I’m trying to justify to myself the reason why I run Windows (dual boot with Ubuntu, by the way). Read: I am bashing neither Windows nor UNIX here.
First and foremost, here are the applications I use.
Web Browser: Opera(cool voice feature), Firefox(the RC that looks very interestingly like Opera)
Movie Player: Quicktime, DivX Player
Music Player: iTunes
Messenger: GAIM, GTalk (although I’ve also tried Trillian and Miranda)
Productivity Suite: OpenOffice, Microsoft Office (No use getting a licensed copy if I’m not going to use it, right?)
Photo Editor: Adobe Photoshop
Movie Editor: Macromedia Director
Security: McAfee Security Center
Other Programs I run: Adobe Programs (Acrobat Pro, Indesign,
Pagemaker), and other stuffs for programming.
Looking at that list, it may seem to you that running Windows seem useless. But here are the reason I came up with why me and other people I know run Windows even with its security issue:
1. People don’t choose Windows because it’s better (or worse) than UNIX but because Microsoft/Intel was careful to guarantee them a consistent software experience across a broad selection of hardware. (Notebooks, PDAs, gaming consoles) (Edit: Sorry for the term”choose”. I don’t think we really “choose” Windows but rather stuck with it. Specially for PDAs and Xbox.)
2. Commercial grade windows just works and keeps working. The security issue aside, Windows actually works. (Edit: I’m not saying free-nixes don’t. I’m actually running one too and it works for me. 😉 )
3. Major apps like Macromedia’s Director, Adobe’s Photoshop, etc, are still not available on UNIX. (Max OS X doesn’t count because Photoshop was coded to the Machintosh interface, not X-windows, and functions on OSX as a side-effect of the excellent backwards-compatibility that Apple built into their kernel-swap.) Has it manage to escape the attention of the open-source movement that Adobe, Macromedia, Corel and so forth have continued to be remain virtually Windows-only? The rush of support for Linux has not translated to a rush of quality applications. (A lot of people, especially those in the market, still see the need to use Adobe for desktop publishing.)
4. There are simply too many free-nixes out there but you could be sure that if you used Flavor X some adherent of Flavor Y was going to bust your chops about it, and that someone was sure to show up with flavor Zand have trouble making things work. This is particularly true in code-writing.
5. Let’s face it, Macs are indeed a lot more secured, much more consistent
and more expensive. (I’m edititng this because thinking about it, Windows is more expensive. Assuming, of course, that you are running a licensed copy. I just remembered that I paid separately for the license of both XP Pro and MS Office 2003 Pro.)
6. GAMES! Most games remain virtualy windows-only. (Took ages before warcraft and the like was available to OS X. 😀 ) So, if your a hard core gamer, chances are you’re running Windows. 😉
Honestly, all platforms have their own pros and cons. Apple software engineers are busy making eye-candies while Microsoft software engineers are trying to fix bugs but in the end they both just works (OS X better, needless to say). The advantage of commercial grade products like Windows and Mac OS X is that, Marcus Ranum said it better than I could ever do, “the platforms are consistent and won’t fragment into competing versions because because they are proprietary and the folks producing them are in business to make money.”
Update: Do MS really see the need to copy everything? Live.com that looks interestingly like Google. Zune that is similar to iPod. The MicroBlinkx Deal after the Google-YouTube deal. And now this thing that is interestingly like iSight.