Roy Schestowitz

Review (Critique) of Windows


Commonly in the Westernised world people choose to use Windows as their primary operating system. Why is that? Is it that no rival can offer something that is better? Is Windows really the one best option for a home user? Does nothing fit businesses as much as Microsoft Office?

My answer to that question is that ignorance is to blame. An average user is relatively narrow-minded and refuses to try what is less conventional. Let us stop and think for a second. What platforms do developers and designers prefer? Many of them appear to like the Mac, designers in particular, and developers wish to be 'in control' so Linux is the most sensible choice. Are there inherent differences between the needs of a developer and the needs of a standard home users? Who is likely to know the better platform: the developers whose life is dedicated to computers or a customer who merely follows the trends of industry? These are points to ponder about.

Unfortunately, individuals who use the computer for the production of computer-presentable work are a mere minority. This means that no matter how much they preach, they will not be able to reach an audience large enough. Even the Palm and Linux advocation in UseNet and some technical mailing lists can only reach 'techies' so media controls the 'masses'. What appears sad to me is that a way of selling better IT tools to the crowds is to add a trendy side to them -- one that they can better relate to. More on this trail of thought will repeat itself later in these writings.

I would like to cover grounds that can be divided into a few 'themes':

  • Windows as a product
  • Windows and fashion
  • Windows as essentiality

Windows as a Product

Unlike most products that we can conceive, a software package bears unique attributes. First and foremost, it has no actual physical existence. It is merely the intellect needed to produce software which people pay for. This is a core issue because reproducibility of the product and duplication has no cost. It can also be mis-used quite easily (copyrights, patents, standard, etc. are terms that come to mind).

One has to face the fact that Windows was developed in a corporation which aims to make profits. Unlike some rivals, its interests and measure of success is the dollar and therefore its anatomy is designed to cater for income. Some points that relate to this issue: upgrades, add-ons, tools and suites, advertisements and control of user navigation. Google, by the way, are beginning to follow these footsteps.

Windows and Fashion

"But everyone is using Windows", is what you often hear. This means Windows becomes a type of a plague, a fashion. It is not more than the 'buzz' which leads people to embrace Windows as the sole choice for an operation system. Mac have been trying a similar strategy with a lower success rate. This can be seen rather clearly in recent 'campaigns' to sell iPods and the employment of most peculiar people to work in the company. Apparently Apple have realised that individuality and the courage to stray from Windows (as iconic as it has become). These are simply the traits common to the prospective customer.

Windows as essentiality

[I had a serious case of data loss which caused the omission of the remainder of this document]

This page is intended to be extended in the future.

Related Pages: Review of Palm

This page was last modified in December 2004, Manchester Airport Maintained by Roy Schestowitz