Patch reliability is unclear, but widespread attacks make patching prudent. Go ahead and patch, but watch out for potential problems.
The reason(s) people are leaving Windows PCs for ApplePosted on woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge
March 19, 2017 at 1:22 pm #102581
Just got a great message from WW: What is the reason(s) people are leaving Windows personal computers for Apple personal computers, is it because of a
[See the full post at: The reason(s) people are leaving Windows PCs for Apple]
March 19, 2017 at 1:35 pm #102583
Apple’s newest MacOS has it’s own problems, but from what I’ve read it hasn’t been turned into an adware platform yet…
March 19, 2017 at 1:37 pm #102582
I have been thinking on what to do when Win7 runs out. The reason not to upgrade to 10 are privacy concerns, it’s a more and more an advertising platform & the fact that I find the GUI depressing & ugly. I hated Apple with a (illogical) vengeance, but I would be prepared to eat humble to avoid W10. I never believed I could admit that…
March 19, 2017 at 6:18 pm #102669
I’m with you on that, Postbuz. Strange times we’re in!
I started computing with a Timex-Sinclair 1000. It was a primitive little computer with 2KB of RAM, 2 colors (black and white… no grayscale), no sound, and whatever cassette recorder you had as a storage device.
It was not much, but it piqued my interest enough to get me into the Commodore 64. Soon I learned about the snooty superiority of Apple II users. Their machines were, to my thinking, overhyped and overpriced. Even then, there was a weird cultishness surrounding Apple products; they were just computers, but their fans acted as if they were something more, like magical devices given to us by benevolent aliens, while anything else was “just a toy.”
When I had a chance to evaluate the actual hardware, it didn’t live up to the hype. The Apple II+ machines didn’t even have the ability to use lower-case letters, and none of them had any sound capability beyond simple beeps and clicks.
That began my contempt for Apple that persists to this day.
In 1990, I went to college and built my first PC (the first built and the first I owned). It was a new world for me… the wealth of hardware one could buy, the ease with which I could customize my machine to be just what I wanted it to be, the huge library of DOS software and the small but growing library of Windows software… it was heavenly for a nerd like me.
…Aaaand then there was the Apple Mac folks. Their Macs had a built-in nine-inch black and white display, which paled in comparison to the super VGA 13 inch displays most of us PC people had… yet they were thoroughly convinced of the absolute superiority of their Macs. When I had to use one of those Macs for my freshman English class in my first year, I came to dislike the little beasts; compared to my PC, word processing on the tiny Mac screen was frustrating and annoying, and Word for Windows (1.1b!) seemed better than the Mac version of Word… but it didn’t stop the Mac fanatics from asserting their smug superiority.
I didn’t pick the PC platform because it was Apple’s competition. I fell into it because of the ability to build your own PC, which had obvious appeal to someone like me, not to mention that I got elective credit at the university for doing so. I hadn’t even considered or thought about the Mac. There was never a moment where I sat down and thought about which I would buy. Until the opportunity to get college credit for building my own PC came along, I never really thought about it.
I was proud of my little (ok, huge) PC, which was immensely powerful compared to the Commodore 128 I had at that point, but that only inspired the Mac cultists to try to convince me how superior their platform was, and how I had made the wrong choice in the Mac vs. PC selection process, even though I’d never actually made (or been aware of) such a choice.
By now, I had a serious contempt for Apple. The machines never lived up to the hype their adoring cultish fans heaped upon them, and while you can’t necessarily blame the company for the conduct of its fans, it did seem that Apple itself shared and promoted the air of smug superiority. That, along with the relatively locked-down hardware of the Mac, only cemented Apple as the bad guys in my mind.
When the iPhone vs. Android debate emerged, I didn’t have a dog in that hunt. I eventually bought an Android wifi-only tablet, but I use it only very rarely now, having found it wholly inferior to my PCs. Even so, I came to appreciate the relatively open world of Android, even though my distrust of Google runs deep. When I began to learn just how locked-down the iDevices are (you can’t even write to an external SD card even if you bought the overpriced Apple card reader! No ability to sideload anything! You can’t even get a glimpse of the file system!), it didn’t surprise me… and neither did the cultish devotion iPeople had to their iPhones and iPads.
That was the third time that I’d ended up with Apple being the bad guys in the us vs. them debates that always appeared. Though the products had changed greatly, Apple’s attitude really had not. They’d always assumed they knew better than the customer, and that the customer would be willing to pay MORE to be told how and what to do with their hardware than they would if they had free rein.
Those of us that recoiled at such a suggestion didn’t buy Apples. but those that did want to have someone else do the thinking for them did. As such, it was not just the difference in attitudes of the companies that made the products… there was a fundamental personality conflict between those of us who wanted to open the hood and tinker with things and those who simply wanted to be admired for being smart enough to not have any ideas of their own about how their machines should be configured or equipped.
Windows has always been a good fit for the kind of PC user I am. While I keep hearing that no one uses Windows because they WANT to, that was not true for me. I actually did like Windows a great deal starting with Windows 95. In the days of Windows 3.0, I thought of Windows as a toy… there were some neat things I could do with it (vector fonts were gee-whiz cool then, for example), but when it came time to do serious work, I dropped to DOS.
I stayed with DOS after nearly everyone else on the PC had moved on to Windows 3.1. When the DOS programs I’d come to rely upon stopped being released in lieu of Windows versions, I was dragged kicking and screaming into a world where Windows was primary and DOS was secondary, rather than the other way round.
Windows 95 changed that. It was the first version of Windows that I thought had a real reason to exist on its own, rather than simply as a sort of proof that Macs did not own the concept of the GUI. Certainly the Mac GUI was better than the Windows 3.x one, but DOS was better than both of them, as I saw it.
Win 95 changed all that. At first, the idea of booting directly into Windows was madness; none of the previous Windows versions did that by default as they were installed. The GUI, though, made so much more sense than the Win 3.x one did! The idiotic Program Manager, which looked enough like a file system to make people think it was supposed to be representing one, had been modified to be the new Start menu, and that was a huge boon to usability. So was the taskbar, not to mention the Windows Explorer.
From that point, I really did become something of a Windows fan. It was far from a perfect relationship; I bristled at many of Microsoft’s actions. When Win 98 came out, I hated the “everything is a web page” UI… with the Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer having the same UI and toolbar and very similar names, MS was clearly trying to confuse people about where the OS ended and where the browser began, in preparation for the legal fight that was to follow regarding their bundling of IE with Windows. They’d cynically tried to bury IE in Windows and tried to make the claim that it belonged there in a bid to force Netscape out of the market, not because of any usability concern.
It worked, of course. I became very anti-IE… I went right from Netscape to Mozilla, then from there to Firefox, which I still use exclusively today. I’ve never used IE for anything serious other than Windows Updates. In the OS market, though, I remained a Windows user and evangelist. Windows was the OS for the non-elites and the people who wanted to customize our machines and our Windows. It was not as simple as MacOS, but we weren’t as simple as Mac users, either.
I was skeptical when XP came out. My first exposure to it was in hearing about all of the issues people were having with drivers and getting things to work. I’d recently bought a laptop (my first!) that came with ME preinstalled, but with a Win XP upgrade CD slipped into the box by the OEM. Eventually, curiosity got the better of me, and I tried that CD.
The XP interface annoyed me greatly at first, until I realized how easy it was to get rid of it and return to the same interface I’d used in ME. XP had a lot of great features compared to ME– and what’s more is that it was so much more stable.
I became a big fan of XP, and used it exclusively for more than a decade. As it matured, it got even better. When I bought a laptop with Vista preinstalled, I very quickly downgraded it to XP. I simply didn’t have any reason to consider anything else… XP was all I wanted from an OS.
My exclusivity with XP continued right up until the point that I decided that the 4GB limit of 32-bit Windows was too confining. XP 64-bit had never caught on, and a lot of the 64-bit programs that existed required 64-bit Vista or higher… not to mention that the time remaining on XP’s updated life was counting down. It was near Christmas, and one day I saw 64-bit Windows 7 on sale, and I bought it. Windows 8 (or 8.1, not sure) was available too, but I’d seen that bizarre interface in stores and described in the tech press, and I thought that it had to be just about the worst Windows imaginable.
At first, 7 annoyed me in a handful of ways. Soon, though, I began to discover the means to bend it to my will, much as I had other Windows versions (though it took a lot more work and several more aftermarket programs to accomplish than before), and I became a fan.
At any point from the introduction of 95 up until (but not including) the introduction of 10, I would have whole-heartedly recommended Windows and the PC platform to anyone who asked. It had its flaws, but I knew the Mac was far from being the “just works” wonder machine its maker wanted us to think it was. I had Mac friends, and they had problems just like we Windows people did..
When 10 came out, I was curious to know whether the touted input from Windows users had resulted in the masterpiece many people expected it to be. I backed up my Windows 7 installation (twice, on different external hard drives that were never plugged in at the same time) and downloaded the media creation tool to make a Windows DVD. I never allowed the GWX adware to install (though the full brunt of the controversy was still in the future, it offended me), so this was how the upgrade was to happen (and at that time, you had to do the upgrade rather than using your Win 7/8 key directly in 10).
I hated 10 off the bat, and the more I used it, the more I grew to dislike it. I rolled back using the MS feature (mainly to see if it would work, as the reports of it failing had started to come in), and it worked perfectly in my case. Even so, I restored from my backup after I was done testing the rolled-back 7, just in case there was hidden damage that would not show up until later.
Fast forward to the present. Even for the majority of Windows users who use pre-10 versions, Windows 10 looms large in our future… foreboding and ominous. It’s not like the Vista or 8 days, when we (or I, anyway) breezily decided not to upgrade and didn’t worry about what would come next. When I skipped Vista, it never occurred to me that someday XP’s updates would end and I’d be forced to keep using an increasingly insecure OS or migrate to another Windows version. My thought process stopped at “nope!”
It’s different now, though. MS has taken great pains to make sure that anyone who gives Windows 10 a “nope!” is aware that someday 10 will be the only version that gets updated. While I bought Windows 7 without any thought about what I would migrate to when its support ended, I would still have recommended Windows and the PC platform to anyone who asked. Most people avoided Vista, and it worked out beautifully; why would this be any different?
Famous last words, right?
With 10 being what it is, and with MS acting as it is, I can no longer recommend Windows in good conscience. If the person is reasonably technical, I would suggest Linux, but for regular users… wow. There’s no good choices anymore!
Despite my contempt for Apple and my dislike of its business practices and its locked-down products, I’d have an even harder time recommending Android for anyone asking me, simply because of Google’s habit of spying on people. When I bought my tablet, I knew what Google was about, and I’ve always used it with that in mind. I know, though, that someone who is enough of a beginner to be asking my advice probably won’t grasp that, so I’d have to suggest an iDevice.
The same is true with desktops. I despise Apple and most everything they stand for, but now Microsoft is worse. If you ask me for a suggestion, I’d have to hold my nose and suggest a Mac. Windows 10, and the company that made it, is just that bad.
It took Windows 10 to make Windows 8.1 and the Mac look good. Hard to believe that once I thought that 8 had to be the worst possible Windows version, but now I’m using it, voluntarily (though extensively modified with aftermarket tools). It still has a few annoying spots here and there, but compared to the ones in Windows 10, it’s nothing much. I actually like it quite a bit now… it has a bunch of minor improvements (ie the file collision copy dialog) and a few areas where it’s worse (networking settings and profile options), but the big thing is the six years of updates on tap.
March 19, 2017 at 8:02 pm #102690
March 19, 2017 at 10:11 pm #102699
March 19, 2017 at 10:31 pm #102705
Great post there, yeah so many paralells its like “Deja Vous” I have delved on occasion in to the “Mac OS world” over the years and sadly found it wanting in so many ways. As an OS its fine it does what its supposed to do but lacking a certain flexibility that “Windoze” has with a bit of effort. However I feel that maybe M$ is tending to “rest on its laurels” quite a bit and may be should work on not pushing out stuff thats not quite ready yet and quality. Then the future may well be rosey. Its my fervent belief, that in so far as putting the latest “golly gee whizz” must have in an OS, that all the OS’s may well have plateaued in development and should take this respite to improve on functionality and reliability with out having to delve in to CMD prompt/Regfix’s/tweaks to the point where the average user can reliably “point & click” and it goes. Win10/8.1 apps are a case in point nice feature but high maintainance to work on a weekly basis first time every time. But thats my current “Pet Peeve”. 🙂
March 20, 2017 at 2:34 am #102729
I have been thinking on what to do when Win7 runs out.
Just consider 8.1. It’s not that bad as rumoured. You can download a 90-day trial here:
You need to make a few tweaks (takes 10 minutes or so) after installation and it’s almost like W7, just better.
I think I’ll compile a short guide for all W7 users how to make 8.1 great again ( 😉 ) without 3rd party software and post it in the W8.1 section.MSI H110 PC MATE * Intel Core i5-6402P * 2 x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2133 MHz * Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti D5 4G * Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD * Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD * Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD * DVD RW Lite-ON iHAS 124 * Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer PCI * Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
March 19, 2017 at 1:37 pm #102586
I’ll kick off the discussion with the observation that Windows vs MacOS balance has changed a bit, but it isn’t like there’s a stampede from Windows to Mac any more.
Instead, when you look at usage, there’s a stampede from Windows + macOS to Android and a little bit to iOS.
People aren’t buying Windows PCs nearly as much as they used to:
Sales of Macs have gone up slightly (source https://qz.com/534790/while-the-ipad-flounders-the-apple-mac-just-hit-an-all-time-record/)
As for the reasons… I’m sure we’ll have a few comments about that shortly. 🙂
March 19, 2017 at 5:35 pm #102660
The reality is that there is no satisfactory platform out there, having to do with vendors becoming greedy and arrogant and not giving a ff about their users. A vast majority of users do not need all the c***pola that they shove that has no usefulness, but come out only in the vendors’ financial interest. Who asked for the features of Win10? I will not touch Apple no matter what. Ditto for Linux, which is a joke for end users.
I am old enough to stick with the current versions of Win7 and Win10 1511 and as soon as MS forces an upgrade on me I will restore them from images as many times as necessary.
March 19, 2017 at 1:53 pm #102588
There is class of users who just want to browse and get/send eMail, who might move to a tablet, but from where I sit the two COMPUTER platforms don’t provide AT ALL the same services. Pardon the pun, but it’s a bit like comparing apples to oranges.
I’m assuming this thread is about switching Windows COMPUTERS for Apple COMPUTERS. I’m thinking this limits the discussion to people who wouldn’t feel life was complete with just a portable device. Content and software creators, and enthusiasts.
Gamers will be choosing a platform based on available games, and I don’t think there’s very much overlap there (someone correct me if I’m wrong; I’m no gamer).
I have recently investigated to some depth developing software for MacOS and even there the languages provided for integrated Apple App development don’t really overlap with those for PC. For example, I might want to develop in C++, but Apple’s version is Objective C and the syntax is pretty different. Enough so to make it not really viable to “straddle the fence” so to speak. Beyond that, Apple is changing away from Objective C to something called Swift.
So my question in return would be this: Who wants an actual COMPUTER – vs. a portable / easy access device to do eMail, social networking, and browsing – that would be okay with switching from one to the other COMPUTER platform?
There is actually a class of user I know of who might consider it, and it’s chiefly because Adobe has developed their applications to be equivalently functional on both Windows and MacOS: People who do photography, graphics work, and design. Since things like Adobe Photoshop, LightRoom, etc. are equally available on both platforms, in my observation these people sometimes choose to “jump ship” from one to the other.
Otherwise, excluding those who need basic services a portable device can provide, a PC just doesn’t really do the same things as a Mac, so a choice to move from one to another is tantamount to making a life choice. Essentially you have to throw away what you know of one system to embrace the other.
Of course, virtualization blurs the lines some. My chief engineer is a Mac user who runs Windows 7 in a VMware Fusion VM to do Windows development. That takes a lot of mental bandwidth to pull off, and he still acts a bit like a “Mac snob” sometimes. 🙂
March 19, 2017 at 2:14 pm #102589
I changed to Macs, the first about 5 years ago. I run Windows in Parallels virtual machines. I have found that I can even run the non-standard Windows programs without a problem from the VMs. I am not just browsing the Internet and reading e-mail by a long sight. When I need Windows, I have it (this Mac runs XP, Win7 SP1, Win8.1, Win10 AU 1607, and Win10 Insider 15061 in VMs).
Most of the time I use the Mac side of things. What I like about the Mac is …it just works. And I don’t have to fight the &#^@ updates (I can turn them off, or do them when I please, or not at all), and I use the same programs (FF, Office, Thunderbird, etc), etc.
March 19, 2017 at 2:52 pm #102605
I think the Apple hardware while very solid and reliable, is inferior in performance to Windows hardware for equivalent price. Only the Surface went over the top to compete with Apple on price in the wrong way.
While Apple hardware is more than suitable for running MacOS, it struggles to run effectively Windows machines on top of the virtualisation layer when compared to a good quality machine designed specifically for Windows.
March 19, 2017 at 4:09 pm #102630
I changed to Macs, the first about 5 years ago. I run Windows in Parallels virtual machines. I have found that I can even run the non-standard Windows programs without a problem from the VMs. I am not just browsing the Internet and reading e-mail by a long sight. When I need Windows, I have it (this Mac runs XP, Win7 SP1, Win8.1, Win10 AU 1607, and Win10 Insider 15061 in VMs).
Of course I mentioned virtualization up above, and I certainly mean no dig against anyone.
That you’re using a COMPUTER is because you’re NOT just doing browsing / social networking. You’ve illustrated my point exactly.
In my own case I have been able to get more powerful hardware from Dell than what has been available from Apple, and it looks like that will continue. Apple doesn’t even offer workstation class hardware with more than one CPU package now, for example. The Mac Pro “trash can” has just one, and (last I looked) no available option to populate that one socket with the highest spec Intel packages, either. Only 8 cores?
The high-end workstation hardware e.g., from Dell or HP is certainly no less well-made than Apple hardware, but simply offers more options for performance – probably in part because of gamers funding PC design.
March 19, 2017 at 4:22 pm #102634
Most of the time I use the Mac side of things. What I like about the Mac is …it just works.
I guess other folks may have more problems than I do. I’ve never not had Windows “just work”. And I think I spend less time on maintenance now than I ever did.
The only reason my Precision workstation has only a week of uptime right now, instead of 2+ months, is that a nasty storm took out our power for a duration that exceeded my UPS capacity.
Not having to fool with my system very much is a big part of how I find time to contribute here and do things like test new systems in VMs, develop products, keep up with customer support…
Maybe a lot of the “Mac just works” lore comes from the Mac hardware quality being above the average PC quality? With Apple, people pay for what they offer. With PC hardware people virtually always try to minimize the cost.
1 user thanked author for this post.
March 29, 2017 at 1:54 pm #105265
My guess as to why “MAC just works” while PCs have issues:
MAC is a closed system. Apple controls everything.
Windows, on the other hand, is an open system, bequeathed to them (and us) by IBM. Everyone and his brother can produce software and hardware for Windows, without paying royalties to Microsoft. As a result, the job of making Windows work well is a lot more difficult than making the MAC work well. All in all, I think Microsoft has done a tremendous job of making Windows work very well in an open environment.
And I think that the reason Microsoft is “tightening up” on things with Windows 10 is because it is a lot easier to make everything work well in a closed system, where everyone has to follow your rules, than in an open system, where you don’t have control of all of the rules. I’ll bet Microsoft has had to expend an enormous amount of time and energy (i.e. money) to make Windows work well in their open environment. So they have decided to force everyone into a much more closed environment, to make their lives easier.
Not saying that I like it or that I agree with it; but I believe that explains why Microsoft is doing what they are doing with Windows and with Office.
March 19, 2017 at 2:38 pm #102596
I think, for most people a Chromebook is just fine. And they won’t have to wait, as I did this morning, for a 30 minute installation of cumulative updates followed by an unwind as the update refused to install.
I’ve learned that when the kids come over for computer class, I need to get my infrequently-used Win10 PCs fired up at least a half hour early. Chromebooks, no problem.
March 19, 2017 at 3:36 pm #102620
Woody, its fun on this, our learning is vastly Different,
I learned on W 7 that I Definitely Could NOT Trust Microsoft!!!
Therefore I have LOCKED DOWN WINDOWS UPDATE, ever since, to this very day, and manage my PC with an Iron fist!
It’s fun I never have your problem???? HUUUUM 😉 😀
1. Tower Totals: 2xSSD ~512GB, 2xHHD 4TB, Memory 32GB
SSDs: 6xOS Partitions, 2xW8.1 Main & Test, 2x10.0 Test, Pro, x64
CPU i7 2600 K, SandyBridge/CougarPoint, 4 cores, 8 Threads, 3.4 GHz
Graphics Radeon 6880, Neither Over Clocked
2xMonitors Asus DVI, Sony 55" UHD TV HDMI
1. NUC 5i7 2cores, 4 Thread, Memory 8GB, 3.1 GHz, M2SSD 140GB
1xOS W8.1 Pro, NAS Dependent, Same Sony above.
March 19, 2017 at 4:23 pm #102635
HA! I think, for most people a Chromebook is just fine. And they won’t have to wait, as I did this morning, for a 30 minute installation of cumulative updates followed by an unwind as the update refused to install. I’ve learned that when the kids come over for computer class, I need to get my infrequently-used Win10 PCs fired up at least a half hour early. Chromebooks, no problem.
You could just use W8.1 instead of W10 and problem would be solved.MSI H110 PC MATE * Intel Core i5-6402P * 2 x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2133 MHz * Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti D5 4G * Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD * Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD * Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD * DVD RW Lite-ON iHAS 124 * Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer PCI * Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit
March 19, 2017 at 2:43 pm #102599
March 19, 2017 at 2:48 pm #102603
IMHO I look at apple as very clever in their marketing strategy and have nailed the OS/ Hardware relationship years ago. Each iteration of their Operating Systems whether iOS of MacOS is appealing for the security and functionality, closely followed with their own secure (allegedly) store for apps. This in itself is appealing for many but, the downside, is the overated price. (just look at their profits…astronomical over the last 5 years or so)
Certain devices for technophobes who just want the device to work with a simplified GUI and sleek design and certain devices for technocrats who wish more than just that.
Apple Macs to me are for musicians (latency factor), designers and journalists but hey! that may be their clever marketing embedded in my grey matter. I have had a play around with a macbook pro and I did like it but, the price did put me off coming from a PC building and configuration background. (cheapskate)
I’m sure apple will be looking in many ways to attract disgruntled Windows users to jump ship, question is, at what price in many respects.| x64 Group B: W7 Pro & W8.1 Pro | | x64 Group W: 3 x Linux Hybrids |
- No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
March 19, 2017 at 5:41 pm #102661
March 19, 2017 at 2:52 pm #102602
i won’t switch to apple (not affordable for normal users like me) but i won’t stick with windows either. still using windows 7, once i can’t use it anymore i will be forced switching to linux. in fact this windows 10 adware thingamajigs will NEVER infest any of my computers.
as i said: once windows 7 is dead, windows is dead.
March 19, 2017 at 4:36 pm #102639
I think SOHO users are generally OS agnostic. As long as they have a usable (for them) office suite, email, browser, and one or two other rather generic software they can use any OS including Linux. Most will opt for a preinstalled OS which limits their practical choices now to Macs, Chromebooks, and Windows. One can find Linux preinstalled but it is not easy to find for most. Enterprise users often have legacy Windows only software that is hard to migrate away from.
Depending on how angry the user with MS and how much they are willing to spend they might opt for a Mac just to ditch Windows. Others with less money might try to hang to W7 or W8.1 until eol or switch to a Chromebook. The more technically inclined might switch to Linux and help others to switch.
I do not think many are switching just because macOS may be somewhat more secure but because they are getting fed up with fighting MS over whose computer it is.
March 20, 2017 at 12:03 pm #102801
Reply to this post (above: #102639 ): I am not technically inclined (hardly even use the Command Line) but I find some Linux distros usable, if a bit more difficult than Windows. I have used Ubuntu Linux as my primary desktop OS for three or four years now, ever since the initial kerfuffle over the interface changes in Windows 8 Consumer Preview. It started as a real pain in the neck, but now I am almost as comfortable inside desktop Ubuntu as I am inside Windows 10 Pro. Each has its annoyances, and each has its moments of pure beauty.
Recently I got a Moto G4 smartphone with Android 6.0.1, and this is also quite passable, provided I have limited goals for the session and I bring a stylus for detailed hunting and pecking.
Relevant to this thread: Most non-technical users are less knowledgeable and less experienced (not to mention much less patient) than I am. They want something which fires up, gets them where they want to be, and then shuts down promptly — at least into a sleep state.
In approximate order of simplicity, this means most folks would prefer:
iPad or iPhone
Windows 10 Home
Win 10 Pro
(waaaay down the list) Ubuntu or Mint Linux, or some flavor of the month which at least looks a bit like Windows 7 Home
Anything more obscure
But the sales figure don’t bear this out. Windows still clobbers everybody else, except for phones, where Android with its flexible store and lower price tag, rule. People just deal with whatever came with the device, and for all other than phones and Chromebooks, this is likely to be Windows 10 Home.
Inertia, not preference, drives most of the casual user PC and device markets.
-- rc primak
March 20, 2017 at 12:22 pm #102813
My original reply here got lost in the spam filters after my last edit.
-- rc primak
March 20, 2017 at 12:29 pm #102820
March 19, 2017 at 3:17 pm #102611
I strongly dislike Apple. I find their products to be flaky at best. Also Macs are just a niche overpriced thing for hipsters pretty much. Mac OS X is quote unquote “More secure than Windows” because it’s more locked down and has a much smaller userbase. Also Mac OS X is a Unix based operating. So given it’s design it is more secure. But I can guarantee that if Mac OS X were more popular then there would be more viruses and malware.
As for Linux, I do feel it could be a good replacement for Windows if more software was available for it. But a lot of major software like Microsoft Office and products like Adobe Photoshop simply do not exist on Linux. Sure there is Wine but that’s also flaky at best. There are open source alternatives like LibreOffice and Gimp. LibreOffice is a very good free office suite. Gimp can do some basic things, but it’s no where near as user friendly or advanced as Photoshop. I just think Linux needs to grow a bit more before it can be considered a viable replacement for Windows. But if you want a nice secure, and basic OS then I do recommend Linux. But for now Windows isn’t going anywhere.
March 19, 2017 at 3:32 pm #102617
With regards to linux, your spot on, more developers need to fill the abyss without emulation. Have you come across This OS yet?
Has potential as a windows replacement using existing windows OS programs but in early stages.| x64 Group B: W7 Pro & W8.1 Pro | | x64 Group W: 3 x Linux Hybrids |
- No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
March 19, 2017 at 4:09 pm #102629
Ha, ReactOS – they’ve been at it for over 10 years, still not ready… I looked at it in the days of XP because I didn’t like XP and thought it was too much of a “toy” and proposed to take you by the hand too much to my liking… Little did I know I would come to miss XP !!
March 19, 2017 at 6:26 pm #102670
Little did I know I would come to miss XP !!
This is because of the time it takes Microsoft to stabilize and secure an OS.
I kinda miss XP too. It was, for nowadays’ standards, minimalistic, simple, without snooping and bloatware. Out of the way so you could work and do stuff. As an OS should be.
I was very very resistant adopting Win7 but had do it because even if you can tweak XP to be POSready still updatable (for home use), it still stalls a bit with some old problems and DLL rotting, and is not made for modern hardware.
I saw this coming 10 years ago when they released Vista. After using some Unix and Linux on the enterprise, and seeing what was coming with Vista, a friend of mine showed me Linux Mint and I started adopting it, slowly and at ease. It took me 3 years to do it, frustrating back and forward between Mint and XP, but I ended up ajusting myself to it and making it meet my ends. With some Wine (Photoshop is even faster) and a now Windows 7 for Brutal Doom, advanced printing options and Group B updates (sigh), I have no real need for Windows on my everyday computer life. I’m very happy with Linux Mint Debian Edition. I even collect old cluttered sluggish PCs about to be trashed and get them work for me good enough. Those 3 years of frustration were one of my best IT bets, they have paied me very very well,.
Apple? I’ve got 2 problems with it: a full brain and an empty wallet.
March 20, 2017 at 12:12 pm #102806
ReactOS got into trouble for allegedly reverse-engineering large amounts of Windows XP. The project never really recovered form that blow. As it stands, this is not a viable option for people who want a working and complete OS.
-- rc primak
March 19, 2017 at 4:54 pm #102645
You might be surprised about the commercial software available for Linux and how good some of the lesser known packages are. I agree with about GIMP, it is a dog but there are several other packages available plus subscribing to Adobe for photo editing. But whether Linux is a suitable for someone really depends on their needs and whether there is a reasonable replacement for the familiar Windows software. This problem is actually true to a lesser extent for macOS.
I have some success with Wine and its commercial sibling Crossover with running some Windows software (mainly Office, HeidiSQL). It’s not perfect but the results can be surprisingly good.
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March 19, 2017 at 4:22 pm #102633
Dioxygen DifluorideAskWoody Lounger
I think it may be difficult to compare all Windows users to all Apple users.
To me, Windows users fall into three categories:
— Regular Users
— Power Users
— Enterprise Users
I think that Enterprise users will continue to use windows as they always did — as configured, administered, and restricted by their enterprise IT staff.
Power users are probably the ones most put out by Microsoft’s latest marketing and telemetry (sorry, Ch100) shenanigans. These are the users in play, though probably less likely to choose Apple products than Linux variants. I just don’t see them migrating from “Metro-and-locked down” (W8/10) to “Mac-and-even-more-locked-down” (OSX-etera) operating systems.
Regular users (IMO) are those most likely to purchase hardware pre-configured with whatever OS they’re using at work or at school. For now, that’s probably going to be hardware running some version of a Windows OS. However, Microsoft’s recent inability to keep the update/driver trains running –let alone, on time– is irritating (to my users, at least.) They don’t like the Win 10 UI either, but they feel helpless to do anything about it. Even they are noticing that Windows latest OS user interfaces seem designed to diminish user productivity, rather than enhance it (at least in comparison to XP/Vista/W7.) If something were to come along that offered full functionality, cheap?… …for now, though, they’re stuck with Windows.
Mac users (to me) have generally seen their computer as an appliance. As long their device made the right Pantone color-matched toast when set to “4”, they were happy to (over)pay for it. 🙂
March 19, 2017 at 4:27 pm #102638
How much I despise Windows 10, when Windows 8.1 is dead, I’d rather switch to W10 or (hopefully) some Linux distro than go Apple. My personal preference – I like freedom and building your own rig from scratch is so much fun!
March 19, 2017 at 5:26 pm #102659
Apple is not important to me because I like to build my own computers. Been doing that for almost two decades … Apple only supports the use of their hardware.
So that leaves me to straddle Windows and Linux, with some Android thrown in for mobile 🙂
March 19, 2017 at 6:44 pm #102674
Consumers are leaving Windows for Apple, but I think it is mostly for the smartphone rather than the MAC. The iphone is very popular in North America and Android has the lead worldwide. Consumers are replacing their Windows PCs if their computing needs can be met on that platform. Enterprise users have PCs on their desks, but they too use smartphones, so some integration is a required.
My company is bringing in MACs this year because the workers want them . Our management is approving them for the first time ever. There is not a lot, but those who have them are saying that the iphone and ipad integration with the MAC is a breeze.
All Windows systems are vulnerable to a myriad of exploits and way more so than Apple. The downside with Apple is that they take forever to fix an exploit and they are very secretive about it. Not good.
I am a Windows user at work (IT networking) and I use a lot of programs on a power laptop. At one customer location I had to use a MAC as they do not allow personal systems in their datacentre. Once I got the hang of it, it easy to use. The MAC is a very attractive well built system.
I always thought Bill Gates was an evil genius and Steve Jobs was just plain evil, however I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Steve Wozniak. Microsoft is parasitic and devious, but the OS gets the job done. IMHO, managing W10 is like spitting in the wind.
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March 19, 2017 at 6:45 pm #102673
It may be of some casual interest that there are apple investment analyst that have floated the notion that Apple should license the Mac OS to PC OEMs for installation on their own commercial PC builds. This perspective is driven in part by the perspective that Apple has become overly dependent on iPhone for profits and is not showing adequate product innovation. The notion of Dell, HP and Lenovo offering systems with the Mac OS would likely spur a movement of software developers porting their applications to Mac OS in addition to Windows. I personally do not think Apple will embrace this suggestion because it would tend to erode the “cool cache” that Apple relies upon to maintain the hefty profit margins on the Mac. On the other hand, one could argue that Apple bought those hefty profit margins with a severe truncation of market penetration potential. A development such as licensing the Mac OS might possibly occur if iPhone profits erode and Apple falters in selling its services story to Wall Street. After all, nobody would confuse Tim Cook for Steve Jobs.
March 19, 2017 at 7:04 pm #102680
the notion that Apple should license the Mac OS to PC OEMs for installation on their own commercial PC builds.
That’s as likely to happen as Apple hardware moving from using Motorola 68K and IBM PowerPC CPU’s to using Intel CPU’s. 🙂
It would certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons.
Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.
March 19, 2017 at 7:09 pm #102681
At my place of work we are exclusively Windows on the desktop, with a mixture of Windows, Linux, and OpenVMS on the server.
Recently we have been experimenting with Windows 10 (including Win10 LTSB) in preparation for Win7 EOL. The experience has been so bad that we are about to begin a program of testing OSX and Linux on the desktop.
The main issues we have with it are:
- Unreliable updates that tend to hose the system.
- Monolithic updates that prevent usable updates from being installed when broken ones are bundled with them.
- Does not play nice with WSUS.
- The constant struggle to take (and retain) control of the computer from MS requires far too much of our limited time.
- Regressions, regressions, regressions. Things that worked in Win7 stop working in 10. Things that worked in 1511 stop working in 1607. etc.
- Threats to prevent Windows 7 from receiving updates on newer hardware (Not actually a windows 10 issue, but a reason to urgently examine alternatives)
- Issues with Windows Search, joining domains, connecting to Wireless networks, and other fundamental things. Most of these seem to be because Windows assumes that the computer will have unrestricted internet access. What kind of enterprise allows that?
We have zero confidence that Microsoft can make Win10 usable before the Windows 7 EOL. The reason we have so little faith in MS going forward, is that all of the issues we are having with Win10 appear to be by design. This is actually the way they want the operating system to work.
March 19, 2017 at 9:57 pm #102698
A possible alternative that could give you a few more years to work things out: Windows 8.1.
There are a fair number of things wrong with it out of the box, but an image could be done up that works around virtually all of them.
I am using it quite successfully myself (since late 2013) and it has been compatible with everything I’ve wanted to run. I have a Start Menu, Aero Glass effects and an elegant theme (okay, not a necessity but it does help usability), tweaks all over the place to enhance integration and usability, secure, supremely stable, desktop-centric (no Apps), perpetually licensed with an end of support date that’s still out there a ways…
I’ve found it more productive to use than Win 7 Ultimate was, which I had used for the 4 years prior to installation of Win 8.1.
Just some ideas that scratch the surface of things that can be done to Windows 8.1…
Just a thought.
March 19, 2017 at 9:52 pm #102696
Non-techy here, was in a people oriented profession… but through the years many of my friends were engineers, and even a few early programers. I got to play with a wonderful HP computer in the early 80’s that was way ahead of anything commercially available at that time… My ex was technically inclined…
First home computer was a Commador 64. The ex set up what I wanted it to do for me. Back then it wasn’t much, and it was really his machine.
My first computer that was just mine came after I was on my own, and it was a Gateway XP desktop. I was relieved to find it came with color coded connections… the red to the red, and green to the green. I got a copy of XP for Dummies, and off I went. I didn’t give any thought to how it worked… it just did. I could get it to work fairly well by just starting it up… the Dummy book helped me refine and expand what I could do. I set it up so the kids could do their homework, and I could do word processing and we all had our favorite games. We didn’t have TV, living in an area without over the air reception, and never went the cable route, and no internet. Maybe that is why I am so comfortable working off-line, to this date. I added a larger hard-drive and once I had to replace the power supply… but that computer still works (although it is solely used disconnected from the internet). Our church had a dear man that did things like that for the rest of us.
By the time my kids were teens, I wasn’t getting access to the XP except when they were asleep or in school. I also was becoming more physically challenged and unable to do all the very physical things that I used to do. In 2011 I abandoned the desktop to the younger bunch and moved to a Toshiba laptop with W 7 on it. Sitting and using a desktop was too hard… but at that time I wasn’t looking at the huge screens and wireless keyboards available now. I have a pronounced tremor and drop everything. Toshiba had a hardened case and said the hard-drive freezes when it senses a drop… and true to its word, it has survived many drops, the worst being onto cement from waist high. Knowing I will probably break it in the end, I back up everything x 3. The laptop came with a free upgrade to W 8… but W 7 does everything I want it to. I’ve loved everything about it, except the stupid GWX campaign and telemetry. I’m Group B, and if that stops working, I’ll be Group W, and work off-line. I’ll get something cheap, that I use only for on-line and e-mail. It won’t be my working system, and it won’t be Windows. If my laptop is still working when W 7 goes out of support, I will probably make the transition to W 8, despite the distaste that Microsoft has left in my mouth, just to keep my current programs going. I spend a lot of time on my computer, my favorite things being journalling and scrapbooking. I have taught myself to use the Gimp for photo editing… however much of a dog it may be, I can’t afford Photoshop.
My three gripes about why I will not buy another computer with W 10 on it, ever…
1) Advertising. I cut the cord in the 90’s and will never go back to TV style advertising in my home. I like my relatively boring and very nice life. I listen to music, not ads.
2) Telemetry. Nothing on my computer should be phoning back to the OEM or Microsoft or anywhere else. Nothing in my home will be IoT.
3) Ethics. I’ve lived long enough to really value good manners and ethical behavior… I don’t invite anyone or anything into my home unless they behave themselves. My kids are grown up. I shouldn’t have to nag (adjust and readjust privacy settings). Having survived an abusive relationship I have zero tolerance for people without respect for good boundaries. Why would I invite an operating system that nags me, won’t do what I want (yep, customized quite a few things over the years), and tells on me, into my home? I won’t.
I appreciate how Apple products work out of the box, and how they are available for supporting their products, remembering my great experience with that Gateways XP. But, they have their own privacy issues… and when something goes wrong, I can’t get the guy from church to fix it for me. Actually, I’m learning to replace screens on laptops, fixing them for others… and to do other minor repairs. I’m finding I like tweaking things… and have surprised myself in my dedication to learning about other operating systems. I’m collecting a bunch of live OS on USB memory sticks… playing with them. Looking at partitioning my hard drive and loading my favorite onto it… maybe. I’m pretty cautious. I wouldn’t be so cautious if I had more resources. I think I could get really into this if I had the money. I was given a hand-me-down laptop with a broken screen… maybe I’ll just work the experimental stuff on that one, instead of passing it on when it is fixed. Raspberry Pi’s for my grandkids have inspired me. They do way more than the early computers that were first in my home… For a long time I didn’t differentiate between my hardware and OS… together they were my laptop. It was a huge financial investment at the time… still… for me…
Microsoft’s casual and complete disregard for me as a customer, and their marketing tactics, have eliminated them from my future. They no longer produce a product that suits my wants and needs. If they did offer what I need, I would have to get over choking on their malware past (GWX 10 and telemetry). As in a personal relationship, that would require acknowledgement of what wrong was done, and time (lots of time) with good behavior. Not likely.
Smart phones are pretty dumb compared to what I can do on a computer, so they aren’t a substitute. Maybe I haven’t played with a “good” tablet, but I find them limiting as well…
Despite the old OS, and multiple falls, this laptop looks good and works great. Much of what is out there won’t match what I already have… There is no reason to abandon what is working. None-the-less, I am preparing for the inevitable time when my laptop bites the dust. If it happens sooner rather than later, it will be on a hand-me down system and Linux Mint, as the quickest and easiest alternatives. If later, I will be saving for that big screen desktop dream system… I won’t be going with Apple or Windows either way… there are other options out there, and I’m transitioning slowly and comfortably, despite my inclinations to be non-techy.
Win 7 Home, Group B
March 19, 2017 at 10:27 pm #102701
That’s an inspiring story, Elly – thank you for sharing that.
I’m glad you mentioned ethics. It’s one of my greatest pet peeves that Microsoft is trying to redefine a “new normal” in which everyone is expected to accept that the partner they choose to create and manage their OS acts like an adversary. They’ve used up literally a lifetime of reputation!
March 19, 2017 at 10:26 pm #102700
Why would people leave Windows PC for Apple desktop? A lot of folks already brought interesting points.
For me, Apple does not compromise on some things that are very important. Did you ever see how easy it is to shop for an Apple laptop? Just of a few logical models. It is hard to go wrong. There are not 400 different models of laptops for only one PC brand (real experience), most of them being illogical just to drive the price down. 3-4 years ago, the Macbook pro was a great machine for what it was doing and the Macbook Air too. It didn’t contain a slow 5400rpm HD. Yes, it was expensive and today I must admit the Macbook pros are very disappointing for the price they charge, but at the time, it did what was needed well. It was all about usage and that is where it worked well.
Yes, ch100 you are right about the technical aspect of the hardware but if you looked at the whole user experience, you could get at that time a great experience from a Macbook Air with a SSD for its type of users compared to a laptop with an i5 and a traditional hard disk that would be slow to boot and that would go out of sleep with a long delay compared to the Mac that behaved more like a phone in that respect, as what a mobile device should have been from the start. If you were a student carrying that thing around everywhere, looking at it all the time between doing other things, the Macbook worked so well. Apple charged more but they didn’t cut corners where it mattered for their market I think, except maybe when it comes to creative types that needs lots of power, then the Mac is more for its integrated ecosystem and color management that works out of the box than good value, of course. If I was a creative type, I would run on a PC to get more power for my money, but a lot of creative types are not computer people and they might be reassured by the simple ´it works’ of the Mac. Color Management on Windows is a Pandora box you don’t want to open.
Also, Apple runs on a simple quite secure OS where people don’t worry about security issues. They think about security proactively, by design, like by picking the very secure BSD as their underlying platform and adding their good looking to many GUI on top, having a restricted store app on IOS and controlling carefully what each app can do. The whole design of IOS solved most security issues in practice. So many people on Iphones, so few horror stories with security and not even an antivirus on it. That’s big. When smart phones arrived, I predicted it would be the next security nightmare and I am still surprised it hasn’t arrived yet (thanks to IoT, hackers will be busy with other things for a while I guess). But Apple helped with that. Yes, oddly they are quite bad at patching and that needs some improvement. Maybe if they become a bigger target and it becomes an issue in the real world they will address that. But nobody can deny the real world home experience of Apple that is much more secure than on a PC. And with IOS, you can’t say it is because they are not popular.
Normal folks can go to Apple desktop because it runs Office, a version that is good enough for most of them. It also integrates nicely with their mobile devices. They handled scaling on high res display better than Windows, although it is getting less bad on Windows. Settings are easy to find and the whole OS don’t feel like a huge mess. The power management was so much better than Windows before. The good thing I find about Apple is that they don’t force you that much to use their things. I run my Iphone and Ipad with most new features disabled. They install an update, they ask if I want Icloud drive and many things and I just say no and I don’t worry about it no more. They respect my choice. As a power user I loose no time managing any of these devices. I don’t own a Mac desktop because I love Windows too much and I am extremely efficient with it and the Windows version of Office, both of which I use with so many keyboard shortcuts. This year I will do some tests with Linux but I might also run a Mac at some point to get ready for the worse. Mac would be maybe what I would switch to because of Office. Sometimes I wonder if Windows has become what vi is to some Unix experts. Windows, I know it so well, when it doesn’t change all the time.
As for the gamers, I don’t see them going to Apple. Maybe if Valve put more effort and they succeed at making gamers move to Linux, that will hurt Microsoft, but I don’t see that happening soon as Windows is so mature in this respect and it could take a very long time for game companies to think it is worthwile to devote resources coding for Linux. I know a very high level person at a game company and he doesn’t see that anytime soon. So my prediction is gamers will game on Windows and maybe they will dual boot or not. Might be too lazy for privacy, or too busy playing.
Power users are frustrated by Windows. Some of them will be frustrated with Linux for different reasons. I sure do appreciate the level of refinement Windows 10 has to offer in many of the ways it is good like with the Win-x menu, improved command prompt, small details in the way of doing the basic functions of an OS. Maybe some power users will end up on Apple and like it a bit once used to it. I am not sure I could like it as much as Windows. I am annoyed by the launcher when I see it and I think maybe that is why Ms introduced the awful launcher of Win 7 that I don’t use. I am not sure I would be as efficient on a Mac. The few times I used Office on the Mac I felt terribly inefficient because none of the things I am used to worked the same way. But I know a young developer I worked with that has a successful business running on Macs. They are happy to not be on Windows anymore and that happened during the 8 era. You can’t expect to be as efficient on a new OS after years of experience on another.
I think Apple products are also not trashy the way Windows is becoming. Yes, the apps on IOS can be quite bad sometimes, but the OS itself is clean, not riddled with obvious trashy stuff to make you spend money or serve only their interest. There is a genuine interest in the user experience at Apple, even if it might not be your vision of it. On my Iphone, I chose to leave Siri on, but no hey siri feature, but I also could have chose to turn Siri off if I wanted. I never felt my privacy was threatened as much as with the new Window, nor that idiots were in charge or that they thought I was stupid.
However, things are far from perfect. I don’t like the way Apple restricts some things like how difficult it is to manage your music manually on the IOS devices, how your pictures are not that easy for many people to get out of the device, how there is not really file management on those devices. On the desktop, I briefly fought with the pictures to extract them from the built-in apps and regroup them all but now that I know how it works, it would be easy for me to go around their software and just do what I want. I suspect it is the same with many of the other things on the desktop and that if you become familiar with it, you will get what you want.
One last thing that is important. Apple constantly shine in reliability surveys and customer support. I called them a few times and I was very impressed by the quality of support I received. People were knowledgeable and smart and they really helped me.
March 19, 2017 at 10:34 pm #102707
March 23, 2017 at 12:33 pm #103769
anonymousI’m an old journalist, I ditched my typewriter for a basic computer many years ago, used it til it wore out, got another, etc etc, finally found what I liked in XP, had to upgrade to Win 7, and have decided to finally give up on microsoft for many many reasons. Here’s one: some of their Office programs (such as Powerpoint) have flaws that they know about but don’t seem to know how to fix, so they throw it open to the “microsoft community” forums to see if other users/consumers have figured out a solution, but they rarely do. The forum problems are supposedly ‘checked’ and commented on by micro-employees but you rarely see that too. Gates just disappoints me on every level, he may have been an adequate engineer but his company is very lousy at follow-up customer service. And for all the many people working there, they continue to release programs with flaws that may or may not be eventually solved, but you can bet those flaws are targeted and exploited with viruses etc by bad guys. Having said all that, I saw a demo of Win 10 and wasn’t impressed. I’m going to a Mac laptop, which may not be any better, but I happened to receive a gift certificate that I have to use, so I’m looking at various years of models. I’ve looked at reviews online, but they’re all over the map, everyone has different needs & expectations (which I guess is why the Dell concept worked). As a journalist, I only need a basic reliable machine, nothing fancy, I’m not a gamer, don’t need high-speed streaming (no time for netflix, etc). I’ll always have it plugged in, so as long as it doesn’t overheat, I’ll be happy. The odd time I need to use it on battery power, I don’t want it to overheat or explode. There should be several ports. It has to be a new machine, so maybe (like buying a car) I should be looking at end of the line models just prior to new models being released? Any suggestions? Things/features to watch for? Warnings? Pros & Cons? Any comments would be appreciated, thanks.
March 23, 2017 at 9:54 pm #103915
From what you describe, a Macbook Air might be a good deal. It is the cheapest and it does what it has to do very well. It is easy to carry and light. You need to check for ports but I think it has more than the newest models. It is a bit dated and some would say it is not great hardware compared to the latest models, but it does what you want fine I think, which is very basic in terms of power needed. The best thing might be to try them at the store. What I don’t like about the Air that might or might not annoy you is the small screen and the low resolution of the screen, which means less work seen on Word or Excel on one page on the screen vs another model. Same for web browsing. I suggest again to try models at the Apple store side by side. Check some pages you like on the Internet on different models, open Word and try to see how much of a document you see at a time. If you are fine with that, then don’t waste your money on a more expensive model as your needs won’t make your computer slower over time and you will probably ditch the computer when its hardware dies and not because you can’t type in it no more. Plus, with the money saved, if you ever want to change it, you will be able to afford a new basic and better basic model sooner than if you buy an expensive one.
If you want something with more resolution, maybe the cheapest Macbook Pro with no stupid touch bar but high resolution display would be an improvement. Make sure text is big enough for you to read comfortably too. You need to verify for the ports as I didn’t look at that for the refreshed models, but last year pros had ports and were still good. Skip the 12 inches Mac as it does have only one port. I know the new Macbook pros lack some things from previous generations like sd card reader which photographers might enjoy.
I really suggest you go to Apple store in person as screen real estate might be the criteria you should look for more than anything else and balance that with price. People working at the Apple store can be very helpful to pick, at least in my country and they don’t try to upsell you. I see the Macbook Air every day and I don’t notice its limitations with the over the shoulder experience I have with it. Of course, if I had to do my huge Excel files on it, I would go crazy, but that is true for me with almost all mainstream laptops with no high-res display. 10 years ago I was always buying Dell laptops with 1920×1200 resolutions, which was always a custom pick and I kept those laptops about 8 years. Find something you like for the thing you do and you will be happy.
March 24, 2017 at 1:19 pm #104056
Thank you very much, AlexEiffel, your suggestions are much appreciated, your advice is logical. Just what I need! And Woody, thanks for your forums, they have a wide range of info & observations!
March 19, 2017 at 10:28 pm #102697
I started out with the Microsoft operating system back in the early 1980s DOS days. I stuck with it despite lots of BSODs in XP. I’ve been quite satisfied with Windows 7. But now, with Windows 7’s days numbered, I recently purchased a MacBook — I didn’t like the high cost, but I’m happy with the machine. Why did I make the jump? Here’s why.
1. I got tired of Microsoft’s increasing snooping.
2. I got tired of Microsoft’s botched patches.
3. I got tired of hearing about Microsoft’s planting advertising on Windows 10 computers.
4. I got tired of worrying about viruses and malware on Windows machines.
5. I lost my trust in Microsoft.
March 19, 2017 at 10:30 pm #102704
I build my own desktop PCs, which are able to do things that Macs cannot easily do (e.g., copy CDs from one built-in drive to another). And some PC software (e.g., Quicken 2010) is far superior to what is available for the Mac (Quicken 2017 for the Mac is a pale imitation). So, when push eventually comes to shove, and Windows 7 updates have ceased to be, I’ll keep a Windows 7 machine going offline for the above-mentioned tasks, and use a Mac for my other computer needs.
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March 19, 2017 at 11:53 pm #102715
After all the news coming out this week about increased advertising and pushing updates through metered connections in Windows 10, I decided to bite the bullet and install Linux Mint on my primary laptop. Windows 10 has been demoted to VM with no internet access. I’m tired of having to fight this so-called OS week after week.
March 20, 2017 at 12:25 am #102717
Since some share their story and it is interesting, here’s mine.
Lucky 6 year old. Dad not rich but spent 2-3000$ on a computer because he is curious about that and thinks it is going to be huge. He don’t really use it but he shows me how it works. I start to program basic on a TRS-80. I love computers. I am the best at video games, because nobody else plays them.
Few years later, same dad not richer and not a spender generally but with a good sense of priorities (at least from my point of view at the time) buys an Amiga for same weird reason that he thinks it is important to have a computer, but I am the only one using it. Wow. My friends PCs have 4 colors and beeps while my computer has 256 colors I think and much better sound. There is even a real multitasking OS called the workbench. Played so many great games on this machine. Tried to decipher machine code by looking at the content of the compiled version. I am very puzzled by the arcane art of programming How do you become able to understand those symbols? Sometimes i see some readable text and I change my high score using an hex editor. Lots of free time, eh? I come across a database software and read the manual then create databases because I find it interesting. Why, oh why? I discover you can use a tracing function to transform that ugly bitmap you made into a beautiful drawing. Now it looks like I can draw. Thanks to my dad, I had lots of things to satisfy my natural curiosity and to spend my motivation on.
I spend way too much time on this machine. I don’t want to become an IT person because I don’t want to be stuck in front of a screen all my life and wear glasses that weight even more than the ones I have.
First PC early 90s. DOS, windows 3.1, university in computer science. Internet is not known but I have it at school and at home. Wow. I can’t believe I can chat with someone on the other side of the world. Pc games are not as fun or artistic, but some are. I tweak, I tweak, I break things because i do unconventional things too much to extract every free memory I can even if the max anyone will ever need is 640k. The PC is a playground. Learn 3D drawing and renders an image for an hour to pretend again I am good at drawing. Failed artist but nobody knows.
95, I wonder how inefficient I will become slowly clicking many times to browse folders. I have a permanent command line open, just like on my Unix station at school. I get used to it. Never disliked it, but wasn’t that comfortable at first. Doom is slower on 95 than DOS.
Security is definitely not a priority then. At school, anybody can pipe a text output to any other screen. Also, when you want to talk to someone, you type something like talk person-name and then it initiates a chat window session if you type back talk or something. So I have this idea to copy the initial talk session and pipe the output to two unsuspecting naïve colleagues screen, making each other think the other wants to talk to him. Watching them shout at each other about why they initate chat if they don’t want to talk is hilarious. Did you know you could also remotely change the desktop background of someone else screen at the time? Mix that with weird newsgroups and you end up with TAs in shock during a presentation to the class.
Later, I teach at college for fun, we have 98 stations. Big fail for the IT people because they try to control students with a third party software and that doesn’t work that well. I love 98 at home although I find IE integration so bad. Use Netscape and then Firefox but only IE for Windows updates, never used IE regularly and never will. Easy to install 95 or 98, easy to tweak, not that easy to manage drivers and avoid blue screens, but 98 is pretty good.
XP arrives. So slow because the laptops we have at the college don’t have enough memory. We get upgraded a year later, now that is nice. Also no more need for control software, XP has everything baked in and it works very well now. At work (not the same job, another one where I manage PCs), it takes 2-3 hours max to install a nice clean PC. Not many blue screens, that OS is solid, simple, clean, professional, despite the deceiptful teletubbies background and toyish button.
Got Vista after a few months it was out. Got a shock. 3 days to get around it and find where things have gone. So much heavier than Xp on everything, including storage. How could they need so many MBs for an OS? Still don’t understand why they created a network center and hid the network card so far. End up disabling many things, many services, didn’t made the mistake of installing it on an old machine. Oh those 12 PCs I bought a year ago that I bought more fancy to be ready for Vista, well forget it, they will end their life on XP many years later, they are great for Xp but not for Vista. My Vista PC is great once tuned but oh that was long. I write a procedure and give it to someone so I don’t have to do that in the future. It is starting to get very long to install a computer, many hours, but at least it is a one time thing. I don’t need to reinstall or retweak, maybe because I set them very locked up. Then we focus on development, not maintenance.
7 arrives. similar to Vista, better in some ways, less in others, not that different than my tweaked Vista in fact, just a bit slower to load some apps due to less agressive superfetch and that d*** launcher I hate so much with the not clear at all taskbar buttons that can’t tell you clearly which window is active. Still, a great OS that is still my main OS, but I have to run it on the disconcertingly uglier than 95 classic theme or else I get angry.
Win 8 is so puzzling I have to write a whole new huge install procedure and spend many hours fixing it so people don’t notice they are on 8 at work and tell me how bad I am to have installed it to them. In fact, i skipped 8 and went straight 8.1. 8 was unusable, really. Coming from someone who liked Vista despite its flaws. Still, 8.1 tweaked is very good, better than 7 in many ways. My users are happy.
Win 10 appears and I end up doing what I promised myself I would do someday because I see the future and it looks bad. Explore the Gpedit settings, find the registry settings of many otions in the GUI and create some kind of auto-tweaker as there is no way I can easily manage computers as easily as I could before no more. Now I hope it won’t be too hard to keep up with the changes, adjust the tweaker and push those things after each update to all the autonomous and not necessarily related stations I manage for others.
Consider options, scared, sad I might loose Windows that I love so much. Learning CentOS because I will need it for servers anyway, then I will see if I will have to switch to a Mac or Linux with a Windows VM in it. The good thing about a Windows VM is you can use it offline by not providing any type of connection, so it can maybe not be unreasonable for some to later run unpatched Win 7 and Office if it is for their own documents and they keep the exchange with the outside world minimal. Browsing, email, not in Windows.
For my users, maybe, later it could be Mac. That would be the most logical choice if it gets too bad. We’ll see. I still hope that when businesses faces 2020 and they try Windows 10 for a year, things could happen.
March 20, 2017 at 12:36 am #102718
Bill C.AskWoody Lounger
This is a very entertaining and interesting thread. I found many points upon which to agree either partially and totally. That means I agree with many sides of the fences. That is because a have a bit of experience in certain parts of what many have said.
Here is my experience with Win10. Over the past three month I have been using Win10 (with Stardock, a Win7-look desktop) on an organizational laptop for specific graphics tasks. This laptop has a fast Intel i7 CPU with lots of RAM and a fast HDD. It was purchased with Win8.1 installed. The administrator put Stardock on to enable the Win8 haters and those who used Win7 at home and work to adapt quickly. Over its life he then let it “upgrade” to Win10. I do not know if the Stardock was reinstalled or just left on.
My take after these months with Win10 is based upon its reliability and usability. Both are compromised by the OS “features” and by WaaS.
I was asked to finish some ongoing graphics work using the laptop. I only found out after a yes, that during a special event the week before, the laptop became unusable when Win10 decided it would perform a major Win10 version upgrade. The person using it (a non-technical, no-Win10 user) was frozen out and eventually at the end of the day had to just shut down to pack up. Since it was the end of the day, he just shut the lid and put it away as no one in the organization except the admin (who had left) knew Win10.
When I got it the next week, after I was told what had happened, I decided to try and see if it would boot. Nothing. I then plugged it in and let the totally dead battery recharge. I then connected it to a wired network cord. I did not let it join the network via the router, but it would be able to access the internet to complete the update. I then prayed as I pushed the start button. It booted, but went immediately to a screen saying updating had been interrupted and it was a resuming a system update. Fortunately it finished and then after I logged in found it to be working.
First off I found many dead start menu items. Many were left over from Win8.1 features that were killed by the Win10 “upgrade”, while others were from OEM installed software (largely bloat) that would not work on Win10. Fortunately it was never used or not needed (or even wanted). If it were my laptop the bloatware would have been history on day 1.
I then decided to see what the Win10 was like. It seemed fast and snappy. The Stardock made the desktop OK (no Metro tile garbage), but was not Win7. However it then popped up ‘updates are available’ before I could even check if all the OS software was up to date and to modify some settings. I let it update and restarted my touring. I had to resort to Cortana as nothing was easily found. Was this due to the Stardock, or it being originally a Win8.1 laptop, or a ‘feature’ of Win10, I do not know. I find the absence of the traditional Control Panel and the diaspora of settings to be very undesirable.
I then started to do the project. Since I did not want to permit the laptop to connect to my wireless network, I turned off the wireless. I also unplugged the Ethernet cable. I finished the project, but am left with some take-aways.
First, I have to confess I do not really like laptops due to the keyboards and touchpads, especially those with chicklet keys and the small screens. I often used my work laptop with a full size USB keyboard and a large mouse when serious typing was needed. For graphics and photo work I consider 27” the minimum, and once you edit Word or Powerpoint documents with 2 pages side by side or view a large spreadsheet you would agree, especially if your monitor can be used rotated to the vertical.
But on to Win10.
1. I find the hiding/dispersal/obscuring, etc., whatever you call it, of settings to be very irritating. It creates a learning curve for the sake of creating a learning curve, not promoting efficiency. .
2. The lack of control of updates is an operational vulnerability, if you want to remain connected to online.
3. A PC/laptop is NOT A PHONE!
4. Edge is worthless.
5. It had Chrome setup as the default browser. Not my cup of tea, fortunately it also had Firefox and I managed to root out IE.
6. Why does MS insist on default hiding of file extensions? Stupid, stupid, STUPID!!!, especially In an OS that is touted as so secure. Maybe it is just that they are saying, Trust me. Uh NO!
7. I miss “pin to taskbar” of Win 7.
8. I find the ‘look’ of Win10 to be too simplistic and ‘cute’.
1. During my short time, I did not encounter any version to version glitches or the removal of features from one version to another. When it does the newest version, we will see.
2. I did find some settings did not take and had to be reset at each login.
3. Always, always, always do a clean upgrade. Upgrades in place are not efficient.
1. Limited ability to personalize.
2. Too often the CPU or disk appeared to be churning. Spying? It did slow graphics a bit.
3. It is clearly a advertising platform (not a big issue given the majority of time was offline to prevent updating and the admin put on adblockers, etc.), but it is there.
5. Mini-Borg OS
– Would I pay money for Win10? No.
– Would I take it free? NO!
– Would I pay money for a no-spy/no-advertising version with update controls? Yes. It would be a BIG yes if it had a LTS (long term service) version for the home user like many Linux distros..
– Would I move to a Mac? No, too expensive for what you get with middling hardware and limited hardware configurations. I do like how it looks though.
– Would I move to MacOS if Apple made it available? Probably a yes, as I like to build my own PCs. I am impressed with iOS on my phone (as a phone or tablet OS).
– Would I go Android? Probably not, as it is not a desktop OS and Google.
– Linux? Already using it on 3 machines and getting ready for a Kaby Lake build of a Linux box. I want the PCIe lanes for M.2 SSD and DDR4 memory and a fast GPU.
There you have it.
March 20, 2017 at 2:16 am #102728
I started on a Timex Sinclair moved to a Commadore64, then to a lot of things along the way even my own PDP 11/70 running unix ( certainly was not portable! but it was free)…..well like many others XP was wonderful, had issues with Win7 but figured how to make it do what I wanted. once the advertising began and snooping issues, that was it. The things that really did it for me with MS was the loss of trust and lack of control ( like what updates i want to do and when).
A friend loaned me a Mac Book something or other for a while…….I just did not like it….but I tried for several weeks..really tried. Between cost ( I feel it is way overpriced, however if It worked….) and I did not like the way it functioned for me. Well…..finally I went to Linux, tried lots of distros on an older laptop as an experiment. Settled on Mint XFCE ,not bad….yes it has its issues, but at least I am in control.
True Linux does not have all the software, but neither does Mac, I have some software that ONLY runs on Win….and no VM did not work, geez I tried…..so I triple boot on my machine now. Win7 for the stuff I cannot do in Linux, and Linux Mint for my stable work area and Manjaro for by bleeding edge experiments. Win7 is now group never update (after 10/2016), it never goes online so no biggie, just like my Xp machine that still runs some of my equipment, and yes I still have a DOS machine. the 11/70 is gone……..
I figured it was time to get out ahead of the expiration date just in case I had to fall back to Win7 for a while longer while I make something else functional. Oh well I keep checking here and hope for a miracle.
Good Luck to Everyone
March 20, 2017 at 5:40 am #102736
If Win 7 stayed around and was supported forever, I’d have no reason to change as long as my PC worked. My uses for a PC are simple….email, web browsing, internet shopping, photo storage, and occasional word processing. But Win 7 won’t be around forever and my PC will eventually breakdown. I could look into a Chromebook, I suppose, but I am so pleased with my iPhone that my first choice to replace the PC would be an iMac. I like their look and everyone I know that has one loves it. Plus I’m not aware of Mac users going thru a monthly update hassle/nightmare as we do with Windows. I am getting very tired of that. But with Woody’s help it’s manageable.
March 20, 2017 at 5:43 am #102738
My uses for a PC are simple….email, web browsing, internet shopping, photo storage, and occasional word processing.
You can do that with basically any Linux distribution. If you want something similar to Windows, then try Mint Cinnamon.
March 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm #102858
lawd, please stop recommending linux mint to newbies.
“a distro based on a distro based on a distro” where the last distro (i.e. the mint guys) hold back security-updates for questionable reasons is not suited for newcomers.
those people should rather look into ubuntu with kde or mate (kubuntu/ubuntu-mate), which are official flavours, sparky linux or (if they’re into rolling releases) manjaroo.
if it’s just about cinnamon… you can install the DE onto any distro.
March 20, 2017 at 4:55 pm #102908
The Mint devs do not “hold back security updates for questionable reasons.”
They created a simple way for users to understand which updates have the highest propensity to destabilize the system and patch accordingly. Updates are not held back! A small minority of them are marked with a 4 or 5, indicating high potential to cause instability. These updates are, by default, delayed until they’re determined to be stable, and this behavior is configurable. If you want the full Ubuntu patching routine (including the crashes and instability that are fairly common with Ubuntu), you can easily have that in Mint.
What Mint allows you is to find a comfortable balance between stability and security… Ubuntu has no such mechanism.
Linux is already far safer than Windows in terms of security, since nearly all malware is written for Windows, so even with Mint’s delays on a small portion of the updates, you’re still better off than with Windows. To wit:
Linux updates are pushed out the hour they’re finished, while Microsoft sits on them up to a whole month while they bundle them with other, unrelated updates and wait for Patch Tuesday. Even the ones “held back” by Mint clearly show up in the updater, and you can tick the box to install each of them if that is your wish.
On top of that, one of the big reasons we’re here at AskWoody.com is to use his advice to (yes) delay installing Windows security patches until they’re determined to be stable– only now our patches are bundled with other, unrelated updates, so if any one of the individual updates within the rollup is unstable, we end up skipping the entire thing. We can’t skip just the errant update that triggers the issues… we have to skip the entire patch for the month and wait for MS to fix it.
March 20, 2017 at 5:11 pm #102915
Agreed! Linux Mint devs are only doing what askwoody is to Windows patches, which in my book, goes a long way for system stability and security.
It’s purely personal choice whether one wishes to accept level 4 or level 5 updates in Linux Mint.
- No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created IT - AE
March 29, 2017 at 9:00 am #105134
What AskWoody does for Windows is not applicable to Linux security updates. Linux devs are very open about exactly what is in each update, and what it does and what it blocks (if anything). Users can decide what to do based on detailed info and crash and bug reports if we so choose. And no update is forced on us. So we the end users have a basis to decide which updates to apply and which ones to risk skipping or delaying. There is therefore no need whatsoever for the Mint Devs to autocratically refuse to apply some security updates in a timely way. These updates are not automatic if the end user feels comfortable picking and choosing. At least they aren’t automatic in Ubuntu — don’t know about Mint’s updating machinery.
With Windows, it’s all or nothing. And Microsoft rarely gives sufficient details to allow end users to decide which updatesto apply and which ones to defer. That’s why I use and pay for AskWoody and other sites which guide us through Microsoft Updates and other patching.
Linux and Windows are very different animals when it comes to patching. And they support very different end user options.
-- rc primak
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by rc primak.
March 20, 2017 at 5:44 pm #102921
Linux may be a reasonable Windows or OS X replacement for general computer use for the sort of person likely to be frequenting a site like AskWoody, but it isn’t a suitable replacement for the average desktop or laptop user. If I wasn’t a gamer I’d personally consider it as a replacement for Win 7 when that day comes, but I’m a lifelong computer geek and multi-decade IT pro. For my non-technical friends and family, I wouldn’t dream of recommending it. Linux is just never going to be as easy and consistent for an average user as Windows or OS X is, at least until some number of years after an organization with the resources of a Microsoft, Google, or Apple decides to make it so. And given the declining market share of traditional desktop/laptop computers, the odds of a big company doing that are vanishingly small.
When the eventual day comes that convertible or dockable mobile devices and associated hardware and software get good enough to take over the lion’s share of the consumer desktop/laptop market, I’ll change my tune. Linux, probably in the form of Android, will by that time likely become something I could recommend, at least to the giant majority of people who care little enough about privacy that they’ve already sold their souls to the likes of Google and Facebook. Until then, I’ll just say no.
March 29, 2017 at 12:00 pm #105155
I have found Xubuntu and Ubuntu Linux to be very easy to use.
Software: Just about all of the software I have installed has been easy to find and easy to install. Only a couple of programs have required me to type stuff on the command line. On the negative side, there are some things which are challenging to find, such as full-image backup software.
Devices: Ubuntu found my wifi adapter all by itself, asked for my password, and I was online. Same for my wireless printer. Xubuntu found my printer, but by the time I moved to Xubuntu, I was connected via an Ethernet cable, not wifi. On the negative side, I can’t get my scanner to work.
Interface: Xubuntu’s interface is a lot like Windows.
In short, I think that if you are a basic Windows user, not doing anything exotic, you will find Xubuntu very easy to use for just about all of your daily tasks.
March 20, 2017 at 5:10 pm #102910
Historically speaking, there was a large consumer migration from Windows to Mac in the mid- to late-2000s, and there were two primary reasons for it: fashion and utility. Apple managed to achieve a ‘perfect storm’ of sorts with the iPod, iMac G4, and MacBook. By focusing on design and usability of both hardware and software they became cool and fashionable, as well as being better than PCs in some real, measurable ways. (For individuals, anyway. They never made any serious attempt to compete with Microsoft in the manageability and compatibility areas that were critical for medium size and larger businesses.)
I worked in IT at a small, private college during those years. When I first began working there in ’03 our student population was around 15% Mac. Among faculty Macs were universal in Art and dominant in Music, but almost completely absent in other departments. (Staff of course were all PC; they weren’t given a choice.) But once Apple got a foothold in people’s minds, primarily with the iPod for students and the MacBook for faculty, that changed unbelievably quickly. Within five years our student body was over 90% Mac and around 40% of the faculty outside Art and Music had switched as well. There had even been a complete switch to Macs among the senior staff (the president, VP, treasurer, deans, etc.).
As I said, it wasn’t just because Macs became ‘cool’. Their hardware was more appealing, especially for laptops. OS X was in many ways more user friendly than Windows (remember, these were the years when XP was starting to get a bit long in the tooth and Vista was mired in the Longhorn reset and then finally released as, well, Vista). Apple’s focus on UI meant that OS X was often easier for casual users, and both Apple and third party developers stuck to the interface guidelines more often than MS or third parties did for Windows applications, so the entire user experience with OS X was more consistent (and thus easier for non-technically-oriented users).
And yes, Macs were indeed ‘safer’ during those years as well. OS X was more current and updated more often than XP, and was thus probably had fewer security holes. But more to the point the malware community was focused almost exclusively on Windows. The near monopoly Windows had in both business and the lower end of the consumer space (where Apple deliberately chose not to compete) meant that Windows’ share of the overall market remained absolutely dominant. No real surprise that the people writing malware chose to attack 80% of the potential targets.
Of course OS X was not perfect, either technically or culturally. But overall Apple managed to create an ecosystem that was simply more appealing than Windows for many, if not most, individuals. Try to remember that if you’re reading this you and your friends and colleagues are almost certainly not average users.
So that’s the history. Today is a bit different. If nothing else, most of the people who were going to switch from Windows to Mac have already done so, but the Windows world has also address some of its shortcomings. Windows 7 caught up to many if not most of the advantages OS X enjoyed, both real and perceived. The dominance of Macs in the mid and high end of the consumer space eventually drew the attention of a noticeable fraction of malware development. And while Microsoft has fumbled badly in some ways (such as trying to force touch interface conventions on mouse/keyboard users in Windows 8) and more or less fatally in others (Windows Mobile, anyone?), Apple has suffered their share of missteps in recent years as well. Not to mention that, as others have pointed out, they’re fighting for a declining market.
I’m certainly not saying that desktops and laptops are dying. The needs of users creating content (even content as simple as documents) are just not well met by the small screens and touch interfaces of mobile devices. But a large segment of the consumer market doesn’t care about creating anything more than the most lightly-edited photos, videos, and social media posts. For them, a mobile device is sufficient and even desirable. It’s sad that MS bungled mobile so badly. The Metro/Modern interface was attractive and very usable for the small touch screens of tablets and phones. Certainly nicer than Android at the time, and it could probably have given iOS a run for its money if it hadn’t been so late to the game.
But late it was, and with MS having basically ceded the mobile market I’m not sure the original question is really relevant anymore. Is anyone still leaving Windows PCs for Macs? Or are they really just leaving desktops/laptops for mobile, and then getting a Mac if they chose iOS over Android and end up feeling the need to buy a new desktop or laptop at all?
March 21, 2017 at 2:28 am #102990
You raise some interesting points. I know of two people who have just turned their computers off and gone to iPhones. What MS doesn’t get is that the majority of users worldwide can get along nicely with either Android or iPhone, (if they can afford those). The other thing is, one of them no longer needed the huge bandwith, either.
March 21, 2017 at 8:52 am #103035
Anonymous, I think MS gets that very well. It’s why we’ve gotten two Windows versions in a row that have Windows stores, apps, and other features usually found on phones. It’s why MS is “Cloud first, mobile first” now. It’s a desperate attempt to try to overcome the chicken-or-egg problem that is blocking their entry into the smartphone market as a credible competitor. If MS can convince app devs that the millions of desktop PCs out there that can also run apps are a market for Windows Store (phone) apps, maybe then MS get a decent enough Windows store to start selling some phones.
The abusive treatment that non-enterprise desktop Windows users have received since the start of the Windows 10 era is not a function of Microsoft failing to realize how easy it is for most of those users to move to mobile completely. I think it’s just the opposite– Microsoft has concluded that this is now inevitable, and that there’s no point in trying to please the home Windows customers. We haven’t been taken for granted; we’ve been written off. MS might as well use us for beta testing and other stuff like that, since we’re a “use it or lose it” asset anyway.
March 21, 2017 at 8:07 am #103028
But late it was, and with MS having basically ceded the mobile market I’m not sure the original question is really relevant anymore. Is anyone still leaving Windows PCs for Macs? Or are they really just leaving desktops/laptops for mobile, and then getting a Mac if they chose iOS over Android and end up feeling the need to buy a new desktop or laptop at all?
Yes, very much what I was trying to ask above as well.
I wonder if some might have switched from, say, PC computer to iPad tablet only to find the experience somewhat lacking for their needs, and are now considering something like an iMac.
And let’s not forget that Apple has recently built an iPad Pro.
March 21, 2017 at 10:21 am #103039
To me, an Ipad Pro is just a faster Ipad. It is not qualitatively different than an Ipad. You don’t have a mouse with it, you won’t be better at doing some type of work than on an Ipad where the desktop PC is better. You will likely be less efficient, but it might not make a huge difference if you are not a power user anyway.
It might be nice for someone who wants a bigger screen than the regular Ipad, paired with outside keyboard and where you mostly type letters and emails. What I miss from my Ipad is a keyboard, but then when I use my Ipad, I am often not in a position where it would be comfortable to use a keyboard. It is the advantage and the drawback of the Ipad. I can use it everywhere. I could buy a keyboard to go with it, in fact I have one, but I don’t use it, because I will use the desktop if I am not in a position where the Ipad is the fastest and best way to go.
I don’t know about Creative Work with the stylus so I won’t comment on that, but for general computing, it is limited. File management is way too annoying for me. It find it could be good for working on the go, saving some documents to the cloud, but I would still want a desktop to manage these things later. Maybe a lot of people would be satisfied with that and it is fine, but it is not different than a regular Ipad except for the size. Speed of CPU is not really an issue for the type of work people generally do on the Ipad and time will make that question obsolete for most anyway.
I love the Ipad, but I find the Pro versions way too expensive for the perceived benefits.
March 21, 2017 at 8:06 am #103027
For my non-technical friends and family, I wouldn’t dream of recommending it. Linux is just never going to be as easy and consistent for an average user as Windows or OS X is, at least until some number of years after an organization with the resources of a Microsoft, Google, or Apple decides to make it so.
I agree that Linux is not a gaming platform. But Linux Mint is now easy and consistent. I would definitely recommend it to an average user, especially one that lives online mostly in their browser and email. Use the cloud for docs and you’re all good. Or use Libre Office.
March 21, 2017 at 10:26 am #103038
You know, I considered switching to Mac at one point; long ago, I was an Apple Certified Technician. Microsoft has gotten me more than annoyed as an IT professional, enough to make me almost forget the things that Apple has done on their part. Different things mind, you, but annoying nonetheless.
But recently, I’ve been looking at Apple hardware. Large percentages of it now have RAM that can’t be upgraded. Ever see a computer for $1,200 with 8GB of RAM or storage you can’t upgrade? So you have to spend another $500 through Apple, or you won’t get the RAM or storage you want? Yeah, I find that frustrating. To me, it’s like buying a BMW and finding that at 20,000 miles you have to buy brand new tires because they use special sealed tires you can’t add air to, you just have to buy new ones. I still see Apple as having a continued attitude over the years of me asking “How do I do this?” and getting a response of “Why would you want to?” (note, this was actually a response in the mid-90s during the beige era from some support techs in Cupertino). As if the product was made only to do the things they wanted me to do, in the way they wanted me to do it.
March 21, 2017 at 4:23 pm #103161
I agree with you, but to me, I don’t find that it is that important for most users. The mac options generally covers most scenarios normal users will have during the lifetime of the product. I managed tons of PCs over the year and very rarely upgraded them as I never bought minimal specs computers in the first place. To me, having computers installed once and lasting 8 years fine was more profitable, but of course, some users need more frequent improvements. Still, I rarely felt the need to upgrade a component. Usually, need for upgrade would signal end of life. Gaming is different but it is not Mac market anyway.
In the PC world, you can buy today computers that are not that much better in terms of global normal user experience than many computers bought 6 years ago and if you are not careful, you might even end up with a worse computer.
March 21, 2017 at 7:35 pm #103196
To each his own, of course, but this certainly doesn’t describe me!
Take my laptop, for example. It’s an Asus F8Sp, or it once was, late 2008 date of manufacture. It had a 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo, 3GB DDR2, 250GB WD HD (5400 RPM), Intel 4965AGN wifi, ATI HD3650 1GB GPU, and Windows Vista Home Premium x86.
Now it’s got a F8SN motherboard (identical to F8Sp, but with different BIOS, best I can tell), 2.6 GHz Core 2 Duo, 8GB DDR2, 1TB Samsung 850 Evo SSD, Atheros AR9382 AGN wifi, nVidia GT220M 1GB GPU, and Windows 8.1 Pro x64.
I didn’t upgrade it all at once, as you might expect. There were only two steps that were not relatively inexpensive ($50ish on down)… the RAM and the SSD. The cheapest was the Atheros wifi, which I got for 3 dollars (the Intel 4965AGN, fwiw, was always troublesome, and it seems that they never did release a decent driver for it before they EOL’d it); the most expensive was the SSD, which ran $229 (new, on a Black Friday sale).
The motherboard replacement wasn’t a planned upgrade. I was messing around with the BIOS, trying to see how I could modify it, and I took a chance I knew was a bad idea when I did it, and ended up bricking the old board. I still have it, in case I’m ever able to restore it.
For an 8 year old laptop, it holds its own! It runs Windows 8 quite well… it’s really quite responsive, and it does everything I ask of it quite well. It’s not a replacement for my desktop PC, but it wasn’t ever meant to be, even when I bought it new. It’s even usable for mild gaming at its native resolution (1280×800) and low detail settings. I could be on the road for an extended time, using only this laptop, and not feel deprived or limited by the lack of power. With its discrete GPU, it was never meant to have a long battery life, but that’s fine for how I use laptops; laptops are more portable desktop than tablets with keyboards to me.
If it wasn’t built to be upgraded as it was, the small (and slow) HDD and the limited RAM would have been serious limitations, and that would have been a shame… I despise the planned-obsolescence, throwaway society we live in, and I may have ended up replacing it rather than renewing it. I’m glad I was able to keep it relevant– I probably get more of a thrill out of using a PC this old with modern software than I should, but something about doing that really appeals to me.
Back when this laptop was new, I’d never heard of a non-upgradeable HDD, but some were easier to swap out than others (this laptop makes it very easy, as it does for the RAM/CPU/GPU/wifi). Now some newer laptops come with non-removable SSDs… I wouldn’t tolerate that! I swap out the SSD/HDD all the time when I am testing a new OS or other similar things. When I set 10 up on this PC, it was on the original HDD it came with, long since removed and set aside because it’s so slow and small. That 10 installation still on that HDD, and if I ever need to try something on 10, I just pop it in (it takes about a minute).
I’m writing about laptops specifically because they’re typically (and correctly) thought of as being less upgradeable than desktops. That’s part of the fun!
I’ve never had any laptop in which I haven’t at least upgraded the memory. I’ve never had a prebuilt desktop, so they’re upgraded just by virtue of being assembled, I think. Even so, I have upgraded each of my desktops so many times that I can’t answer you if you ask how many PCs I’ve had. What defines when it becomes a new PC?
I know I am far from the average user, but I’m okay with that. The ability to easily access all of the laptop’s important bits and swap them out is high on my list of requirements, as is the ability to fully disassemble it without encountering any glue. To heck with thin and light; give me thick and heavy if it means screws instead of glue and decent cooling (Apple’s Macbooks are reputed to run really, really hot). I can pick up and move a 2 inch thick, 5 pound laptop without a problem; it doesn’t need to be under an inch thick and weigh 2 pounds.
YMMV, as always!
March 21, 2017 at 10:06 pm #103223
That is great for you and I suspect it satisfies you on some level to do that also. There is something nice about breeding new life to an old machine if you enjoy the time spent doing it. But for most people, I don’t think they will swap the motherboard and spend lots of time tinkering with their computer, unless they are gamers on a budget, maybe. Even in business, extending the life of machines like that is not often a reasonable idea. It is often much simpler to buy a new one than trying to figure out which componenent broke when it is random intermittent issues, too. Sad, but when you pay someone to fix a computer, it quickly gets more expensive than replacing the whole thing with a brand new one.
I have never felt the need to upgrade a machine when not broken at work. Sometimes I gave an older machine to someone else and replaced it with a better one for the user that needed a faster one. And although I have been lucky and had some machines working forever, upgrading while keeping the old components ready to break hasn’t been a very appealing proposition. Sometimes, the power supply breaks a few weeks later and breaks the machine at the same time, sometimes it is a fan that stops working after too many years or the cpu paste dries and the machine overheat. When I see intermittent problems, it often means the machine will soon be unusable. Trying to convince a user it is ok to leave them with a machine that only blue screen a few times a week is a dangerous game.
I agree about the HD. This is important in laptops as it is a component that breaks and we replaced a few ones with SSDs over the years when they broke. It is a very easy upgrade, but more importantly the old mechanical HDs are a component that breaks faster than the rest of the computer and can be replaced easily.
I also agree the throwable and planned obsolescence are quite sad. That is certainly not a plus at Apple.
I used to be more like you carrying my XPS 17 inches everywhere and not caring for the bad battery life as I wanted a desktop replacement. Now, i enjoy a lot the thin and light new laptops with great battery. I might be getting old and I finally got tired of hurting my shoulder carrying that monster. The Ipad gave me a taste of great mobility and I wouldn’t go back.
March 22, 2017 at 5:25 am #103279
I really don’t move the laptop around that much, but I do use it all the time at home (I’m using it now to write this, for example). It’s nice to have the portability for the occasions that I do need something more portable than my desktop PC (which is just about anything). It’s more for when I’ll be visiting somewhere overnight or longer and I want to be able to do some computing while I am there, and not so much when I am out and about on a daily basis (which calls for a handheld more than a dedicated laptop, I think).
The trend toward laptops that have less (or no) upgrade potential is intertwined with the trend toward thin and light laptops, as the omission of SoDIMM slots, socketed CPUs, and removable batteries (among other similar design features) allows for thinner, lighter devices. I’m not opposed to thin and light per se, and all else being equal, I’d pick the more portable device. Therein lies the rub, of course– all else is rarely equal.
Of course, I am talking laptops here, and the iPad is not a laptop. I don’t know of any tablets that are upgradeable in the sense that my laptop is. It’s simply not realistic within the constraints of the physical package.
March 23, 2017 at 10:06 pm #103918
Oh I hear you! As much as I enjoy playing with those light laptops, I just ´borrow’ them since the last 2-3 years from people I will give them to later and never buy my real new laptop, because I never find that laptop that will not asks for so much compromises. The thin ones are great, but they are not the workstation I look for. I use my Ipad a lot on the go, but the thin laptop is fine for a few things.
Still, I must say the Ipad with retina made me rethink my conception of what a good screen is. I used to think that nothing less than 17 inches with 1920×1200 was good enough. The Ipad with its small size made me see it is much more about resolution and how it is used plus viewing distance than size. That is why I now think that great light laptop is possible, if not done yet.
March 21, 2017 at 10:34 am #103044
I think Microsoft might have the following plan, because they know they can’t go fast enough to transform Windows into something that it is not, a more “modern” OS in terms of security model and usability. Please don’t tell me Windows is so much better than the IOS, Chrome OS and Android, I understand that. But those new platform offers something that Windows doesn’t and it is something that is appealing to a large market: secure and safe worry-free computing, not too bloated appliance-type experience.
So the plan could be to slowly move all the “old” Windows into the new Windows interface, one control panel setting at a time. Add all the bells and whistles of other platforms, copying Siri and the likes. Make sure developers create more and more apps for this new world inside the old one. They need to keep the old world working because that is why Windows users are tied to Windows. Once everything is moved in this new layer of cake, Microsoft could change everything under and nobody would notice. If they have done their job well, they could run their new environment under something else, simpler, with less legacy code, in a stricter environment. Then they could compete on security for the average joe.
One problem with Windows is the compatibility they must maintain so all their devices work together, old or new. For the home user, it doesn’t make sense. Having only one version of Windows could help in this regard, making sure you don’t carry legacy insecure or bloated stuff for too long.
The problem with this plan is I think the amount of work to get there is gigantic, plus they are too optimistic about the capabilities of the new platform. I think they will have a very hard time getting rid of the desktop, especially since they will have to support a transition for businesses for a very long time and the desktop managed by IT pros in big enterprises will always be good enough and the desktop apps will continue to be better than the new apps. They should have two Windows, one more secure out of the box and for basic work or work on the go, but they will need to still support the desktop well enough. Think about how Office should in theory have been a universal app since they got the idea in Windows 8. It is not looking that easy to best the real Office, years later.
Windows cloud could be a good complement to the desktop on a cheap hardware if there was a good integration between the two versions. If you could easily work on your phone, fixing a little bit of your Office document here, use your tablet to do a bit more and enjoy your desktop to do more, all not having to use the same interface but maintaining compatibility, it could be great, but by killing the desktop, you remove the thing that prevents people from not being tied to Microsoft anymore and in the new OS type, competitors do better and I think they will do better. Remove the legacy, make Office runs everywhere, why would you choose Microsoft today? For a lot of people, they are not the most user friendly. They are associated with complexity and not that seamless computing experience. With Windows 10 changing all the time, it will just get worse. It is the desktop apps that keeps them there.
- This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by AlexEiffel.
March 29, 2017 at 12:14 pm #105157
Please don’t tell me Windows is so much better than the IOS, Chrome OS and Android, I understand that. But those new platform offers something that Windows doesn’t and it is something that is appealing to a large market: secure and safe worry-free computing, not too bloated appliance-type experience.
I’m not sure what you (and others) mean when you say that Chrome and Android are “secure and safe worry-free computing”. Pretty much all of Google’s business model is based on harvesting as much info as they can from their users, then packaging and selling it.
So you may be safer with regard to non-Google entities, but not with regard to Google; your information is still being harvested. And that causes me to worry sufficiently so that I avoid Google whenever possible.
March 29, 2017 at 1:32 pm #105257
I’m really not sure I get all this “Google fear”.
Everybody is collecting and mining data now. Google is actually very upfront about what they are doing.
Unlike (cough…cough) Microsoft …
For my desktop PC, I admit that I use either StartPage or DuckDuckGo for most of my searches though. They don’t log search queries.
And I use OpenDNS instead of Google DNS, so my DNS requests aren’t logged on Google servers.
I use Google services, but do not stay logged in with my account via the browser, or use any sync features. I log in and log out as soon as I am finished with what I need.
I delete all tracking cookies daily.
But with Android, however, they probably do own ya! 🙂
March 29, 2017 at 1:40 pm #105260
The reason for my “Google fear” is because Google makes most if not all of their money by coming up with ever more ways of getting your data and then selling it. So if I use any Google product, I know that Google is monitoring what I do. In every way that they can. And likely in ways I haven’t thought of. And they aren’t going to stop, because that’s the way they make their money.
Like you, I use StartPage and DuckDuckGo. Also, I use MapQuest first; if I can’t find what I need there, I then go to Google Maps. In other words, I minimize my exposure to Google as much as I can.
Just because Google is very upfront about their data mining and collecting doesn’t mean I like it.
March 29, 2017 at 1:52 pm #105264
March 29, 2017 at 8:29 pm #105323
Just FYI, StartPage routes your search through Google’s search engine removing all identifying information, and returns the results in total privacy, like a proxy. Your IP address is never recorded, your visit is not logged, and there are no tracking cookies.
They claim that:
“StartPage, and its sister search engine Ixquick, are the only third-party certified search engines in the world that do not record your IP address or track your searches.
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by JohnW.
March 29, 2017 at 8:32 pm #105327
- You have a right to privacy.
- Your search data should never fall into the wrong hands.
- The only real solution is quickly deleting your data or not storing them to begin with.
- Since January 2009 we do not record our users’ IP addresses anymore.
- We were the first and only search engine to do so.
- Our initiative is receiving an overwhelmingly positive response
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by JohnW.
March 29, 2017 at 8:38 pm #105329
Bottom line is that I trust Google more than I trust Microsoft these days. Maybe that’s not saying a lot 🙂
March 29, 2017 at 2:44 pm #105268
Ok, sorry for the confusion.
Security is different from privacy, but I understand my sentence could bring confusion about the “worry free” aspect. I meant it only in the context of security. I trust Google’s security much more than other vendors. I think they are proactive and brilliant with security and probably some of the best people work there. I am not afraid of them like I am with many other companies. And although Apple are not that great at patching, they have created a security model that works quite well in practice, by taking smart decision about the design of their products and not just because as lot of people say, they are less popular. I bring the Iphone and Ipad as witnesses to the bar since those devices are very popular and still don’t ever provide the kind of issues that plague the Windows PC. That is what MS is now trying to emulate.
A lot of people don’t care that much about privacy. Some even think that companies like Google bring them value with targeted ads and they don’t think that Google will do really bad things with their personal data. There are different levels to that. It is one thing to sell ads based on what you know and selling what you now to third-parties, aggregated data vs personally identifiable data, etc. A lot of people are grateful to have quality products for free in exchange of getting their data used for marketing, under the assumption it won’t be exposed to the world directly and in a way they can be identified. Also, a lot of people still use Facebook and completely forgot about the beacon incident and other unfortunate early comments of its founder about privacy.
My comment was for a lot of normal folks who don’t care too much about privacy and mostly about security. A guy like Woody is a good example of someone who benefits from a Chromebook and think it outweights the privacy issues, and we are not even talking about a non power user!
However, I am personally concerned about my privacy, so I don’t use Chromebooks, Chrome or other Google services, so I agree completely it is not for everyone. I use IOS, but I am well-aware of its limitations in terms of privacy and I treat this device as if I was out in the public shouting to everyone. I also use it in a very limited way, as a nice addition to my desktop experience. Still, there are a lot of privacy controls and Apple are much more upfront and respectful than Microsoft, I find. And I’m not sure the Mac desktop is a data harvesting machine if you use Firefox on it, not sure it is part of the design of MacOs especially if you turn off the more Iphonesque features, don’t use the native Apple apps and you just run the OS, but I don’t know enough about them to say it is not doing some low-level spying.
For people like me, the old Microsoft was doing a much better job regarding my privacy. The new one certainly don’t qualify for a worry free experience in this regard. In the past, I would rather have to put up with less security upfront and adjust lots of things myself than sell my privacy. Now, you have to do both with Windows, it seems. Thus, for normal folks who don’t want or have the technical ability to deal with that to their satisfaction, it might not be an irrational choice to move to another platform to at least get rid of most of the security problems and at least remove one worry.
March 21, 2017 at 12:24 pm #103060
Although it is a bit premature to forecast whether W10 will prove to be a commercial failure, I would suggest that it represents the latest episode in a series of strategic blunders that emanated from Microsoft’s inability to come to grips with the growing presence of smart mobile devices running over wifi/cellular networks. MS always had the notion that it could force Windows onto any platform whether it was the most suitable solution or not for the hardware and form factor. In a device environment constrained by power consumption limitations due to current battery technology, RISC architecture had a natural advantage over the X86 instruction set and Intel bent themselves into pretzels trying to get X86 into mobile without success after incurring an estimated $4 billion plus in losses. Rather than recognizing that there was no natural reason to load the overhead of Windows onto a smartphone, MS instead spent $7 billion to vertically integrate into phone manufacture through the acquisition of Nokia. This was to bootstrap Windows into mobile with predictable disastrous results for MS.
The next stage of the mobile disease is in process now with W10 where desktop systems are deemed to be little different than a tablet or smartphone and should operate in the same manner as an Android device. I think the real world would suggests otherwise in that users use their desktop systems quite differently than their mobile devices. The homogenization of form and usage factors is illogical until one sees that it is driven by the need to draw developers to the UWP programming interface. It is a strategic desire to volunteer one user base as a substitute for having failed miserably in mobile thinking it is a new way to bootstrap mobile rather than just an additional strategic blunder. The best I see coming from this script is a muddled outcome where the legacy systems business is damaged while their mobile aspirations remain unfulfilled. Once going on with W10 in my opinion has become a poor attempt at making a desktop system behave like my Android smartphone. I for one am not amused by the continual nonsense that has ensued as a result of MS chasing the “unicorn” of universal convergence.
March 21, 2017 at 4:14 pm #103156
Wow. Please post more often. This is a great high level strategy analysis. Please get a disposable email and register if you don’t mind.
March 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm #103081
Most of what needs to be said has been said very well previously. I’d just like to add that I’ve been an MS person from the days of DOS. I’ve enjoyed Wins 95 & 98, and really like Win XP and Win 7! Having said that, and seeing the eos for Win 7 coming, I’ve been getting my feet wet with Linux Mint Cinnamon. It’s GUI is much like Win 7 and once you get used to some things that are a little different, it’s a nice little OS that handles most of what I want.
Although I’m experienced with using computers, I’m not a Tech or computer professional. If I can learn Linux Mint I’m fairly certain many other people can. I won’t stop using & liking Win 7, but to go on the Web it’s looking like it will be Linux.
March 22, 2017 at 9:23 am #103333
One thing to consider in favor of Apple is how they have avoided the effort to cram a desktop OS into a phone, or on the other hand, cram a touch screen phone OS into a desktop.
Another huge accomplishment made by Apple years ago was when they ditched their legacy Mac OS code and re-wrote the whole Mac OS X thing to run as a Unix like OS.
Maybe it’s time for Microsoft to re-think their strategy. Ditch the legacy NT kernel for a Unix like (or Linux) kernel, while keeping Windows GUI and application frameworks around as a desktop environment (and stop trying to make a Windows phone) 🙂
March 23, 2017 at 2:36 am #103560
March 23, 2017 at 1:47 am #103555
March 23, 2017 at 10:13 pm #103920
Alhough I wouldn’t say that phones are the same market as desktops. The thing is, a lot of people had PCs because that was the only option and it wasn’t the best for them. Laptops were expensive, too. Come the phone and its cost hidden in a monthly payment plan, why buy a computer?
For those who need a desktop, maybe we can discuss more Apple vs Windows. Chromebooks might be included in the discussion or not, depending on your defintition. I am not familiar enough with them, but if they can’t manage local files as good as on a desktop and it is cloud only, I am not sure we are talking about the same market again. Then the discussion would be why people ditch desktop computers for mobile or cloud centric devices and it is a very different question.
March 23, 2017 at 9:07 am #103615
Ditch the legacy NT kernel for a Unix like (or Linux) kernel, while keeping Windows GUI and application frameworks around as a desktop environment
What is it that you think is better about a Unix like (or Linux) kernel?
The tech behind the NT kernel is still more advanced from what I can see.
March 24, 2017 at 3:07 pm #104078
Not gonna touch that one. Nope. Nada. Newp. LOL!!! Good try, though 🙂
It’s not what I think that matters anyway.
March 23, 2017 at 4:01 pm #103839
This is a fine discussion with many thoughtful posts.
Maybe the future of computing is containerized and sandboxed applications as we are now seeing on the server side with Docker etc. Imagine if you could run a workload on any of a variety of OSs, not being at the mercy of one OS vendor that has lost its way.
March 23, 2017 at 7:32 pm #103888
Fascinating! I started more than fifty years ago converting IBM 407 applications to 1401/1460 and again to 360/370. Over the years I managed installations with barns full of mainframes, flocks of minicomputers and dumb terminals and, finally, huge herds of PCs and their servers. I paid my dues.
Two principles drove my decision to leave Microsoft for Apple about four months ago.
One is what I call the toaster rule. My computer is an appliance like a toaster and I want it to work the same way. Plug it in, bread in, toast out. No special skills or extraordinary effort required to get the d*** thing to work.
Then, with the advent of GWX I realized that Microsoft had become the single greatest threat to the security and integrity of my systems and the data stored there. The time had come to head for the exit.
But I have no dog in this hunt. Seems to me that folks oughta use the systems that work for them. Apple works for me.
March 24, 2017 at 1:38 pm #104058
If you like Apple stuff, enjoy it in good health, but do keep in mind that Apple has its own obsolescence problems. Newer OSs will go back only so far on their hardware, and ISVs tend to follow. Our Macs here at work are aging, and Chrome will no longer update. In addition to being fabulously expensive, hardware needs to be retired earlier if you’re staying current.
Another reason that Linux is an excellent choice. Use it like that toaster for a user who doesn’t want to go under the hood, or roll up your sleeves and have some fun. Best of all, keep older but OK hardware out of the waste stream.
March 24, 2017 at 3:28 pm #104083
The Macs do have an end of life built in.
My Dad went through a couple of Windows PCs, mostly used for online banking and email. He became so concerned about security that he was always cr*pping his system up with extra protection and then calling me when it wouldn’t start or go online.
I finally got him a Mac Mini to use for online banking, where security was important to him. The calls for help trickled way off, unless it was time for a Mac security update. Yup, they have those, too. But never ran into any issues with that. Plug and play.
Until recently. One day when he tried to access his bank account, he was flatly rejected, due to his browser (Safari) being end of life and no longer supported. No more updates were being issued by Apple for his version of Mac OS X.
It turns out that his Mac Mini which still worked fine, had reached it’s expiration date. The hardware would not support the latest Mac OS X, and was not an upgrade candidate either.
So I got him a ChromeBox (same as a ChromeBook without the screen) as a drop-in replacement for his Mac Mini. Soon it was up and running with hardly any effort. He lived in the browser anyway, so having a local file system wasn’t something he really cared about. No more calls for help, either 🙂
March 24, 2017 at 3:56 pm #104086
Yes, that is the kind of Mac obsolescence one can run into. Though I was surprised when I refreshed a vintage-2007 iMac a friend gave me a few months ago. I installed the latest OS that would run–Mountain Lion–and updated as far as it would go. Surprised because Firefox updated to the current version. I’m not sure it still would.
March 25, 2017 at 10:51 am #104282
You a right to point out Apple’s planned obsolescence as something to keep in mind. Apple is not going to patch an old IOS OS so you can keep using your old phone comfortably. They will issue a new IOS and if your phone is too slow to run it, too bad. If you don’t update, you get no security patches.
This used to be a bigger issues as the early devices were much slower than newer ones. I remember that the first Ipad quickly became good for nothing for someone who cares enough about security, which was sad since the hardware was still quite fresh when it became problematic to update in practice.
One way to deal with that is to buy the cheap but not too slow models and change more often, like the Iphone SE that was a very good deal if you didn’t mind the small screen. Yes, it is not the most planet friendly way of doing things, though. The new cheap Ipad or the older Air2 that is lighter and has anti-reflective coating are in this category. For the computers, I am not familiar enough with how quickly they prevent them from updating, but I think it is not as bad as before. Maybe someone here would know. It also depends a lot on your expectations. Some people buy a computer every 3-4 years and they buy cheap, or not, some like me buy a better one for as long as I can which can be 8-10 years. A Mac might not be the best choice for the very long run, but then again I am not sure Windows will be the best choice either considering the directions they are taking in the last two years. Another option could be to run Windows for a while and repurpose the computer on Linux later. That is what I will do with my expiring Vista. The computer still works fine and is plenty fast for many tasks so instead of throwing it away, I will use it to run Linux. One last thing to consider is maybe newer computers don’t last as long as before anyway. I used to have lots of very old computers and now I much more often see 4 years old laptops and computer have big hardware failures that just makes you want to buy a new one.
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