I Don’t Hate Microsoft, I Just Don’t Appreciate Windows


Ok, so here it is, plain and simple!

For anyone who knows the inner-workings of an operating system, especially Unix-based systems, versus anyone who knows the inner-workings of a Windows-based system. Both would agree that there is quite a clear difference in the way things are done in each system.

My latest realization:

Unix was built and developed by engineers for engineers; you can’t get a better foundation for a system than that, and anyone who has any experience with any such system will agree with me on that point.

Windows, on the other hand, was “produced”… exactly! It’s nothing but a product, a consumable commercial product that allows people to interact with computers and with each other, and it so happens that it ventures into the computing domain. But it was never built as an “Operating System”. I’m not trying to diss the company here, but I honestly believe that to get Windows off the ground and to get it running as a world-class operating system, Microsoft will have to rebuild it as an actual operating system.

In simpler terms, Unix is an operating system, Windows is a business software suite running at the hardware level.

N.B. Just for general knowledge and the general public, I would like to clarify that when I say Unix, this automatically entails all such systems that were created as offspring from it, i.e. Apple Mac, Linux and all its distro’s (Ubuntu, Fedora, Red Hat…), Solaris, FreeBSD, etc.

I don’t hate Microsoft, I just don’t believe in Windows.

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7 thoughts on “I Don’t Hate Microsoft, I Just Don’t Appreciate Windows

  1. Hello! This is my first visit to your blog!

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  2. “But it was never built as an “Operating System””

    What Windows are you talking about? From version 1.0 to 3.xx, you are right. Windows 9x/ME was built as a “temporary” Operating System, allowing you to run apps for MS-DOS, Windows 3.xx and WIN32 (what a confusion and most of its problems), allowing time for programs to be converted to WIN32. Then you have NT. Built from start as an Operating System. It has its share of problems and ideas that didn’t work well. But you can say the same about any OS.

    Linux started as a kernel. Then, they added GNU, to have an OS. On top of that, GUI with X/KDE/etc. BSD started as packages/utilities/etc for the OS UNIX and evolve to an independent Operating System, with various flavours. They all had ideas that worked very well, and others that just caused problems.

    Also UNIX is not by itself better. Otherwise why so many different implementations, most of the time, doing exactly the same in different Linux,BSD,UNIX-alike? One-size-does-not-fit-all!

    The list of wrongs with *nix are as long as with Windows.

    I like more FreeBSD, followed by Linux, than Windows. But I don’t microsoft or don’t appreciate Windows. It is an OS like any other: its UPs and DOWNs. I just like the way (most) things are done in *nix.

    Take Care!

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    1. Thanks Ricardo for that insightful overview, but I was actually aiming at taking more of a design philosophy point of view of the whole matter.

      And yes, I agree that Windows and *nix are all functional, and each have their downfalls, but the beauty of *nix is that it’s all based on the kernel and is mutable as OS to fit almost any scenario you can consider; in my opinion that makes for a true OS, hence the numerous flavors and distros. Windows on the other hand, has a hard enough time running on a netbook.

      All I’m saying is that if you put Windows on a business computer it will run well; but I hate the excessive demands and requirements that they incur on their network/domain infrastructure (out of the scope of this discussion). Then on a gaming platform, it will be decent (vs. gaming consoles whose OS’s are sometimes *nix-based)… and then any standard usage platform, it will be ok. But from a computer architecture point of view, you can, and you do, have a *nix-based OS run almost any sort of equipment that requires an OS.

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  3. Very true. And that level of control is similar to that
    excercised by Apple. In fact when it comes to maintaining an iron
    grip on interfaceablity, both companies have more in common than
    most people think, except that they excercise tha control
    differently. Whereas Microsoft does it through their cryptic OS
    (which, lest we forget, only recently managed to finally break away
    from the ancient MSDOS foundations on which it was based) Apple
    does it through the means of distribution — first by marrying
    their software (whether OS or apps) to their hardware, and then
    more recently by marrying it to the marketplace itself (App Store
    and forthcoming MacApp Store, which may not be as exclusive as the
    first but through its one-stop-shoppability will entice both
    consumers and developers to eventually abandon or at least veer
    away from other means of selling/acquiring Mac apps). But again I
    digress from the original point of your post. 🙂

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  4. Your sentiments mirror those of the Office for Mac team at Microsoft (I read a blog post by one of them somewhere).

    The problem is that the “OS as Product” mentality permeates the entire Microsoft product line. Think of the walled-garden that is Microsoft Office (which has become an ecosystem in and of itself, comparable to an OS in many ways) and how hard it is for developers to write even the simplest plugins for it, versus Adobe’s CS, Bridge, and Air ecosystem (and their simple if not quite open-source SDKs — Flash being the clear exception of course) and you’ll see why I can’t in all good conscience hate Windows without hating Microsoft itself.

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    1. “[T]he Office for Mac team at Microsoft”… that’s just classic… LoL!!!

      While I do agree with you, I urge you to look at it from the proper point of view. It’s not that Microsoft doesn’t want you to interface with their products, they just want you to interface with them using more of their “products” so-to-speak, i.e. through the use of VB. And so, even though I do agree with you on the fact that they don’t endorse the open-SDK mentality, they’re not fully closed off either.

      The problem however lies in that very specific fact; they want everything to be done their way and not the open community way. This is in clear contradiction to recent standard market trends, where companies such as Adobe (as you mentioned), make it extremely easy for you to take their product and integrate it with your own, rather than having to adapt your product to that of Microsoft.

      While this is a very viable point that you made, it does partially digress from the original issue, being that at the core of all this you have an operating system that was never meant to be an operating system. But then again, you really have to give it up to them for creating other powerful software APPLICATIONS. And I stress applications, because that is what they are actually good at, at the end of the day.

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