This guest blog post comes courtesy of ‘Leo’ – with his punctuation, usage, spelling, and grammar intact…
For the last couple of years I have been observing people over and over again bash Microsoft and its products. While some of these criticisms were valid, most of the negative remarks were grossly exaggerated. I think most of the disapproval came from the problems with vista’s launch and apple’s commercials. While there are apple products I like, I own an ipod touch and would buy an iphone if it were not on at&t’s service, I am more than happy with my pc and don’t really see a compelling reason to switch. Below are the top 5 reasons I will be staying with my pc.
Software – Like it or not there are more software options in the windows ecosystem. Paid or free, software availability is definitely more plentiful on the windows side of the fence. I don’t really believe that a convincing argument can be made about which platform has the better application whether it be linux, mac, or windows. It is a fact however, that Windows has substantially larger library of applications available, it number is far greater than both mac and linux combined. Because of this great variety users have more options.
Live Mesh – Of all the items on this list, this is the one I am least familiar with. I have only recently began using live mesh (3 weeks or so), but I must say I absolutely love it. While it’s still in beta form I honestly believe what Microsoft has done with it will pay off in the long run. Not only are they going to integrate their Windows Live apps with it, but they are also opening mesh up to developers to create their own apps. Live mesh is (for those who don’t know) Microsoft’s syncing platform that allows all other apps that sit on top of it to sync to your account. Much like Google’s apps you will be able to download the app itself to the desktop and use it there. Not only can you download Microsoft’s apps, but you can also download the developer’s app. Mobile me is to apple what live mesh is to Microsoft, the difference is mesh is much bigger in what it will be able to accomplish. Oh by the way live mesh works on the Mac too. It makes paying for a yearly mobile me subscription sound foolish does it not?
Price / Upgradability – I like having a desktop. I like to build my desktop. I like to upgrade my desktop. The things I like are made simple on a pc. The Mac really only has 2 desktop systems. The first is way too expensive for what it offers, and the second is underpowered for my needs and comes inside a monitor. That is a problem for me since I despise the idea of having to buy a completely new computer if something happens to the monitor. Plain and simple PC’s are just more affordable and more configurable. That’s both hardware and software. Yes a new retail copy of windows may cost more than a retail copy of OS X, but I think that the majority of people that upgrade their OS, especially those who do it on a semi-regular bases, knows that you don’t buy a retail you buy OEM. An OEM copy of vista home premium is cheaper than a copy of OS X. And while there is something to be said about the elegance of apple products they are not worth the huge premiums we pay. And by the way there are PC vendors that make excellent / beautiful laptops too (Voodoo PC, Falcon NW, or Hypersonic PC anyone?)
Multimedia – Yes I can imagine the WTF in people’s faces but before you say anything hear me out. I believe that windows is a solid multimedia platform out of the box (remember I use vista home premium). I really like Windows Media Center and I think it’s far better than any other media viewing software in any platform (at least out of the box). It’s a simple and clean interface that allows you to easily explore your entire digital library. If your pc is not connected to your TV and you just so happen to have a xbox 360 you can stream your media through that. Now I understand people are going to bring up iLife and here are the reasons I am not that impressed. First I hate itunes, especially inside a windows environment. Yes it may work ok on macs, but it’s very slow on windows plus I hate buying anything with DRM (thanks Amazon). I also think Microsoft has comparable products to the rest of the iLife suite for the exception to iDVD and garage band (but who really uses garage band). Plus if u don’t like the products offered by Microsoft there are so many other ones out there available most of which are free.
Windows 7 – I truly believe that Win 7 will be the best windows OS EVER once released. I have been able to obtain a copy of the pre-beta release and must say that I am very impressed with the stability of the OS (even in its pre-beta form). It is very lightweight and has a bunch of improvements. While most improvements are not huge, they are numerous enough that you really do start to notice a difference. They have managed to make the whole OS much simpler, yet allowed it to be highly customizable. They are really taking advantage of all the architecture changes made in vista. In many ways those painful architectural changes were what caused most of the shortcomings in vista in the first place. I remember how harshly Vista was criticized when released and while I never really agreed to the degree of hate it received, I do admit that there were certain things that were wrong with it at launch. Problems such as: old hardware not having proper drivers (which we really can’t blame Microsoft for), UAC, hardware requirements and others really seemed destroy any chance Microsoft had of getting any good press. Regardless of what you thought of vista at launch, the fact is that is a very stable OS today and not only do I use it, I highly recommend it to any new PC buyer. And while I could be wrong about this, it seemed to me like most the criticisms came from Mac users. I find this funny because they seemed to forget all the crap the Mac OS went through during the switch from OS 9 to OS X. But getting back to Win 7, I guess you could say that in many ways it’s the OS vista should have been at launch plus a whole lot more.