Windows

Poll: How do you defend your favorite operating system against dissenters?

The TechRepublic Windows Blog member poll: How do you defend your favorite operating system against dissenters?

For 2010, I decided to ask a poll question in the TechRepublic Microsoft Windows Blog on most every Friday (assuming I could come up with a compelling question). Last week, I used a blog post by Ed Bott over on ZDNet as the basis for what I thought was a fairly simple question:

Are you looking forward to the day Windows 7 overtakes XP?

As one might expect, the question sparked several passionate exchanges about Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Microsoft, Apple, Linux, and game controllers. (Check it out for yourself if you don't believe me.) I still find in the vast scheme of life, the universe, and everything that these fits of passion about something as insignificant as an operating system choice are slightly mind-boggling.

I use Windows XP at the office (CBS Interactive has not made the jump to Windows 7) and Windows 7 at home. Both versions work perfectly fine and do what they are supposed to do -- I have no complaints. (By the way, neither XP nor 7 crash all the time, as I hear so often.) And I certainly don't mind that you use one or the other or Linux or Mac OS or CP/M or whatever. I don't feel the need to make a passionate plea that my choice is better than your choice. I say use the OS that fits your needs and I'll do the same.

But, judging by the discussions I see in the Windows Blog, I am seemingly in the minority. Apparently, one is supposed to be passionate about their operating system choices and, therefore, must defend said choice in forums wherever and whenever a dissenting opinion is expressed. I am curious as to why?

I am curious, because I reserve my passion for things that call for it, like family, love, friends, music, food, and race horses, among others. The last thing I have passion about is operating system choices. How about you?

What compels you to defend your operating system and condemn someone else's? Does their choice really matter that much to you? Why? Do you defend your favorite operating system against dissenters with passion? Where does this passion come from?

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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.

114 comments
rcugini
rcugini

Its just like teenagers arguing about which car or motorcycle is best, basically human nature. That is why people argue about operating systems. Still there are significant differences such as security and the cost of licencing that makes the debate interesting.

bcrane
bcrane

Life would have been sooo much simpler if we had stopped at DOS 6.22!

mikifinaz1
mikifinaz1

I run my Mac with windows running inside, with the Mac OS and with Linux or BSD running on it that along with some Mac tricks. One trick is I have my Mac setup so that it "hears" me when I enter the room and asks me what I want in a Egor stage voice. "Yes, master what do you want me to do today." Really blows people minds when I have a conversation with my Mac as it is running Windows within a Mac environment.

ianmwells
ianmwells

My xP works fine for the apps I am using. I would like to tryout Windows 7 but it sounds like a lot of work for little return. I'll change to a proven new one when I replace my current LT.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

I don't bother to Argue / Defend etc. I simply use what I use which is win2K & WinXP to produce the products I'm contracted to produce but I couldn't even begin to produce the products with a vi$ta or 7 system

aharper
aharper

If everyone used Linux, and specifically Ubuntu 10.04 like we do in the office, I would not have enough volume to support my business. I love Microsoft products.

joseph.r.shelton
joseph.r.shelton

It depends. Currently, I know for a fact that all of the software applications I maintain work on Windows XP. A few software vendors have sent notifications that their software has not been tested on Vista or Windows 7. Until I receive confirmation the software works on a newer OS, I don't plan to upgrade the OS until I know the applications work on a newer OS. Also, Microsoft plans to support XP until 2014. There is still time to plan accordingly for the next OS upgrade.

Gh0stMaker
Gh0stMaker

& the SMB market will use WinXP until 2014

ChiefEngr
ChiefEngr

Maybe I read too many BBS postings about how 'my C64 is better than your TRS80', but it all sounds like a bunch of 13-year olds with "Christmas Modems" waving their johnsons at each other. Seems to me that the underlying OS is just a service enabler for the Applications, which are really why you have a computer in the first place. I feel no great reason to defend my OS or my manhood. Both are capable of getting the job done to my (and my partner's) satisfaction -- and that's good enough for me.

rfolden
rfolden

Well I can wave my johonsahn at you whilst riding by in my BMW. You are stuck self-wagging in your Yugo. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! :) (The water is deep, too...)

sysop-dr
sysop-dr

At home we have a fairly extensive computing environment. And we have everything from Windows XP and Windows 7 to Linux in various flavours and even some Macs. (And some antiques like a Next Station which still works and can surf the web.) They all work well but I find I have to spend more time managing the Windows systems. But they all have a roll to play and are used by everyone as needed. At work again, a mix, but no Macs, except a few in upper management. But generally Windows for normal office stuff, Linux for scientific computing and both Windows and Linux for web stuff depending on what the job is. Our secure stuff is all on Linux. Our must run no matter what software is on QNX. Because it never fails. Sorry Windows and Linux fans, but both of them are not reliable enough for these applications, because if that system fails people are at risk so we can't use them for this, not even RTLinux. We have to patch all OSs constantly but the only one ever compromised was one Windows server and it only with a 0 day exploit. So what OS do I favour? the one that will do the job I need done. Anyone who is choosing an OS without considering if it is the right one to use and just blindly use one or the other always deserve what they get when it fails and believe me they all fail when used for a job that they were not intended. You could use Linux for Desktop publishing but the Mac is so much better for that why use anything else if that is what you do. Windows does mundain things like email and spreadsheets well, so use it for that. Linux does scientific and engineering so well it should be used for that (also making clusters for scientific computing) and QNX is the best desktop compatable real time OS out there so use it for that. Best tool for the job.

russoisraeli
russoisraeli

My UNIX guru always said that Windows is not an operating system. For the rest of the OS's, my response is certainly "live and let live".

oldbaritone
oldbaritone

Really, OS is OS. What should matter most is function. Can you do what you want to do? Like "What's the best car?" - it depends on what you want to do with it. A Lamborghini is a really cool car, but if you're looking for 40 MPG or seating for a family of 6 - it ain't gonna happen in a Lambo. OTOH, 0-60 under 3.5 seconds ain't happenin' in a Prius. Likewise, most operating systems have things they do better than others, and others have things they do better. It's all a compromise. What works best for you, and does your OS choice prevent you from doing some necessary task? That's the real question.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

a Prius only seats 5 so your comparison is illogical captain.

kmnugent
kmnugent

I defend my OS with my taped together glassed and my pocket protector.

gruumsh
gruumsh

I don't see the need to defend my OS. To each his own. But I am really annoyed by those who like to defend their OS even if you're not asking them to. (You know who you are...)

rfolden
rfolden

"But I am really annoyed by those who like to defend their OS even if you're not asking them to. (You know who you are...)" Amen. Nothing like a zealot of any OS. I have one "friend" in particular who harps day in and day out about OS. Tries to convince everyone it is the savior of our nation. The man is not happy until he has his converts all running and then THEY try to sell you on it. Arghh. Just shaddap and go sell used cars, would ya?

Gh0stMaker
Gh0stMaker

Smack that newbie upside da head

Osiyo53
Osiyo53

I pretty much figure that if it works, and does what you need/want it to do adequately enough to suit you ... well have at it. But I'm not at all surprised when folks debate that their choice/preference is better than that of someone else. (1) It seems to be pretty much human nature. (2) It also often includes elements of ignorance ... or perhaps a better way of saying it is ... a lack of wide experience and understanding. A limited and one sided view of things.

KeithAu001
KeithAu001

I have an old system which uses XP, a laptop which uses Vista, and I recently assembled a new system which I installed Windows 7. I have had no problems with any of these computers. I have had: Win 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, and 7. The only version I had any problems with was ME. I have heard a lot about Vista being problematic, but I have had it on the laptop for at least 2 years, without any problems. I maintain the system with Cleanup, Defrag, RegMechanic, and Use Trend Micro Internet Security 2010, and since Win 98, I have always used Trend. I haven't had any major problems unless I inadvertantly download or install a bogus piece of software (not of late though). My systems run 24/7 and DONT fail. The key here is maintain your systems, and dont install/download crapware that can or will cause crashes. Make sure your system is capable of handling what you need it to do, and dont try screwing with the system settings. If you need more power, get a bigger system, dont go overclocking etc! The right tool for the job and keep the tools maintained and it is very rare for a failure. The point here is everyone bags the software (OS) when it isn't the OS that is at fault. If the hammer doesnt hit the nail properly or hits your thumb DONT blame the hammer! Its the operators fault! If you have a 4 inch nail DONT try hammering it in with a 2 oz tack hammer! Summary: People Criticize or blame the OS when there are problems when 99% of the time its NOT the OS its the OPERATOR who is at fault.

john3347
john3347

This illustrates that different people have different experiences with any given OS, therefore no one OS is ideal for all. Often third party software that people use has a greater effect on their user experience than the OS itself; yet the OS gets blamed. I have used DOS3, DOS6.22/Windows 3.11, Windows 95, 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, and now 7. I had considerable stability problems with Windows 95, and had considerable 'every imaginable problem' with Vista, and used Millinneum at home until XP was several months into SP2 because ME was so much more stable than what I saw of XP for the first two or three years. The only problems I ever had from Millenniun was the occcasional screen freeze and HP printer drivers. (still have problems with HP printer drivers)

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

"old system which uses XP, a laptop which uses Vista, and I recently assembled a new system which I installed Windows 7" That all run 24/7 ??? Really? Why?

egmccann
egmccann

I got into the "OS wars" back when NT was introduced, 95 was new, the Mac was a bit shaky, Linux was just starting to make noise, and OS/2 was still around. It didn't take all that long to read through all the back and forth sniping to realize, "Hey, this is stupid." SO my general answer now is, "Does it do what you need it to? If not, then change. If they all do what you like, go to a computer store, try them out, and use the one that fits you best." Really no need for anything else.

cbader
cbader

Im mostly a 'Whatever suits your needs and gets the job done' kind of guy and do use Windows and Linux. However I refuse to use a Mac and have gotten in to some spirited debates that usually began with the fanboy repeating FUD he heard from Apple and/or Steve Jobs that has no basis in reality.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

Why do you feel that you have the right to deride the choices of others? Does the fact that their choice is different from yours somehow diminish your own choice?

Paul
Paul

Do as I do Instlled on same Computer 1. Windows 2000. 2. Windows Xp pro. 3. Windows 7. 4. Ubuntu 8.4.

john3347
john3347

I have 1) Windows 7 2) XP Mode 3) LinuxMint 9 4) Windows 2000 on a second box connected by a KVM switch. 5) Windows XP Pro on the upstairs computer and two laptops. But that is my choice. Choice is what I am fiercfully passionate about, not the OS itself.

yobtaf
yobtaf

In my ordinary life the subject hardly comes up.

john3347
john3347

My choice is MY choice, your choice is YOUR choice. I VERY MUCH loathe Microsoft, or any other company or individual telling me what MY preferences are - or should be. I want to do what I want/need to do the way I find easiest and best for ME to do it. CHOICE is the key word here. Perhaps several of the Linux versions offer better choice than either of the other two major competitors, but the Linux choices are, to this day, extremely difficult for the non-professionally trained user to perform. While Windows is steadily moving further and further away from allowing the choices that once were available (and understood by the less experienced). It is still at the top of the pile in user-friendly ability to mold and shape into what each individual wants. To more directly answer the exact question posed here: My preference is the best for ME because it does what I want and does not do what I do not want better than any other OS. And I am passionate about having the choice. Just as one automobile configuration does not suit everybody's preferences and needs, one OS configuration, likewise, does not fit everybody's preferences and needs. Sometimes we lose sight of this fact and want for everyone else what we want for ourselves. MICROSOFT, ARE YOU LISTENING?

marvin.novello
marvin.novello

I agree that it is a personal choice and I am perfectly happy with my choice. However, I do get dragged into slanging matches with Apple fanbois simply because their zealous behaviour drives me nuts.

gechurch
gechurch

I'm so glad I'm not alone! I use Windows - it's the pragmatic choice for me. It was what I grew up with, it's what most programs are written for, and it's what most people and businesses use. I'm not particularly pasionate about it, but I often get dragged into the pointless OS wars. Mostly against Apple fans (they seem to need to prove their choice to anyone and everyone). But also Linux. I used to work at a small tech shop (servicing mainly home users). We had a guy there that started using Ubuntu and it suited his needs well, and because he was interested he was willing to spend the time researching and learning. Unfortunately he didn't realise he was a very different user to the average Joe. We would have people come in with a virus on their Windows XP machine, and he would spend an hour running them through Ubuntu, telling them why it's so wonderful. Unfortunately the client often wasn't given a full understanding of the consequences. Most ended up coming back after they got home to realise that their printer didn't work anymore, or that the kids couldn't play their games etc. What a waste of time! We would end up reloading Windows and their software, like we should have done in the first place. It would cost us money (he didn''t charge for his hour time 'selling' Linux), he didn't charge much for his time installing Linux, and we would do the reload of Windows under warranty because of the inappropriate advice. The appropriate solution in the first place would of course to be remove the virus, to install an antivirus system (ineveitably they either had no antivirus system, or it was woefully out of date). We normally installed AVG which is free, and updates itself. I can't stand this sort of behaviour from tech enthusiasts. It is really unprofessional, and it seems to be particularly common in our industry.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Drag anything odoriferous, of one sort or another, past your noses and you are off like a pack of hounds, baying.

Jitse Klomp
Jitse Klomp

I like my OS (Ubuntu) better than your OS, here's why...

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

If the dissenters actually have a case or not. For example are they using flawed logic or trying to compare / measure elements in an incorrect manner. The need to get that basic element correct first before they can even appear on the game board.

Rodo1
Rodo1

Period!

Thump21
Thump21

"Your OS sucks, and here is why ..." Actually, in the case of Apple, the OS is fine, it's the foolish grip of holding on to a legacy interface that makes it unattractive. Case in point, ... why do I have both a Del and a Delete key (sometimes also labeled Del) which execute different functions? Please people, give up the pompous "We think different therefore we think better" attitude and get with the program --calling it Backspace won't make you seem Microsoft-ish, it's just what the freakin' key is called! I should stop now before I go into a dozen or so more annoyances.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

DEL key (delete key) gets rid of the things on front of the cursor. Backspace gets rid of things behind the cursor .DEL key is used to delete files

hartiq
hartiq

Well, actually, I quite like it. I spent *hours* trying to get Ubi to recognise my wireless card in my Win07 notebook, before I just admitted defeat and ran with the installed OS. It does the job, and it does it well enough. Sure, working around it's restrictions without totally abandoning the idea of security is a pain, but that's just how Windows works. And at least it *does* work. That said, my wife's Mac OS not only started up nearly instantly on her new laptoppy thingy, but it found our home network without any prompting and immediately asked me for login credentials. For what she wants to do, that thing is cool. But I don't think Mac OSX would run on my notebook. So I'll defend Win07 on pragmatic grounds: it works. The other choices don't. No contest. :}

Gh0stMaker
Gh0stMaker

With Win7 it gives me a chance to interact more with my parents... remember what's really important - nuf said Although supporting relatives is a discussion in itself

SmartAceW0LF
SmartAceW0LF

If the improvements aren't observed by the user within a few days then you would be wasting your breath anyway.

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Sales / Marketing / Business Development

Rodo1
Rodo1

...so why do you feel comfortable criticizing my current position? FYI, I held several highly technical positions in the data storage industry over the last 40 years.

Gh0stMaker
Gh0stMaker

I have a cookie in my desk somewhere...

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

without yourself knowing the situations and needs of others.

Thack
Thack

I don't know you either, but making comments like "There is no defending Windows 7. Period." raises some big doubts about your technical judgement. Just like if you'd said the same thing about Linux, OS X or some other widely used platform. People of your age are supposed to be wise, mature, and with a balanced and nuanced outlook. What went wrong? SteveT

The 'G-Man.'
The 'G-Man.'

Then 99 times out of 100 it is bull. Perhaps you are the 1.

mattG3347
mattG3347

when you are working with Microsoft services or you have to use C#. I prefer Mac OSX, but I am constantly having to mess with a SQLServer. So for the current project I am on, I have to use windows. That is the point of what Mark is trying to say, use the OS that suits your needs. Right now I have to use Microsoft software, so I use Windows. And since eventually enterprise will fully move past xp into 7, we all started using 7. So live and let live.

Gh0stMaker
Gh0stMaker

On the engineer level sometimes there isn't any choice - at least not 1 we had a voice in.

jdclyde
jdclyde

attacking Windows 7 period?

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