Listen folks, I have been a computer geek a long time. I started with the early versions of DOS and have been using Microsoft operating systems for nearly 20 years. I used to know how to configure extended memory, expanded memory, etc in order to get various PC games to work in less than 1mb of memory. I still have a copy of Windows 3.1 and keep it as a memento along with my high school yearbooks and Star Wars figures. Yes as I type this I realize how geeky that sounds.
When in college, everyone tried to get me to switch to a Mac, I stuck with Windows. When I taught high school, I was once again enticed by the lure of Macs, and I persevered. For years, I had a running argument with my uncle every Christmas about PC vs. Mac. My opinion was always that Macs were for people who weren’t capable of using a PC. They were expensive, proprietary, and had less software available for them. Also, since I was an avid gamer, I remained with Windows because gaming on a Mac is laughable. I’ve argued on your behalf so many times I’ve lost count.
Them: PC’s get infected with viruses and spyware all the time.
Me: I patiently explain that since Windows is ubiquitous, they are the OS that is targeted by hackers. Suck it up and install anti-virus software.
Them: Windows crashes all the time.
Me: Mac has it easier because their OS only has to work on their hardware. Windows has to work with a myriad of different manufacturer’s products.
Them: PC’s are too complicated; Mac’s just simply work.
Me: Plug and play, USB, etc has made PC’s easier. You simply have to know what you should and should not do with a computer, like a car.
Windows XP’s success felt like some vindication of my fanboy devotion. It wasn’t a great OS, but it was better than Windows 98 and the abortion that was Windows Me. I buy your other products as well. I was an early purchaser of the original Xbox and have an Xbox 360. I use your peripherals – mice, keyboards, etc.
I am a PC, I have always been a PC, and I make my living with PC’s. I could have made one of those commercials for you. Until now, I had espoused that Mac users were elitist and lazy. However, this has finally changed.
I had high hopes for Vista, but that turned out to be abysmal. My company wisely skipped Vista entirely in its software progression and will eventually move from XP to Windows 7 for this reason. I bought a high end Vista 64 machine for home use and have had so many driver and software incompatibility issues that I cannot imagine a non-geek owning one successfully. You (Microsoft) know there are millions of people remaining on Windows XP because Vista sucks. The fact that you won’t allow users to upgrade from XP to Windows 7 is further evidence of your hubris, and this attitude may eventually be your undoing.
Also, I should mention at this point that while I do own Xbox 360, I have been through 5 of them. All of them died with the Red Ring of Death, over and over again. Being a fanboy, I dutifully replaced them under warranty, even when some of the replacements lasted less than a month. I have actually purchased 3 in addition to those replaced under warranty. I purchased one of them just a couple of months ago for my nephew for Christmas because his Xbox was replaced three times and finally died out of warranty. For years you denied there were problems with that product too, until the news coverage became overwhelming. Even through this, I continued to use your products and said little.
However, I am sick of this. I have made excuses, I have turned a blind eye, but I’m sick of it. You are losing to Apple. Until this point, you have plodded along; content to be second best and I have run out of excuses. Your dominance in the market has made you complacent and lazy. Commercials sway public opinion and they are killing you with them. Their commercials are funny, compelling, but worst of all – True. Your commercials, which as I said before sway public opinion, are inane at best and insulting at worst. What on earth were you thinking with those Jerry Seinfeld Commercials? They were pointless, but at least they were funny. You followed up with, “Windows 7 was my idea.” Do you really expect me to think that Windows 7’s improvements were actually your user’s ideas? Don’t you have legions of top notch engineers who are paid to have these ideas?
Times have changed. Macs are now produced on the same hardware as PC’s, and are not much more expensive. Macs are more stable. Computer gaming? With the exception of WOW, who plays games on PC’s anymore? While there are more options in Windows software, most of the truly great software products are already offered on Mac anyway.
It is time to wake up, Microsoft. We don’t actually need your products anymore. The alternatives are becoming more compelling all the time. Doesn’t it concern you that people who make a living with your software have already jumped ship? One of my big surprises after I joined Twitter is that some of the brightest stars in the SQL Server universe no longer use your operating system. Take a look:
- Brent Ozar – MVP and MCM candidate is now a Mac user.
- Jeremiah Peschka – MVP and Director at Large for PASS is now a Mac user.
- Joe Webb – MVP now uses Ubuntu Linux.
- Aaron Bertrand – MVP is a Mac user.
- Chris Randall – Microsoft Certified Trainer uses a Mac.
How do they work with SQL Server? Well, in general they use virtual machines which run on the alternative OS.
The recent problem with my new laptop simply put an exclamation point on this. Now, I don’t know whose fault the software problem was, Microsoft or Lenovo. My point is that it doesn’t matter. Perhaps it isn’t fair, but if people have problems with Dell, Lenovo, HP, and other computers; the common factor is Microsoft.
Did I write this blog simply to jab at Microsoft? No. I sincerely want to remain a PC. That’s why I bought the Windows 7 laptop. Please get it right this time. It’s not too late. Stop producing annoying, bug ridden software and other substandard products.
Oh, and a video game system that didn’t die on a monthly basis would be nice too.