Why Would Anyone Buy Windows 7?

In Computing, The Pastor's Blog on July 13, 2009 at 9:38 PM

Many of you know my preference for computer operating systems happens to be Linux and Simply Mepis in particular. I have written several posts about Linux and site real examples of how the OS helps me in my daily work as a pastor of a small church in central Florida.

I made the move to Linux several years ago after a horrible encounter with a virus someone sent me through an e-mail. It was probably my fault for not checking the e-mail for malicious code lurking somewhere, but it was from a friend (at least I think that’s where the virus came from) and I just clicked on the link. About a week later my computer was clean and I was on a search for something better.

Open source software was a big part of my computing needs at the time and OpenOffice was my favorite suite of tools for writing, doing spreadsheets and a host of other things. Firefox was my web browser and Thunderbird was my e-mail client. What more could you need unless you were a professional and just had to own particular software? Some people’s needs go beyond what they perceive Linux offers.

To many, Microsoft Vista was a dismal failure. It didn’t meet the need of scores of people all over the world and was slow to catch on. Unfortunately, it came pre-installed on my laptop, but I quickly installed Simply Mepis on it and have been happy ever since. I like virtually nothing about the Windows OS, no matter which flavor it is. If I had to choose one to keep, though, it would definitely be XP.

A report came out recently from ScriptLogic, which is a software developer specializing in Windows management software. Basically, their summary indicates Windows 7 will not be the success Microsoft wants it to be. Admittedly, there was no analysis provided with the report, but many professionals have already weighed in on the matter.

Microsoft has always had a business model I find irresponsible. That is, offering poorly written software you must keep upgrading to stay current. There’s really no telling how much money people have wasted by purchasing the latest and greatest Microsoft had to offer. I prefer Linux, which costs me nothing and works every bit as good, if not better, than what Microsoft has to offer. Of course, that’s just my take on the matter.

Ed Bott of ZDNet wrote an interesting article about this very subject and includes some common sense evaluation of the new Microsoft offering. He lists several recent articles regarding Windows 7; it is a good read and worth taking a look at. Basically, he concludes lots of people are not going to jump on the Windows 7 bandwagon. Personally, I think that’s a smart move.

What do you think? Will you pay good money for another Microsoft product, or will you take the plunge and switch to a superior OS – Linux? Just wondering.

  1. Will I pay good money for another M$ product? A clue, NO!! Not a chance. I have to use Vista and XP at work, but those two products are getting nowhere near my desktop or my wife’s laptop. I haven’t seen much on Windows 7 yet, but if it is anything like the debacle Vista is, it doesn’t look good for Microsoft. They have brought it upon themselves for the very reasons you state in your article.

    • Larry, Microsoft is just plain greedy and there’s no getting around that fact. Planned obsolescence seems to be the order of the day for M$. It seems so many people end up on a never-ending upgrade cycle which must be maintained by their wallets. Not so with Linux, at least on my desktop and laptop.

  2. I don’t remember where I saw it, but I once read a description of the difference between Apple and Microsoft.

    At Apple, developers are encouraged to imagine that their family members will call them looking for help with faulty product. One can only assume that developers at Microsoft don’t speak to their families.

    If I can talk my wife into it, we’re going Apple when we replace this computer down the line. Failing that, we’ll go Linux.

    • Wickle said “At Apple, developers are encouraged to imagine that their family members will call them looking for help with faulty product. One can only assume that developers at Microsoft don’t speak to their families.” That’s sad, but probably filled with truth.

      I’ve heard it said Apple is just Unix with a pretty face on it. I’m not technically astute enough to say that’s true or not, but I know there is lots of similarity in the two.

      Personally, I won’t buy either Windows or Apple; Linux meets all my needs and is free. I like free, which is cheaper than buying software.

      • Apple is just that, Unix with a pretty spin and some really good brains behind it. I have a Macbook and I am not running any antivirus on. The downside of Linux lies in its lack of specialized business software.

        I have always said that Linux is “new/inexperienced user friendly” Mac has the same thing going for it. Its simple, effective and pretty

        Now, on the other hand, I am planning on upgrading to Windows 7 when it comes out. I have played around with the beta version, and I am very impressed with it. I never made the jump to Vista due to the cost and the instability, but it looks like the second half at least was fixed with 7.

        • Jonathan, I’m just curious about what M$ Windows 7 has to offer that would warrant forking out good money for it. Please understand, I am not trying to belittle your plans, I just don’t understand. Thank you for some clarification.

          You can do as little or as much as you want with Linux. There are three Windows programs running on my computers now through WINE; actually, they work better here than in the Windows environment. Startup times are incredibly fast, and the apps are quite stable.

          True enough, there’s a couple of programs I’d like to see Linux versions of: PrintArtist, WORDsearch and possibly one or two more. Other than that, all my needs are met in the safe environs of my Linux desktops.

          • The only reason that I can really see for using windows is for gaming. I have never been able to get games to run through Wine. The only reason to go buy 7 would be to play some of the newer games that require DX10, which is only available on Vista and 7.

            Also there is the whole part where M$ still has a majority of the market on personal computers.

          • Fair enough. My mind didn’t even go in that direction, I suppose, because I just don’t do games like the ones you refer to.

            Your second paragraph threw me, though. What would market share have to do with the necessity to either upgrade to Windows 7 or just buy it outright? That is puzzling to me, but that shouldn’t surprise anyone. 🙂

  3. The whole world should go Apple. “An Apple a day keeps I.T. away!”

    I saw a little blip about Windows 7 online somewhere. Not much fanfare about it. Is this MS’ way of quietly sweeping Vista under the rug?

    • Apple costs money and they are quite stingy about sharing with other people. What turned me off was when my wife bought me an iPod Classic a couple of years ago for Christmas. Apple deviously put a bunch of code in their database which would only allow the user to interact with iTunes for Mac or Windows. That sunk it for me. Please, take no offense at my choice; I say go for Apple and stay away from M$ Windows.

      Microsoft is not very proud of Vista, from what I read.

  4. I just made the comment to my brother this morning that every time I set up another computer with Vista, it makes me hate it more. I am having to use it at work, but it is not by choice. I would much rather have Linux and barring that, Windows XP. Vista is a lot of eye candy with no real substance. It is very difficult for me to work with it because I know my way around computers and I want it to work the way I want it to work. Vista has to be dragged kicking and screaming to get it to work that way and even then, it wants to work it’s own thing. 😦

    • You poor thing, and I mean that. It’s sad to have to use inferior software and an inferior OS. It’s still installed on my laptop, but rarely gets booted into. So many companies follow M$ like lemmings; it’s really pathetic. For instance, when my sister bought me a Garmin for Christmas, I had to use Windows to register it. There was no getting around it. Surely as big as Garmin is some consideration could be afforded to people who choose to use a superior OS – Linux.

  5. A couple of days ago I experienced a big reminder of just how much MS tries to control us and take our money. I received an Excel document that I needed to open. However, on my Mac I have MS Office: Mac 2004. MS made a subtle change in 2007 to their office software making it impossible for anyone with earlier software to open and Excel document made by Office 2007 or above. I have Open Office on my husband’s IBM, but that wouldn’t open it. So I did a quick search and found some info about opening the new Excel extension – xlsx – on a Mac by using NeoOffice. I downloaded it and in just a few minutes I could open the excel document without having to give MS a huge amount of money to upgrade my software. Grrrrrrr.

    • That sounds about right. I have the latest OOo installed on both machines and have been able to open all kinds of M$ documents that would not open before. OOo seems to be getting better all the time.

      The thing about M$ is they want to make money and don’t really care how. The reason why M$ is so prevalent is because it comes pre-installed on most new computers. Most people don’t know there is a choice and continue along using what’s in front of them. Break free from Microsoft, people!

  6. A bit off topic, but I’m wondering if either of you have tried Google’s new browser called “Chrome”?

    • I haven’t tried it yet, but have heard some good reports. Currently, I’m using Firefox 3.5 on both desktop and laptop machines.

    • I’ve never used Chrome, though I’ve heard good things … I think that eaglescoutjonathan has used it. I’ll try to get him over here to give his thoughts.

      I’m using Firefox, too.

      • Chrome has some good ideas behind it, but at the moment it only runs on Windows.

        It has an nice feature where each tab is its own process. This means that if one page crashes, you don’t lose all the pages you have open.

        It also has a very sleek look to it, and does not crash very often.

        The downsides are the lack of ad ons. I am a very big fan of Adblock Plus, and there is no Chrome version yet.

  7. When Windows 95 first came out, I was working at Staples. My supervisor had a sign up (in the cash office, out of sight of customers, of course) that read “Windows 95: Doing ALMOST everything that Macs have been doing since the mid-80’s.”

  8. Just want to thank you for visiting my blog today. I have been reading your recent posts and appreciating your blog for what it offers: your point of view on computers, politics, Bible, and other topics, and a venue for readers to contribute their opinion. There’s freedom of speech over here at your place, and a healthy interaction between blog author and readers.

    • I love dropping by your blog; it has become one of my favorite places when I have the time. Your posts are always heart-felt, informative and full of compassion. Yours is unique in many ways.

  9. Concerning One Mom’s comment about Microsoft changing the file extension for Excel documents, I will give you another example.

    Several years ago, I was using Microsoft Money and was fairly satisfied with it. I decided to upgrade to a newer version and after doing so, decided very quickly that I had made a mistake. The newer version was so bloated and full of bugs that it was nearly unusable for me. Being naive about such things at the time, I uninstalled the newer version and reinstalled the older, more stable version. All went well until I tried to open the same money file in the older version that I had been using before. Because it had been opened in the newer version one time, it could not be opened in the older version. Needless to say, I was very frustrated because I had lost my information. The same applies to Microsoft Office. A lot of the time, the older versions will not open files that have been converted to the newer format. I don’t know what else to call that but crazy and propitiatory.

    • That’s the whole reason they keep coming out with new OS’s. My imac is on OS X 10.3.9 (and “old” OS). Because of that, I am finding more and more sites and special features that do not work on my mac because I have an “no longer supported OS”. An example is I can’t add the latest JAVA reader (whatever it’s called), and certain sections of more and more websites just show me a picture of a coffee cup. There was no reason to create a new operating system, as the 10.3.9 works (worked) just fine, but because they are writing stuff so that system won’t work anymore, they will force me to buy a new OS, or throw my computer out the window.

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