Microsoft Windows is the Tin Man of the computing world. It has no heart.
It’s been 20 years since I used an Apple Computer. I cut my teeth on an Apple ][+ purchased for me by my parents when I turned 10. I taught myself assembly, BASIC, spreadsheets, word processing, everything. I used the ][+ for 6 years before moving to a PC, eventually transitioning to Windows 3.0. No possession impacted my life as much as that computer and I could not thank my parents enough for that wonderful gift. It was superior to other PC’s I used – Trash-80’s, IBM PC’s.
Later in college, I used an Intel 386sx based PC scraped together from components, and upgraded to a 50 MHz 486DX with 40 Meg hard drive and 17 inch monitor in 1994. I blew a big chunk of my summer savings on that computer but it was top of the line. I loved it. I’ve enjoyed every PC hardware upgrade since. At Engineering school and eventually at work I graduated to Unix, which was truly awesome. You could do anything in Unix and it is still the best OS.
My current desktop is four years old and runs XP. I don’t know what processor lies inside, most likely a Pentium D. Some things have stopped working and I can’t fix them anymore. I don’t want to fix computers anymore. I want them to just work.
I never used a Mac.
The microcomputer lab at UCSB was infected with them. They were tools for people who didn’t know how to use computers and I didn’t identify with these unwashed computing masses. Later, in the corporate world, Macs were verboten. Suggesting the use a Mac at work was a lack of discipline, a lack of loyalty to the corporate yoke.
People laugh at the ‘1984’ Apple ad but it captured this mentality perfectly. While the ad was groundbreaking this attitude towards Macs still exists in corporations today. From where I’m sitting I don’t see it changing.
Most have seen the above commercial, but few have seen Steve Jobs put the ad in the context of the time. Go here to see a young Steve Jobs speaking in 1983, gunning for IBM when he should have been gunning for Microsoft.
Windows XP is a massive improvement over Windows 2000, which was a big improvement over Windows 98 which was a big improvement over Windows 95 which was a massive improvement over Windows 3.1 which was a game-changing upgrade of Windows 3.1.
But along the way, the Wizards of Redmond forgot to give their OS a heart. And one cannot love what does not have a heart.
Mac owners express love for their machines. I cannot ever imagine loving a Windows PC even after nearly a 20 year working relationship with them. It is a defective relationship, a relationship without love.
I saw a MacBook Pro up close. It is a beautiful piece of work. A design that one could grow to love. But all I feel now is lust.