Windows

I don't know why or how you would say good-bye to Microsoft

Declaring yourself Microsoft-product-free may be more difficult than you think.

A friend recently posted on his Facebook status that he is "saying good-bye to Microsoft." His plan is to completely wean himself off Windows and go "open source only." That means some variety of Linux, although he wasn't quite sure yet which one. He's happy with his Android phone, and he's even thinking about trying to get by with just an Android-based tablet and giving up his PC entirely. He figures he'll save tons of money and never have to see a blue screen of death again.

Well, I wish him the best. I know some others who have gone that route. Some of them are getting along fine without Microsoft -- at least as far as their primary computing devices are concerned. Others came back to Windows after discovering that Linux "just wasn't the same." Most of them discovered that, while the screen might not turn blue, that doesn't necessarily mean they won't be singing the blues now and then when their computers or tablets freeze up and stop working or randomly reboot on their own. A quick web search will confirm that this is not an uncommon occurrence on Linux systems.

By Debra Littlejohn Shinder

But hey, it's good to try something new now and then, and I think it's great that he's expanding his horizons. Options are good -- and that's why I guess I don't really understand when people limit theirs by vowing not to use any of the products made by a particular company.

It's no secret that I'm not an Apple fan, but nonetheless I bought an iPad when that suited my needs (because it was the only light, thin, high-performance tablet on the market). I switched from Windows Mobile to an Android phone when I saw that the Google OS offered important advantages such as built-in Navigation, a friendlier UI, and better performance. I've given both OS X and Linux a try on the desktop and made the decision to stick with Windows because it works best for me. It seems silly to me to vow to "kick the Microsoft habit" as if a software brand were an addictive drug or calorie-laden potato chips.

Yet there seem to be a number of folks who have decided to do just that. There's even a website called goodbyemicrosoft.net that advertises itself as a "resource for those who wish to get Microsoft out of their lives and off their computers."

Until we meet again

Many more who have said good-bye to Microsoft weren't doing it as a matter of principle -- they just decided they don't need full-fledged desktop or laptop computers anymore. Tablets have taken the consumer market by storm. And, why not -- the form factor is far more portable, making it much easier to use standing up or lying down or lounging on the sofa or otherwise not sitting at a desk.

Switching to a tablet has meant, for the last few years, moving away from Microsoft. Although there are a few Windows tablets on the market, most are relatively thick, heavy, and, perhaps more important in a still-less-than-robust economy, expensive.

That's all about to change, though. With the impending release of Windows 8 RT, the edition that will run on ARM tablets, Microsoft just might be back in the game in a big way in the tablet market. And that means many people who left the Microsoft fold simply because they wanted to switch to a tablet may be getting reacquainted with a brand-new incarnation of Windows.

Microsoft's more deeply embedded in your life than you think

But even if you don't have Windows running on your computer, tablet, or phone, you may still be using Microsoft products without even knowing it. For example, if you have a Ford vehicle that includes the Sync communications and entertainment system, it runs on the Microsoft Windows Embedded Automotive OS. Sync connects to your mobile phone and lets you use the "push to talk" button on the steering wheel to make calls via voice command. It can play SMS messages to you as audio files and will connect to popular MP3 players so that you can play your songs via voice command, too.

Today's digital cameras have turned into computers in their own right, and that means they need an operating system to run on. Some digital cameras use Windows 7 Compact Embedded.

New TVs have gotten "smart" -- connecting to the Internet via wireless or Ethernet and providing built-in web browsers, social media apps, and other applications that you can use without the need for a separate computer to be connected to the TV (that is, the TV has its own computer inside it, rather than just serving as a monitor for a PC). Some of those Smart TVs run on Windows Embedded, too.

Digital picture frames may not seem like a very important part of the tech market, but they're important to grandmas all over the world. Samsung, Imate, and others have used Windows Embedded to power their digital photo frames.

Exercise equipment has also quietly gotten a lot smarter, with programmable interfaces that let you track your progress, measure your vital signs, and even act as electronic "trainers." Windows Embedded has been used by Johnson Fitness in their high-end treadmills.

Luxury master baths are all the rage in custom homebuilding, and showerheads are no longer simple water dispensers controlled by the turn of a mechanical knob. Instead, there are multiple outlets with a variety of different jets, and the water can actually be choreographed via computerized controls that are programmed via a digital control pad -- and vendors such as Dornbracht use Windows Embedded to run those systems.

Some believe smart appliances are the wave of the future. LG used Windows Embedded in its Smart Refrigerator, which manages your grocery list and lets you shop online, even allowing you to scan the barcodes on your grocery items so that you can keep track of how old they are and get rid of them before they go bad.

Windows Embedded also powers home automation systems for managing climate control and tracking energy usage, home security systems, digital signs, robotic arms used in industry, and much more. The embedded form of Windows is at the heart of medical systems such as MRI machines, patient monitors, and portable ultrasound units. It's inside some of the GPS devices that guide you to your destinations, the soft drink dispensers and coffee makers that quench your thirst, HMI (Human Machine Interface) components in industrial equipment, conference phones, ATMs, self-service checkout equipment in retail establishments, universal remote controls, set-top boxes, robotic vacuum cleaners, and more.

Saying good-bye to Microsoft could mean giving up some things you never would have guessed were running on Windows.

Speaking of good-byes

Courtesy of Wikimedia.org

I started writing this column almost exactly one year ago. Since then, I've produced around fifty of these weekly articles centered on Microsoft -- the company, the culture, and the products. This marks my last installment. It's time to move on to other things. I've enjoyed reading the spirited public discussions that some of my musings inspired and the private email messages I've received in response to them. I'll still be around, and I'll still be writing, and some of that writing will still be about Microsoft.

It's been challenging at times. As the spouse of a Microsoft FTE, I've made my husband cringe a few times when I questioned the wisdom of one of the company's decisions. As a Microsoft MVP, I've had to figuratively bite my tongue a few times to keep from writing about something that was under NDA. I've tried hard to be objective, although I know some readers have seen me as soft on Microsoft and some at Microsoft have seen me as disloyal. I figure if I can get both sides mad at me, I must be doing something right.

I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences with you over this last year. This position has brought me Friendships, it's given me Inspiration, it's made me Smile, and it's caused a few Headaches. So long (for now), and thanks for all the FISH.

Also read:

Editor's note: I just wanted to thank Deb for giving us something to talk about each week for the past year or so. I surely do appreciate it.

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

176 comments
fiosdave
fiosdave

Deb, It has been a pleasure reading most all of your articles. Are you leaving of your own volition, or are they either not paying you enough, or just not paying you? You will be making many of us sad and possibly a small minority glad. Will they be replacing you? If so, they had better realize that you have rather large shoes! I'd be willing to bet that if we started a "Keep Deb" movement and asked your loyal followers to donate one dollar, you would be able to buy all the new gadgets your heart desires! PLEASE STAY AROUND AND GIVE US MORE INTERESTING ARTICLES!!!

fbenitez
fbenitez

About 19,500,000 results (0.29 seconds). Each user is different, no single solution exists and is a much better advise use the most useful solution for each task.

ps.techrep
ps.techrep

The only Microsoft applications that I still use are its XP-OS and Outlook. I gradually weaned myself from Office to LibreOffice. I've always used open/free applications for everything else. What's kept me on Outlook is a combination of mail archives and Thunderbird's poor import capability. (Yes it imports, but the mess it makes of a highly structured archive with multiple PSTs is still a show-stopper for me). Now that XP has reached end of support, if I can find a good open Outlook-type mail client, and an open anti-malware suite that runs with Ubuntu, I'll be reformatting my system partition.

jdubow
jdubow

Most homes now have more than one computer. If a person has one Windows computer that has Office installed, and perhaps Visio and Project, then everything else can be Linux. If a collaborator, customer, teacher or government needs windows formats then use the Windows box. Everything else can be Linux or Unix. Mac is an alternative but costs as much or more than Windows. Other options include: 1CrossOver office where the next to last version of Office works well and the latest works ok. 2.If you have a friendly neighbor or live in an apartment complex with an office center then you can share the cost and get it down to reasonable numbers. 3. Finally, the library is an option since you can upload/download to a usb drivel

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

But I was under the Impression that Germany along with Motorola effectively had a Court Ruling to do exactly this Get rid of Microsoft in Germany at least. Apparently Motorola seems to think that Microsoft has been violating their Patients and has got a Court Order preventing the sale of any M$ Products in Germany till the Full Case is heard. M$ on the other hand seem to want to claim that their Patients have been Violated but never specifically say which Patients and scare the Victims into submission. Motorola at least specifically said which Patients they though had been violated and the court must have thought that there was a Case to answer as they made the Ruling and have allowed the case to proceed to trial. So Deb you just may find that M$ is out the door just that much sooner if they loose in Germany. :D Col

imsoscareed
imsoscareed

I maintain over 2000 pc's from XP to Win7. I haven't seen a BSOD in years. I keep hearing lots of people complaining about the though. Hmm, must be PEBCAK errors.

clerk2stew
clerk2stew

One big part of the industry that you didn't mention was the car industry. All those robots are communicating with Microsoft Internet Explorer.

bobc4012
bobc4012

I used your "search input" (linux freezes) and then started checking a number of sites. Your "implication" of Linux freezes is quite misleading. It is one thing when the OS freezes, which Windows does quite often - excessive compared to most Linux distros (one reason why Linux is rapidly becoming the OS of choice for servers). It is another thing when an application freezes. In this case, probably neither system has an advantage over the other. It is still another thing when a Linux freezes because someone was "tweaking" the boot-up, changing a config file or some such. It actually gives more kudos to an "open" Linux OS that people are willing to "experiment" or whatever compared to "closed" Windows OS. If you know enough about Linux internals (read the open source code) you can take your chances and rewrite parts of the kernel. Try that with Windows! My personal experience has been a lot more freeze-ups with Windows than Linux (I use Ubuntu and Zorin_OS). Even with Windows, I have experienced more freeze-ups and other problems with Windows 7 in less than a year than I have did with 8 years of using XP. I also noticed than an extremely high percentage of Microsoft patches for Windows 7 are "security" patches - so much for better security than XP. One of the biggest problems I have encountered with Windows 7 is when I use VirtualBox - afterwards, Windows 7 always hangs on Shutdown and I have to "power off" my Desktop manually (and then get the "safe mode choice" menu when I power back up). I can't say its Windows or VirtualBox (given its an Oracle product now). Regardless, you don't earn credibility when you do a "Google" search and count hits rather than investigating the reason behind the hits.

Zenith545
Zenith545

Hey Deb, of course you are a proponent of Microsoft. After all, why bite the hand that has fed you and your hubby for so long??? Not everybody gets the same perks as "you all" do. When the "average" person looks at the difference between $300 Windows 7 and practically free Linux OS to run their home computer, the choice sometimes looks very obvious. Even then considering M$ wants another $220-$300 for MS Office. There are many people that do not work in high profile tech-related fields that have to buy their computers and software at retail prices rather than have them given to them for nothing or offered at steep discounts. Maybe some of you people who make their money off M$ can explain why a company that has 80% - 90% of the OS market worldwide still charges $300 for their OS while little(?) Apple's OS X only costs $29

xambassador
xambassador

I've never regretted saying good-bye to MS; Linux has served me wonderfully.

digital riverrat
digital riverrat

I used to run a Linux box a number of years ago, just to see what all the hype was about and see if I liked it. I did. To an extent. But not enough to make the complete and full-time switch. And I didn't limit myself to Linux. I tried Solaris (Yes, I had a Sparc 3&5), BSD, Red Hat, and 2 others I don't recall. And none of them ever crashed or froze on me. Even running Windows emulators to have a more familiar GUI.

stoneyh
stoneyh

How often do you really see a BSOD? Especially in a controlled professional envrionment. I have been in the computer industry going on 30 years. Certainly there have been blue screening nightmares with some notable and crappy offerings from Microsoft. But XP and Windows 7 are extremely stable unless you use your PC like a 12 year old's lab experiment. Show me an unstable Windows system and I will show you a user with unstable habits or broken hardware. Quite frankly surrounded by hundreds of units at dozens of installations where I have worked the BSOD has become a certified rarity and more the stuff of urban legend and weak users than reality. Maybe it's just fun to say "blue screen of death"... Okay it definitely is! I use and like OS X plenty fine too and it's Fisher-Price computing platform has been the panacea for my parents and my childrens destructive free-wheeling practices. But in my day to day life I trust the Windows environment more than any other platform. But I am not a "follower" or devotee of any platform.

nonyun
nonyun

I am a proud Linux user for many years. Do not have any Microsoft program on my machine. If I can not find a compatible Linux program to do what Microsoft does, then I do not need to do whatever it is that needs Microsoft. For what it is worth, I have found very few things that really needed Microsoft.

Professor8
Professor8

I've used and done a little sys admin on AT&T Unix, VE/UX, SunOS and Solaris, Irix, OS X and Linux, but every time I ask a Linux fan-boy (or fan-girl) to list the most important features and how each distro differs... well, instead, I get back some long song and dance about some obscure installer script which I "just have to have" to deal with an "issue" that's never come up for me. They seem to be living in some bizarro alternate universe. But my (now not so current) experience is that it's just another flavor of Unix, and I don't see what the big deal is.

JP-470
JP-470

Oh the memories of the BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH: last seen in WIN'98, I haven't experienced one of those since I acquired XP and now WIN'7.

trubaka
trubaka

brand worshiping is overrated, every company does things differently, and i am an admitted feature whore, I rarely let a brand-name influence my buying decision, with the slight exception of HP laptops, they usually have the features i like best and when i buy new laptops i look at them first. i think some people get blinded by brand names, and forget to look at the features. like i will refuse to use an ipad because there are no usb ports, and that is an important feature to me. i will miss reading your regular articles, i have always found them very informative, and surprisingly neutral, not afraid to list the downsides of a product or decision. i wish you good luck on your endeavors.

Ndiaz.fuentes
Ndiaz.fuentes

Switching away from Windows would be nearly impossible for PC gamers. Granted, the amount of games available for OS X is slowly increasing. Still, most are developed exclusively for Windows...

geekgal2
geekgal2

I actually use several OS's. Windows for primary work PC along with 8 MS Server's I manage. I have a MAC and Windows server at home and I have a linux laptop, mac laptop and windows laptop. I also have access to an iPad and Android tablet. The only thing I don't have yet is a netbook (I'm working on this). Personally in my profession as a server admin/tech support I find I really need to keep up with it all! I also have found that each OS has it's place and purpose. I like variety and learning new things and I have found that by allowing myself to do so I have found some excellent tools. I just don't get all the fanaticism about an OS. Pick one you like and run with it. Don't hide under a rock though as you may be missing out on some great resources on other platforms!

russoisraeli
russoisraeli

I'm one of those people who gave up M$ products for OS X, and various Linux distro's a while ago. I spent way too much of my time fixing PC's running M$ products. However I did enjoy reading your column, catching up on what's M$ up to (since I don't learn about any of their products anymore). On a more sour note, looking up in Google "linux freezes" does show a bit of ignorance about what linux really is. Linux itself never freezes. Various applications freeze. The GUI might crash or freeze. The linux kernel, as well as the supporting system utilities does not freeze. I do agree with you however, that it's impossible to fully part your ways with M$, especially when you're working in the IT. Why try to do it? Some of us in the field have grown very wary of trying to fix problems imposed by M$, that shouldn't have been there. For example, right now I am researching why many of my Windows boxes experience SNMP timeouts. None of the linux/Solaris boxes do, but Windows seems having a problem supporting the open protocol. M$'s disregard for open standards, forcing additional products for additional price, and forcing third party solutions again for a price (because the software created lacks features) has created it many enemies. I understand that it's part of the business model, but we have to support their products, and go to anger management classes as a result. Anyways, if you decide to write a column elsewhere, please let us know! Best of luck to you and your family! - Igor Gubenko, SA at Princeton University (igubenko Et princeton d0t edu).

Gisabun
Gisabun

Anyone who gets BSOD still has their own problems. I've had my system built for 2.5 years. No BSOD. Actually, I don't know anyone who has had a BSOD except once - because of bad memory. [I'm hoping you aren't going to blame Microsoft on bad memory.... If you are .....] I have yet tyo have anone I know experience ANY malware [those I do called me BEFORE I knew them]. Why? I've made sure their system was properly protected. That includes proper AV and firewall, move away from the ISP's DNS and notify them when there could be any attacks. Majority of them can spot a phishing scam [or other crap] almost as fast as I can. For those that want to be Microsoft-free - good luck. Technically you can't use Linux as Microsoft contributes to the OS. :-)

bit24sh0cker
bit24sh0cker

I don't think wanting to get rid of a brands products, or only using one brands products make sense. I look at things on a product by product basis. If it is a great product, I use it. Windows will be here to stay for a long time, because they does some thing really well. Are they perfect, no, which is why I sue other products that MS also makes.

hawc
hawc

It is not so much goodbye as it is, I don't need Windows 8 or another round of Office XXXX. I guess if they came out with something useful I will look at it. But Microsoft has lost its lead, where I used to think "Wow a new Microsoft Product" I now think, "What are the knocking off now?" What are they doing? Where's the innovation? Where are the new products or new ideas? I know they are successful and I wish them well, but they seem to have mimicked IBM and I can't remember when I last bought an IBM product.

databaseben
databaseben

of course, one can buy an apple computer and start transitioning away from microsoft, but microsoft is in a lot of places in one form or another.

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

I have windows 7 64bits pro in my home pc. I have an SSD drive and is amazing how fast is this computer with a Corei7 CPU and 8GB of DDR3 ram. This pc was very cheap compared with my friend Pro MAC (super expensive). I have Win7 32bits home in my laptop and have win7 in my office. I have applications on my office not available for Mac systems, so I'm happy with MS products. My XBOX is amazing, I prefer my XBOX compared with my PS3. The Web interface is very nice and the internet options are amazing. I have WIndows CE in my MIO GPS, works like a charm. My Cable Advance Motorola Unit (I have it since 2006) - 6 years now! is amazing too. I can record, play, etc with this unit and the menu and system is MS-based. I have an IPAD, a Blackberry, etc but I will always love MS products.

Rowd1e
Rowd1e

It was most certainly not an objective or a plan of any sort, but if not for the 360s I'd be MS free. I don't see a why, as why make it a point to avoid MS. On the how front though, that would be easy. If MS isn't part of your job the only life style that would make it hard to avoid is, staunch PC gamer.

tech
tech

They constantly say Linux infringes on their patents and copyright. After more than 20 years, they have yet to identify WHAT infringes. However, just like the mafia used to do they go around and collect protection money (they call it a licensing fee). "Give us $5 for every phone you sell and we won't sue you out of existence." You notice they won't go after Google (you know the one that wrote the code), just the smaller (by comparison to Google and Microsoft) companies. Not so different from the good old days when it was "If you pay every week we will keep your shop safe. Don't pay and see that burned out trashed shop with the dead owner across the street? Yeah, that could be you and your shop. This is a dangerous area. The choice is yours." If Linux infringes then man up and prove it in court! It doesn't or they would have. Because they ALWAYS do when they have the proof. It is called fear mongering.

bobc4012
bobc4012

I believe there is also an issue with Copyrights too. I thought I read somewhere that the APIs are were not considered to be protected by Copyright either. This could affect the Google vs Oracle case maybe. I seem to recall that these were I/Fs, not the actual code and thus not able to Copyright. As far as patents, I have had an issue with the process as 99.9% of the S/W patents should never have been granted in the first place. Most are obvious (not non-obvious) plus they don't always advance the "state of the art". My other problem is the patent process for S/W was established well after the "horses left the barn". Mainframe and Unix systems were around long before the S/W patent process was put in motion (in the 80s). Likewise with Copyrights for S/W (that started in the 70s). However, a case can be made for Copyrights - books have Copyrights and S/W is more akin to a book. The algorithms are like sentences and paragraphs. For some entity like MS to say code snippets violate their S/W patents is totally bogus. You have a good chance of finding those snippets in CS books and in Unix and mainframe S/W from 40 - 50 years ago.

bobc4012
bobc4012

Find it hard to believe. Either they are sitting around all day playing solataire or turned off. Of course, they might be used as "dumb terminals" tied into a main frame that does the real work. I think the only PEBCAK here is those with smart@$$ answers just for the sake of being obnoxious.

tech
tech

...but the reason Apple only charges $29, is because Apple is in the hardware business. They make their money on the hardware. Mac OSX is basically BSD Unix with a snazzy GUI on top. Apple didn't design an OS from the ground up. Oh and Out of the box the Apple OS will only run (and is only licensed to run) on Apple Hardware. Microsoft on the other hand, doesn't make computers (other than the XBox360) and they don't charge of the OS updates on that platform. Of course Linux and the BSDs did build the OS from nothing, and built them from the beginning as a multi user OS with proper security and STILL it is free. Also if you buy a system retail you aren't getting a $300 OS, you are probably getting a stripped down "Home Edition" OEM version of the OS that cost the manufacturer about $40. Now if you build your own kit, then M$ see the suckers coming and you pay $300.

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

you pay 29USD for Apple OSX but you already pay A LOT for the Apple hardware. With 1300USD MAC core 2 duo air laptop you can purchase a 8GB - core i7 - SSD - windows 7 laptop.

tech
tech

Code to make Linux more compatible with Windows. "Microsoft surprised many in the tech world when it contributed 20,000 lines of device driver code to the Linux community... ...The aim is to ensure that Linux runs as a ???first-class citizen??? atop the virtual servers provided by Hyper-V" So yeah, they contribute, but I probably don't use their code if I am not running Linux under Hyper-V. By the way does anyone run Hyper-V? But there are still places to go. FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and many others are just a few of the places that are still truly M$ free. However, I think most people want to be free of the M$ licensing BS, and the never ending UI and file format changes (.doc, .docx....). With every new version of Office you have to retrain your staff. Then there is the gauntlet of licensing that makes it nigh impossible to figure out the 'best' option for a company who grows in fits and spurts, may shrink.... For most they don't care if M$ contributes code, as long as it doesn't ensnare them in the M$ web of licensing and perpetual upgrades.

bobc4012
bobc4012

I worked in the industry a lot longer than you and have seen many BSODs. Granted, if you don't download MS patches (which have caused them on occasion) and just do simple vanilla processing, you may not experience a BSOD or other freeze-up. I had to replace my desktop at home about 8 months ago and it came with Windows 7. So far, I have had more crashes and freezes with Windows 7 than I did with 8 years of XP and I don't have anywhere near the apps on Windows 7 than I did on XP. In fact, I use VirtualBox to run anything I do which might involve experimentation. Whenever I use VirtualBox, Windows 7 hangs up on shutdown - even with all the Windows patches and VB 4.14. Now whether it is Oracle's fault or MS "playing games", is not material. The fact is it hangs (or spins for an hour or so) and I have to physically power-off.

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

Some examples where you need Microsoft, you don't have equivalecies in MAC or Linux: - Truespace - Filesite - Worksite - Interwoven - Imanage - Deltaview - Metadata Cln There is no option here, you will need Windows to have this applications running.

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

I agree, win98 and ME had lot of BSD, but windows xp and windows 7 are pretty more stable. Add to that, most BSD I see in my 15+ years on IT, happens because a hardware failure (memory modules). This is not a MS fault.

JCitizen
JCitizen

did the same thing in the late 1800s by developing every permutation of firearm design they could and patenting it, so no one else could bring it to market without being hammered by the company.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Just because it's possible to Patient something doesn't mean that it has to be or that that someone will not come along latter and patient it under you. For instance Penicillin Production was not patented by the people who developed the process to make it commercially. The English Gentlemen involved though that this should be open to all to improve the process for all Humanity as they saw fit. But several years latter an American Firm came along and patented a Open Process that had been available to anyone for years and the people who developed the process where forced into a position where they had to pay a License Fee for their own work. Microsoft along with most of the others have made a lot of money by Patenting things and processes that others developed and at best all they have succeeded in doing was to maybe improve the process slightly if at all. Both are very good examples of what the Patent Process is Totally broken and unrepairable. ;) Col

JCitizen
JCitizen

and then it will cost you a LOT more on eBay! And yes, many of my clients are behind the curve, and don't have hardware, or the money, to support the leap to the latest kitty cats.

Zenith545
Zenith545

Think you missed the point - supply and demand, but with each new version of Windows it costs more, not less. Then we have to listen to M$ misinformation about how the new OS is more secure. Of course it is, it incorporates all the security hole fixes that the previous version had, BUT it still needs numerous patches to fix newly discovered security holes that also apply to previous versions. As for the cost of a laptop - a top of the line Lenovo or Dell laptop with an i7 CPU will cost the same or more than the $1300 US you mention AND an Apple laptop with an i7 can cost as much as $1600 also.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

The list may make sense if you said what they did as I've not heard of any of them. Sure there are many programs that will only work on one OS, and there are a lot that are like that for Windows, but there are far more that have variants for other OSs. I know of a major Aust government department that has a critical system that regularly requires new interfaces to be made for it as the main system does NOT work on Windows but due to policies from another department the majority of office work stations have to have Windows, so each new version of Windows requires a new interface to be made to allow the office workers to access the system from their workstations via the network. I also know of a company that has a major critical application that costs them a fortune to keep operating as it only works on Windows NT and they have the same problem with building new interfaces to work on the current office desktop version of Windows each time it changes. Last I heard they were seriously considering switching their desktops to Unix and thus only having one more interface to be made for the system. I've also seen a business stay with Windows for upgrade after upgrade because only Windows worked with one application they had. When they found out no one actually used that application now their next major roll out was to a corporate version of Unix. It's all a matter of choosing the OS to suit what you NEED to do the work.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Doesn't count I suppose. Yes the BSOD still happens but only when something More Fatal that a Fatal Incident occurs. Not really sure what is More Fatal than a Fatal Incident but that would give you a BSOD on Vista of Newer. OH yes I still see the Occasional BSOD on 7 though it's much more stable than the older versions they do still happen. Though to be perfectly honest I have never seen one of the Red Screens of Death that are supposed to be occurring when the older BSOD appeared. Maybe I just see Bad Crashes that relate to Poorly Coded Applications and all of those have been Microsoft Products causing the crash. Today Hardware is fairly Bullet Proof and it's just the M$ Products causing the problems. Col

JCitizen
JCitizen

John Browning defected to Remington for a while and then started FN. He was actually a huge success. FN is now in the US. I can't even remember his relationship to the Browning Arms company. Wow! That was a weird story Karl!

hippiekarl
hippiekarl

A wry demon in Ouspensky ("Conversations with a Devil") told the story of the suicidal Browning buying a gun (a turn-of-the-century Colt revolver) in a pawnshop to go off to Jones Beach and end it all, over frustration at having had his various inventions stolen in different ways this side of the Patent Office etc, and instead of killing himself (as per the story-teller's hopes), he mentally derided the 'inefficient and stupid' pistol's chambering-mechanism, started making some drawings instead, and ended up back in NYC where he finished designing what became known as the 1911 Browning. The demon telling the tale notes that although he'd lost a 'suicide-battle', he'd won a much larger victory on the side of 'death in general'; he credited Browning's invention with enabling, almost immediately, 4 men w/1911s and a large supply of nerve and .45 caliber, in-the-handle, magazine-fed bullets to outgun the British military and pull off what came to be called 'The Great Train Robbery'...and to catalyse the carnage of the Great War a couple of years later (the Browning automatic pistol, licenced for manufacture as the 1911 Springfield, remained the U.S. military's default hand-cannon throughout the century---I qualified on it in Basic Training in the 1970s!). Browning (and Thompson, following) managed to think up a 'firearm-permutation' that was far *superior* to Winchester's array of (primarily lever-action) 'saddle rifles', and resulted in the 1911, the Tommy gun, the BAR, and others. It's made me wonder what kind of creepy atmosphere might've surrounded the Manhattan Project....

JCitizen
JCitizen

I should have said we need a new world patent office. Since it would be built brand new, it would probably be better and more modern than the USPTO. It couldn't survive without IT - but securing it would be a nightmare - perhaps that is why the US is dragging their feet to improve it. The government is the worst at securing its networks, despite all the D.A.R.P.A. jargon.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

within the USA and ignores the rest of the world. The case about the non US inventor not getting a US patent was not an IT case, but goes back to the 1970s and is about an improvement to motor vehicle engines.

JCitizen
JCitizen

is terribly obsolete. They need to gut that bureau and rebuild it from the ground up! X-(

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

and is [u]supposed[/u] to be grounds for denying the patent. The problem is either that the USPTO doesn't know how to check for prior art in IT, or that they don't bother because they are so overworked. Or they ask the people with a financial interest in the patent...

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

only apply to something publicly displayed and made available in the US as, in general, the US legislators do NOT recognise anything outside the US border. In the past the US patent office has allowed US patents by US companies for things developed and designed by people in other countries who are not connected to the US people lodging the patent. And when the originator goes to patent their development in the US they get told no as someone else has the patent. Another oddity is the US allows a company to patent a fact of nature and then demand royalties off others who wish to use it. The craziest aspect of this is where basic natural genes etc are being patented.

JCitizen
JCitizen

I thought US patent law had a proviso that anything exposed to public use or scrutiny for a year was not able to be patented. My bad, if I'm wrong!