?

 

I believe this is (at least in part) the vendors' fault. PC vendors push Windows down the consumers' throat and don't even give them a chance to chose. For example, I can't buy a laptop computer here in Portugal without it having Windows pre-installed, even if I say to the vendor that the Windows license agreement allows me to decline it, in which case I can go back to the store and ask for a refund, since I'm not going to use Windows.

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...I think that nowadays, most people who use a computer are people who don't like computers, don't want to know how they work, think they're a seven-head monster or Medusa and if you look at them for more than 5 minutes you'll be petrified.

 

People like computers, but they don't (want to?) stop and think about the technology behind the machines or learn how to do anything else but point and click. I think it's a lot like cell phones. When they first came out, people wanted nothing to do with them. Now, most people can't live without them (myself included). However, how many people actually use more than 3 or 4 features that are available on their phones? But they'll gladly pay $150+ to buy the phone with the latest and greatest gadgets on it...even if they will NEVER use it. Personally, I prefer to pay for only the things I'll actually need and use...like software and OS's. Give me a choice in saying what I want. If I can get something for free that will do the same thing as something that costs $200+...well... ;)

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You change the topic so I guess I need to change my answer.

 

I use Windows cause its there...its EVERYWHERE. I go to work, its on my computer. I go home its on my computer. I go to friends, its on their computer.

 

I use Windows cause it works with little intervention. I buy a computer, I plug it into the wall...it works. I load software and it works. I install a new device, it works.

 

I use windows cause thats what feeds my family (I'm a tech of course), if I stop using it I lose my edge and won't know how to fix a problem and after a while will lose my job to others who know Windows better than me.

 

The top two listed are probably the answer for most people. Its everywhere and it works, but its not perfect. People don't want to spend time to learn how something works (or doesn't) on a computer. They don't want to spends hours researching the boards to find out how to get their new USB device to store and play music. Generally these things work on Windows because the companies who make the devices make them to work on Windows because its EVERYWHERE. They put most of their efforts into making it work on Windows and not as much in other OS's.

 

On a side note on a remark in that article, I had read about the uproar about all the ipods on MS campus and thought it funny. But I am also reading alot of bad things about the ipods. They are not working as well as they should. The returns at stores are mounting and the cries for help in the forums is also. Stay tuned.

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this is about a very simple question: if a product used by millions of people simply doesn't work right, never did and only gets worst, why don't those millions of people protest against the product maker?

 

Thats a very broad statement and also not true. If the statement were true than Windows would not be where it is today.

 

Windows works, it works with the majority of computers, the majority of peripherials, and the majority of software programs. Thats why people use it and thats why its on top.

 

There are bugs in the program or holes. They are in all programs and some "people" are using these holes to commit illegal acts. They are either writing programs to cause damage to computers or they are writing them to get you to buy some product or steal your money. The bottom line is money.

 

Early on in the PC world it was requested by the "users" to make things easier. These users were the Tech support folks who Beta tested and had to support the program back at the job. They had hundreds and thousands of potential other computer users that were going to need to use the computers at their desk to do a job. The cost of setting this up increased the longer it took for something to work. So MS made things easy based on customers request, plug it in and it should play. But in making it easy they also made it easy for the bad guys to also make it work the way THEY wanted.

 

Now with all the hijackings and Virus's and Trojans out there, people are looking for blame, who's responsible. MS knew what it was doing so its their fault. I don't agree with this logic. Criminals will find ways to reach their goal and will use whatever works. These holes work for them and they are everywhere and they produce big results.

 

Lets attack this problem on three fronts. MS needs to tighten up the holes, the Government needs to prosecute the criminals who are exploiting these holes, and the Business community should not reward the virus writers with high paying security jobs and speaking fees or book deals. If there is no profit they will move elsewhere.

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  • 2 weeks later...
this is about a very simple question: if a product used by millions of people simply doesn't work right, never did and only gets worst, why don't those millions of people protest against the product maker?

 

Thats a very broad statement and also not true. If the statement were true than Windows would not be where it is today.

 

Windows works, it works with the majority of computers, the majority of peripherials, and the majority of software programs. Thats why people use it and thats why its on top.

 

There are bugs in the program or holes. They are in all programs and some "people" are using these holes to commit illegal acts. They are either writing programs to cause damage to computers or they are writing them to get you to buy some product or steal your money. The bottom line is money.

 

Early on in the PC world it was requested by the "users" to make things easier. These users were the Tech support folks who Beta tested and had to support the program back at the job. They had hundreds and thousands of potential other computer users that were going to need to use the computers at their desk to do a job. The cost of setting this up increased the longer it took for something to work. So MS made things easy based on customers request, plug it in and it should play. But in making it easy they also made it easy for the bad guys to also make it work the way THEY wanted.

 

Now with all the hijackings and Virus's and Trojans out there, people are looking for blame, who's responsible. MS knew what it was doing so its their fault. I don't agree with this logic. Criminals will find ways to reach their goal and will use whatever works. These holes work for them and they are everywhere and they produce big results.

 

Lets attack this problem on three fronts. MS needs to tighten up the holes, the Government needs to prosecute the criminals who are exploiting these holes, and the Business community should not reward the virus writers with high paying security jobs and speaking fees or book deals. If there is no profit they will move elsewhere.

 

Bob,

 

That is a very insightful post.

 

I agree with every point you have made.

 

As a MCSE +I certified professional I agree Windows could be improved, but with the release of Server 2003 and Win Xp, they have made huge strides.

 

/boots up notebook on Mandrake 10.1

 

Bill

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