Operating systems optimize

Poll: Does loving your operating system really make sense?

The TechRepublic Windows Blog member poll: Does loving your operating system really make sense? Does it hurt your professional reputation?

I realize that I have said this before, but I want to restate, for the record, that I do not love Microsoft Windows. It is an operating system. It is a tool. It just happens to be the operating system I am most familiar with and most comfortable using. I get paid to produce content about Windows, which means I approach it as objectively and as dispassionately as possible.

However, it is obvious that there are many TechRepublic members who feel very passionately about their chosen operating system. They troll the TechRepublic discussion forums espousing the alleged superiority of their operating system. Of course, applying even minimal scrutiny to their claims reveals faulty logic and subjective self-interest that renders their arguments factually inaccurate in the least and often outright lies at their worst.

The childish nature of these arguments (my dad can beat up your dad, comes to mind) intrigues me. Doesn't being so passionate about an operating system that you find yourself ignoring the facts, ignoring the real pros and cons, ultimately mean that you will be inaccurate in your assessments of merit? Doesn't such passion diminish your professional stature? Doesn't the continued proclamation that this operating system is better because it does "this," when the "this" is either not true or totally irrelevant, mean that eventually you will lose all credibility as an information technology professional?

Don't you think it is about time we take a step back, take a deep breath, and look at operating system choices with the cold, calculating eye of the dispassionate business decision it actually is?

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About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

99 comments
eyesak
eyesak

Do you Love things? Have a favorite OS? Yes. Willing to protect it, stand up for it, Lie about it. Well, not much, I think. We refer to our car as her - and the lines are sexy - now days we have to pay attention (most of us) to gas mileage and pollution - but - many people think their car is the best - that is why they buy it. I am passionate about things - but guardedly. Yes familiarity is a factor. Yes it is easy to be childish about it. I like Windows the most because I find it easier to use. I have used Mac OS from 7.6 to 10.6 and still use it. I prefer Windows because I can do what I need to easier with Windows. Another reason - I support Windows more - it is a vehicle that earns me money - and that also makes me like it more. Passion can have reason. I use Linux - but find myself on Windows and Mac. I really Love them all - they all have their usefulness and coolness - and hassles. Passion can have reason behind it and emotions. My dad was pretty tough, (R.I.P). Your dad would have have been pretty tough to beat him up. I know - those comparisons bothered me back when - and the one about - my brother will beat you up. But sometimes it had pretty good reason behind it. Their dad's or brother's were in some cases rednecks - and may have been pretty good scrapers. So - in conclusion - childish or not - if reason is behind it - others can disagree - I Love OS'es - AND - especially Windows. That is subject to change. Funny discussion - I like the "childish" reference. Oooh - gotta go - Bugs Bunny is on the tele!

tagupak
tagupak

we are going to upgrade in the future anyway, why stick with it?

bphardy
bphardy

Dear All, Good evening to you all. How are you all? Blessed I trust. For the question I put yes to the answer Does loving your operating system really make sense. But I agree what is being said totally. There is nothing wrong with loving your operating system. Or having a preference toward a certain operating system toward another. But keep in mind that that's just PERSONAL preference. The problem becomes as you pointed out is that that's all there is. Like Windows or Mac becomes the Holy Grail. You don't like Windows. I'm not going to sit here and find twenty reasons why Windows is a better system especially when I can find at least three or four security flaws in windows just like I can any other system. This as you said hurts you professionally because a professional should be open to all avenues of technology. That is the definition of technology which is a way of doing things. And new ways of doing things are being invented every day. I really don't understand the IPAD and more than likely have a preference for the latter systems but that's just me. Technology will evolve whether we like it or not. But if you like a certain preference stick to that preference. But be also open to other avenues so that you can grow with the company and also grow with the vision of the company that you are employed. So there is nothing wrong with loving your operating system, it just becomes a problem when that's ALL you love. May God bless you all greatly. Blanton P. Hardy

jasonemmg
jasonemmg

Loving a computer program?????? Are people crazy to fall in love with a program.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

.. there are people who are pretty darn passionate about there chosen make/model of horseless buggy though. Who am I to criticize there interests simply because it's not my area of interest?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

It does come off like a TV with lost signal though.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Meant to look like a TV with no signal

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

"If you hotlink, I will hunt you down and steal your computer" oh damn that's funny.. well done sir

bjr1214
bjr1214

Simply... OS fanboys (i am including all here PC, Linux, Mac etc.) are simply like Jehova's Witness or Mormons on crack. Most people don't like having someone of a different religion push their views down their throats and for me the same goes for my OS (and processor for that matter). I had some douche going ono at me the other day about how intel CPU are awesome, would only use a intel chipset because they are more stable than any other and how he hates AMD and would never use AMD products... He swears by ATI graphics... Go figure. He has never owned a AMD CPU and has no basis for his comparison. I use OS X and Windows. Simply because those 2 OS's are the best TOOLS to meet my requirements. A builder wouldn't use a screwdriver to dig a hole. Now before anyone comes back with "but you bought an apple so you must be a apple freak".... Hackintosh is your friend (and yes i bought a copy of the OS regardless of the EULA). This topic is stupid.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I've met a few Mormans whom mormans wouldn't admit too; folks for whom a generations old christian upbringing was not acceptable. At least most FOSS folk can accept other's choice of distribution and the more rational FOSS/Win/osX folk can accept other's choice of OS be it FOSS developed or not.

PalaDolphin
PalaDolphin

If one views an operating system as a child, one can be tolerant and even teach it to do tricks. If it's their operating system of choice, one grows to love it like their own child. As parents love their children, the feeling is not always reciprocated. I know I can do things in Windows XP that I cannot do, or do less efficiently, in another operating system. A client asked me to develop his Website on a Mac running OS X. I was, at first, excited by the challenge, but soon learned that many of the tools I relied on didn't exist in OS X. After a week of slow progress, I eventually broke down and dragged my Windows XP machine into the office and finished the job lickedee split! With Windows Vista and 7, it's more of an issue of, "Okay, where did Bill Gates hide this menu?" With the latest offerings from Microsoft, I find their new UI more annoying than impeding. As an old UNIX programmer, I've adopted Ubuntu Linux as my #2 son, and wish to teach it many tricks. But, I don't play with it as much as I do with Windows XP. It's more of a tool, for now. However, none of my children have every said, "I love you Daddy!" Sincerely Yours, -=- Craig A. Lance

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

I have tools that just work for me and they bring pleasure to my persuits by creating quick professional results. So, in a sense I love them so if someone has that relationship to an operating system who am I to judge?

robertr
robertr

I am not in love with XP, but until I can afford a new i7 Workstation laptop, I am stuck with XP PRO (I have some older Micrografx programs from Windows 95 era that run perfectly under XP, replacing them is wat too costly). I just purchased Adobe Creative Suite 5, Master Collection, but I have not installed it yet since Adobe Premiere want's 64-bit which is a good move by ADOBE. My laptop is too old to even consider Windows 7, so I have to wait until I can afford the costs to purchase a new machine. On the other I did have a "Hate Relationship" with VISTA. Too many problems for my clients (those who did not heed my recommendations are stuck with a bloated OS). So I will migrate to Windows 7 when the time is right and I can afford a new machine (oh how nice it would be if NVIDIA adds the Mercury engine into a laptop). One final note, if you have an older HP printer, kiss all the nice features goodbye when you migrate to Windows 7. Basic driver is all you will get. At least Brother upgrades their older drivers for their customers.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Printers are an ongoing example of why vendors should be required to release driver source when they choose not to maintain it any longer; assuming they don't developer drivers openly in the first place. There's just no good reason I've heard for closed drivers, especially when it artificially cripples perfectly functioning hardware because the vendor chose not to support a later OS or decided that the customer needs to by newer hardware.

robertr
robertr

Your point is well taken, but we all know it will never happen. Brother creates the next generation unit based on similar architecture (i.e. MFC-8840D VS MFC-8860D). I just installed an older 8860DN for a client and all Windows OS versions are supported. I own an 8840DN and even though the driver for the 8860 looks more modern, under the hood it is based on the same architecture, so this why Brother can continue to update older printers to Windows 7 (64 Bit). NIKON is another company I am upset with. They have discontinued their COOLSCAN line of Slide Scanners and no 64-bit support (this was a major investment). I have another client who spent a lot of money on a CANNON Copier (network friendly scanner/printer) and is supported in the XP 32-Bit environment, but he had a laptop with XP (64-Bit) and there is no driver support. What a ripoff! This was an expensive machine but he cannot use it in any 64-Bit platform. Years ago, I tried to get another printer manufacturer to release the source code for their Dot Matrix Printer, because it had a bug in its Diablo Emulation mode, and I was willing to debug it. Their engineering staff would not release it and the company went under, so I have this great (old) dot matrix in my boiler room which I haven't used for years. So this has gone on since the DOS days.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

For example, many grocers still use dot matrix printers to print vendor invoices for Direct Store Delivery, accounting reports, and other output that requires two or more copies of the same thing.

robertr
robertr

Valid point. This was a nice feature, but it seems Auto Repair shops are about the only people I ever see use this anymore. Most now just print two copies. The Triplicate forms (i.e. receipts) weren't cheap however. I do miss the sound of dot-matrix printing at such a high rate of speed, and ripping through a stack of fan-fold paper.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Dot matrix allows printing of multiple copies at the same time. This saves on ink and ribbons. If you want multiple copies of the same thing (a receipt) for instance, inkjet and laser are limited to one at a time, and each one consumes ink or toner.

robertr
robertr

The reason I keep this printer is because I paid more than $2000.00 for it in the 1980s. It's an industrial printer (well built) and in fact I had to repair it in 1993 (the Print Head NODS to fill in more dots to appear as Daisy Wheel quality in Diablo mode failed.... I have a service manual for it and was able to isolate the driver failure for the NODDING SOLENOID). Since I have a Brother 8840DN and an HP1220C on my printer table I have no room for this 70 lbs printer. It is great for listings (300CPS), wow I just dated myself speaking in terms of CPS versus Pages Per Minute. I will eventually find a place for it, it's great for printing listings. The way it produced Letter Quality using Head Nod was ahead of its time, but I recall my frustration with the bug in the Diablo Emulation Mode drove me up a wall since its predecessor did not have the same bug (Yep, I had the previous model and sold it first before upgrading to the faster unit which also supported EPSON GRAPHIC emulation). Okay, I now have dated myself way too much!

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If the printer works still and you don't need colour or fine ink squirting, what's wrong with using Dot Matrix?

j-mccurdy
j-mccurdy

That shows why they went under, Because they're stupid.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I have to perfectly functional USB dongles at home; a Dlink and whatever Motorola re-branded. Both drivers took some crazy song and dance to install even when they where still on store shelves. I can't get either of them reinstalled under WinXP now even with the original WinXP drivers. If either BT dongle didn't come from a company that thought drivers where a "competitive advantage", I'd not have had to by yet a third just to get working drivers. I would also have drivers across any platform that chose to include them rather than just what limited platforms the vendor decided from for me. Video cards are notorious. I hear a lot of grief over scanners. If only the vendor imposed grief was limited to one hardware category.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]...the vendor...decided that the customer needs to by newer hardware.[/i] There's no money in old devices, particularly inkjet printers. With the inkjet, printer vendors have trapped themselves in a business model that relies on continued sales of new models for its success. Now they can't find a way out.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Printer; 100$. Ink refill cartridge 75$.. they do have a heck of a racket going. But yes, like many other industries, planned premature obsolescence is a common strategy.

majikthorne
majikthorne

I say if it works for you, Great! I find people always want the newest thing even if they don't really need it. When one of my clients ask me about hardware upgrades, I always come back at them with " what are you doing differently that dictates you needing a faster or better computer? The same applies to the OS, if it ain't broke why fix it?

lachandler2000
lachandler2000

YES! Hate is such a waste, and I hate Windows Vista7. The Vista7 operating system does not let me set my work area the way I want it. Where do you want to go today? I hope it's where we want you to go! If a new OS comes out, I will migrate.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

[i]If a new OS comes out, I will migrate.[/i] Have you checked a Linux distribution? Mint, Ubuntu, and PCLinuxOS were all fairly easy for me to pick up. Or you could try another distribution: http://www.distrowatch.org/ Or did you mean a new Microsoft OS?

mla_ca520
mla_ca520

In general, we should take a deep breath, step back and consider the things in our lives based on fact and what is the best option.

Arcturus909
Arcturus909

Of course we can love an operating system. We love our cars, our houses, our swimming pools, highly individual activities (biking, camping, shopping) and specific television shows and movies. We can't REALLY love any of these things, of course, but that is the way we express it because that is the way we perceive it.

RLKCon
RLKCon

That the OS is a large part of what many of us have pay checks created by. MS, Apple, and perhaps even the OS's in the Linux area have created the current environment that's paid for many people's homes and their lives. People forget that "all" of it is paying for our techie lives. So once again I say, bring all the innovation, the environments, the software and I will continue to eat. I "love" to eat. I "love" my family. I "love" my home Because of my career, I get to "love" those things, but to be honest I'm pretty indifferent as to which computer system will pay for it. As long as there are systems that need me to keep them functioning, I'm happy. I use all three OS' in my job, they all work, they all fail from time to time, some more than others. The Passion I think comes from all the Jealousy. OSX and LINUX are Jealous of the market share of MS in the enterprise, Windows is jealous of the OSX/Linux Kernal and their legendary stability and lack of active hackers hacking them. LINUX will tell you they are generally jealous of nothing except not getting enough attention outside of blogs. Apple will tell you that the controversy is what fuels their business, because we are all so fickle and malleable. So in conclusion, MS has paid me the most, LINUX has given me the most personal enjoyment in learning, and OSX as nice as it is, actually creates the most stress, ha, which is funny because it's essentially the simplest to function with.

tinyang
tinyang

What matters is how you conduct yourself in the eyes of your peers. If you prefer one OS to all others that's fine. Different people will have different views even to the extreme of feeling fanatical about it. None of that matters at all until society at large sees your behavior patterns regarding it and judges you based on them. If you troll forums online about it, then of course you are a troll, or if you try to force feed your opinions to others, then this is what will reflect on you. If on the other hand, despite your 'love' as Mark puts it for an OS, you don't bother engaging in less than professional conduct, then it makes perfect sense to 'love' an OS. People who are in a technical field (like anyone else in a different field) are going to get so involved in what they do for a living that they will develop likes and dislikes, and educated opinions on various aspects of their field. It's this kind of natural human nature that gives us people who are passionate about what they do and are so good at it.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

There are really good tools that won't fit in my toolbox, either because they are too big for the box, or there are simply too many of them. The solution is to try to find a similar tool that will fit (assuming the size change itself doesn't render it un-suitable), replace the toolbox with one that will fit the tool in it, or get a second toolbox. The perfect toolbox would be one that was small and easily carried, but never slid, moved, or got knocked over from where you placed it, never rusted or got squashed when your truck drove over it, was always there when you needed it, never in your way, contained every tool that you could ever want, and instantly presented the desired tool at the top of the box when you opened it. (I know, that sounds like some kind of super magical bag of holding from Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, but that IS the ideal.) That would be a box worthy of love. Unfortunately, NO existing operating system comes close to that ideal. Ergo, no operating system is worthy of such dedication that it could be classed as "love". Show me an operating system that can run any software without problem, at maximum efficiency and speed, as if it were on its native system, without having to install special drivers or other software beforehand, without extreme added costs for the OS, the software, or the hardware; and you'll be approaching that ideal. And no, Linux and WINE doesn't cut it.

wistful
wistful

Beautifully written. I *love* this post.

sysop-dr
sysop-dr

As far as any software solution is concerned the one you pick should be the right tool for the job. Does it do what you want, can it support the applications you need. There is also the 80 20 rule, if it can do 80% of the job for 20% of the cost it's the right tool for the job. BUT there is one over riding rule as well, customer is always right, even when they are wrong. They are paying the bill. My only caveat is that while I really like some of their products and the world seems to revolve around them Microsoft has done some things that are just dumb and so are putting the security of all of their customers at risk. Besides being an abusive monopoly (hey they lost all of those lawsuits and charges remember) why the heck do they have to give the code to China and Russia? If the Russians and Chinese could be trusted maybe it would be OK but neither of them can be trusted. Yes open source is available to the Chinese and Russians but open source is also available to all of the rest of us too.

melias
melias

I haven't loved an OS since my Amiga 500. I do not love Windows. It can far to frustrating. But saying that, it can also be fun to tweak and fiddle with. I am loyal (to a point) to Windows because it is what I grew up with in college and my career. In other words, it pays my bills. I have fond memories of VMS/OpenVMS. I could work on it without having to resort to oompty-dozen websites. Why? Actual documentation of the OS and related sub-systems. Dozens of manuals, literally. Run out of virtual telnet terminals? No problem, change these configuration files. Increase your Oracle Workpad space and now need more Working space for each account? No problem there either, run these calculations and modify accordingly. It was the most rational of OS's I have ever used, including various versions of unix and Netware. (Yes, that is an OS, if you include NOS)

davidbteague
davidbteague

Love your OS, don't love your OS, I couldn't care less. BUT YOU DO NOT MAKE A RELIGION OUT OF IT. Y'hear Macintosh folks? Don't wave it about and don't cram it down my throat.

j-mccurdy
j-mccurdy

A lot of Apple people do make a religion out of it,and so do a lot of Linux people. And yes it's weird. Some Windows people do too but, the percentage is far lower. I also notice they tend to be infuriated, because all the Windows people don't want to follow them. If you want to find these crazy's, just go to an online Windows discussion. But don't look on something like Mac or Linux lovers.com, oh no, Make sure you go where the topic is something regarding Windows. Because they will be there in swarms, throwing the discussion of topic. Just like the bunch of weirdos they are.

tanernew
tanernew

In tech republic you always explain your idea from one side and then put a poll to collect user idea. In here you show loving an OS as nonsense and non professional thing then you put some survey about it. Lots of people say no but answer can be different without reading this article. It is same for every poll in techrepublic I think Regards

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

This is by no means a scientific poll or survey. It is a way to get TechRepublic members to join in a discussion. I presented a point of view (bias if you insist) so that there would be something to counterpoint.

wistful
wistful

True words, tanernew. In questionnaire design, they call it 'response bias'. As you say, the point is that only one side was presented favourably. The irony is that the question of 'unprofessional' conduct confounded love and bigotry. And yet the writer was guilty of a biased presentation himself. Who then is being unprofessional?

jmdiazarg
jmdiazarg

Well, i think you cannot say loving your operating system is a matter of stupidity. You put that on situation. On a situation that of course the logical response will be no, and because the simplicity of the asking you can later change the context and make a statement based on the result of this poll. OK, i can say i love the Z (as oposed to X) operating system as i would love any piece of technology old or new. I cannot drop to trash any piece of a computer because philosophically i really love what for me is the best invention of mankind to date. Whay i cannot support is any kind of afirmation based on the childish logic my father is greater than yours.

trashmail
trashmail

Nope... obviously. That said, love is a feeling, not a fact. There is a good deal to be said regarding stability, intimacy, and usefulness that applies to operating systems as well as relationships. I use XP, but recently have been unfaithful with Puppy (love) Linux. Very cute and fast. OSX is out of my league as my hardware, while slow and flaccid, is not up to the level needed, but I sure do covet my wife's close friend, her MacBook. When she's out of the house, sometimes I will fiddle with it, but it's not the same as Old Reliable, XP. I am just plain used to it after all these years, warts and all.

jaikzelf
jaikzelf

If someone likes to continually receive "updates" and likes to reinstall his OS every 3 months or so and likes to pay for it on top of all that, who are we to stop them from liking MS Windows ?

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

...of the religious wars that have flared and raged on just about every forum, bulletin board, and usenet group since the dawn of (computer) time. And a good example at that. In just a few words we have all the elements required for said flame war: FUD, lies, derogation (is that a real word?), and condescension. Actually pretty good, as troll posts go!

Robiisan
Robiisan

In Windows XP, when one explored the contents of the hard drive, certain folders could be set to display the contents certain ways. For example, "My Pictures" could show thumbnails while "My Documents" could be set to display the "details" view. AND THEY WOULD STAY THERE - even after closing explorer and reopening it. Win 7 seems to have lost this capability (or I'm missing something here). My experience is that changing "My Pictures" to thumbnail view changes EVERY folder to thumbnails. When I go back into a documents folder, I have to change it back to details to see certain aspects of the files that I often use as a reference point for the choice of which file to open or insert. While the persistency of the view choice is still there, my gripe is that changing the view in one folder affects EVERY folder the same way. Question for the troops: Is there a way to select an individual folder or group(s) of folders to display one way while leaving the remainder of the folders unaffected by the change? I'm looking forward to hearing the answers as I hope they will make my life just a wee tad simpler.

john3347
john3347

"Is there a way to select an individual folder or group(s) of folders to display one way while leaving the remainder of the folders unaffected by the change?" I would also love to find the answer to this, and numerous other similar frustrations that positively put Windows 7 more toward the hate direction than toward loveable when compared with previous Windows versions - which also were not really loveable either.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

.

sharkeys.machines
sharkeys.machines

I don't believe one should use the word Love when talking about Operating Systems. It's a choice that allows us to differentiate ourselves, like the jeans we wear or the car we drive, for the path we travel to get to an end result. I support the end result. If the world was 90% Mac or 90% Linux then you would have the groups who "Luv" Windows and need to tweet about their latest anal belch.

sharkeys.machines
sharkeys.machines

Math: Do you use pencil, chalk or calculator? Women: Blond, Brunette or Redhead? Wine: Red or White? Meat: Steak, chicken or fish? Sports: Baseball, Football, basketball? I prefer pencil, hair color doesn't matter to me,I don't drink, I prefer steak and I don't watch sports. I use Live Linux Distro's to support computer hardware and Windows OS's. Never use Unix but would dislike to spend my life using command line all day. Since I'm not going to write my own OS or browser I will maintain the respect I have for all of my choices and give credit where credit is due. I love my daughter. I respect and appreciate my tools.

WebCzar
WebCzar

To answer your 5 questions: Math: Depends on what's handy at the time. Women: Yes, all three please. Wine: Depends on the the selection below. Meat: Yes to all three, except no pork or shellfish. Sports: Depends on the season and who's playing. The point is, no single answer exists for the perfect OS, because applications matter. Windows: 98/2000/XP have been good. Unix: System IV, Irix, BSD, Linux been good. Mac OSX: see above, as unix is the base. The only OS that I really thought wasn't so stable or enjoyable was the OLD Mac OS. Yuk. Besides: what about NextStep, BeOS, OS/2... lots of decent systems on history's ash-heap.