Stop bashing Microsoft

Here’s a quote from one of the recent posts in a Java-related mailing list:

The author writes, “Regarding OS’s as development environments, let’s not forget that there

are ways to make each OS behave (to varying degrees) like others. Of the three great western religions (Linux, Mac, and Windows), Windows is IMO by far the worst for development in terms of productivity. If I have to use it, I use cygwin to provide a Unix-like environment for it. Nevertheless, this only partially mitigates the one-arm-tied-behind-my-back-and-one-leg-in-a-cast misery. ”

I’m sure, my response will offend some of respectful Linux/Unix/OSX followers, but I’d like to separate environments that you (a.k.a professional programmer) like from environments that put bread on your table. I’m talking about programmers working in a corporate world. It’s so easy to bash Windows, but do not forget that it’s mainly because of Windows, computers are so widely used in the industry, and every morning you have a have a place to go, and every two weeks your check comes in the mail.

The author writes, “If I have to use it… “. Just put the money where your mouth is. Have guts to reject using Windows at work. I’ve seen such a guy once. This programmer brought to work his personal Apple computer with a large white monitor.The management tried to force this Java programmer using a wintel PC, but they’ve lost this battle. I do not think this Apple lover was right, but at least he stood up for his believes.

Windows is user-friendly-enough and has a HUGE number of tools/compilers/servers/games etc., and neither Linux nor Mac are even close to offering such a variety. Sure, Apple notebooks look cool, and several times I was thinking of buying one for myself, but as a professional Java developer, I just could not justify spending $2-3K for this computer.

I understand why Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex in The City) types her column sharing the bed with an Apple notebook, but using Windows just make my today’s life easier. This may change though, as soon as I start living as/with Sarah 🙂

My son is a college student majoring in Animation. When I had to purchase a PC for him, I was sure that he’d want a product from Apple since they mostly use Apple computers in their school labs. But he asked me to purchase a Wintel PC cause even in this field, Windows had all required software, plus more…

As of 2006, Windows on the desktop is far ahead comparing to Linux and Mac. On the server side though, I’m 100% for Linux/Unix. Some people say “who cares ” when the hear the news of delaying the Vista release. Honestly, this release is not too important for me either. But at least give Microsoft a credit for trying to release a quality product, instead of delivering a premature baby and trying to fix the first impression afterward.

Now the funny part. I regularly read Alan Holub’s Java column at SD Times, and this time he put a smile on my face by providing some notes from a talk on retiring Windows by Bill Gates. My only complain is that this article is a bit too long. After the first two paragraphs, majority of the readers should have realized that this is an April Fool’s joke, but Alan keeps milking this idea for a little bit too long. But I enjoyed this read anyway.

Having said all this, most likely I’ll purchase an Apple notebook soon, not because it looks cool, but because now it’s built on the Intel chip, which will let me booting either Windows or Tiger OS.

IMO, there are several groups of people using desktop PC:

1. Professional programmers working for corporations

2. Professional or amature programmers working for fun on future killer apps in their basements.

3. Professional programmers working for startups or small businesses

4. Users that consume products created by professional programmers (most of them do need anything other than MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint).

5. People of artisitic nature that do not have to work, but they just “create stuff ” on their PCs because they are bored

6. Students

7. Kids

Did I miss anyone? Today, vast majority of these groups is using Windows, which has lots of issues (the adware is the most annoying one), but there is already a generation of people who’ve learned to read, write and use Windows at the same time.

I’m not selling Windows here, but I’m a pragmatic person and need a very good reason to install any other OS on my laptop. I just do not have time for this.


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