When it comes to the operating system war between Windows, Linux and Mac OS, I am passionately dispassionate about all three. I mostly use Windows for two simple reasons, reasons Microsoft figured out long ago: 1. It came with the PC I bought, 2. It is the only real PC game platform. Microsoft’s marketing strategy is, for the most part, designed to exploit those two conditions. Windows works and I can play games — all I need to know.
But Apple’s recent commercials have hit a nerve I didn’t know was there. The idea that I would pay a premium for an Intel-based machine running a different OS because it is easier to unplug is equivalent to a car salesman pointing out that the difference between a Kia and a Lexus is that the Lexus has a better cup holder. I have never had any klutz walk by desk and trip over the power cord to my PC causing it to fall to the floor as suggested by the commercial. The idea that that little feature, innovative and thoughtful as it may be, is going to convince me that Macs are better is ludicrous. It insults my intelligence and actually makes me more reticent that I will never by a Mac — ever.
The whole debate over which operating system is better is really getting old. I have used Windows since 3.1 and for the most part have no complaints. I’ve seen others complain that it crashes, that it has security holes, etc., but I very seldom have any problems with Windows itself. I do have trouble with plenty of application software misbehaving, but not Windows. The idea that either Mac OS or Linux is more stable or less risky is a myth. Over the past two weeks I’ve received over a dozen notices of patches from Novel concerning my installation of Suse Linux. How is that better than Windows patching the OS every month? How is it even different? It is exactly the same from my perspective.
As far as I’m concerned there is really no debate about operating systems anymore. I have no security issues. I have no crashing issues. The GUI interface is functional. Windows works just fine and there is no compelling reason for me to take the time to switch. If the evangelists for Macs want to entice me and people like me to switch they are going to have to come up with something better than “You can easily unplug it.”