The Operating System Cage Match!

Friday! Friday! Friday!

Welcome to our strangely hexagonal ring! In this corner we’ve got the bane of cubicle dwellers, the honey to hackers, the over-bloated (now with a shiny new start button) Windows!

*The crowd would applaud were it not for that ctrl-alt-delete injury flaring up*

And in this corner, it’s shiny, it’s sleek, it knows what you really need better than you do, it’s Apple!

*crowd applauded back before you’d heard about the fight.*

And last and possibly least if you happened to compile it that way, the champion of true geeks, the networking powerhouse, iiiiiittttt’s Linux!

*crowd is too busy with the free (as in beer, not free as in freedom) coffee and donuts to applaud.*

Today’s minefield is the Operating System wars. But it’s not here, nope. Your minefield is in another castle.

6 thoughts on “The Operating System Cage Match!”

  1. Windows was the OS, back in the days of Windows 1.0, Windows 2.0, and Windows 286 (that was when CD’s first came out, for those that missed it), was always and foremost about making cheap software, about building your own — and about Microsoft leaving holes in the security, so they could tap in and market to you. That is a big reason that hackers chose to focus on Windows for viruses and things — MS irritated the wrong genre of geeks with retribution in their eyes, and there was this Windows thing just begging to showcase consequences Microsoft didn’t intend.

    The Macintosh was a closed system. For the first years, you had to buy, or find someone with, a Lisa computer to compile software for the Mac. That changed, but the Mac was always a limited platform for the gamers, the quick-and-dirty approaches.

    What I learned first, was that a PC was cheaper, and much easier to develop on. If you wanted folk to do their office work — get a Mac, it paid in time spent, on having the tools to do the work, and few distractions from their work.

    As far as I can tell — that still holds true. MS has invested a lot in fixing bugs and leaks, but never really got those retribution-minded geeks to relent. And the Mac is still a platform to make gamers and do-it-yourselfers cry, while competently, quietly, serving the business needs of America.

    If I want a computer for someone to do their work — Mac. Every time. If I want a computer to do anything I take a whim for, to game and do taxes, to write a script to remove extra ends-of-lines from an eBook — I will grab my PC.

    When listing the OS wars, don’t forget the alienation that is part and parcel of the Microsoft heritage. Don’t overlook Android as well as Linux, as platforms offering non-MS constraints, competence, focus, and security. Especially as MS clearly markets Windows 8.1 as heading in their intended platform, the tablet and smart phone, where users aren’t used to putting up with Microsoft’s foibles.

    1. Brad, I really want to try some of what you are smoking, it seems awesome!

      The money shot was probably “And the Mac is still a platform to make gamers and do-it-yourselfers cry, while competently, quietly, serving the business needs of America.
      If I want a computer for someone to do their work — Mac. Every time. ”

      You had it sold with making gamers and do-it-yourselfers cry. that part it dead on true. Quietly serving the business needs of America though is hilarious!

      Have you ever tried to support a Mac environment? If you have more than 2-300 of them its nearly impossible, the management tools (those that exist) are a joke, admin involvement is huge, and actual business support is nearly non existent.

      Mac has never chased the business market and it shows, they exist on being a lifestyle accessory, and its paid off for them in spades. They dont WANT to be in your office, they want to be what you use to escape your office.

      1. You are likely correct about support. MS targeted enterprises, as IBM did, and large government projects.

        I think, though, for an office setting, that the platform to choose for the office work, is the Mac, to make the best use of people without diverting them into having to know all about Windows, and the vagaries of internals, connections, etc.

  2. Leave all of the pretty tiles and pictures to those that can’t grasp how a computer works. I’ll keep my XP pro. I also quit supporting Apple when they quit supporting the IIe.. 😉

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