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Windows Operating Systems Software Editorial

Why Does Windows Still Suck? 1995

RatBastard writes "SF Gate's Mark Morford asks: Why Does Windows Still Suck? After wtaching his significant other's Windows PC drown in a sea of viruses and worms after only 4 minutes on her new DSL connection, Mark Morford wonders why the masses have not stormed Redmond waving torches and scythes in anger over the never-ending security flaws in Windows. Why haven't they jetisoned the foul beast from Redmond and migrated en mass to the Macintosh or even Linux?"
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Why Does Windows Still Suck?

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  • Simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by temojen ( 678985 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:25PM (#11576363) Journal
    They don't know of anything else, and Windows came with the computer.
  • by PepeGSay ( 847429 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:25PM (#11576364)
    Since you left it so obviously vulnerable if it was truly that messed up in 4 minutes.
  • why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:25PM (#11576378) Homepage Journal

    Why? Because Microsoft focuses its resources on market share rather than making a robust and stable system. Once consumers are locked in they tend to stick with what they know and buy the upgrades. It's that inertia that MS banks on when they release repackaged corn-laden turd and call it "Windows NextGen-2010+++ with Lemon Scent" Seriously: what real ideas have they come up with in the past many years? Everything they make is a bit shinier and fatter than the previous versions but where is the innovation?
  • NEWSFLASH! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mattkime ( 8466 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:26PM (#11576387)
    People don't like to admit that they're wrong.


    People don't like to change.


    People follow the majority.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:26PM (#11576389)
    Bad UIs, poor hardware support, poorly written software.
    Who cares if it's secure, it's useless.
  • by bdigit ( 132070 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:26PM (#11576393)
    Here we go lets start another flamewar. Need to get in our weekly windows/ms bashing. Did we have our distro war yet this week? How bout our ipod killer article? []
  • by chris09876 ( 643289 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:26PM (#11576400)
    People have always had the impression that computers aren't "reliable and stable". Having this ingrained in them means they accept things like Windows crashes. AS for Linux, it's not seen as user friendly as Windows. Some people have the false impression that it's more difficult to install (well, compiling gentoo is more difficult than installing Windows, but installing RedHat definitely isn't). ...and the most obvious reason (that people don't switch to linux/mac) is because everyone else is on Windows! It's what people use at work, and it's what they're most comfortable with.
  • easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by briancnorton ( 586947 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:26PM (#11576401) Homepage
    They don't care
    Sounds like too easy of an answer, but for non-tech savvy people, a computer is just a tool for email, web, etc. If computers were a vital part of people's lives, they might care. Corporations can pay administrators to keep their computers clean, but joe twelvepack doesn't use his computer for anything that he can't do without. QED.
  • by arkham6 ( 24514 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:27PM (#11576411)
    People have been taught that computers are inherently unstable, will often crash, are very complex machines that are basicly a house of cards. They have been fed the line that 'security is too hard!' so much they believe it.
  • by booyah ( 28487 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:27PM (#11576413)
    You build a car, that the purchasers expect to be compatible with every part, seat, and accessory since the begining of the automobile industry and see hwo it goes.

    Really Microsoft did write themselves in to a corner by supporting so much legacy code so well, and in such a complicated project, that if any little thing isnt right they get bashed for it.

    Mind you I am writing this from mozilla while admining Unix boxes, but really for what they attempted Windows ISNT that bad

    Moderators -1 NOT Windows Bashing
  • by jpmoney ( 323533 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:28PM (#11576435)
    Apparently the connection is through SBC Yahoo! DSL.

    I recently got DSL through my phone provider (SBC) and am torn on if I like it or not. The CD they send with it has spyware, its own browser, and all sorts of nasty things that WILL bring your system to a crawl easily. Sure Windows doesn't do very well, but a provider's CD like SBC Yahoo's does not help at all.

    Hooking it into my Linux box with rp-pppoe was nice though - and the speed is impressive.
  • by temojen ( 678985 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:28PM (#11576437) Journal
    Without Antivirus, how do you know it's "clean as a whistle"? It's kind of a schrodinger's cat scenario; you haven't looked.
  • by Aardpig ( 622459 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:29PM (#11576444)

    Why would you let your SO attach an unpatched and unprotected PC to the Internet?

    To download security patches from Microsoft? There is a real chicken and egg situation here; you need to go online to patch your machine, but as soon as you are online you are hit by worms.

  • by burbankmarc ( 838977 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:29PM (#11576449)
    What kind of excuse is that? Do you have to patch your brakes, or update your steering defintions on your car just to make it safe to use?
  • Baaaaah, baaaah (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Neil Watson ( 60859 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:29PM (#11576450) Homepage
    People are sheep. Big marketing tells them to buy product X because there is none better. Most people will simply do that without ever thinking that there might actually be something better.
  • by ewanrg ( 446949 ) * <[ewan.grantham] [at] []> on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:29PM (#11576461) Homepage
    First, people put up with this because that's what came on their machine, and so it "must" be what's best for that box.

    Second, the average user could no more tell you the difference from an OS and an application than from a Trojan versus a Virus.

    Finally, the average user isn't all that clued that there are any other options out there, and there are few if any application or game ads on TV that say "Runs on Mac" or "Runs on Linux" to make them even look.


    More rants like this on my blog []

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:30PM (#11576473)
    At least as we seem to be defining suck here, which is that it has features that are annoying or suboptimal. There is no perfect OS, no system without flaws. You'll get the zealots from any camp taht will insist their OS is the One True Way(tm), but they are only kidding themselves. Peopel newly switched to a new platform also often extol the virtues since some bug that annoyed them is now gone, and they've yet to deal the ones on the platform they now use enough to get annoyed.

    I'm not trying to start an argument as to which platform is superior, that's a total non-starter, just pointing out that no platform can claim perfection. Linux has a lot that's wrong with it, along with a lot that's done right (or at the very least done better than others do it). So switching to Linux from Windows isn't a switch from a horrible experience to a eprfect one, it's a switch from one set of problems and virtues to a different one.

    Many people consider it a good switch, espically here, but I think some people view their chosen OS with bit too rosy a view. They ALL have problems, they ALL have things others do better. Thus, it's not real supprise that many people simply stick with what they have.
  • Also... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daveo0331 ( 469843 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:30PM (#11576492) Homepage Journal
    The worms and viruses are designed to be hard to detect. People have infected machines that they don't know are infected. Out of sight, out of mind.
  • Re:Simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:31PM (#11576501) Homepage
    More than that: Often, they don't know there is anything else.

    This might come as a surprise to the /. community, but many users don't understand the concept of an "operating system". Many users don't know the difference between Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office. Many users don't even understand that things go on "behind the scenes", and so they think that the difference between Linux, Windows, and OSX are just GUI changes and different programs.

  • by IceFox ( 18179 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:31PM (#11576504) Homepage
    Pure and simply laziness. Yes there computer is slower, but they can still kinda check e-mail. And when it is really slow they can go out and fork over another $1000 for a new DELL. Also you know the saying "Back in my day..." What that really means is: "I am old and lazy and don't care to learn any new tricks". People are lazy asses who just like to sit around and will easily pay $1000 to make their problems go away without having to "learn" the complicated Apple computer. People are LAZY. They are so lazy that if they thought about it for a minute they would realize that the five minutes it takes to learn OSX (and two days to move files) far outweights the two months of lost time on windows. It really ticks me off how lazy people are.

    -Benjamin Meyer
  • The Masses (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Brian Brian ( 849676 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:31PM (#11576505) Journal
    The masses think that Linux is too hard and Macs are too expensive. The masses don't know any different or don't care or don't want to ditch the devil they know for the devil they don't know.
  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pudding7 ( 584715 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:32PM (#11576520)
    But they don't, so there isn't, so they won't.
  • by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) * on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:33PM (#11576530) Homepage

    In Slashdot terms, that article was Interesting, but not Informative, and certainly not Insightful. It basically boils down to two things:

    1. PCs (running Windows) suck.
    2. Macs are better in every regard.

    What it does not provide, though, unfortunately, is an attempt to explain why that actually is the case. The author goes on to dismiss every attempt that has been made to explain just why Windows is still so dominant (like "Macs are too expensive") - or, for that matter, why Windows is (still!) so inherently insecure (like "Macs have no viri because they are not an attractive target") -, but he doesn't even attempt to offer other reasons for these things. Rather, he just says "these are what I claim to be the facts, they're contradictive, but I'm not gonna explain it".

    Considering the article's title ("Why Does Windows Still Suck?") promises an explanation, that's rather unfortunate, and I'm afraid I have to conclude it's just praise for the Mac with little to no informational value, and minor goof-ups like confusing PCs with "PCs that run Windows" just make it even more clear that this is not an objective comparison or explanation attempt.

  • by Bradac_55 ( 729235 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:33PM (#11576534) Journal
    It happened because 'her' SO did not take the time to prepare her for a broadband connection. He should have never let her connect a Windows box (or a Linux/BSD/Mac box) to an unfiltered high-speed connection. He should have ran down to Best Buy/Circuit City or and picked her up an easy to install Firewall/Router. He should have showed her how to install it, run windows update, install Ad-Aware, Spybot and AVG and set them all to automatically update themselves and run scans. As is usually the case it's not the OS that defines the problem, it's the person between the keyboard and chair.
  • A few reasons... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MrDomino ( 799876 ) <mrdomino@gm a i l . c om> on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:33PM (#11576548) Homepage
    People don't like to deal with proprietary architecture; I would be using Mac OS X right now--I personally find it far superior to Windows as an operating system--except that it only runs on Apple's hardware. As much as a monopoly on the operating system has inflated the cost of Windows, the inflation in a market where there is only a single manufacturer of computer hardware is even worse. If OS X could run on x86, I'd switch in an instant.

    As for Linux, it's just got too many rough edges to be looked at seriously as a desktop operating system for any except those who take the time to learn its idiosyncrasies; it has two completely separate GUI toolkits with different looks and feels, and important programs written in both of these. It has so many different distributions with different ways of installing software and managing settings that an inexperienced user or developer will be left spinning; it lacks the focus for the time being to be considered as a solution by typical desktop users. Windows, for all else that can be said about it, has a strong, consistent look and feel; to Joe Blow and Grandma Ethel, that is absolutely crucial.
  • Economics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cavemanf16 ( 303184 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:34PM (#11576556) Homepage Journal
    It's "cheap", and by cheap I mean free as in "already installed on the PC when I bought it" cheap. No installation work needed, I'm used to using it's features, etc. - that's what the typical computer user would say these days.

    And if the computer "breaks" or slows down it's not that expensive to go buy a new one. It's just a part of our American "throw-away" consumerism. Apple computer users are like the Jaguar and Mercedes crowd - they're pretty damn expensive cars, but they'll last for a long time and look great on the road no matter how old they are. Linux computer users trying to use Linux on the desktop are like the "ricers." The car doesn't always work, is usually a "work in progress," but when done right can demolish any comparably priced car. They're still not as classy or long-lasting as the Mercedes and Jaguars, but every once in a while they're pretty cool.

    'Cept Linux users don't get hot booth babes at the trade shows.
  • You know why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by killermookie ( 708026 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:34PM (#11576561) Homepage
    It's the same reason why people don't storm the White House...

    It's the same reason why people don't storm the RIAA headquarters...

    It's the same reason why people don't storm the *insert whatever you like*...

    Sure, Slashdotters might get angry and send off snail mail/email/faxes to whoever they're angry at. But we're a minority.

    The MAJORITY are just too complacent with their lives. They're happy within their immediate environment. They may think it's not right, but they'll never take the action against it. It's too much of a hassle.

    So instead they just acceot it. Windows crashing is obviously not so much of an inconvenience that they must storm Redmond. It's easier to push the reset button.
  • by cbdavis ( 114685 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:34PM (#11576563)
    And BillyG is the herder. We are are slave to his OS and unable to think beyond it. Mac or Linux are our fleeting attempts to break the yolk of oppression, but, in the end, will be futile. As long as business has no guts to change and the users are clueless as what to do, we will be Windoz users. This was written from my W2k system. I am a linux advocate but at the office, I use this crap.
  • Lot of Reasons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lbmouse ( 473316 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:34PM (#11576564) Homepage
    Why do people eat at McDonald's? They definitely don't make the best burger in town.

    Things like consistency, convenience, perceived value, brand recognition, etc., all play a big role.
  • by Malc ( 1751 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:36PM (#11576585)
    Even easier: 4&scid=29&prid=561 []

    There's no chicken and egg about it as the other poster seemed to think. Whatever OS you're running, make sure you're behind one of these routers - there's a huge choice and they're fairly cheap these days (less than the cost of 1 month on DSL for a lot of people).
  • by the_mad_poster ( 640772 ) <> on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:36PM (#11576591) Homepage Journal
    If you think A/V is the only way to protect your box or figure out what it's doing, you're probably one of the people who needs it.
  • by zymano ( 581466 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:36PM (#11576592)
    Preinstalling their os with every new computer is huge advantage for them. If the government told them to sell their OS on the market for over $100(xp cost) then people would wise up and buy something else.

    Another reason though is that Linux still can be a hassle like downloading firefox and having to use administrator login to install.
  • Re:Simple (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Quasar1999 ( 520073 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:37PM (#11576618) Journal
    Also, all the alternatives are unintuitive, lack the software they want to run, and generally don't do what they need.

    Little Johny wants to play games, you need windows for that...
    Mommy wants to send emails to her friends with cute little greeting cards and flash games, and update the music on her iPod with music she buys from iTunes...
    Daddy wants to run Quicktax to do his tax return and Quicken to balance the books.

    All these have some sort of HACK in Linux, I'm not going to start arguing that note... but they are just that, hacks... they are not a simple, familiar easy to use interface... and heaven forbid they decide to buy a digital camera, or even just the latest ATI video card for little Johny... best of luck getting that to work outta the box on linux as easily as you would if you were running windows... Heck, even MACs have a lack of driver support, and very few software titles when compared to the GENERAL, MAINSTREAM software the average user uses.
  • by Mighty_Marcos ( 850704 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:37PM (#11576620) Homepage
    If all the software that people ran was available on linux and macs, games included, then more people, including myself, would switch. And honestly, I am computer savvy, but I am not even sure if there are still many different versions/releases of linux outhere, where to get them from, wether they are free or I gotta buy them. I know IT guys are all over linux, but I don't think the article, and the question is poses are aimed at IT/programmer types. So in a nutshell, being a regular guy using my computer, if there was more software available for linux, and it was clear how to acquire it, I would be switching. Most people, like myself just want to put a disc in a drive,install and not worry about it any more.
  • Re:Wow...umm... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:37PM (#11576630) Homepage Journal
    Someone would be stupid enough not to install their anti-virus protection and anti=spyware protection on a computer before connecting it to the net?

    And if your antivirus and anti-spamware signatures are a few months old, you need to connect to the Internet to get the signature updates, at which point your system is going to get flooded with all of the NEW viruses and spamware that have been making the rounds in recent months.

    If you buy a PC and a boxed anti-virus (and anti-spyware) package, on average the signatures included in those packages is going to be roughly 6 months old. Sure, you're going to be able to ensure you don't propogate the Stoner virus, but it isn't going to help you against, say, W32.Dopbot. If you want protection against that, you're going to have to get the latest virus signatures -- from over the Internet.

    (Unless, of course, you also happen to have a Mac, Linux, *BSD, OS/2, or other non-Windows box from which you can download the signatures -- if the package in question permits you to do so over the web or FTP, that is).


  • Um. If you say so, chief. I'd still go buy Windows, because I like it. I'm a gamer and it does what I need and want. It's not a huge hassle to go download a security update when they come out, and don't go all high and mighty and act like Firefox or Linux has never had bugs, including security ones.

    No duh pre-installing Windows on computers is a huge advantage, but it's not like the vendors don't have a choice.
  • by blahplusplus ( 757119 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:38PM (#11576647)
    You'd think that the person that posted this would be a bit more knowledgeable using a real firewall and antivirus software. There are many good anti virus and firewall protection software now, not to mention Firefox browser.

    If you want to access the net you have to be responsible and take care of your computer because no one will. If you can't afford $100 for that $1000 computer with that 20-50$ a month internet connection then those people have issues.

    No one should cry because people love to live in ignorance. I think this has to do with more of a lack of user education then it does by putting the burden on a single software company. Even anti virus and firewall products have to constantly be updated because of new exploits.
  • Re:Simple.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Darth_Burrito ( 227272 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:39PM (#11576652)
    Rather, they blame the guys who write the bad stuff -- not the guys who make it possible.

    Additionally, I think a lot of people blame themselves. They feel they have done something stupid and don't want to admit it. This happens all the time with complicated technology and, working support, I see it happen on a daily basis.
  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:39PM (#11576659) Homepage Journal
    " Maybe if his S.O. was a little more competent, Windows wouldn't suck so much."

    Think about it. If it was a TV.
    "My SO plugged the brand new TV into the cable system and 4 minutes later it stopped working." You SO is a moron. Why wasn't your SO smart enough to open the back of the TV and rewire the power supply!
    Or if it was a car.
    "My SO just got a new car and the engine was trashed after driving it 4 minutes."
    Why was your SO so stupid to drive a brand new car with out first opening the hood and setting the valve clearance!

    You statement is just dumb and insulting. She is not a moron. She is just not a system admin. What is moronic is that people are selling Windows XP boxes that are so insecure that they can not live on the Internet long enough to download SP2.

    Maybe every Windows Box should come with the network stack inactive. When you want to connect to the Internet a special super restricted TCP/IP stack pops up and downloads the latest updates for you. Windows is being pushed as a consumer item it should be expected to act like one.
  • by FreshlyShornBalls ( 849004 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:40PM (#11576675)
    Here is your brand new car, sir. Drive it off the lot. Yay yay new car. Suddenly, new car shuts off. New car barely starts again and then only goes about 6 miles per hour and it belches smoke and every warning light on the dashboard is blinking on and off and the tires are screaming and the heater is blasting your feet and something smells like burned hair. You hobble back to the dealer, who only says, gosh, sorry, we thought you knew -- that's they way they all run. Enjoy!

    This analogy sucks. The correct analogy would be akin to this person buying a car and driving straight into the middle of the highway and expecting not to be hit by another motorist.

    Put your coat on when you go outside. Wear your seatbelt. Put on SPF 30. Lock your doors. Tie your shoes. Kill the power before you do any electrical work.

    We do millions of things each day to protect ourselves. Why should hopping on the 'Net and operating a computer be any different? I don't imagine the author expects that ANY new computer owner simply opens the box and has no problems operating the computer (Mac, Linux, Windows or any OS).

    There's evil out there. Be careful.

  • by pilgrim23 ( 716938 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:41PM (#11576682)
    They COME that vulnerable. Joe Average goes down to Electronics R US, plunks a grand down and takes home a shiny new box that says Intel Inside and Windows. He is not geek. He know nada about this stuff. Unless he has a cousin Ralf who is geek he is...what was the tech term for it? oh yes: "Screwed". Mac comes prepackaged to "just work" and work right and right out of the box. Unfortunately, Market share goes with the inferior product and Joe knows not of Apple. Little Suzie and Tommy have a Dell at school so... Lynux? It takes copious geek to make it work, it has no standardization for Joe and no office apps that "just work". Fun but not quite "it". Games? Well unless Joe really WANTS Tommy shooting a laser canon into a festering deamon from hell, there are sufficent OTHER games on other platforms... As I said: the obvious choice is a Mac but, Mac is too pricy and..wait...what was this mini I heard of?.. humm....Hey Joe: "Dude! get a mini"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:42PM (#11576699)
    The worst part of this is that people seem to ACCEPT that you have to do the equivalent of donning body armor and carrying a machine gun every time you leave the house.
  • by jalefkowit ( 101585 ) <`jason' `at' `'> on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:42PM (#11576702) Homepage

    It's because end users aren't Microsoft's customers when it comes to Windows.

    The customers are OEMs -- the companies like Dell, HP, and all the others that build the PCs the end users buy. For the most part, they're they ones who actually buy operating systems, not end users -- those folks just take whatever came with the PC.

    Microsoft has exclusivity deals that are tied to the price of their Windows license with every major PC OEM that punishes them severely if they flirt with providing alternate OS choices on their hardware. This means that when Joe User goes to the store to look for a computer, what does he see? Nothing but Windows (and maybe a Mac or two).

    As long as these deals are in place, there's no incentive for Microsoft to improve Windows substantially. Why should they? There's no competition, and no vector for competition to be introduced. The only way for an OEM to introduce competitive products to its customers would be to accept having the cost of its Windows licenses go waaaaay up -- making its bread-and-butter products more expensive than the competitions'. Nobody's gonna do that just to make a political statement.

    Until you crack that cozy relationship between MS and the OEMs it doesn't matter how much the end-users squeal. They aren't Microsoft's customers, so don't expect them to listen.

  • by Nom du Keyboard ( 633989 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:42PM (#11576707)
    I'm a gamer.

    That is as pithy as an answer can be. Whomever modded this Troll should be permanently fired from M1 Moderation.

    (This is an example of M3 Public Meta-Moderation in use.)

  • It's a Catch-22 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KiltedKnight ( 171132 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:44PM (#11576733) Homepage Journal
    People won't switch because the games aren't there, and the games aren't there because the market share hasn't gotten to a point where it makes sense to provide lots of support.

    The whole topic of games development using DirectX vs OpenGL has been discussed to death here. Sure, the game writers could do it in OpenGL instead of DirectX, but Microsoft has apparently made using DirectX extremely easy. Maybe what it will take is someone to write a translation library that will basically translate the DirectX calls into OpenGL calls. Once that's out there, more games can be done for non-Windows systems. While all that's going on, OpenGL must be made friendlier to use than DirectX.

    OK, it's a lot... but if you really want to lure the games developers to the side of platform independence, you have to give them a good reason to do so.

  • by chia_monkey ( 593501 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:45PM (#11576750) Journal
    Unfortunately, this problem persists with most software applications, not just Windows. There are quite a few programs out there, riddled with bugs, glitches, incompatibilities, etc. If it was a car, all hell would break loose. It's just software, so people deal with it.

    The big question do we fix it? Do we stop buying it? Do we hound the programmers? Do we pester the vendors? Until we actually TAKE ACTION, Window along with many other programs will continue to suck.
  • Re:Wow...umm... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:46PM (#11576761)
    Just think about it for one second. There's nothing in the box or on the screen that says "Warning, please install virus protection, enable firewall, etc before connecting to the internet." I would slow down there cowboy before you start slinging insults around. Computers are sold as "all you need to do is plug it in." Because I'm interested in this kind of dorky stuff, I knew the hidden step. Others may not and it's not necessarily their fault.

    Other folks may make mistakes and learn painful lessons, but to label them stupid makes you sound like an elitist ass. I'm sure this is not the impression you intended to give.

  • No clue (Score:1, Insightful)

    by JNighthawk ( 769575 ) <> on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:47PM (#11576804)
    I've started to think there's something to Alter Slash and those people. Even if there's nothing wrong with the answer, but someone doesn't like it, they'll mod it down.
  • by fsharp ( 617264 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:49PM (#11576828)
    I agree, but what if someone does not know how to do this? I would suspect most simply don't. Then again, why is the answer having to turn on a firewall? Or having to buy a NAT router to protect a systems that should have more protection out of the box. Why can't we expect a more secure platform from Redmond?
  • by carpe_noctem ( 457178 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:53PM (#11576877) Homepage Journal
    Can someone explain to me again why I have to buy another piece of hardware to compensate for flaws inherent in my computer's software? Am I missing something here?

    You know, there didn't used to be a big "firewall-everything" mentality on the net... it's a shame that inferior products have convinced people that they need extra layers of frivilous security just to do what the OS ought to do on it's own.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DLWormwood ( 154934 ) <[moc.em] [ta] [doowmrow]> on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:54PM (#11576893) Homepage
    It's a great answer. Succint and to the point.

    As a long time Mac user and developer, I'd have to agree. While the original article mentions that 97% of tasks can be performed by Macs just fine, it's that confounded 3% that Microsoft has been able to exploit in the marketplace. Games, enterprise business apps, and obscure in-house projects have pretty much sustained the Windows platform up to this point. Creatives, home users, and students (the Mac's historical user base) have not had the financial or political clout to compete with the technological preferences many IT organizations have.

  • by superpulpsicle ( 533373 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:55PM (#11576912)
    If you even attempt to use it, it just sucks up system resources like crazy. But what am I saying, so does spyware programs, virus scanners etc.

    Basically windows will be good when Symantec and McAfee can close shop.

  • by wayward_son ( 146338 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:55PM (#11576914)
    I have three systems at home:

    Desktop: Windows XP Home + SP2
    Laptop: Windows 2000 Pro + SP4
    Server: Fedora Core 3

    Both Windows machines are stable, virus, spyware and hacker free. Windows 2000 has given me no trouble at all. Windows XP has had a few issues caused by third party drivers. Windows update keeps everything current.

    FC3 is a great system, but it's a Windows world. There is a fair amount I simply can't do because I don't have DirectX, Windows Media Player, Quicktime, or one of many other Windows only (or non-Linux) applications.

    The only time I was ever hacked was on Linux (an unprotected Red Hat 6.2 box back in 2000)

    Classic MacOS is as (un)stable as Windows 98. MacOS X is quite nice, but my experience is that the hardware and software support still isn't there.

    A $20 router/firewall is all you need to protect you long enough to get Windows patched. The bots are fairly dumb and easily stopped. Ad-aware and AVG free edition protect from spyware and viruses. Using Firefox over Internet Exploiter eliminates the browser hijacks.

    The biggest problem with Windows is that Microsoft gave a very powerful OS to Joe Servicepack who has NO CLUE how to get it stable and keep it stable.

  • Simply not true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) * on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:56PM (#11576917)
    The Mac has great driver support now, there's almost nothing you can get anymore that does not offer support for the Mac. I can't even think of printers anymore that do not offer Mac support, and they are typically the last line of devices to fold.

    As for software, what kind of "general, mainstream" software do people use besides a browser and a word processor? Most games now are on consoles. The Mac mini even ships with Quicken.

    Especially for someone buying a new computer, there just are no compelling reasons against choosing a Mac at this point. Even if the other computer is a PC.
  • by blew_fantom ( 809889 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:56PM (#11576928)
    For 97 percent of users in the world, Macs would be a more elegant and intuitive and appealing solution. Period.

    so... explain to me why 97 percent of users are NOT on macs? look. i use both a windows pc and i own a powerbook. they both do their job well. and it has its own specific use. but until i can play a game like oh, madden 2005 on a mac, well, the sheer flexibility that a PC offers gets my money. and yes, i upkeep it and maintain it.

    thousands of glorious iPods have already infiltrated the Microsoft campus up in Redmond, causing MS management no end of humiliation and frustration. Can revolution be far behind?

    honestly, this guy's use of adjectives is sickening. to me, his journalistic integrity (for a columnist anyway) went out the door...

    she promptly dumped the useless hunk of sad landfill and bought herself a beautiful new iBook.

    i rest my case. ugh.
  • by CrackerJack9 ( 819843 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:58PM (#11576950) Journal
    okay, so I'm not typically one to defend MS's stance on security, or patches, or their 'make good software the first time' approach to good software...but seriously, what kind of network are you attaching to that you get to the point of "drown[ing] in a sea of viruses and worms after only 4 minutes" ?! Are you that inept at operating your PC and immediately start surfing pr0n sites and the like? Did Windows Update's website attack you with viruses and worms (no irony intended)?

    I have a cable modem and see maybe one worm an hour on an average day, maybe two to four...I'd say you have a much better chance of getting scanned by someone looking for vulnerable machines...but you didn't mention that threat at all...
  • by Altus ( 1034 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:59PM (#11576958) Homepage

    your right... its his fault because he is not savvy...

    and its the woman in the haltertop fault because she was asking for it...

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sp3tt ( 856121 ) <sp3tt@sp[ ].se ['3tt' in gap]> on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:59PM (#11576966)
    Gamers will not use Linux because they cannot game on it. Because almost no people game on Linux, almost no games are ported. If more people switched to Linux, more games would be ported. But gamers won't switch before games are ported. And companies won't use time and money on porting before more gamers use Linux.
  • Re:*not so* easy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CultFigure ( 563155 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @05:59PM (#11576970)
    They don't care

    I disagree. My dad, my cousin, and a friend of the family have all called me over the last 2 months to "fix their computer". The fact is they do care, but don't have the know-how or initiative to learn the ins-and-outs of computers.

    The general public see computers as something they will never know enough about and are thus reserved to accepting what comes on their pc when they buy it - windows with IE - while accepting the virus, pop-ups, etc. as just a part of their computing life.

    And do not go and say most people are lazy and they should get some initiative. That's crap. Most people know how to read, but most people haven't read good classics like Les Miserables or the Brothers Karamzov. It's not because they are not good books and people wouldn't enjoy them if they did, but because they *see them* as huge 1500 page, hard to read barriers, when in actuality it's no different than reading LOTR in 3 books.

    ...back to the issue: Help your friends and your family. When they have a problem, give them a free anti-vir, Firebird, Thunderbird, 7-zip, or whatever the problem calls for. For some it may very well mean installing Linux or convincing them to get a Mac.

    "...but joe twelvepack doesn't use his computer for anything that he can't do without"

    And yes, my dad get's really pissed when his Internet goes out. So it is something he can live without, but it's not something he likes going without when he expects it to "just work and paying [his isp] for it".

    Give them a break. Give me a break. And stop being so damn harsh. Please ;)
  • by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) * on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:00PM (#11576975) Homepage
    Maybe, but there is a significant difference: Solaris 2.6 is a relatively ancient release by now, having been released about 7,5 years ago (August 1997). Windows XP, on the other hand, is much younger (first released September 2001), and if I buy a new computer now, I'd expect SP2 to be installed already, too, which is only six months old.

    That being said, I think Solaris 2.6 will actually get more secure again in the future, simply because the number of people who know how to attack it will decrease. I remember an anecdote about someone who brought a box with a default install of SINIX (sorry, no info on which version) to a Chaos Computer Congress [] years ago; according to that story, he hooked it up to the network and told people that whoever would be able to root it first could keep it. Noone managed to, however, because it was too obscure (one might add that he didn't reveal any details about what OS was on it etc., of course). It may be an urban myth, but it was told to me by a friend who actually attends the Congress every year, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was true.
  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grumpygrodyguy ( 603716 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:01PM (#11576998)
    Yeah, a more interesting discussion would be:

    "Why does Linux still suck?"

    Talk about presumptuous.
  • by kaustik ( 574490 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:02PM (#11577020)
    I'm sick of comments like this. The Internet, like anything else is EVOLVING. Oakland used to be a fine and wonderful place to leave your door unlocked overnight. Not anymore. The Internet used to be a fine and wonderful place to surf. Now everyone has always-on connections, malware writers have gotten better... you lock the damn door.
    Don't give me that its-all-MS's fault crap. MS has dominated the desktop market for long enough to have all evil eyes on them. If Linux was on the desktop of everyone's grandmother, unpatched and unfirewalls, it would also be hacked in a jiffy.
    In other words, shut up. If I wanted to read your comment I could open up any thread on slashdot and read it 20 times.
  • The current major problem is that a clean installation of Windows XP can actually become seriously infected before the user has a chance to install certain major security fixes. This is very troubling for a lot of people.... The (annoying) workaround is to get the security fix onto the box before connecting it to the Internet, but this requires having the fix ready to go on a CD or other media.

    Certainly not to say that this couldn't happen with a clean Linux installation, but I don't know of any problems quite like the one that affects Windows.
  • by Frostalicious ( 657235 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:03PM (#11577033) Journal
    Can someone explain to me again why I have to buy another piece of hardware to compensate for flaws inherent in my computer's software? Am I missing something here?

    Yeah, fault vs. personal responsibility. It's MS fault that the OS is crappy. But if you take personal responsibility the problem goes away. The same can be said for so many things in life.
  • by jav1231 ( 539129 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:07PM (#11577102)
    Agreed. But it should have been limited in the settlement. This is the one hook they have on most of the industry. Also, many people keep using Windows because they just don't understand what's happening. Viruses often don't completely crash a system and spyware will run and the user can still "work." Another reason is they just don't want to learn a new OS. Many people feel like Windows took enough time to learn. I have my kids on Linux. They work fine. My wife doesn't like it, but she works fine too. I plan on getting a Mac soon and I'm sure they'll use that fine too. The key, teach the young! Give you kids something other than Windows and then they can show the parents how to move around etc. Hey, it's an idea.
  • Nothing new here. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by operagost ( 62405 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:08PM (#11577120) Homepage Journal
    How many of these cookie-cutter trolls do we have to endure? Because he didn't bother to invest in a $25 router/firewall, it's Microsoft's fault? It's true they have far too many security issues, but they do patch them. All it takes is to buy said router (a necessity if you have more than one machine or a wireless card), turn on the firewall, then download your patches. You can go to Windows Update (there's a shortcut right on the Start menu and on a menu in IE) or turn on Automatic Updates.

    This joker uses yet another tired automotive analogy. This isn't like your new car spontaneously exploding on the way to work. It's more like taking that new car to a racetrack and pounding the heck out of it trying to win with the stock engine and suspension. You wouldn't gripe to the dealer that it was drifting at 130 MPH and the unvented brake rotors were warping. He'd laugh you out of there, and put a big "VOID" stamp on your factory warranty before you walked out. These PCs aren't going to blow up spontaneously sitting on your desk with no network connection. Believe it or not, you can do things with a computer other than access the Internet. But if you want to get on the Internet, you have to take reasonable measures to prepare your computer. People are used to computers being more plug'n'play because they come with networking capabilities. Imagine being sent back through time to 1994 and trying to get on the Internet. You had to buy a modem, install TCPIP software (Winsock, or Opentransport - only OS/2 and Linux had IP built in), and maybe even fiddle with your phone lines if you weren't getting a good connection.

    What a whiner.

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JPrice ( 181921 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:08PM (#11577124) Homepage
    But why would I, one of the unwashed, game-playing masses, start using another OS?

    Sure, I could stop playing 95% of the games I like, install Linux, and then let my computer sit idle (I really don't use my home computer for anything other than playing games) while I wait for game developers to start producing games for my new OS of choice. But I'm not that altruistic. And neither is anyone else.

    The fact of the matter is that Windows is currently by far the best platform for playing PC games, and, with a little bit of technical sense ("use a firewall"), it's "good enough" for pretty much everything else. There is currently no compelling reason for gamers to switch OSes, and as a result, no compelling reason for the bulk of publishers to release games for anything other than Windows.
  • Re:Simple (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SpongeBobLinuxPants ( 840979 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:09PM (#11577130) Homepage
    That and they use Windows at work/school so they want their home computer to be the same.
  • Re:I'm amazed. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tehshen ( 794722 ) <> on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:09PM (#11577143)
    Linux and Windows have different aims: in Windows, security has been put in the backseat so it has more features and user-friendly. In Linux, it is the opposite: security and stability are top priorities; if something increases security but decreases usability, so be it. People are used to having everything in Windows available to them without becoming root or anything.

    Another thought that occurred to me recently: maybe people just think Linux is not user-friendly because they are used to doing things the Windows Way: Administrator access by default, anything can install programs, and so on.
    I use Linux on my laptop, and whenever I want to install something, update, fiddle with system settings, or do something else that requires root access, I type the root password out of habit. Whenever I do the same on Windows, I keep thinking "Why isn't that password-protected? This could be done without my knowing!".

    After Linux, Windows is scary like that.
  • by rushmobius ( 687814 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:11PM (#11577161)

    So I was reading /. when I came across a typical 'OMG Windows SuXors' article..

    I casually sipped my afternoon coffee, set it down, and clicked the article link, bracing myself for the deluge of mind-numbing numbers and references to obscure studies.

    After reading the article, I looked to the right side-bar for a list of other recent articles by the author. Trying to get a feel for the authors views, I decided to peruse a few of them.

    Well, I must say. Mark Morford has to be one of the most rabid, extremist, over-reactive, leftist, tin-foil hat wearing, Moore wannabe's I've had the displeasure of reading.

    Now, before the flames begin to rise, please understand the last paragraph was a simple reciprocle example of Mr. Morford's diatribes. Basically take a simple statement, and make it appear so sensationistically over-the-top.

    So now to my point. How can this article be used on a news site, when it is simply nothing more than a rant? I use Linux and Windows, and on occasion Macs. I rarely have any problems with any of my systems. I have never had my Windows boxed filled with virii/trojans, nor have I had a crash in as long as I can remember. Am I just one of the lucky ones, or do I simply ignore the little monkey moving back and forth in a feeble attempt to evade my mouse click for a Free iPod

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by prodangle ( 552537 ) <matheson@gmail . c om> on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:14PM (#11577194) Homepage Journal
    Q3A, ET, D3, UT2K4

    You've listed only 4 games. What if he wants to play one of the 40,000 other games available for Windows? It's a lot less hassle to run them on the OS they were designed for than to mess around with emulators or wine.

    Secondly, why should anyone need an excuse for selecting a particular operating system? It's a matter of choice, and the parent clearly explained his reasons for preferring Windows. Linux appears to suit your particular needs better, and that's great too.

  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by maotx ( 765127 ) <> on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:14PM (#11577205)
    Thats NOT trolling.
    He expressed his opinion. Maybe he really has no desire to migrate to Linux as Windows works fine for him. Why migrate to one OS when your comfortable with paying for another? Sure you get more support out of OSS then you do when you pay Microsoft, but some people have no need to migrate.
    Just like some people have no need to migrate to Windows, OSX, *BSD, Solaris, etc, etc, etc.
    Personally I use Linux from server applications to gaming. The only time I use Windows is when I want multi-task in a game (I have yet to figure out how to minimize America's Army in Linux) or if I want to use my computer as an alarm clock. Sure I could use cron to play a wav...but their is no snooze feature.
  • by monkeydo ( 173558 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:14PM (#11577210) Homepage
    The security needs of a computer not attached to a network are very different than a computer directly attached to the Internet, just as the hardware needs are. When you got DSL you needed to buy a modem right? So, why not a router or firewall, too? Is Windows inferior because all Windows machines don't come with built in DSL modems?

    The author of that article is also way off base. Windows now installs with the firewall on by default. The author also acknowledges that his SO's computer is old, and he doesn't mention the version of Windows, so I assume that's old too. So why is the title, "Why Does Windows Still Suck?"
  • by ScottKin ( 34718 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:15PM (#11577218) Homepage Journal
    How about RTFA!?!

    The MDA's that were AGREED to by the OEM vendors gave them discounts on Windows and nothing more. So-fricking-what if IBM lost $3Million over it - I'm sure that their coffers could more than make-up for the loss with no impact on their customers or their bottom line.

    And regardless of the BeOS fan-boys here, there was NO MARKET INTEREST in the box or the OS - if their was, then why did they fold and sell their technology to Apple? Be's competitor was the company that bought them out - Apple - and *not* Microsoft.

    I'm beginngin to think that the anti-Microsoft faction here has collectively drank from the same batch of Cool-aid!

  • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JPrice ( 181921 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:16PM (#11577231) Homepage
    Why bother? As a gamer, 80% of my home computer-using time is spent playing games (90% of which don't run in Linux). The remaining 20% is taken up by web browsing (using FireFox) and email (using Thunderbird).

    As I said in another post, if you're primarily a gamer, chances are that Windows is "good enough" for any non-gaming application you want to use. If you've got a firewall installed and don't use IE, chances are good you've never run into anything like the author of the article describes. At which point, there's really no appeal to the bother of rebooting every time you want to switch between game and non-game applications.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:16PM (#11577235)
    While were at it, let's ban Apple from preinstalling OS X on Macs too.

    Oh, my bad... it's only bad is Microsoft does it. If Apple does it, it's a Good Thing. Fucking hypocrites Slashdotters.
  • by peg0cjs ( 572593 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:18PM (#11577278) Homepage
    it's not like the vendors don't have a choice

    Actually, they don't. Microsoft have repeatedly threatened & upped the price on vendors who sell machines without the OS pre-installed. And they have also charged for a Windows license for every machine sold, regardless of what OS was actually on it. This was the meat of one of the many lawsuits pending against MSFT when W. took office (and then they went away...)

  • by pavera ( 320634 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:21PM (#11577311) Homepage Journal
    This almost would seem like a reasonable argument, except that MS would probably charge dell an arm and a leg to "distribute" the patches, as that is strictly forbidden by MS on their update service. Further, it would be a huge chore for Dell to do. Why doesn't MS release a new OEM version of windows every time they release a patch? It's their product, why don't they keep it updated? Oh yeah, cause if they released a new version every time a patch came out they'd need to more than quadruple their regression testing staff.

    And there you have the reason why Dell doesn't do it either, they would be forced to create a huge staff just to test each new patch level against their hardware, and a large enough set of software that you could call it "representative".

    Why should dell be forced to foot the bill for MS not writing decent code? That is a bizarre piece of logic.

    That would be like this:
    Hi we're GM, we made this car but as soon as someone drives this car off the lot with these tires, and this fuel pump, the car will fail. So, here's the deal, dealership, we expect you to pay us for this version of the car, and then at your own expense you need to put new tires on this car, and a new fuel pump in it. Now remember though, if you put a new fuel pump in it, it might break the spark plug system, and if it does, you'll have to re-engineer the spark plug system for us... how does that sound?

    That is what you're saying though, why doesn't everyone who resells MS's products foot the bill to fix them. That's insane.
  • by Tibor the Hun ( 143056 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:21PM (#11577316)
    God, man, I feel for you. Your post is not a troll.
    It's flamebait at best.
    A troll is supposed to be hidden inside the message so that people would fall for it without knowing it.

    These young mods know nothing...

  • by prodangle ( 552537 ) <matheson@gmail . c om> on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:24PM (#11577354) Homepage Journal
    I'm sick of comments like this. The Internet, like anything else is EVOLVING. Oakland used to be a fine and wonderful place to leave your door unlocked overnight. Not anymore. The Internet used to be a fine and wonderful place to surf. Now everyone has always-on connections, malware writers have gotten better... you lock the damn door. Don't give me that its-all-MS's fault crap. MS has dominated the desktop market for long enough to have all evil eyes on them. If Linux was on the desktop of everyone's grandmother, unpatched and unfirewalls, it would also be hacked in a jiffy. In other words, shut up. If I wanted to read your comment I could open up any thread on slashdot and read it 20 times. I'm sick of seeing posts such as this modded down, just because it doesn't support the /. open-source-is-always-better mentality. People who refuse to listen to ideas they disagree with learn nothing.

    The poster makes a very good point, and if I'd had mod-points I'd mod it insightful.

  • by viva_fourier ( 232973 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:24PM (#11577359) Journal
    Add to that the fact that he refers to his significant other as an SO and you have the "sum of all idiots." If they're really that "significant", why do you apply a PC label to them?

    I enjoy reading the articles on science, interesting OS developments, actual news... but, man, these lapses in quality control just irk me silly. I would expect this to be a "CNN Technology Corner" spotlight article, but Slashdot? Come on. You're better than that...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:28PM (#11577404)

    A $20 router/firewall is all you need to protect you long enough to get Windows patched. The bots are fairly dumb and easily stopped. Ad-aware and AVG free edition protect from spyware and viruses. Using Firefox over Internet Exploiter eliminates the browser hijacks.

    You're missing the point.. you shouldn't have to *do* anything when you buy a new Windows computer. You should plug it in and it should be secure.

    These computers are just accepting data over the network. Streams of bytes. People act as if it is somehow inevitable that one of these streams will "slip through". It isn't. The computer is a big state machine. Software should be correctly designed, and unneeded services off by default. Grandma doesn't need half the stuff that Windows ships with on by default.

    The biggest problem with Windows is that they have absolutely no incentive to make their software better.

    Oh, and if it's a "windows world" you'll have to tell me how I've run a successful Unix consulting business for the last 11 years without ever once owning or needing a Windows machine.

  • by Sloppy ( 14984 ) * on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:31PM (#11577447) Homepage Journal
    Are you using a PC? You probably have spyware.
    So which package should I unmerge, to remove the spyware from the Gentoo system on my PC?
  • by stinky wizzleteats ( 552063 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:31PM (#11577449) Homepage Journal
    paraphrased: firewall, etc.

    Red herring. What portion of the 91% of computer users infected with spyware were infected by an inbound attack? I'll give you a hint. It's probably smaller than the number of Linux workstations in use currently as personal computers. The vast majority of infected users got that way as a direct result of the hideous security flaw that is IE. All they had to do was visit the wrong web site. Windows firewall can do NOTHING to stop that.
  • by meyerj88 ( 844173 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:35PM (#11577496)
    Seriousily, where has this woman been in the past few years. If she had any brains at all she would have known, and the author of the the article should have told her, that she needs to have a firewall and virus protection when you have a broadband connection. It justs makes sense. I hate how many people on this site always jump on the I hate Microsoft and evil corporations bandwagon. Granted, Microsoft does have many sercurity problems and issues. However, Windows is the most widely used OS. As a result they have the most attackers in the world. If you were a spyware or virus creator, hacker, or whatever what would you attack. A realatively small market such as Linux or Mac or would you go after the largest market. I know Linux probably has better security in some respects, but we all need to look at the Microsoft situation from their perspective from time to time. And I don't completely like Microsoft. I pretty much thought all their OSs unitl XP completely sucked. You have to give them credit that XP was a huge step forward in the right direction from ME. Just thought I'd put my 2 cents in.
  • by Beautyon ( 214567 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:38PM (#11577533) Homepage
    You may count me in as one of the first anniversary with Mac crowd. I switched specifically for OSX, after having used windoze since version three.

    I have turned three people to the osx generation macs so far; each of them took over six months to decide to switch, all of them have more than enough cash to buy whatever computer they want.

    The problem was in each case...

    They were thick.

    They simply could not understand simple phrases like, "all of your computer problems will be over once you buy a mac"..."you will never have to worry about viruses and worms again after you buy your mac"..."your work will never be lost again due to a crash if you buy a mac" etc etc.

    Finally, each one switched, and they now scream the praises of macintosh to anyone within hearing range.

    The problem with people (ordinary users) using windows is that they have little or no imagination; they cannot imagine another OS, and most of them dont even know what an os is. Most of them think a computer IS windows sitting on a 'TV' screen. These are the same sorts of people who, despite being told the contrary, persist in believin that Iraq had something to do with 911, or that they had WMD. There is no reaching these people, and never will be. They are inured to windows, to stupidity, to suffering. They think that is what using a computer is about; poor connectivity, no usability, crashes, worms and virri, and after all is said and done, why not? That has been their universal experience of computers for years.

    And for the ones that wanted to try Mac, it was always a non starter because of the price. Now perhaps, we might see a change and an uptake of Macs with the new reasonably priced model, but honestly, I fear the white box is too small to impress the bumpkins.
  • by Bleck ( 203017 ) * on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:39PM (#11577543) Homepage
    Okay, first the obligatory note that I've done my share of Microsoft bashing in my time. I'd also be the last person to stand up and declare an MS box "secure" in almost any regard.

    That aside, there are enough problems with TFA that I feel the need to point out some issues with it.

    Heck, let's look at the first sentence: "So about a year ago..." We're in the computer field here, folks. Have I complained about things that took place with Windows ME? Yeah, I have. But I also acknowledge that what's out today can be a lot different from what was available a year ago.

    Certainly if I were writing an article about what was wrong with something, I'd check to make sure I was reviewing a recent edition. SP2, while not the ultimate solution to everyone's problems, is a darn sight better than what the author is writing about. Would I put my parents online with just the built-in firewall? Probably not long-term, no. But I certainly wouldn't be afraid that within four minutes they'd be "DOA."

    Also, when the author is posting the rhetorical "why not a Mac?" questions, he throws out lines like: "I know Macs are (well, were) more expensive, even though they're really not..." which is, well, disingenuous at best. I've had several Macs, and loved them all -- but yeah, guess what? They were several times more expensive than the beige-box PCs I'd put together from my local shop, even after all the "video cards and sound cards and disk burners to make it comparable to a Mac." There are lots of reasons to love Macs ... let's not exxagerate just because it makes the article sound better.

    All in all, the article reads as a whiny post to me, rather than anything well thought-out. There are reasons Windows sucks in many ways, but this article just rehashes the tired old "my hardware is better than your hardware" stuff we all (I hope) got sick of years ago.
  • by Rinzai ( 694786 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:41PM (#11577558) Journal
    Point of order: if Macs or even Linux desktops (*shudder*) were the dominant connection mechanism to the Internet, then that's where the bulk of the malware would be aimed. If Linux desktops (*hork* *ghack* *hurl*) ever become the dominant environment, then someone somewhere will be asking "Why does Linux suck?" on Slashdot about five times weekly. All that's really necessary is for alternative commodity-priced and consumer-ready platforms to reach a critical mass. Then they become interesting to the virus, Trojan, and adware/spyware crowd. The first viruses were aimed at Macs, lest we forget the lessons of history. And it's not that any given platform sucks, sucks harder, or doesn't suck. What sucks is that people exist with nothing better to do than write these little cyber-gremlins in the first place. Put the blame where it belongs, Cowboy.
  • by EvilAlien ( 133134 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:44PM (#11577601) Journal
    Slashdot's EvilAlien asks: Why Does Mark Morford's Significant Other Suck? Afterall, the amount of malware circulating which targets any number of OSes is well known, particularly the fact that the vast majority attack the very dominant Windows platform. It is irresponsible and possible even stupid to connect any computer directly to the Internet without benefit of a firewall or without having been patched. The availability of patches, SP2 on CD for free, personal firewalls, antivirus and antispyware applications, and other security measures should lead everyone to toss accusations of negligence at users like Mark Morford's Significant Other.
  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:45PM (#11577611) Homepage
    The morale of the story... Cars require certain care and maintenance. Why do you assume computers don't? Even a Mac or Linux machine is going to require maintenance.

    TV's don't require maintenance. Cars do, but they tell you that when you buy it, and even give you a little book with a chart that tells you what maintenance you'll need after how many months-- at least they did withevery car I've ever purchased. They even gave me a list of authorized service centers in my area.

    Have you ever purchased a computer and had someone give you a little chart about how often to run patches on what, how often to defrag, and everything else? I haven't. Does dell give you a list of "authorized maintenance shops" in your area, where you can take your computer in and they'll give you a tune up?

    So no one is telling customers the sort of maintenance they need to do or where to get it done... Why wouldn't they assume that it's like a TV? Plug it into the electrical socket, plug the cable in, and use it until it breaks or you decide you want a better one.

  • by KarmaOverDogma ( 681451 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:48PM (#11577646) Homepage Journal
    Because loaded questions like this don't serve as a reasonable base for a conversation.

    But hey, this is /. Where many the de-facto backround noise is anti-MS and Pro-Linux by default.
  • by EXTomar ( 78739 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @06:52PM (#11577695)
    Longhorn will not be the answer. Managed code will not fix users from breaking their machine. One of the first and foremost reasons why computers get messed up is because of user mistakes. Using social engineering a virus tricks them into running something they shouldn't. No amount of "managed code" will protect the user from pressing the wrong buttons.

    The answer has been staring at us for 20 years now. Many of the security problems in Windows are born of legacy. And ironically they were problems born from not learning lessons learned by other Operating Systems.

    But in typical fashion, Microsoft is throwing more software at the flaws instead of fixing the fundemental design which created the issue in the first place. The whole chain about any virus using IE as an vector should show you this.

    There are fundemental issues that were learned by other systems along time ago that MS continues to ignore and throw more software upon in an attempt to obscure the problems. So many things would go away if users never had the previliage to screw up their system easily. So many things would go away if the web browser was treated as a viewer instead of a platform for execution. So many tools could be simplified and made less confusing if they fixed the underlying problems...but they won't.

    I'm sorry to sound like flamebait but I'm sick of it. Longhorn will get released and people will harass me on what in the world "code group permissions" are. People can't figure out IE's "zones" and they want me to explain to users how "code groups" work?! Thanks Microsoft...thanks for completely avoiding the problem.
  • What? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:01PM (#11577797)
    Carmack didn't adopt opengl in doom3, he's used opengl all along. You do realize there was some "quake" game people played way back when right?

    And the opengl vs direct3d argument is moot. Only a moron, or a company trying to sell a 3d engine and not a game writes their own 3d engine. If you are just making a game, use an existing engine. There are already dozens of high quality, portable engines at various price points for different needs, writing your own is just dumb.
  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:02PM (#11577798) Homepage Journal
    That analogy is overlooking an important point... I wouldn't mind buying a car/PC that had one or two flaws from the factory. I *DO* mind buying a car/pc that has HUNDREDS of critical issues, so much that it's not even safe to drive home / boot on internet to actually get the repairs made.

    If the car/os is that badly constructed, be pissed at the manufacturer for making such a bad product, or be pissed at yourself for making an uninformed decision to purchase said product. Your pick, there are good arguments for both.

    Unfortunately, the reality is that most consumers are not experts on either cars or computers. The majority of them are making uninformed decisions and the marketing engine of the cars/os's is out in front blinding what little vision they have, and so they buy. For many this is just a way of life, buying crap and coming to accept it no matter how insufferable it becomes.

    The most effective solution to this whole mess is education. Unfortunately it's not so easy to make Joe Consumer an expert on cars or computers, so we're left with feeding them a summary warning about what products to avoid, and hope they listen more to us than the marketing FUD. That's basically all the article is trying to do.
  • by Moofie ( 22272 ) <> on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:02PM (#11577803) Homepage
    Why don't IT managers buy Macs? Because a) they don't understand them and b) Macs require far less IT bandwidth.

    Less IT bandwidth means less IT managers.
  • Well then... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Paradox ( 13555 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:07PM (#11577876) Homepage Journal
    If you need a firewall in order to use the 'net safely, why isn't it bundled and included in the price of these $499 pcs?

    This is why I get irritated at people who constantly go off about how much cheaper PCs are than macs. They never mention these little things, and these little things start to add up real fast.

    You go out and pay $70-$100 for a firewall, get a mcafee virus scan subscription for $35/year. Oh, just to be safe you better grab yourself the latest copy of AdAware, another $40-ish dollars down the drain. Holy cow, your $499 pc now cost you like $700 for the bare minimum! And that's just the beginning of the pain you're in for. You can't use your regular browser, no sir! You need Firefox to avoid totally foobaring your computer. Download and install that.

    Meanwhile, my barely-computer-literate sister's iBook is online without a firewall all the time. She did what the computer recommended and enabled autoupdate and forgot about it. She didn't need to go out and buy any extra software or hardware to use the internet.

    Yeah, Wintel-ites may get a whole bunch of copies of FPS games with new, inventive graphics. I get the privledge of having a hassle-free computer.

  • Re:Accountability! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lukey Boy ( 16717 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:10PM (#11577915) Homepage
    If the browser were secure, the user should be able to throw any garbage at the HTML parsing code, image handler routines, etc, and not have any buffer overruns, underruns, and so on.

    When a new user goes to Google and searches for a random string, then clicks through to a malicious site that has previously poisened that search string the browser should not be fucking compromised. Us programmers (at least, the non-Microsoft ones) have a saying that goes "Never trust user input." HTML is user input, and something that exploits the IFRAME code of Internet Explorer is also user data.

    If you fundamentally believe still that this is the fault of the user, then I don't think you quite understand what a security hole is.

  • by DarkBlackFox ( 643814 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:12PM (#11577929)
    Er, no. A customer of my shop decided his computer was too infected with crap and tried to reformat and reinstall using the convenient recovery CDs he got with his computer. This was an older computer, and the recovery CDs came with basic Windows XP, with no service packs. The recovery was successful, but as soon as he installed his cable modem software, he was infected with Blaster, Sasser, and Nachi worms all before he finished downloading Service Pack 2.

    Having a firewall would have most definitely stopped those infections. Granted, most crap beyond self-infecting worms are caused by the user, but don't say such a small amount of users won't get infected by not having a firewall.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:14PM (#11577956)
    Can someone explain to me again why I have to buy another piece of hardware to compensate for flaws inherent in my computer's software? Am I missing something here?

    Yeah, fault vs. personal responsibility. It's MS fault that the OS is crappy. But if you take personal responsibility the problem goes away. The same can be said for so many things in life.

    So does that mean that Microsoft should not take personal responsibility for the dog food that they produce? When was the last time you saw a users manual come with Windows or a new Machine? If I remember right, the last one I saw came with DOS 5. Most non-professional computer users that I know of learned how to use a machine from either the talking paperclip or the happy puppy. I may have become jadded over the years but it appears as though the average user knows less about computers than a preteen knows about sex. Its hard to feel sorry for someone once you realize that most of their woes are due to lack of training material...

  • by lampajoo ( 841845 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:15PM (#11577968)
    yeah, and wearing condoms sucks, but that's the kind of world we live in.
  • by Reziac ( 43301 ) * on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:18PM (#11577996) Homepage Journal
    "The biggest problem with Windows is that Microsoft gave a very powerful OS to Joe Servicepack who has NO CLUE how to get it stable and keep it stable."

    So the biggest problem with Windows is the users? The solution is clear, then, get rid of Windows users: have them all buy a Mac or install Linux.

    And then we'd be hearing instead, "The biggest problem with MacOS/Linux is that Apple/Linus gave a very powerful OS to Joe Servicepack who has NO CLUE how to get it stable and keep it stable."

  • by catdevnull ( 531283 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:20PM (#11578012)
    That article is pretty down on Windows. I don't usually defend MSFT, but when you're a target that big, everybody is gunning for you--the spammers, the spyware pimps, the skript kiddies, the crackers, and the phishers. If there were that many Macs, I'm sure they'd not enjoy their false sense of safty.

    Windows 98? Sucked. No arguments from anyone about that. Windows ME? Sucked. Again, little defense even from MS. Windows 2000? Not as sucky--marked improvement in stability. Windows XP? Much better. Not perfect, but glad to see it's better.

    If you're going to run Windows the simple fact of life you're going to have to get used to is this: high maintenance. Well, maybe it's not all that bad...
    • Patch and then patch again.
    • Before you even think about plugging into the network, patch it from CDs after you re-install the OS (don't trust what comes from the factory)
    • install your anti-virus and your adware prophylactics before you think about going on-line, too.
    • Install Firefox and turn off that damned built-in firewall on XP2 after you install a 3rd party firewall package like ZoneAlarm.
    • Don't log-in as Administrator ever and make sure you're using a 15 character password with a few unicode characters in it for all accounts.
    • Install a firewall router on your LAN and work from behind it.
    • Don't use the same password on any other computer.
    • Update your virus DAT files daily--maybe twice a day
    • Run RKDetector everynow and then just to make sure.
    • Boot from a Knoppix CD once in a while to make sure you're not owned.
    • If you enabled any kind of services, turn them off.
    If you're running linux, you'll need to practice the same kind of vigilance. Those boxes are 0wn3d more often by "real" people instead of zombie processor or worms. In fact, crackers like Linux boxes much more than Windows because they're more fun and harder to 0wn.

    Macs are easily knocked over two if you're running services like SSH. A dictionary attack is trivial.
    They all still suck :(
  • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mildew Man ( 718763 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:21PM (#11578032)

    I'm a gamer.
    Of the 33 people (just offhand) that I know that have home computers, only four are gamers. Four! 12% The fact of the matter is that my mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law (and his parents), and most people are NOT gamers. Slashdot geeks are gamers. Most are not.
  • by lordarthur ( 168346 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:27PM (#11578093)
    The sound support has been sub-optimal, sure it plays .wav etc. with low latency, but the new Soundcards offer nice dsp for positional audio. These are the main things which DirectSound AFAIK addresses and there has been nothing. I believe there are not even the drivers yet in linux.

    The timing function have not been reliable, too.
    At least not in py_sdl...

    SDL is nice but it needs a lot of work to be comparable with DX.

    At the graphics side, I think that OpenGL is absolute comparable with Direct3D.
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by WesG ( 589258 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:35PM (#11578179)

    I love the "Here's 100 gazillion reasons why Windows XP sucks and Mac/Linux/Unix/Gentoo/anything other than Microsoft is better" threads.

    The same bullshit gets said.

    Its like arguing for the sake of arguing.

    Bottomline, is that Windows XP is very usable. Most people out there use it and while a handful of their boxes can get owned if they don't run Windows update, 99% of them work just fine and are very productive with them.

    If you can't see the truth, then go fart in a paper bag!
  • by gnuguru ( 301000 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:37PM (#11578192) Journal
    I wasn't very clear in that comment, what I am saying is that Microsoft should recall all CD media unsold each month when they release patches, and RELEASE ALL PATCHES ON THE MEDIA THEY SELL TO THE PUBLIC.

    Sue me for stating the obvious.
  • Re:Simple (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Canberra Bob ( 763479 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:38PM (#11578207) Journal
    "My wife has me use my linux box to download pictures off her camera..."

    See a problem here? Your wife has YOU download the pics off her camera. If Linux is so easy and intuitive, why does she not do it herself?

    Oh, and working a camera with the Mac is a dream come true! 10 minutes to set up? Bah! Plugged in the camera (none of this loading drivers and setup nonsense) and everything JUST WORKED.
  • by eldenf ( 175452 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:41PM (#11578223) Homepage
    Also, many people keep using Windows because they just don't understand what's happening.

    I think you're forgetting one primary reason people use windows... there are MANY categories of programs out there that only come in a windows flavor. Having been a linux and mac os x user for several years, that's why I run windows. With alternative OSs there are just too many things one can't do. That's because you don't have the software choices. I've used windows for over 10 years and never had a virus or any spyware. It's really not that tough.
  • Re:Role Reversal (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DylanQuixote ( 538987 ) <.dylan. .at.> on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:42PM (#11578234) Homepage
    Apache is #1 webserver. Why is it not attacked as often as IIS?
  • Joe Sixpack (Score:2, Insightful)

    by just1 ( 848612 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:46PM (#11578271)
    I am a forty-five year old guy who knows jack about computers.Got my first one used from a family member for free with windows 98 18 months ago. By taking the time to read stuff like slashdot and other tech sites I have gotten a liitle bit savey about dealing with all the trash that comes with useing the internet. It really gets me that there is such a steep learning curve for the basic tasks I require a computer for. But I wasn't learning how to do tasks, I was learning how to secure my machine. I thought the hard part would be learning the various programs not security. Windows was not really made for people like me, of which there are many, but it should be. I can't wait to get Mac and leave my part time security job behind.
  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ZephyrXero ( 750822 ) <zephyrxero@yah o o . c om> on Friday February 04, 2005 @07:56PM (#11578366) Homepage Journal
    If you are really a game programmer, then you should know better than designing a game to work with only one platform! Any programmer worth a damn knows to develop multi-platform if they want to make any money. Go ahead and make your game in DirectX, good luck getting that to work on a PS2 or Gamecube, let alone Linux and Mac. OpenGL/AL and SDL make much more sense because you don't have to recode the thing everytime you release it on a different platform.
  • In order to be sure the computer worked in the first place, they had to install Windows to test the peripherals and other devices!

    That may have been an excuse in 1999, but Knot anymore [].

  • by theolein ( 316044 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @08:05PM (#11578443) Journal
    Fuck, 800 plus comments as of now, and no one with any real insight gets modded up? Perhaps that is the problem, in itself? No one, not one person that I saw, attempted to take the arrticle and make a decent discussion out of it.

    Premise 1: We have a computer user, who is a journalist, has been using Macs for nigh on 15 years, is not extremely tech savy (Get to that in a mo') and sees that his fellow computers users, most of them on one of the millions of brands of PC and one of the various flavours of Windows, be it from Win98 to WinXP, have, in general, more problems with their computers than he does.

    What does all that tell me?

    I am a Mac user myself (well, I use a PC as well with Linux and Win2000 on it and I used to be a Windows shop sys admin). I agree with his OBSERVATIONS 100%. I mean observations because apart from his subjective ranting on why the world doesn't string BillG up from the rafters, which is his OPINION, his article has a good point.

    I have seen and expereienced the same problems with Windows machines, until learning better, such as the 20 seconds till being hacked when first going online with WinXP and the numerous bugs in the OS over the years. Yes, I know as well as you that putting a simple router in front of the machine stops 90% of the bugs and being careful about mails and what you download and keeping up with pacthces will stop the rest, but it is a real pain and, in my experience, one has to ask the simple question: why?

    In that I agree with the article. Using Windows is more complex than a Mac with OSX. Now on to the tech savy bit. The author writes about the prize that was offered for hacking the webserver Webstar, which was the only real webserver on classic Mac OS. It was never used widely in the server world and thus is not a good example of application security. The guy reveals his lack of expertise because, all those who know that OSX is based on BSD know that the webserver shipped with OSX is Apache, the same one that upsets the numbers game of OSS with respect to commercial offerings when compared to IIS.

    Also, the argument that Windows has more software available is a real one, especially for gamers and for CAD and specialised business applications and the situation will stay that way while Windows has such a dominating marketshare.

    And that is a reason for staying with Windows, but it isn't the reason why 90% of the world's computer using public uses PC's and Windows. That reason is simply because PC's are more available and most people have no idea that there are alternatives and are only interested in getting a "computer" with which they can chat, browse, mail, write letters, store photos, listen to music etc. Although a Mac arguably, in my experience, does all of this much better than Windows does, most people will simply go to the nearest shop and use what is there.

  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ZephyrXero ( 750822 ) <zephyrxero@yah o o . c om> on Friday February 04, 2005 @08:05PM (#11578446) Homepage Journal
    You talk as if there are that many games coming out for PC these days even in Windows either! lol.... All you get on PC is FPS,Strategy, and MMORPGs... everybody has fled to the consoles. Maybe if Linux and indy games started to take off more you might see something else besides those four games you mentioned on Linux and Windows both. The video game market may be making great sales figures but the entire industry is in a big slump as far as quality goes.
  • by daviddennis ( 10926 ) <> on Friday February 04, 2005 @08:22PM (#11578616) Homepage
    Mark Morford, despite what he claiims in the article, is not a technical user. He's just a guy who insists that when he or his significant other plug a computer into the network, it should continue to work successfully.

    It's okay to say that if you're a technical user you can secure Windows by simply obtaining up to date firewall hardware and/or software, loading SP2 from CD, buying $100 worth of anti-virus and spyware programs, and installing them before you connect your new computer to the network. Technical users can do things like that. Of course if you, as a technical user, value your time at more than $0 an hour, you've already spent the difference in cost between your generic PC and a 17" iMac with the gorgeous screen.

    With Microsoft, Dell, HP and all other PC OEMs selling products to the public in an irresponsible manner, I don't think it's the fault of the users. Users who are buying something marketed as an appliance should not have to know how to make it safe. It should be sold to them safe, or the manufacturers are committing fraud on the public -- which is what both Morford and I believe.

    If Mark and his SO have found a better way through Apple, I personally applaud them for making their choice. I've made the same choice, with the same results. I'm not as bullish on Apple as he is, since for some reason the person on the street is highly resistant to change, even when it's from a lousy product to an excellent one. But he's right in insisting that the computing products he buys adhere to minimum standards, such as, well, continuing to work after you plug them in the network.

    I'm a technical user - I develop software for a living - but I would rather avoid a platform that makes me work harder on keeping it running than doing the work I need to do to perform my job -- which is plenty hard enough, rest assured!

    Certainly you would have to agree that, for the point of view of all but the most rabid technical users, a product that doesn't blow up five minutes after you plug it in is far superior to one that does ... right?

  • by NatteringNabob ( 829042 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @08:31PM (#11578697)
    No, that is complete nonsense. The virus problem is a Microsoft Windows problem. I've had a Linux box on the net for years with minimal maintainenve, and it has never had a breakin of any kind. Of course, it only has one port open and firewall is turned on, but that is pretty much the way it came. The real reason it hasn't been compromise is that:

    1) It doesn't run Windows

    2) It doesn'r run IE

    3) It doesn't run Outlook

    4) It doesn't run MS Office

    What do these products have in common? My wife's Windows PC, well, it has had Klez and spyware despite being behind a firewall and having anti-virus. My son's Windows PC has had spyware galore despite having a Windows firewall and anti-virus. My desktop Linux box? No spyware, no viruses, nothing - it works like the energizer bunny. I did have the teardrop attack when I was ignorant and did my first RedHat (6?) install on a machine connected to DSL. I think that was in 1999. Since then, the only Linux problems I have had are hardware failures.
  • by dustmite ( 667870 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @08:32PM (#11578699)

    Windows crashing is obviously not so much of an inconvenience that they must storm Redmond. It's easier to push the reset button.

    I used to wonder why things that annoyed me a lot about Windows, and the fact that it's crap, didn't seem to bother other people so much. Then I realised that, apart from the usual valid explanation that most have had their expectations lowered so much regarding computers that they're almost impossible to disappoint, only a small percentage of other users I know spend as much time on a computer as I do. Most people just spend maybe a few hours a day on a computer, e.g. do some simple tasks like e-mail and web, maybe a Word document or spreadsheet. So if something annoys them, it's for a short time and then they go about doing other things. But as a software developer, I basically spend nearly all my time behind the computer - a 40 hour week is rare relaxation, 60 hour week not uncommon. So when some little Windows bug annoys you, it annoys you 10 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week, for months and sometimes years. I think this inherently puts a different perspective on it. It's one thing being annoyed for an hour or two then going back to what you enjoy and do all day. It's another if what you enjoy and do all day has become annoying all day due to the system you're using being crappy. Because you also 'explore' the system deeper, you also uncover far more bugs and annoyances. It's like, if I drive to work in a junky car, that sucks but only for 20 minutes a day. But if my job involves driving all day, then having a decent ride is going to make a world of difference.

  • Re:Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Micah ( 278 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @08:46PM (#11578807) Homepage Journal
    XP may be technically good, but doesn't freedom and openness mean anything? In order to liberate the computer industry from a control-freak monopoly, as many of us as possible need to put up with any inconveniences of Linux relative to Windows (which are getting fewer every month) until Linux has enough market share to be taken seriously. And we're almost there, don't quit now!!!!

    As for Exchange, I recently had to suffer (and that is an understatement) some Exchange 5.5 administration. What an utterly horrid pile of tripe! Fortunately, we will be moving to Bynari Insight Server on Linux within a month or two.
  • by WebCowboy ( 196209 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @08:57PM (#11578903)
    Since you left it so obviously vulnerable...

    This is precisely what baffles the author of the parent article my friend--or did you neglect to RTFA? How is it people have come to accept and expect that their computers or software would come from the manufacturer--BRAND NEW FROM THE FACTORY--in a condition that renders them basically useless?

    This time last year, if you bought a brand new PC with WinXP factory-installed, pluged in the RJ45 and power cables and powered it up, you could almost 100% guarantee that within minutes it would need serious servicing. There is literally no other product or industry on the planet where such a shoddy product would be tolerated. I do not expect my brand new car to need the services of a mechanic before it is fit to drive on public roads. I do not need to configure a "radiation firewall" or install patches in my microwave to prevent it from turning my food into a smouldering powder. I can also be reasonably comfortable that my washing machine will clean my clothes without flooding the house or electrocuting me on a regular basis.

    And don't give me any claptrap about how computers and software are complex. Cars are at least as complex as a PC these days and they are much more reliable. Microwaves, VCRs, etc. all have a lot of electronics. Industry uses PLCs (Programmable Logic Controllers) that today are rivalling the power of low-end PCs, and these complex devices can run continuously for years (some have run for a decade or more).

    Not only does the fact that peoples expectations have stayed low and gotten lower baffle me--so does the response from knowledgable people along the lines of "well of course it broke--you didn't install a firewall, antivirus, disable this, enable that...." as if we are stupid to expect something to actually WORK in its factory configuration.

    All in all, my opinion of Gates and Microsoft is mixed to negative--for all the contributions they made to computing, the man and his company have done a great deal to create a vulnerable IT monoculture and foster an attitude of low expectations.
  • Re:A story (Score:2, Insightful)

    by initsix ( 86050 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:01PM (#11578930)
    Mod parent up!! I love linux as much as next person but anyone who uses it on a regular basis can relate to this guy's problem. Sometimes I am up for the challenge and don't mind having to do the research when installing and configuring linux applications, but there are times when I don't have the spare time and I need things to "just work". This is where windows has the advantage, more than not, I can do what I have to do without a hassle.

    As far as you folks who bash the security of windows. I for one don't have security issues. I used to, but running XP SP2 and a good antivirus program. I even use IE with no problems. Windows is not what it used to be.

  • by ( 656767 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:32PM (#11579196)
    No, that doesn't wash. If it was just ubiquity that caused MS to get hit more often than *NIX's (including OS X's BSD heritage), it wouldn't be the case that roughly 70% of the world's web servers are Apache, yet 90% of web server exploits are against Microsoft's IIS.

    The flaw in Windows isn't it's commonality, it's deep in the architecture.
  • by Almost-Retired ( 637760 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @09:33PM (#11579202) Homepage
    Of course, if you managed to convince the manufacturer to sell you a computer without an operating system pre-installed, you had to pay an extra $10-$50 for that choice. Why? In order to be sure the computer worked in the first place, they had to install Windows to test the peripherals and other devices! Oh, did you want warranty support too? Sorry. "We don't support other operating systems."

    Excuse me, but whoinhell needs to buy that? I buy the motherboard, the cpu, the memory, video and sound card, cpu cooler, front panel usb portage, case, psu, hard drives etc from maybe half a dozen places when I want to build a new machine. I can run a screwdriver and put it all together. That, and some uncommon sense called commen sense, are about all you really need to do it your way, without M$ ever getting its camels nose in the tent in the first place.

    By way of defineing common sense, I'm 70, and have an 8th grade education.

    The post (Power On Self Test) in the bios completing successfully is all the insurance that the hardware works you will *ever* need. The requirement that they had to install windows on the box to test it is pure, sometimes still warm, usually green, and found on the ground behind the male of the bovine specie.

    This is commonly called Bull Shit by the non-M$ sheeple, and grounds to load up the shotgun by windows lover sheeple. Go figure, I gave up long ago.

    As far as warranty is concerned, the mobo maker doesn't really care about a whole hell of a lot except the post output. If it won't 'post' then the mobo, or the cpu, has obviously gone to that great graveyard. Running mostly socket A stuff, I've always got a cpu that will fit the socket and cross-check the cpu thats in it.
    They don't care what os is running on it, other than they may not have a resident expert in "superdos-" on staff to answer your stupid setup questions. Thats not their job anyway, their job is to make you a good motherboard, at a competitive price. And many do exactly that, for as low as a 50 dollar bill!

    So the dealers trying to cover their collective asses from redmond driven retaliation should quit this FUD, because thats exactly what it is. The retaliation may well be real, and thats what double-you doesn't give a fat rats ass about, so that will no doubt continue until we get an administration that actually works for the people. We most certainly don't have that now, but thats another horserace entirely.

    Cheers, gene
    Proudly M$ free since forever.
  • It's absurd to prevent a company from install its OS on the computers it sells. We have no problem letting Microsoft put Windows on the hardware it sells.

    And I'm sure you're willing to apply the same standard to Novell, Mandrake, and Red Hat, right? God forbid a software company be allowed to pre-install an OS on a system that somebody else built!

    By that standard, we'd have exactly three choices in computer hardware today - IBM, Sun or Apple. It's not very FOSS-ish of you to argue that less choice in both software and hardware would be good for anybody. Besides, if MS had to, you know they'd be able to outspend any of these guys on developing consumer hardware, so they'd still be a monopoly. You'd just have less Linux out there.

    MS can be blamed for a lot of things, but really, this article is just a lot of pro-Mac, anti-MS hooey. Why it gets featured on Slashdot is not really a mystery given the site's post-OS X pro-Mac bias, but that doesn't make it really newsworthy either. I don't honestly even believe the guy's story about installing Windows on his SO's machine; the 4 minute attack is lifted straight out of an article that appeared here about 4-5 months ago. Seems a bit coincidental that a self-confessed lifetime Mac user would suddenly be installing Windows XP on his SO's machine just so he can write about how awful it is.

    The second half of his article just goes on at length with the standard Mac fanboy arguments that we've heard for years - it stops being about security and instead touches on the prices of Macs vs. PC's (he argues PC's are actually more expensive once you bring them "up to the level" of a comparable Mac), the user-friendliness of Windows vs. OS X, the innovativeness of Apple vs. MS. I mean seriously, blah blah blah. If I wanted to read this, I'd just search the Usenet archives from 1986.

    There's no doubt that Windows XP has its share of security problems, moreso than most OS's. But there's no new info in this article and lots of annoying fanboy hyperbole. I've seen more insightful writing in Slashdot posts, and that's saying something.
  • Another reason though is that Linux still can be a hassle like downloading firefox and having to use administrator login to install.
    Doing something right is always more of a hassle than doing something the "easy" way. Furthermore, you don't have to be administrator to install firefox. You can "install" it just by dumping the directory in your home folder. you'll be the only one able to run it perhaps but it can be done. If you are installing any app that will be globally available to everyone then there "should" be some extra steps to install it. And it should require higher privileges to do.

    Additionally even in NT based machines like Win2k and WinXP you have to be administrator to install certain applications. The difference is most Windows people log in as administrator all the time. Window's makes it very difficult to do it any other way.
  • by Frobozz0 ( 247160 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @10:00PM (#11579388)
    I'd easily argue that less that 99% of their machines run fine.

    When was the last time you needed 3 full time, over-paid IT employees to look over a Macintosh network of 50 computers? Windows is a joke.
  • Re:A story (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dennisr ( 17484 ) * <dennisr AT spacerodent DOT org> on Friday February 04, 2005 @11:02PM (#11579760) Homepage

    You had a rough time with Slackware 10 and so you have given up on Linux all together if I understand the gist of your post.

    Perhaps a newer, more cutting edge distribution would have been a better choice. Fedora Core 3 and Gentoo come to mind.

    The fact is there are a lot of people who use Linux for everyday work and it can easily replace a Windows or Mac system. In my opinion Gnome 2.8 is there today - it is just as usable as Windows XP or Mac OS X

    I agree with you in that mainstream Linux distributions are not ready to replace Tivo, however I don't think that is the goal of most distributions.

    People building MythTV setups are not doing on Linux because its easy and Wizard driven. They are doing it for the challenge and the customization. Sounds like you weren't up to the challenge and gave up. I don't understand how you can blame Linux for that.

  • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JPrice ( 181921 ) on Friday February 04, 2005 @11:19PM (#11579852) Homepage
    Consoles are slick... I have a PS2, a GameCube, and a GBA, and I have games I love for all of them. But I can't play WoW, or Pirates!, or SimCity 4, or countless other PC-only games on them.

    I'm having this same argument in a couple of threads, and the people that suggest that gamers like myself can simply get rid of all our PC games and play with consoles seem to assume that games on platform X are perfect substitutes for games on platform Y. This simply isn't the case; if it were, no one would ever need to own more than one game system. No one would buy an XBox to play Halo, because they could just be playing GTA3 on the PS2 they already own.

    The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of good games that come out only for PC, and I, and many other PC gamers, aren't going to suddenly decide we don't want to play them anymore to satisfy some Linux fan's need to convert.
  • Re:A story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tetromino ( 807969 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @01:05AM (#11580389)
    In other words, you tried installing an experts-only distro (Slackware) on hardware with no good linux drivers. Then, having apparently not learned the lesson, you bought more hardware without checking if it has good linux drivers.

    Perhaps your next project should be getting GNU HURD/L4 on a Mac Mini working with a firewire video capture device...

    P.S. : as for the SATA issue, if you've done some XP installs recently, you are probably aware that XP installation requires a driver floppy inserted during a certain 20-second window for untraditional hard drive configs (RAID, SCSI, and I think SATA also). By analogy if nothing else, you should have had in the back of your mind that there might be difficulties with installing Linux on a SATA drive.
  • by SparklingClearWit ( 792141 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @01:10AM (#11580405)
    A.) Sysprep or RIS. Learn it, love it.
    B.) Admin rights for applications: Fallacy. You can grant pseudo-admin rights to certain directories or applications via group policy or security policies (Adobe springs right to mind) if necessary. This is *not* a fault of the Windows OS security model inasmuch as it's a failure of the application requiring permissions to an entire folder or registry key.
    C.) "Each requires different drivers" - and Linux doesn't?! Seriously. Windows is actually usually far more forgiving about fucked up hardware - it will either fail to safe mode, or disable the hardware.

    "We use the same image for 345s that we use with 445s - no sweat." Uhhhh, but you're bitching that Windows wants the proper drivers for the hardware? So you're OK with "close enough" on your blades, eh? I would suspect your higher-ups would like to know that their machines are being loaded properly with the correct drivers for the hardware they're installed on, in order to make sure they're the most stable, most reliable machines they can be.

    I love Linux, use Linux daily, but also admin Windows machines. Use the right tools for the job, and learn a bit more about how to propery install and configure your machines, dude.

  • by Draknor ( 745036 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @01:22AM (#11580465) Homepage
    It is irresponsible and possible even stupid to connect any computer directly to the Internet without benefit of a firewall or without having been patched.

    And that is exactly the point - when you buy any other consumer product, you expect to be able to plug it in and work, right out of the box. You don't have to go to the mfg's website, look for the last "update", or purchase a gazillion "accessories" (anti-virus, firewall, spyware-blocker, pop-up blocker, etc) just so it works!. If I buy a new TV, I can plug it in to the power outlet and the cable jack, and it just works. If I want to use the advanced features, I can read the instruction manual. If I want to protect it from lightning strikes & power surges, I can buy protective accessories. But it will work just fine without those. Why should computers be different?

    I use Windows, and I consider myself a power user, and I *like* dinking around with custom settings. But I can't let my family just buy a new Wintel PC anymore, because it will not just work out of the box and plugged in online. If Mac can do that, I'll start recommending it. And if virus writers and spyware starts hitting Mac once it reaches enough "critical mass", and Mac reaches the same state Windows is at now (worthless without the absolute latest patches) then so be it - I'll start recommending whatever is on the market by then that just works.
  • Re:A story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IO ERROR ( 128968 ) * <> on Saturday February 05, 2005 @02:29AM (#11580748) Homepage Journal
    You spent 15 days on MythTV because you chose Slackware as your distribution. Slackware is for people who want to get their hands dirty and recompile the kernel twice daily trying to get all their hardware to work. Not to mention recompile everything else on the system from time to time, just for the sheer joy of it. (Yes, some people actually do get high off the sort of frustration you experienced.)

    In about 30 seconds, I found [] and within the documentation, nice RPM packages for Fedora which are installed by something as simple as "yum install mythtv-suite" (after telling yum about the repo). Discounting download time, I suspect you could have had this running within minutes on a Fedora or SuSE or even Debian install.

    The wireless card support is a bad situation, and not much can be done about it aside from not giving that particular manufacturer any money (and letting them know they are losing sales). Other than that, your primary problem was that you chose Slackware.

  • The real problem (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SoulMaster ( 717007 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @05:23AM (#11581232)
    So in essence, all of you repliers are saying that everything he did wrong was his fault? Because he didn't know any better? Isn't that exactly the same problem with Windows? The users don't know any better and thier machines get infected with all sorts of crap and become unstable. The true problem is that there is no "perfect OS", none of them are even close. Windows, if it isn't patched / behind a firewall, has pathetic security. Linux (any version), give a Linux installation CD to your mother, tell her to install it, get it on the net and secure it. Mac, give your Mother a Mac, let her get that frowning face error and tell her to call mac to fix it. Then, after they come out and fix it, have any one of her firends giver her a CD to install. Seriously, if any /.er really thinks that the masses are anywhere near savvy enough to do anything with a computer, we have some problems. Living in Vegas, I love a wager, I would wager $1000 that if you took 100 completely random people and gave them all the same, simple 1990's VCR and told them to set the clock, less than 20 would actually be able to do it in the minute it would take any of us. And THAT, dear friends, is the real problem with Windows, and computers in general.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 05, 2005 @08:46AM (#11581814)
    Yeah, and while we're at it, let's weld car hoods shut, because you just know there are people who are going to try replacing the oil themselves and screw it up, thereby requiring a costly visit to the garage.

    The answer to social engineering is awareness, not taking away choices. Because as long as a user has some power left to customize their environment, there will be social engineering tricks that can be applied.
  • Re:No kidding (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sigaar ( 733777 ) on Saturday February 05, 2005 @09:56AM (#11582062)
    "Move the cursor with HJKL... Couldn't they at least pick something in a shape similar to the way you're moving, like WASD?"

    I think that those keys were chosen on machines there weren't PCs and probably had different keyboard layout.

    Anyway, vi wasn't intended to be the simple basic editor. It's meant for the power user. Comparing vi to dos edit is like bitching about Photoshop being more complicated to use the windows paint. They're not aimed at the same people.

    I wish people would stop expecting to be able to use powerful tools without wanting to learn to use them. If you don't want to learn to drive, get an automatic. If you want the power and control that a stick shift offers. learn to work the damn thing.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"