How do I hate Windows? Let me count…

Mostly, I live on my Macs, but I have a Windows PC that I keep here on the desk to do Windows-only stuff. There are a few Windows apps that I actually need to use on occasion.

Here is the difference between the two platforms in a nutshell (I write after losing yet another Windows install for no discernible reason, having added no software to the damn thing in the last two months and simply restarting it this morning):

Macs give me a lots of little headaches, usually of the compatibility ilk, which are quickly resolved. The Mac also surprises and delights me sometimes.

Windows gives me a lot of big problems. If a Windows installation is corrupted, I find even Norton often cannot resuscitate the fetid behemoth on my desk. When Windows gets a sniffle, Windows just dies. Dead. Thank you, Bill Gates. It seldom delights me; I can’t remember the last time a Windows PC made me happy.

I have a PowerBook G4 with no Microsoft software whatsoever. There’s a Yellow Dog Linux OS on the machine, too, just to see if I find it preferable. But I run Mac OS almost all the time, with Open Office and Gimp to do 99.5 percent of what I do on my main system. I can live without Microsoft and wonder why I’m bothering to do another Windows install on this system. I should throw it away and say “Good riddance.” Alas, I can’t ignore the stupid 90 percent of the market.

Author: Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch Ratcliffe is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and business model hacker. He operates this site, which is a collection of the blogs he's published over the years, as well as an archive of his professional publishing record. As always, this is a work in progress. Such is life.

7 thoughts on “How do I hate Windows? Let me count…”

  1. So you have a problem with a PC. Ergo, Windows is broken and Windows users are “stupid”.

    Forgive me if I’m unimpressed.

    I use both Windows and Mac. Both are very reliable. I never see blue screens. The servers are Windows and just run and run. I occasionally restart for a major system update or for hardware maintenance (actally, the Mac security updates more often require restarts than Windows these days). The desktops are switched off at night but never crash. Did it ever occur to you that you should troubleshoot your problem, instead of throwing your rattle out of your pram?

  2. Actually, Tim, I do troubleshoot the problems for both systems and have for years. But the point of my posting is that the Windows experience is less pleasing in relation to the problems it presents. Simple as that.

    I run a Mac Server that is much more reliable than any Windows server I’ve run. I don’t have a problem having to restart a computer that has been updated, but I do have a problem with the frequency with which Windows presents an incredibly stupid problem or creates a problem due to software misconfiguration. Likewise, since I support about a dozen Windows users in my family, I see several different versions of Windows regularly and none of them have a consistent user interface. The Mac user interface is less consistent than it once was, but it is still straightforward

  3. First, apologies for the intemperate language, I was having a bad day.

    As I noted, I find Windows equally as reliable as the Mac but YMMV, there are many factors which determine reliability. I don’t personally like the Mac UI much, but these things are subjective to a degree and I’m (very) glad we have a choice. There is plenty wrong in the Windows world, and I’ve written about it, eg.

    I’m not sure what you meant by “the stupid 90 percent of the market” if you didn’t mean Windows users. Operating systems aren’t stupid; they are just software.


  4. Tim,

    Intemperate it wasn’t; I’m having one of those days, too.

    The OS can be stupid, it can be built that way, with an assumption people are too stupid to do anything out of the limited spectrum of the developer’s expectations. I find the Mac more flexible, because I can run X Windows and Mac apps side by side, as well as customize the Mac interface more than I can the Windows interface.

    Then, there’s the whole reliability thing. I spend far more time supporting Windows than I do Mac problems.


  5. “The OS can be stupid, it can be built that way, with an assumption people are too stupid to do anything out of the limited spectrum of the developer’s expectations”

    What’s your evidence for this? If you mean customization, most things in Windows can be customized if you know where to look. You can run Unix apps, for example with Microsoft’s free Services for Unix. I’d argue the opposite, that Windows is too anarchic. That’s one of the reasons it is so weighed down with useless utilities that cause some of the reliability problems you mention.

  6. I wish I had a working PC to refer to as I make this case! The problem is, as you say, anarchy. I’d characterize it this way: Windows tries to be everything to everyone; it’s bloated. Yes, you can change almost everything, but you really have to seek the settings that make changes possible. I find the display and explanation of settings in the Mac much more clear and accessible than I do Windows’ settings.

    You can run UNIX apps in Windows, but it is an emulation, which reduces the performance. Since Mac OS is a UNIX shell, X Windows runs natively. I want the best performance from each application, not to have all non-Windows apps perform as second-class citizens.

    I’m glad we’re not arguing about whether the OS can be critiqued, as though code were the first human work that was beyond criticism. Of course, that means we can have a difference of opinion and that is what makes the discussion worthwhile.

  7. Actually performance with Services for Unix is very good. It is a subsystem not an emulation layer.


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