The other day an older relative asked for my help in setting up his new computer: a Dell PC equipped with Windows 10.
I hadn’t used Microsoft products since the days of Windows XP (more on this shortly), but I figured, Hey, I’ll give it a try.. Also, I was curious to see how Microsoft had improved its products over the last decade.
Windows 10, however, turned out to be the slowest, most temperamental operating system I had ever used. (And I’ve used a lot of them—going all the way back to MS-DOS.) Every single command or mouse click was accompanied by long periods of “churning”, in which the computer seemed to be making up its mind: Would it decide to work with me, or not?
At least half the time, it decided not to work with me.
How is it possible, I wondered, that Microsoft could actually have made its products worse over the last ten years? Was this some intentional prank on their part?
But that seems to be the case. Windows 10, in my opinion, at least, is a total turkey.
Windows 10 makes me glad to be a Mac user.
I know what you’re thinking: all the stereotypes that go along with Mac users. But I’m about as far from being a stereotypical Mac user as one can possibly get.
Some of you may remember that old series of Apple commercials, in which the PC is personified as an uptight, Republican-looking, middle-aged guy in a business suit. The Mac, meanwhile, is personified as a smooth, laid-back young hipster. The epitome of California coolness.
Well, in most ways, I’m the PC guy. I’m uptight, middle age, and I vote Republican. No one will ever accuse me of being a hipster. (I wasn’t a hipster even when I was young. I’ve been middle-age since approximately the fifth grade.)
But when it comes to my computer, I’m all-in for Mac.
I decided to transition to Apple products in 2010, after one of my PCs was crashed by Microsoft’s automated update bombs, and another became infected with malware from Uzbekistan—or somewhere like that. (Most really bad stuff on the Internet seems to spring from the former USSR.)
Also, one of my work colleagues was a Mac evangelist who wouldn’t shut up about how great Apple products were….Thanks, Dave; you know who you are.
And Apple products are great: They’re fast, intuitive, and reliable.
Yes, they’re a tad more expensive. But they’re worth the extra money.
Moreover, they can save you from the hellhole that is Windows 10.
I wasn’t always down on Microsoft. On the contrary, I was a genuine fan of Microsoft Windows for many years. Windows 95, when it came out, was truly ground-breaking. (And if you don’t believe that, then you aren’t old enough to recall the days of typing in DOS-based commands.)
Windows 98 represented an incremental improvement on Windows 95—especially in regard to the installation of peripheral devices.
Windows 2000 was a slight falter—but it was still pretty good.
And then Microsoft came out with Windows XP in 2001. Eureka! XP was the best operating system that Microsoft ever produced: the sum total of everything Microsoft had ever done right, and—so far—ever would do right. Users loved Windows XP so much that they browbeat Microsoft into supporting it through 2014.
I would like to give Microsoft another chance. Everything is political nowadays; and Apple under Tim Cook has joined the leftwing Silicon Valley corporate mafia. Microsoft’s senior managers are probably just as leftie, but at least they have the sense to shut up about their political views.
But in order for me to give Microsoft another chance, the company has to come to the table with something that is at least…functional.
Not as good as Windows XP, perhaps, but maybe as good as Windows 95? Is it too much to ask Microsoft to be as good as it was a quarter-century ago?
Maybe I’ll look at Microsoft products again when Windows 11 comes out. Until then, I’m sticking with my Mac.