I'm not anti-Microsoft, per se
by rbsjrx - 5/8/08 10:01 AM
In Reply to: Silent majority by mtylerjr
I bought my first Microsoft products back in the late 70's to run on a CP/M machine. The Wintel monopoly always disturbed me a bit, but I migrated to PCs in the 80's along with the rest of the world. Although I was a satisfied MS-DOS (and OS/2) user, I moved to Windows when 3.1 came out (I ran 3.11 on top of OS/2). I've been through every generation of Windows, both good (e.g. Win98, Win2k, WinXP SP1+) and bad (e.g. Win95, WinME, WinXP non-SP). I've been through just as many generations of Windows software, both from Microsoft (e.g. Office) and otherwise (e.g. Acrobat). I live in Windows as a business necessity, and WinXP MCE meets those needs as well as my personal use very well.
But like any OS, it has flaws. The biggest thing I have against Microsoft is its rapaciousness and anti-competitive business practices. By contrast, Apple is a little less rapacious but even more anti-competitive. That keeps Apple's prices up which is one reason the last Apple I bought (and still have) was an Apple II.
In the course of my business and personal life, I regularly use both Windows (XP MCE SP2) and Linux (Ubuntu on my desktop and Debian on my server). Linux has proven more efficient and much more reliable, but I still spend most of my time in WinXP. I actually like working in Windows. What I don't like is the cost of Windows, exacerbated by Microsoft's frequent trips to milk its cash cows anew. On each of these trips Microsoft introduces new incompatibilities to try to force its customers to buy its latest(!) and greatest(?). When I retire in a couple of years, I will happily migrate to almost totally Linux.
So, you see, my scorn for Microsoft is honest and based on Microsoft's own business practices. Unlike some here, I'm not blindly devoted to any particular OS. Software is a tool. All tools have advantages and disadvantages and OSs are no different. I will readily admit my agreement with Windows' most vocal critics. But I also agree with a lot of the criticisms leveled against Mac and Linux by Windows partisans.
At the end of the day, the only relevant issue is what allows me to reliably do what I need and want to do at the most reasonable total cost of ownership. WinXP scores points on usability, but loses points on cost and reliability. Vista loses points to WinXP on usability (based on compatibility on the myriad obscure applications I use) and cost (much more expensive hardware required without any advanages to justify the expense). Once I've retired, cost will take on new importance so Windows will be out in favor of Linux. No emotional investment, only cost/benefit analysis.
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