Yes, I’m going for a massive amount of hits for this one.
Full disclosure: I am a newbie to Macs. I bought my first iMac in 2007 right after they switched to Intel. I went in to get a Mac Mini thinking it would be fun to play with, but when I looked at the cost of adding a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc., I decided that a 19″ iMac might be a better deal (especially since they were on sale at the time).
We took it with us on vacation, and I fell in love the moment I took it out of the box. Apple knows what they’re doing with the purchasing experience. I had never (I’ve owned approximately 30 computers dating back to the Commodore PET! that loaded programs from a tape deck, and could only play Space Invaders.) opened a box, plugged in the power cord, mouse, keyboard and had a fully usable computer within 20 minutes. The first thing most PCs require at setup is a clean install to clear off the crapware in order to make the system usable. (This is, of course, not true of the systems I’ve built myself, but those systems take days to purchase, build, and setup.)
The iMac was a thing of beauty coming out of the box, but it wasn’t enough to convince me to switch. That occurred when I bought my first iPhone, but that’s a different posting. This is about windows.
Even though I switched to Mac during the Vista era, I am not a Vista hater. I was an early adopter. As soon as it was available preinstalled on the Lenovo ThinkPad (T61), I ordered Ultimate and was quite happy. Yes, I had trouble with drivers for printers (All-in-Ones from HP were notoriously slow being released), but I was quite happy with the laptop, and with Vista as a whole.
Here’s the problem. I’m setting up a desktop that’s been sitting in the corner collecting dust for my brother-in-law. (Yes, I’m that guy, but then the “Geek” in the title of the blog really should have been a giveaway.) This is a machine that I built, so I’m not blaming any manufacturer other than myself. As I said, this machine has been sitting in a corner, so it needed to be updated. There were approximately 60 critical updates that needed to be applied, including Vista SP1.
Everything was going along slowly but surely until I finally got to SP1. Then, I got the dreaded Windows Update Error message stating that the SP1 patch could not be applied.
It seems that there are many people who have had problems with this very same issue. It also seems that the only way to fix this issue is to disable everything that can be disabled in Windows, and reinstall them from the Setup disk. In short, to install a service pack to make Vista secure and stable, I need to reinstall Vista again.
As ridiculous as this is, it by itself isn’t why Windows sucks. Windows sucks not because it breaks sometimes. It sucks because one of the richest companies in the world, which is owned by one of the richest men in the world, decided that it needed to be just a little bit richer and require that costumers who had paid for the software jump though hoops of “Authentication” when trying to fix problems that Microsoft itself should have fixed long ago. SP1 was released nearly 2 years ago. (Authentication only affects honest customers. The dishonest ones have long since circumvented this problem.)
Why should I have to go through this trouble of proving to Microsoft that the software I bought, and authenticated three years ago, needs to be shown to be authentic again? Especially just to update the software to the latest version?
This is why I switched to Macs: Microsoft is a monopoly that has no reason to be concerned about the User experience. If they lose one, so what! We have millions of others who are willing to put up with being hassled for no reason whatsoever.