Gnomie Stefano writes:
- Windows made the GUI happen: Because Windows was the first GUI OS that would run on the widely spread IBM PC (the original one), a lot more people were running it. They didn’t want to buy new hardware and get the GUI experience. From the beginning on, masses were hooked on Windows.
- Windows is just there: Windows has been pre-installed on computers for years now. If you were to go to a store a few years ago, chances are there aren’t any Macs around. People who get into computers are selecting their computers almost randomly, and PCs with Windows on them have a huge edge in the statistical equation. Windows is implemented well — on people’s computers, you like to say it’s not the feature, it’s the implementation. You see my point.
- People don’t have experience with anything else: A lot of computer users come from a professional background, whether they’re secretaries or geologists, they will use computers at work. Chances are, most professions are not using Mac OS X. People just don’t know. If you think about it, a lot of people that deal with creativity in their job use Macs; a lot of people who work on enterprise scale server appliances use Linux at home because they have made the experience. The average user just does not get to use any other operating system.
- Windows is free: And I don’t mean free of charge — it certainly isn’t. But the price of Windows is well hidden, be it in your Dell bill or in the time you would’ve saved, or in the fun that you haven’t had. Windows is free from all those boundaries people who experiment with the Mac or Linux run into. When I used Linux for the very first time, as Jono Bacon, Ubuntu community manager, said so well: when you installed Linux in the old days, you needed a soldering iron and a very steady hand. I’ve gone through this because I’m a hardcore geek. A normal computer user wouldn’t.
- Microsoft means power, big time: Microsoft has the best sales people, the best lawyers, the most money, and the most tech-uneducated user base. If Linus Torvalds suddenly decided that the Linux kernel would from now on have a feature that controls the user experience in a way users wouldn’t want while providing a set of cool new features, people would rebel. They are tech-educated enough to know that they don’t have to put up with it. Of course Linus wouldn’t, but you get my point. Vista can come up with UAC and nobody complains. Vista can implement DRM deep in the guts of the operating system, and no one complains (maybe except for the EU, but that’s another story).
Vista clearly beats OS X and Linux by a long shot.
But beating someone doesn’t make you good.
I have to add that I’ve never used a Mac and I probably never will. I don’t like Apple locking the OS down, though I understand and appreciate why the company did it. Every time someone who’s not a geek asks me what kind of a computer they should buy, I recommend a Mac — I haven’t got any complaints yet. It’s not for me, but I’m glad it’s out there.
As for Vista: Just today someone told me about his problems with Vista. He’s running Blender and it keeps crashing, reporting a problem with his graphics drivers. I handed him a copy of Ubuntu. He’ll be fine with dual booting.
I hope you and the community enjoy this list; I had fun writing it!