To Switch or Not to Switch

“General Walnut” poses excellent (if not rhetorical) questions on the matter of Windows vs. OS X:

I am nowhere near as much as an expert at this kind of stuff that you are and I’m not going to pretend that I am, but you were talking about how because of Vista that Apple might get more of the market. If they did catch up or even pass Microsoft, don’t you think that they will end up facing many of the same problems that Microsoft faces now? I mean, third party companies will want to start making machines that run their OS, and if Apple agrees then they would have to deal with the same hardware adjustments that Microsoft has to deal with. I don’t know, it just seems like, if the positions switch then it will just be the same thing with a different company, and if Apple computers aren’t running in that controlled environment that they have created then they will run into just as many, if not more, problems than Microsoft.

Apple will be forced to open up sooner or later. It’s inevitable, no matter how much larger they may get. The more interesting question might be to ask: what will be opened up, and how far?

Also you mentioned how people that don’t know a lot about computers don’t care if you can switch hardware out and stuff like that (you used not wanting to replace a cars steering wheel as an example I believe). But when somebody that doesn’t know a whole lot about computers walks into a store like Best Buy what do they see? They see hp, sony, compaq, gateway, some other companies, and Mac. They don’t see pc or mac, so wouldn’t these people who know nothing about computers be more likely to buy one of the brands of PC that buy a Mac?

What they see is a price tag. Consumers notice that there’s a $300 computer with a rebate sitting over there and assume it’s just the same as a $1300 computer. Both can get on the Internet, after all. They’re justified to make decisions based on personal finance, but seldom take into account TCO.

Remember, most people don’t know about the free or open source alternatives.

You also asked to answer if the headache that is Vista has had people wanting or considering switching to a Mac, and I say no. I haven’t ever considered switching to an Apple computer, not even for a little bit. I probably don’t do nearly as much on a PC as you do, but for what I do, I haven’t noticed even a fraction of the bugs that people are talking about. At this point I probably wouldn’t even go back to XP. I’m not going to say because I haven’t had problems that means nobody else must have, but for what I have done so far, I actually enjoy Vista. Yea It’s slower that XP, but I didn’t even notice the parts of it that are slower until recently, when people started talking about it to me. I have talked to people that say that the Network and Sharing section of the Control Panel takes about 30 minutes to load, but the most time it has taken for it to load for me is about 5 seconds. If what I have experienced in Vista was half as buggy as what people are telling me it should be, or half as slow for that matter, there wouldn’t be any debating over whether or not I should switch back to XP, I just would.

By admitting that Vista is slower than XP, you’re only furthering my earlier assertions. Quite a few people are reporting that (in some ways) Leopard is faster than Tiger – myself included. When a new OS doesn’t run faster or better on the same hardware, you have to question why it’s worth trading performance for a questionable set of new features.

It boils down to a matter of personal preference, but if you’re fine with what Windows delivers and haven’t tried anything else – how can you know what you prefer?

12 thoughts on “To Switch or Not to Switch”

  1. Pingback: Anonymous
  2. I think there are a only a few rare times when Windows performance increased with a new Operating System on the same hardware.
    Windows isn’t usually faster then a previous version on the same older hardware. Windows XP was slower then Windows 98 on a pc designed for Windows 98 with lets say 64mb of RAM. As computers got faster and people started getting more RAM windows xp was able to shine and its performance improvements were more obvious. I think as hardware continues to get faster we will start to see where windows vista really shines in comparison to windows xp. Of course… right now.. on people running low-end pc’s or even mid to high end machines of the day. Vista just isn’t as fast as XP.

    Hasn’t windows been like this forever? Windows is never as fast as its previous version when it first comes out. I know I remember a XP articles saying XP is a resource hog stick with 2000 or Windows 98 until you have a faster machine or upgrade your ram or etc, I read this in 2001 when XP was still new to the market. Vista will shine in the future, IMO.

  3. He’s like so many out there that just doesnt want to try anything else, because they dont need to. It came with the computer and it does the job… Why looking for something else?

    Event tho it Might be better in a overall way of looking at it, in the way HE looks at it, it’s the same.

    he’s true about the hardware… OS X runs on like what, 5 models of diferents computer designed by the same compagny that built the OS. Windows runs on millions of diferents type of hardware profiles, it’s amazing when you think about it… cause it actualy works in most case out of the box. Of course you have to install the Drivers but it’s not alway mandatory cause it works with Microsoft’s driver. I dont think OS X would run on my computer as good as Windows is running on a macbook… Guess why?

    At this point, I dont think we can easily say which OS is better than the other. They just are not the same. Of course they have their good and bad points, they both have them! Like you said, it’s a personal preference…

  4. I just broke down and downgraded my desktop to XP. I started to adjust to the new Windows Explorer in Vista, but stability was the number one reason I wanted to downgrade.

    The question I have is, why use a different operating system when you can achieve the same goals Windows XP as with Windows Vista or OS X? I think both Microsoft and MAC are focusing too hard in integrating software into the operating system, when they should be looking at making the OS easier to fine tune for specific needs.

    The operating systems we see now are designed for tasks that most computer users either use very seldom or never at all. How many people use the movie maker software built into XP? Remember the ‘My Briefcase’, that sure got a lot of use. We can only hope some of these features that we never use aren’t using system resources when the computer boots up.

    If I could install an operating system that would manage my applications to work in the most efficient way to develop software, I would buy that operating system. I am sure many others would say the same about graphic design, video editing, writing papers, etc… The question is, who is going to answer the call first, Apple or Microsoft?

  5. I know chris is a big fan of not wanting windows/xp…
    I am amazed about it… You talk about anything and what conclusion chris makes… leopard is better, mac is better.

    Well If someone is going to pay me then only i am gonna think what to buy… if i have to pay then i would run vista in mac….

  6. Angelo Mandato is so right!
    As a music production enthusiast, I just can do as good as copying this from Angelo:

    “If I could install an operating system that would manage my applications to work in the most efficient way to develop software, I would buy that operating system. I am sure many others would say the same about graphic design, video editing, writing papers, etc… The question is, who is going to answer the call first, Apple or Microsoft?”

  7. As long as Steve Jobs is CEO, Apple will never license OS X to run on any PC. I don’t see why you think it is “inevitable” that they will let 3rd parties run their operating system. If they continue to get bigger, they continue to ramp up production. If there is a demand, they will continue to meet the demand. Why does Apple have to rely on the 3rd parties to push their product? Why isn’t Apple able to continue running in the same fashion and just… grow? And why do you compare their future path to Microsoft’s? Microsoft has already shown us what not to do and if Apple was paying any attention, they have learned something.

  8. pc because you can do more stuff with it like play games and all the stuff you can do on a mac you can do on a pc and what is rong with window vista i have had it for a year and nothing bad has happen to me

  9. beef nips…you got it the other way around. Macs can do more stuff than PCs. Macs can even run Windows.

  10. Microsoft is falling apart. Contributing factors are the corporate culture and the byzantine organizational structure that simply has too many cooks stirring the soup–too many members of too many teams on too many layers of hierarchy so that they are no longer manageable.

    Microsoft no longer makes software for users. They make platforms for partners to make solutions for the enterprise. They expect their partners to put on the finishing touches and provide the customer support.

    A good example is the Zune. It was supposed to be an iPod killer. It was designed to steal Apple’s sources, not its customers, by making the sources into partners. Microsoft hasn’t learned that if users don’t like it, no one will buy it, and then the partners will just go away.

    Don’t forget HD-DVD. Microsoft backed it because it was better for its partners. Blue Ray won because it is better for users.

    All of Microsoft’s products are decaying. Even consumers see this with Windows Home Server destroying files, Vista updates sending computers into an infinite loop of rebates, various Xbox problems, and many more on the enterprise level.

    Microsoft has counted on its partners to innovate, and that has led to Windows CE devices, several versions of Windows Mobile, and the SPOT watch.

    Now Vista phones home every two weeks to see if it’s genuine. That means Vista is spyware. If the activation makes a mistake, it won’t be as bad after SP1 as it is now, but it is just as insulting. It happened to me.

    I got caught by the activation server. It was a mistake, but now I am terrified to use Windows for fear it will make all my software and data go poof.

    Microsoft is falling apart. The Roman Empire was a lot larger than Microsoft, but it managed to fall. Maybe the hardware companies will pair off with Linux distros and use Apple’s business model to target different markets. The Post-Microsoft Era is coming a lot sooner than we think.

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