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  • So why do you buy a Windows PC?

    Posted on Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody blog So why do you buy a Windows PC?

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      • #2315575
        Susan Bradley
        Manager

        Interesting post from the guy who knows more about Windows licensing than the Attorneys who work for Windows licensing know about Windows licensing…
        [See the full post at: So why do you buy a Windows PC?]

        Susan Bradley Patch Lady

      • #2315588
        Marty
        AskWoody Plus

        I haven’t bought a Windows PC for more than 15 years. In 2011, however, I built my own Windows 7 machine because: (1) Win7 was a stable OS; (2) I could customize the hardware to my exact specifications; (3) I could run software that I found extraordinarily useful, especially Quicken 2010, Audiograbber, Audacity, and Nero.

        Along came Windows 10, which did not interest me, and at that point I switched to a Mac. However, I still use my 2011 home-built rig — offline — because: (1) The Mac version of Quicken sucks, whereas the 2010 PC version is user-friendly and still functions perfectly; (2) I have occasion to copy CDs or DVDs, and the procedure for doing so is far easier on my old Win7 PC (with two CD/DVD drives) than on my Mac; (3) The Nero software on my PC has a nice Cover Design feature, so I can easily produce a finished-looking product for a jewel box; (4) Audiograbber still does a wonderful job of converting a CD to WAV or MP3 files, which go on a USB stick that plays through my car’s audio system; (5) My PC has a parallel printer port, which works with my ancient but perfectly serviceable HP Laserjet 6P.

        For day-to-day use, I am satisfied with my Mac, but Apple is always pushing the envelope when it comes to new features, and abandoning traditional features (e.g., USB ports, phone jacks).  The world seems to be moving toward wireless connections (wi-fi, Bluetooth), but I use a Unicomp wired keyboard with my (late 2015) iMac, and I could not be happier with it.  Unicomp is the same brand of keyboard that I have used on my PCs for years.  IMHO, they can’t be beat.  And a USB stick in my car doesn’t require a battery, so there is no worry about battery depletion.

        I’m not at all anti-progress, but sometimes an advance doesn’t really seem to be one.

        8 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2315597
        Geo
        AskWoody Plus

        Because of the low price and  allowing W10 to have the option of the W7 look and START.

      • #2315599
        OscarCP
        AskWoody Plus

        Marty: “Apple is always pushing the envelope when it comes to new features, and abandoning traditional features (e.g., USB ports, phone jacks)

        Some good news about new Macs’ earphone jacks here:

        https://thenextweb.com/plugged/2020/11/10/new-macbook-air-macbook-pro-mac-mini-kept-the-headphone-jack/

        Those who are not obliged to use Windows, for example because it is a job requirement, besides or as well as buying a Mac they can buy or keep using a Windows machine and install Linux in dual boot on it and still be able to use any software available only for Windows they may need. For newbies, in my opinion, it is advisable to get help from someone who knows how to do such installation. Linux is getting easier to use in ways resembling Windows or Macs, so for those that do not intend do a lot of command-line work, the more user-friendly Linux distros do not require learning a lot in a short time to become able to use the computer comfortably.

        As to Susan’s question, I agree that price and familiarity are probably the main reasons why people buy Windows computers. Also, for some, its use may be a job requirement. Peripherals’ compatibility could also be a reason.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2315598
        anonymous
        Guest

        I worked with Windows since … before Windows started, actually. In the 90s I started seriously programming Access and Excel, including calls to Windows dlls. I took early retirement and supported a large fleet of Windows laptops. I guess Windows became a habit for me and I somewhat enjoy the challenge when something falls over (just as well).

        When it comes to recommendations, I try to talk people out of Windows. Too many BSODs experienced. Too many update problems. Too many software glitches. Too many HDDs  reformatted. To be fair, some of the issues were due to abuse as too many cracked screens & cases and damaged hinges testify.

        When you think about it, I owe Microsoft thanks for the contribution they made to my career. Why would I change systems now and have to unlearn the habits of a lifetime.

      • #2315601
        bbearren
        AskWoody MVP

        So why do you buy a Windows PC?

        I don’t care for the Apple Tax (premium prices, locked-in hardware and software).

        I’ve used Linux, coded in Linux, and don’t care for Linux.

        I can build a Windows PC configured my way.

        I can configure Windows to run my way.

        Create a fresh drive image before making system changes/Windows updates, in case you need to start over!
        "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns
        "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2315627
        James Bond 007
        AskWoody Lounger

        I have never bought a “Windows PC” as in OEM PCs. I always buy components and build the computer myself if necessary.

        My current Windows PCs were built more than 4 years ago and still runs Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. I have no intention of “upgrading” it to more recent hardware as that will force me to run Windows 10 which I deeply dislike. It does not allow me to configure it to run my way, not in the user interface anyway (e.g. it does not allow me to disable Windows Update and Windows Defender from the user interface).

        As to Susan’s question, it is because of familiarity that I am using and will continue to use Windows for the foreseeable future (I started using Windows at the time of Windows 3.0 / 3.1.). I use VMware Workstation often to run older and current OSs in virtual machines for work and entertainment.

        I am interested in the new Apple Silicon Macs from Apple. The performance of the new Apple M1 CPU seems to be excellent. I may consider getting one of the M1 Mac mini and/or Macbook Air in the future.

        Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.

      • #2315629
        Ascaris
        AskWoody_MVP

        The only PCs I have bought are laptops. Desktops are bought as pieces parts, and it’s been years since I did that (though I still use my desktop every day. It’s just that my ol’ Sandy Bridge still does everything I need, so I haven’t upgraded it).

        My two most recent PC purchases were my Dell G3 (15 inch), which I have now had for 2 years (bought it for Black Friday in 2018), and my Acer Swift 1 (13 inch) that I’ve had about half a year longer. I bought the Swift because it was cheap, has a nice aluminum case, an IPS 1080p display, a quad core CPU, and impressive battery life. It’s very light and thin, and in the 2.5 years, it has accumulated a lot of bumps and bangs (one severe enough that I had to replace the bottom cover, and the funny thing is that I don’t remember what I did, but I am the only one that ever touches it, so it must have been me). I’m pretty clumsy, so walking into things is a given. The scuffs and dings are a testament to how much it gets used as an actual laptop (while my G3 is mostly a desk-sitter).

        My G3 was bought as a DTR (desktop replacement) for when I was away from home, but when I had a place to “set up camp,” like a hotel room or a friend’s house. It’s too big and heavy to be toted as I do with the Swift, but that’s why I have the Swift. It’s got the power to do most anything I need done without being tied to my desk as I am with the desktop, including gaming (though it is not a very high end model). I’ve even used it for Folding@Home, which works surprisingly well despite its thermal limitations.

        They both were bought as Windows PCs, but that’s not what I consider them anymore, as Linux is primary. That really doesn’t change the answer, though, as the things I used to do in Windows are the things I do now in Linux.

        I think, though, that in answering why I bought these two laptops, I’ve missed the essence of what you were really asking. To me, the question of “So why do you buy a Windows PC?” was never a question of, say, a Windows PC vs. a Mac, or a Windows PC vs. tablet. The way I interpreted it was how I looked at it when I made the decisions to purchase, so the question parsed as, “Why did you buy more Windows PCs rather than just using the ones you already had?”

        Now, as far as the article that triggered this question:

        With Windows 8, Microsoft’s single-minded focus on tablet computing pushed the PC platform physically towards tablets – but the lack of software that was a) optimized for touch and tablets, and b) optimized for a decent trade off of energy and performance led to an OS that failed to ever get off the ground.

        Nah, that wasn’t it. Windows 8 failed to get off the ground because it was not written to meet the needs of Windows users, who were (and still are) largely using PCs with discrete pointing devices (not touchscreens) and keyboards.

        Windows 8 was about trying to jumpstart Microsoft’s moribund efforts in the mobile market, with the hope that turning all of the Windows PC users into a captive audience for mobile devs would get them to start releasing their wares for Windows Metro/Modern/TIFKAM before MS had any significant presence in the mobile market. It was an effort to treat desktop users of Windows not as valued customers who deserved a product that is engineered for their needs, but instead as tools that could be used to solve the chicken-or-egg app problem Microsoft faced in Windows mobile. It wasn’t the lack of software optimized for touch that did Windows 8 in… it was the lack of a Windows 8 that was optimized for the machines Windows users use.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.20.5 User Edition)

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2315630
        geekdom
        AskWoody Plus

        Necessary third-party software runs only under a Windows Operating System.

        Beta Work {Got backup and coffee}
        offline▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.572 x64 i3-3220 RAM8GB HDD Firefox83.0b3 WindowsDefender TRV=1909 WuMgr
        offline▸ Win10Pro 20H2.19042.685 x86 Atom N270 RAM2GB HDD WindowsDefender WuMgr GuineaPigVariant
        online▸ Win10Pro 2004.19041.746 x64 i5-9400 RAM16GB HDD Firefox85.0 WindowsDefender TRV=2004 WuMgr
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2315632
        Myst
        AskWoody Lounger

        Bought my Toshiba Windows PC in 2011 and it’s still on Win7. Run Photoshop 7 and Lightroom, along with Photoshop Elements. Best PC I’ve owned, and last. End of story.

        Win7 Home x64 MacOS Chromebook

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2315639
          Fred
          AskWoody Plus

          My Samsung Notebook with Windows Vista; never failed. Though it was pushed to Windows7, and than the hardware wasn’t good anough, said Microsoft.
          So it lives a good pensioned day with Linux 19 Mint, and it never fails when needed in emergencies (=Windows fails)

          ~ ~ ~
      • #2315636
        kwerboom
        AskWoody Lounger

        So why do you buy a Windows PC?

        Because most of the software I’ve acquired over the two decades that I’ve been on computer are Windows compatible; I’m comfortable with the Windows environment; and Wine, Steam Proton, MESA wrappers, and DOSBox on Linux don’t yet cover all that I would like for my extensive games collection (I have a Steam Sales/Humble Bundle problem😉).

        Now as for the article at hand, I don’t necessarily agree with the whole “malaise” aspect.

        • Yes, Intel is in a ditch, but AMD is coming back strong in the x86/x64 space.
        • Intel isn’t out of the game yet as it’s 7nm node should be ready by 2023.
        • ARM is exciting, but it hasn’t quite bridged the raw power gap with traditional x86 even if its performance to power efficiency is impressive. I’m not saying that ARM won’t get there power wise, but rather that its too early to say that ARM is winning.
        • Also, ARM overtaking x86/x64 won’t necessarily mean the end of Windows. There are already versions of Windows that run on ARM and software in the Windows environment that can run on ARM as well as x86/x64. If Intel and AMD are able to hold off the inevitable for another half decade or more and ARM itself continues to gain ground at its current pace; by the time ARM has become an equal or superior option to x86/x64, Windows and enough of its software environment will be agnostic enough to not care who wins.
        • Apple is overrated. Apple’s walled garden for apps and locked down environment make it unacceptable to anyone who wants the freedom to tinker. Linux, Android, and Windows (to a lesser extent, but still relevant) allow for developers to experiment and modify software and hardware to solve problems as much as to personalize. Apple is very much a fancy appliance maker as far as I’m concerned.

        For all those reasons, I don’t see this as a “Malaise Era”. I’m rather excited. Intel is struggling to get out of the hole its hubris dug for it. AMD on the CPU side is bringing more cores, more threads, new architectural changes, and hardware standards to the masses at better price points. Nvidia along with AMD on the GPU side are pushing graphics forward with ray tracing. Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are in their infancy and poised to change how we interact with the world around us. Mobile systems, embedded systems, and there software environments are changing and growing every year (think of how Intel NUC style systems and Raspberry Pi style systems have grown in power to performance and changed over their various iterations). Browser developers on the web have moved to evergreen software distribution that allows for new features in cloud apps that take advantage hardware the way traditional programs used to. Apple Silicon is off to a shaky, but still inspiring start (reviewers are saying that if this follows the usual pattern for Apple, then next generation of Apple Silicon will be really impressive). Distributed computing (like Folding@Home) is showing what humans can do together when we use the systems we have to each take and solve a small part of a larger more complex problem. This is a great time to be alive.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2315646
        Microfix
        AskWoody MVP

        So why do you buy a Windows PC?

        1. x386 handmedown Dos/ Win3x machine back in 1992/3 Why?
        The INTERNET (via AOhell), Amipro (work and home), Doom and Prince of Persia.

        2. x486 DXII Overdrive self upgraded system in1994/ 5 Why?
        QUAKE, closely followed by DukeNukem 3D, Hardware MIDI software, Cakewalk Pro

        3. Self built and upgraded desktops thereafter from 1996. Why?
        Hardware Midi Software, Cakewalk Pro, Halflife, Counterstrike, Quake II and III, CorelDraw Graphic Suites, Autocad versions and later Battlefront II and NFS series of games

        4. no upgrades since 29th July 2015


        No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT- AE
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        • #2315653
          NaNoNyMouse
          AskWoody Lounger

          Duke Nukem3D first for me, and many happy hours spent playing and then modding it

          Later on I actually QUEUED to get my copy of Quake. Happy days, when something like that was an event. A lifetime ago…

           
          Oh, and as to the current question, I use Windows because some software I use daily only has a Windows version

          3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2315687
            Charlie
            AskWoody Plus

            Those were the days when FPS (First Person Shooter) games were great, you didn’t have to go online to play them, and they all had cheat codes.  Started off with Doom I, then Doom II, Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, Comanche 3, all of the Tomb Raider series, Comanche 4, and all of the Delta Force series.

            It was really neat to modify a text file in Duke Nukem 3D to limit the fire power of certain enemies.  I still have all these games and still play them now and then on my old Win 95 and 98 computers.  After all this time I still enjoy playing them.  Games were the main reason for me getting so involved with Windows PC’s.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2315651
        Lawrence Patterson
        AskWoody Plus

        Hi, to answer the question, it is, unfortunately, a simple answer from a professional perspective.  We buy Windows to run Microsoft Office.

        I say unfortunately in that Microsoft has locked up the Office productivity space and being an outlier (i.e. MAC – with its MS Office nuisance incompatibilities, Libre Office – a excellent choice if not sharing complex documents, Linux – it’s not Windows to many non- techy users) is not worth the effort.

        Users are interested in the tools that they and they’re colleagues use day in and out, and do not want to hear about incompatibilities.

        Realize they’re many alternatives (I’m using – will use every chance I get – a Chromebook that I love), will eventually learn how to use Linux and though the MAC has intense loyality, my pocketbook can’t pay for it.

        Take care,

        IT Manager Geek

        • #2315721
          SteveTree
          AskWoody Lounger

          You seem to understand many are at Askwoody because they either encounter or are in the business of curing issues with Windows  and seem to be asking why we whinge about  it but keep buying Windows-loaded devices.

          Microsoft has a strategy. At least, they do in this part of the world.

          I was never involved in the contracts, but suspect schools are supplied with MS product at massively discounted prices. This may be fed by decision-makers who are able to obtain massively discounted prices for personal licences because their workplace used MS products. Once students move into the workplace, they are fairly well ‘wedded’ to Windows and Office.

          In similar arrangements to schools, many large organisation are able to offer Microsoft products at massively discounted prices.

          My son runs a fledgling Air Conditioning company. He asked me what laptop to buy. I said, “you have a Macbook”. He said, “the program am I need to run only functions under Windows”.

          My ‘excuse’ is employment providing  support for Microsoft products.

          Group A (but Telemetry disabled Tasks and Registry)
          Win 7 64 Pro desktop
          Win 10 64 Home portable

          • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by SteveTree.
          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2315654
        wdburt1
        AskWoody Plus

        This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking article, and the Malaise Era analogy is spot-on, at least for productivity users.  I remember the automotive Malaise Era very well, and owned several of those cars.  I pushed back when I bought a 1982 Mazda RX-7.

        The Malaise Era owed to the fact that the two developments he mentions, the Arab oil embargo and the 1974 federal emissions standards (and the clumsy technology that was rushed into production to meet them) were imposed on consumers.  I think the writer fails to take up that part of the analogy: For productivity users, especially those who still work with a desktop computer, Microsoft’s attempt to redesign Windows for handheld devices has been imposed on us–a policy of disrespect and disdain, brushing off loyal customers for the sake of chasing new ones, and compounded by forced updates, sneaky tricks, and spying.

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by wdburt1.
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      • #2315661
        TJ
        AskWoody Plus

        So why do you buy a Windows PC?

        I don’t care for the Apple Tax (premium prices, locked-in hardware and software).

        I’ve used Linux, coded in Linux, and don’t care for Linux.

        I can build a Windows PC configured my way.

        I can configure Windows to run my way.

        I have not and can not code in Linux, but for the most part @bbearren sums up pretty well what my reasons were and are for buying a Windows PC. (Having bought that is, and will buy again.)

        My reliable Fujitsu desktop pc has been running without any problems for more than 5 years. And if there ever was a problem (on the software side), the technical guys at Fujitsu always gave prompt and accurate solutions – even years after official support ended.

        Over the years I upped the RAM a few times and put in extra drives and a GPU, and the Core i5 4570 is still running fine – going from Win7 to Win10 and from Office 2010 to 365, and from Photoshop 14 to 20 without hiccups.
        This pc lets me upgrade it, tweak its hardware and Windows to my preferred configuration exactly any time and any way.

        So the return on a $600 investment is enormous. Try doing that with a certain fruit computer.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2315663
        Simon_Weel
        AskWoody Plus

        The answer to the question is quite easy – a Windows pc is the most flexible solution you can get and use without much knowledge. Tons of software and hardware readily available at low prices. For the more tech-savvy, there’s Linux and for the show-offs, there’s Apple.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2315680
          mn–
          AskWoody Lounger

          And even so, buying hardware designed to run Windows but not running Windows on it is usually the most cost-effective way for consumers and small businesses who can manage the technical side.

          Chromebooks require lots of infrastructure (reliable and fast networking). Macs are somewhat expensive. This leaves… Raspberry Pi? Yeah, sure…

          without much knowledge

          I’d really like to have some double-blind experiments done about that part with Windows, some reasonably user-friendly distro of Linux and … something else, but really, where would we get the test group, control group and…?

          • #2315762
            Ascaris
            AskWoody_MVP

            I’d really like to have some double-blind experiments done about that part with Windows, some reasonably user-friendly distro of Linux and … something else, but really, where would we get the test group, control group and…?

            The plural of anecdotes is not data, of course, but I have read many anecdotes about how the family’s PC guy tired of the Windows woes (particularly in the era of Windows 10, with half-cooked feature updates pushed out twice a year) and switched it for a Linux distro. The people notice that “Windows” looks different, but they keep using it without any problems, often commenting that this new Windows update was a good one ’cause now it’s faster and laid out more logically, and the PC guy stopped getting the panicked calls to go fix something. But when the guy would ask the people who were actually using Linux about the possibility of moving to Linux to test their response, they’d react in horror… “Linux is for techies! It’s far too complicated for people like us!”

            Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.20.5 User Edition)

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            • #2315911
              mn–
              AskWoody Lounger

              Oh and funny thing, what with the people who start getting nervous when something “looks different” … by now we have a history of user interfaces staying stable longer on Linux, anyway.

              (And you could run CDE as well, for user interface continuity from a bunch of commercial UNIX, but that thing has unpatched vulnerabilities since 1999… heh, CDE in turn was close enough to HP VUE that user retraining wasn’t needed much even back then)

              • #2315927
                Ascaris
                AskWoody_MVP

                When you find a UI paradigm that works, there’s no practical reason to change it. Marketers want new things they can pitch as new and improved (which is why the concept of model year changes was born in the automotive industry), but that’s not really the focus of the dev teams for any of the Linux desktops. While I do think GNOME has gone off the deep end trying to simplify everything to the point that an infant could use it, even then there’s no pressure to bring out this year’s brand new model. If there are usability enhancements that can be added, often they will be, but change for the sake of change, not so much.

                With Windows, Microsoft’s goal has been to keep selling people the same product over and over (for consumers, generally by buying new PCs that had the new, “exciting” version of Windows already installed). They wanted each version to look visually distinct from older versions so that it seemed clearly to be a new product to the customer, rather than just a gussied-up rehash of the version the customer already had. This has left a lot of people (who were interested in functionality, not novelty) frustrated.

                Microsoft has even gone so far as to remove features some of their customers want because they didn’t fit in with their branding efforts. The best example of this, I think, is how they removed the “Classic” Windows 95-style cascading start menu, which was an option in XP and Vista, but was blocked in Windows 7. It wasn’t even about removing an old feature to lighten the load… the old code for the Classic start menu was found to still be in Windows, but it could not be enabled, by normal means at least). Some users begged MS not to get rid of the Classic start menu, but MS told them it was well over ten years old, and it was time to move on.

                If something works for you, it’s not time to move on just because some people think it looks dated. It should be all about the needs and desires of the person who will be using the PC, not assisting Microsoft (or any other company) in their marketing efforts.

                Now Windows 10 is supposed to be the last version of Windows, but in many ways, it’s just a change in the naming conventions and the pace and scope of releases. The broader, categorical product name has changed from “Windows” to “Windows 10,” while the specific product name has changed from things like “XP,” “Vista,” or “7” to things like “1809” or “2004.” In the early days of 10, MS hyped up each new feature update, with trendy-sounding names like “Creator’s update,” but lately it seems to be a lot more subdued, which is a good thing.

                 

                Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.20.5 User Edition)

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      • #2315664
        b
        AskWoody Plus

        Interesting post from the guy who knows more about Windows licensing than the Attorneys who work for Windows licensing know about Windows licensing…

        Who is that guy? As I can’t find any name on the article or site.

      • #2315667
        alkhall
        AskWoody Lounger

        Bought one pre-built desktop in 2000, Windows Millenium.

        Have purchased two laptops (because it is virtually impossible to build a laptop) W8 & W10.

        The other six PCs have been assembled. Running W98, XP, or W7.

        Currently have three W7 machines in operation.

        Windows is the ‘industry standard’ for most consumers.

        Microsoft should split into two entities. One focused on PC users, one for mobile users. And never the twain should meet.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2315678
        Seff
        AskWoody Plus

        I have a couple of home desktop PCs which are mainly used for gaming, together with browsing and emails plus originally work done from home and over the last six years some voluntary work in retirement. I bought these machines in 2010 and 2011, one off the shelf and the other made to order, and have simply upgraded some of the components as they have failed. One came with Vista and a free upgrade voucher for Windows 7 but I have upgraded it to Windows 10, and the other came with Windows 7 which it still runs with support from 0patch Pro. I don’t have any immediate plans to replace either of them, although I do have marital consent to do so! Both continue to perform all I ask of them so we’ll see how things go.

      • #2315737
        agoldhammer
        AskWoody Plus

        As others have already noted, one can easily build a powerful Windows desktop PC that will do everything one needs a computer to do.  You can easily add as much memory and storage that is needed and there is lots application software.  When I ran the numbers a couple of years ago, a comparable Mac computer was about 30% more in cost.  Why pay the premium?

        3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2315755
          anonymous
          Guest

          Not everyone has the time, knowledge, patience, or care to build their own PCs. Or they simply want a light, compact, easy to carry machine with decent battery life that gets their basic tasks done, and things like upgradeability are not important to them.

          • #2315880
            doriel
            AskWoody Lounger

            Thats what big players rely on – you having not enough time and knowledge, then you buy simply what they offer.

            Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

            HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

            3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2315750
        anonymous
        Guest

        For the flight sim hobby, you’re pretty much locked into Windows.   For laptops I don’t see Chromebook as an alternative for me.  And while I could run Linux on my systems, I see no compelling reason to do so, other than testing some multi-platform software (which I do on Android).  Never felt a need nor desire to go the Apple route.

      • #2315777
        bratkinson
        AskWoody Plus

        As an IBM mainframer from the late ’60s, and contractor mostly since ’73, it didn’t take me long to figure out to go with the ‘big guy’ that has 80-90% of the total market.  Contracts on Burroughs and Tandem computers proved me out.

        I was immediately interested in home PCs, and was about to buy a ‘bag of parts’ ala ‘Heathkit’ style computer when the Vic 20 came out, which I immediately bought.  Then a Commodore 64.  When IBM finally announced a PC, I was too busy with contract work to get one.  However, when I went out on my own, IBM had just announced the PC-XT which remains the only desktop or tower I’ve ever bought.  Everything else I put together of quality parts from quality manufacturers.  I upgraded ‘in place’ the PC-XT my wife had bought for home with a 286 ‘speed card’ (the 8088 became a printer server) and shortly thereafter installed Windows 286.  What a joke.  I upgraded the XT again with a 386 ‘speed card’ and Windows 386.  Still not impressed but it was something.  I made a couple of upgrades to the hard drive as well, all without changing the face plate of the former hard drive so that my wife never had a clue that it was a 30MB hard drive and a 386 processor.

        After that, I built my first tower, a 386/40 as I recall then upgraded that to 486/50 DX that ultimately had 3 2gb hard drives in it.  I upgraded motherboards a couple of times until I was forced to buy a new tower due to ATX power supplied motherboards.  That tower went through a couple of motherboard & processor upgrades as far as Windows XP, then I built a new tower for a quad processor (now 8 processor) Windows 7 (Win 10 as of a year ago next month).  I still have the XP box up and running on my network as some software cannot be upgraded without great expense, or no longer exists.

        Why Windows?  Refer to my choice to go with the ‘big guy’.  I rejected Apple from day one, and when I saw the Apple Lisa ‘flop’ big time, I knew Apple was something I would never have.  No Apple watches or any other Apple products as well.  Why would anyone in their right mind want to pay 15-20% more for every product (Windows, for one) to get the same thing I can get for Windows?  But more importantly, there are tens of thousands of software and hardware choices for Windows computers than Apple could ever dream of.  I even tried my luck at writing software for PCs in the 8088 and 80286 days.  But without funds for sufficient marketing, I went back to mainframes.

        As a side note, others have noted that Intel seems to be having troubles these days.  The last Intel processor I ever put in a computer was a Pentium II.  It’s been AMD ever since…more bang for the buck in my opinion.  Since building my first 486 box with an ASUS motherboard, I’ve never used any other brands since.  Even in the 40-50 computers I built for friends through the years.

        In many ways, Windows sucks first class, in my book.  One of my retired mainframe co-workers and I often commiserate on how Windows has caused us more problems than it’s worth.  He went to Linux maybe 6-7 years ago and loves it.  Windows is a virtual machine on his Asus mobo/AMD processor computer.  Moving from Windows 7 to 10 was ‘traumatic’ to say the least.  But I managed to get a good handle on it and can navigate to wherever I want quite easily these days.  Moving from 1909 to 20H2 this past week has caused a number of wrinkles I’m still trying to figure out, like why the icon in the top left corner of the screen refuses to stay there when I reboot.  There’s times my Linux friend almost convinces me to go to Linux.  The problem is I have over 40 software products installed and paid for, even the ‘shareware’ items I use get a $20 donation from me.  Being able to trial use competing products to finally make a choice is the way to go in my book.  Having Microsoft Office is also a major factor in why I stay with Windows as well.

        • This reply was modified 1 month, 3 weeks ago by bratkinson.
        • #2316951
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          There’s times my Linux friend almost convinces me to go to Linux. The problem is I have over 40 software products installed and paid for, even the ‘shareware’ items I use get a $20 donation from me.

          Don’t give in to the sunk cost fallacy!

          You might end up liking Linux as much as your friend does. The objections may be something that can be overcome. Some software products can run in Linux using WINE or Proton (they’re not just for games!), and all or nearly all will work in a VM, and running Windows in a VM ameliorates a lot of its worst excesses.

          You’ll never know if it works for you unless you try it. Maybe you have, but if not, I usually suggest people try it bare-metal, as running it in a VM won’t give you the full picture of what it’s like to use “for real.” A VM is good first step for more nervous people, but it’s only that.

          When I got fed up with Windows (10), I put Linux on my main PCs in a dual-boot setup so that I had access to all of my data on the NTFS volumes, and I just used whichever one I felt like. At first, it was usually always Windows, but I’d sometimes just decide to use Linux for a bit. I’d remain there until I wanted to do something in Windows, and I would switch. Sometimes when I was in Linux and I wanted to do something that I could not yet do in Linux, I would figure out what I needed to do to do it in Linux, and fix that issue rather than just going back to Windows, so my Linux setup got that much better.

          It went back and forth like that for a while, and then one day I realized I hadn’t started Windows in a really long time, and that I had no need or desire to at that very moment. I’d nearly completely migrated, and I hadn’t even realized it. Once I started being comfortable on Linux, the ball was rolling.  I’d learn more about how to do things, I’d learn more about programs that were available to do things that other programs had done for me in Windows, and so it went.

          Of course, you don’t have to get to the stage of leaving Windows behind completely if you don’t want to. It’s just that in my case, I no longer had any need for it. LibreOffice suits my rather limited needs for word processing and spreadsheets, and the one program that most people spend the most time in, the browser, has Linux versions, whether you’re talking about Chrome, Chromium, Firefox, Vivaldi, Opera, or Edge (Chromium), or most others. I’m not a huge gamer, but I do play from time to time, and a lot of them are Windows titles that I do under Linux with no perceptible difference from using it in Windows. There are more than enough by far to occupy the free time I have many times over.

          Linux is not perfect and it won’t work for everyone, but it sounds like you’re “game,” and you may be one of the ones for which it works, at least part of the time. One of the first things I noticed once I had Linux set up to do the most important tasks was that even though I still used Windows for some things, there was not the feeling of being chained to it anymore. I didn’t need Microsoft, and I didn’t need to put up with their shenanigans. I had the luxury to choose to use Windows, because there was another valid option. That, in itself, may be worth the price of admission (the effort it takes to get it all set up) for some people.

          Being able to trial use competing products to finally make a choice is the way to go in my book.

          You can use Linux on a trial use for as long as you like, free of charge!

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.20.5 User Edition)

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2315860
        Save_Us_from_MS
        AskWoody Lounger

        Laziness for learning Linux and for PC games.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2315874
        doriel
        AskWoody Lounger

        Thank you for that link. I dislike Windows 10 too, especially for its constant “improvement”, which is just **i d i o t i c** to me, when no backwards compatibility is assured. As Apple does for example. All MSFT is caring about is money. They should learn how to make great apps agn, not just buy others creations – Azure, Windows 10 X, Skype, TikTok, …

        All king Midas touched, turned to gold.
        All MSFT touches, turns to… old fundaments with shiny GUI.

        There’s no killer app on Windows that isn’t an old Coleman stove… a crusty old Win32 app you pull out of the garage when you need it on your new PC, but it’s not the reason why you buy a new PC.

        Exactly. No need to update so fast. this nned to upgrade is artifical and it creates neverending stream of money. Especially with WaaS.

        Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

        HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

        2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #2316007
        anonymous
        Guest

        I bought my newest laptop in Feb 2020(Shipped with Windows 10 1803 installed, updated to 1809 soon after first boot-up, now running 10/1909) and that was one that was actually released as a new model end of Q1 2019. So that Laptop had been setting unsold since around March 2019, or later, and was on clearance sale for $499 and about $300 less than MSRP. I purchased that Laptop not only because it was a great deal but all my older laptops’ hardware was becoming so outdated that Blender 3D 2.8/Later editions would not work properly of the older laptop with Blender 2.8/Later editions’ minimum hardware and OpenGL version support requirements.

        So with so much software that I use looking for newer hardware and the older hardware on  my older Ivy Bridge/earlier core i series laptops being considered legacy, and that includes the AMD 7650M discrete mobile GPU on my Ivy Bridge based Probook that’s considered legacy, I had to get something more modern with better Graphics API feature support.

        I really am more about using Linux Mint on the Older Windows 7 laptops as that OS is EOL and it’s not safe to be used online for lack of security updates. But I purchase a laptop mostly for the Price/Hardware offered and my Asus Tuf laptop(Ryzen 5 3500H APU with Vega 8 Graphics and Radeon RX 560X discrete mobile GPU) was a great deal at $499 in Feb 2020 before the pandemic started and all the laptop deals dried up as the work from home demand for new laptops increased, and even for those year old models that where still in the the retailers’ inventories.

        I do pay attention to the Laptop’s OS support but that’s not the main limiting reason for my laptop purchases, especially since I have become accustomed to using Linux Mint, dual booted alongside of Windows 7/EOL on the older laptops.  I buy PC/Laptop hardware and really if that’s non Apple laptop/PC hardware  then that’s very likely to be a Windows 10 based laptop, just as that was true for 7, and 8/8.1 before.

        I will say this that Apple’s M1 based Macbooks and Mac Minis have me really impressed on the hardware side of laptops and Mini Desktop PCs and if Intel and AMD do not try and match Apple’s NPU/Other non CPU IP on their related CPU/SOC and APU offerings then my next laptop purchase will not be an x86 based laptop/mini PC. The Rise of AI based Graphics Application usage of Trained AIs for all manner of rather nice Graphics filtering and other effects is going to obsolete both AMD and Intel’s Mobile/Laptop APU offerings until AMD/Intel can match  what Apple’s done on the M1(NPUs and DSPs and other non CPU IP that’s really great for Graphics/Video/Audio Processing). AI is here and Apple’s included that Since it’s first Bionic SOCs and all that’s in the M1 and made more powerful along with Apple’s In-House Integrated Graphics that’s very nice as well.

        MS’s Windows 10 on ARM has plenty of catching up to do and Apple’s masterful inclusion of Rosetta-2 has really made MS look second rate there as far as the x86 to ARM ISA translation of legacy Applications is concerned. But really I’ll always look at what Hardware/Driver Features my Application software needs as far as Graphics Drivers and other non CPU processing related features that need to be supported! And AI/NPUs and Tensor Cores(Matrix Math Units) as well as DSPs all integrated into the Laptop’s SOC Package is what will be taking over in the Laptop, and even PC market and that will play the more important role in my getting my next laptop, or PC, more so than just the OS alone.

      • #2316083
        anonymous
        Guest

        Never bought one. They just fall of the truck or factory or window or shipping mistake. Plus get a lot of them from the repair shop to make a franizine from a few machines….Wish the parts were more universal from one manufacture to next but can customize of modify as need. No scrap of computer goes to waste with me around. Will use all caps, ins, resistor, etc and some others are melted down (IE the gold and silver) to be reused for something…

        • #2316249
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          I know I will post a cartoon here, you may consider me as childish or immature, but watch this 40 seconds video.

          I love especialy that part when Fry runs into the store to buy a new phone and he asks:
          “Are there any left?”
          “There may be one..” Replies the seller.

          Wideo is on youtube, append

          /watch?v=eJyMEkb_8to

          after youtube FQDN.

          Dont want to post full url videos and bring trackers here.

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2316294
        JohnW
        AskWoody Lounger

        I haven’t bought a desktop Windows PC since 1997. I wanted the multimedia features that were included in Win 95. It came with an onboard ATI Rage GPU, and I added a Creative SoundBlaster Live!

        That became my first and only store bought desktop PC. It was only after running various computers at work for 20+ years, that I decided that the time was right for a home computer! But since that first one, it has always been parts and pieces assembled by me!

        I have acquired 3 store bought laptops over these same years, mostly because it is impractical to build your own laptop. But if you must have one of these I would recommend at least getting one that is user serviceable. Dell is quite good in this regard. I had a cheapie from another Manufacturer where you couldn’t access the RAM or HDD without a near total teardown. Unfortunately, it died on the operating table during my last upgrade attempt.

        Bottom line is that my primary preference now is for either a full blown desktop, or an Android phone. I also own a laptop just so that I can have a Mobile home office as a backup when traveling, and need more functionality than my phone can deliver. I have owned one tablet, and probably never will have a tablet computer again. To much compromise in form factor. I want something either very big and powerful, or small enough to fit in my pocket.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2316652
        anonymous
        Guest

        Why do I use Windows?

        Originally, because I liked the design, popularity (software availability/compatibility),  and price of Windows and its associated hardware.

        Apple has never appealed to me because they are always trying to force me to do everything the way they think it should be used…which quite frankly s**** 99% of the time.

        Ever since Nadella took over (Windows 8 and later), Microsoft has gone down the [drain]. I’m effectively using Linux 95% of the time and the other 5% I’ll just run Windows from a VM.

        PC is still the only real option for people who do serious work on a computer.

        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #2316702
          Ascaris
          AskWoody_MVP

          I’m with you on Apple’s way of thinking, and also why you liked Windows in better times. I did too. Just one thing, though, and that’s that Windows 8 was developed and released during Ballmer’s tenure as CEO.

          I think what had happened is that Ballmer had not taken smartphones seriously until it was too late, and Windows 8 was a desperate hail-Mary to try to catch up. The whole “phone” nature of the UI, and particularly the ability for desktop Windows 8 to use Metro apps that could also be used on Windows 8 phones, was meant to convince the app developers out there to start making Windows Metro apps even though few people had Windows 8 phones. By the time MS decided to get serious about smartphones (their “funeral” for the iPhone notwithstanding), Google and Apple already had massive app stores, and Microsoft not having a massive app store was a serious problem when it came to trying to sell phones to people used to having every app imaginable at their fingertips. No one would buy a Windows phone with no apps, and app devs would not develop apps for a market that didn’t exist– the classic chicken-or-egg problem.

          If many people had moved to Windows 8, MS may have been able to sell app devs on the idea, but as it was, people disliked 8 so much that they didn’t upgrade, and the pool of Windows 8 users wasn’t enough to convince app devs of anything. That lesson would not be lost on the next CEO, who had gotten the message, but not the right one. Instead of thinking that since people won’t upgrade to a new Windows if it stinks, it means that they should stop releasing Windows versions that stink, he apparently concluded that since people won’t upgrade to a new version of Windows if it stinks, they have to stop giving people a choice in the matter. In lots of matters. He’d make the choices for all of us instead, and those choices would favor Microsoft over us, the owners of the hardware.

          The sad thing about 8 was that it was moving in the right direction when it comes to desktop users. Windows 8.1 restored the start button and the ability to boot to the desktop and not the start screen, and the 8.2 update would have allegedly restored the Win 7 style start menu and Aero glass effects. It was in all of the tech sites, and it was to be called Threshold. If this continued, 8.x could have become a decent desktop OS even without large amounts of aftermarket help.

          Treshold never happened as Windows 8.2, though, of course. It became the code name for the first version of Windows 10. That was when we can start blaming Nadella.

          Until Windows 10, every prior version of Windows had some rough edges, some more than others, but MS worked to fix them and give users what they wanted. They had grossly miscalculated how 8 would be received, but they were improving it in the ways customers wanted at the time that it went into early, unofficial extended support. Officially, 8.1 was still in mainstream support when 10 arrived, but it never got any more mainstream updates.

          Previous versions of Windows were updated for new hardware support throughout the mainstream support period (and often into the extended support period), and they also got other features that had been added to the newest Windows, like when Windows 7’s DirectX 11 was backported to 7’s close sibling, Vista. Windows 8 was an equally close sibling to Windows 10, but it didn’t get DirectX 12, or any updates meant to make it work with newer chip architectures like Kaby Lake. In fact, MS did the opposite, releasing malware through the Windows Update system to deliberately break your security updates and leave you vulnerable to third-party malware if you had dared violate Microsoft’s marketing plan by installing Windows 7 or 8.x on newer PCs. If you bought 8.x expecting the mainstream update period to last 5 years as promised, you did not receive it.

          Nadella apparently thought that the Windows 8 name was so hopelessly tainted that there was no point in trying to rescue the product. He may have been right about that, but what we got instead of 8 was so much worse that I soon found myself wondering why I had despised Windows 8 so much. Its deficiencies seemed almost quaint compared to the problems I had with 10, and still have with 10.

          Like you, of course, I have moved on to Linux. Even if you use Windows in a VM, it’s still running Linux underneath! I would still consider that Linux time, as opposed to dual-booting to actual Windows. Even then, it’s been a while since I’ve needed to use a VM.

          Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.20.5 User Edition)

          3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2316763
            doriel
            AskWoody Lounger

            In fact, MS did the opposite, releasing malware through the Windows Update system to deliberately break your security updates and leave you vulnerable to third-party malware if you had dared violate Microsoft’s marketing plan by installing Windows 7 or 8.x on newer PCs. If you bought 8.x expecting the mainstream update period to last 5 years as promised, you did not receive it.

            That is interesting reading. In the past I always built my own, or upgraded some PC, that someone did not want anymore. Last (and only brand new) PC I bought was with Windows 8 and it worked very reliably, although there was already implemeted update mechanism similar to updates in Win10. there was also OnedRive, few extra GB of storage for free. Hazaaa!

            At that moment, some of my friends (lets say non-techy users) were using Windows 10, I think it was build 1603 or lower. I often help my friends via teamviewer so I had to learn how to operate W10 and I felt really lost sometimes. That solid base on which previous versions were built was gone – that was my impression.

            Do not understand me wrong. I am enthusiast in new technology. I really like to play and discover. I bought raspberry pi and I loved its “command line interface”, especially when friends came and I little bit showboated by playing movies from the command line. I like repairing and soldering electonics, I often repaired notebooks, pcs and other devices, cause its just correct and it saves our planet. If I see what hardware is considered as outdated in corporate world, I am very sad.

            The tempo of HW “renewal” and no backwards compatibility in sake of gathering more money for the “big players on the market” is wrong. People are very greedy recently. Especially rich western people, who does not seem to have enough. There is just no ammount of money that will make them happy. This need to buy new hardware is artificial and also very burdening our planet. We should learn from eastern philosophers more.

            I also never purchased Apple/iPhone product (although my company bought me one). I do not see the reason why to pay like 20-30% more for something I do not really need. Im not saying it does not work good, I have to say, that Apple products work way better than Microsoft products recently.

            After Windows 10 sneaked to my PC few years ago, I installed Linux (Fedora distro) and I have to do nothing with my PC. It just “is” the way I want it to be, no extra effort. Please do not feed me how insecure I am and why I should go to Windows 10. In my job, I am payed for configuring, repairing and managing different devices (switches, PCs, Notebooks, handheld scanners, touch displays, …) and the worst experience is Windows 10.

            You say that I am scared or upset, that I refuse to “go with the time”, but for me it is reality. I can live without things. Its my hobby and I will build more custom PCs for my friends.

            Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

            HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

            3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #2317170
            anonymous
            Guest

            “MS did the opposite, releasing malware through the Windows Update system to deliberately break your security updates and leave you vulnerable to third-party malware if you had dared violate Microsoft’s marketing plan by installing Windows 7 or 8.x on newer PCs.”

            Yup, that update would cause an “Unsupported Hardware” error message when attempting to use Windows Update. A workaround though is to install wufuc (link below). The developer has moved on from the project but it still works. I’ve been using it the last year and half to keep my Windows 8.1 Pro system updated every month on a newer Dell desktop that came with Windows 10 (Coffee Lake chipset).

            https://github.com/zeffy/wufuc

            2 users thanked author for this post.
            • #2317226
              Ascaris
              AskWoody_MVP

              That made me think of how it would be nice to have PCs set up with Linux by default, but with (licensed) Windows 10 set up in a VM also. If it’s going to have a Windows license, it may as well be in the VM! This could be quite usable for things like MS Office that don’t put a large graphical demand on the GPU. I’ve never tried it (I don’t have Office), but for those people who cannot do without Office, it could work.

              In a lot of ways, this would be the best of both worlds… complete control of your PC, and compatibility with Windows 10 when you need it (and with the various VM features that render Windows 10 quite controllable. As you said, snapshots FTW!). It could even be workable for gamers with a pass-through for the gaming GPU, though many of them don’t much care what the underlying OS is or does as long as they get a good frame rate. For those who see their PCs as more than game consoles (nothing wrong with it if they do… it’s their PC, after all), this could be an option.

               

              Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.20.5 User Edition)

      • #2316660
        anonymous
        Guest

        Gaming, email and comms initially. Smart-phones, take them anywhere and consoles FTW :)/

      • #2316735
        anonymous
        Guest
        @Ascaris, good reminder about Ballmer releasing Win8 on his watch; Ballmer was involved in Win8 from the beginning, but ultimately it is on Ballmer that it was released as it was.
        I also agree with your theory of how Win8 came to be (MSFT playing catch up on mobile)
        From a kernel standpoint, Windows 8 did have many improvements over Windows 7 kernel — it WAS an upgrade. I just couldn’t tolerate the mickey mouse metro UI and other nonsense that kept getting forced on me with every update.
        Perhaps even more irritating is the lack of concern for the customer; No testing, pushing settings that many customers don’t want, failing to respond to reported issues, etc., etc.
        The funny thing about MSFT and mobile — years before iPhone was even a thing, I was running Windows Mobile 2003 on a Dell Axim PDA. It only had WiFi (I think a cellular model was available, but I didn’t want to pay for it); Windows Mobile (PocketPC) had a bunch of apps available for it (Skype, Outlook, Remote Desktop, etc…) and I could easily build and sideload apps via Microsoft’s dev tools. I loved it — it felt like you were using a PC in your palm.  Of course once iPhone came out then the general public began to realize the benefits of mobile computing and hardware choices (and capabilities) began to expand.
        So close…but no cigar.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2316794
        JohnW
        AskWoody Lounger

        I forgot to mention in my last post that my first (and last) Windows phone was a Samsung Omnia running Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional.

        Picked that up from Verizon in 2009. Couldn’t wait for that contract to expire. Switched to Android after that, and with no looking back… 🙂

      • #2316871
        anonymous
        Guest

        As a heavy gamer, I still buy Windows systems because of my hobby/recreation.  I work in IT so knowing about the latest OSes is also a job requirement.  I’m also a bit of a hardware snob, when I buy systems it normally comes down to features/performance.  “Energy efficiency” is a buzzword that happens to tack on a $1,000 price increase to a unit’s price compared against performance.

        “Ultrabooks” and Macs are horrible for this; if I wanted a web browser I’d buy an Android tablet.  My older Lenovo x-series convertible is still as strong as many $1,000+ ultrabooks at 8 years old and is just as portable.  Granted, that Lenovo was priced similar to today’s premium ultrabooks, but it was also the only option at that time.  Most Ultrabooks are only about as powerful as a $500 Vostro now.

      • #2317126
        anonymous
        Guest

        I buy a Windows Laptop PC because that’s the only affordable/decent hardware configuration choice I have to run my favorite Linux distribution on.

        Windows 10 belongs in a VM. too many issues created by Microsoft itself to trust it on raw hardware when you need your PC to just work.  Snapshots FTW!

        1 user thanked author for this post.
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