I’ve barely used Windows in the last few months and now I have my laptop back I’m stuck with Windows on it until I can sort the crap restore partition thingy out and install Linux.
It’s struck me how hard Windows is to maintain. The amount of calls I get when people explode their Windows installations definitely supports this theory. I have a fresh installation. First thing I do is head to Windows Update and install all of the updates and patches. Then I install Firefox, a firewall and anti-virus. Then I update them. Then I install Microsoft Office (I will be moving to OpenOffice.org on Windows when I am more comfortable with it. By this time I may have finished uni and won’t be using Windows at all). Then I update it.
Then I install all of the million apps you need to make Windows do anything useful. Real Player and it’s horrible ad laden bulkiness, Quick Time, Acrobat Reader and all of the other things I never use. An adware remover.
I think adware and spyware are the biggest threats to Windows users at the moment. I watched a video clip the other day that showed a malicious website installing such malware with no visible output to the user and certainly no asking the user if they wanted to install the software. The guy showed the Program Files directory before and after to show the new software installed. I don’t care if XP Service Pack 2 makes you have Automatic Updates turned on, in my experience people just tell it to fuck off when it tells them that there are updates to install. Just booting into Windows and getting prompted to check all these things for updates is a pain in the arse, so much so that I’d prefer not to use it and the rest of the world have no interest in learning about why they should care, let alone actually doing this, which is why my phone keeps ringing with people complaining that porn and adverts keep popping up and why I get emailed viruses all the time. I have tried explaining it to them…
Windows takes too much looking after and ordinary people are overwhelmed. Even I, as a techincally minded individual think Windows is a hideous, uncomfortable, over-complicated beast that drains me of energy to use. Linux, in my case Ubuntu is a case of hitting reload in Synaptic and then Mark All Updates then Apply or whatever. To install stuff, hit search, find your package and choose install. Imagine having all the Windows software you might possibly want to use in a searchable list with an install button next to each one and an update button to get the latest version of everything you have installed, all at once.
But people want Windows. I think this is mainly due to the PR thing. Like people saying they want a ‘Pentchinum 4’ because they’ve seen it on the the TV and their friends have one. I think if Linux were more able to play MP3’s, DVD movies, Real, Quicktime, DivX, XVid and so on multimedia formats out of the box, then the only real reason to use Windows would be for games. But if thats all you want a computer for then buy a console. But try explaing that to people…
I really must get around to testing Ubuntu on an innocent bystander.