October 21, 2009

Windows Is Still Relevant In a Bad Way

Clppy Death

With the release of Windows 7, I realized that I completely skipped Windows Vista, and will likely avoid Windows 7 as well. I bought a Macbook a couple of years ago and found that I preferred it. To be fair, my last Windows PC was an IBM Thinkpad T40, which was one of the last models actually made by IBM before they sold their computer business to Lenovo. So I’m not using cutting-edge hardware. I liked that laptop, but eventually Windows XP slowed to a crawl, and rather than deal with a re-install, I moved most of my work online (not too tough if you blog for a living) and started using my Mac for everything.

So what’s the point? There is one game that my son likes that requires a Windows PC. I tried to install Windows on the older Macbook he usually uses but I couldn’t get it to recognize the CD as a boot disc. (*yawn*) So he uses the Thinkpad. For this one game.

Just now, as he was happily playing away, Windows decided that an update was SO IMPORTANT that it MUST REBOOT. It was one of the “I’m going to reboot in 5 minutes” and if you click “reboot later”, it reminds you in five minutes and starts another five minute countdown. In this case, “later” means “really really soon.”

I was reminded of the old Apple TV ad where a dad tries to show his son some dinosaurs on a PC. Dad: “Reconfigure jumpers and dipswitches…” Son: “Where’s the dinosaurs, dad?” Eventually the kid leaves to go to the neighbors because “they have a Mac.” (The ad, if you’re curious, is called Nightmare After Christmas.)

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I don’t want to sound like a iHole here. Apple is not perfect. But Windows seems to have these little irritating traits — annoyances, if you prefer — that make using it an unnecessarily frustrating experience. I doubt Windows 7 will eliminate them. And you know what? Windows XP, while mostly good, was annoying enough that I bailed on the whole product line. So I may never find out.

(For other Apple ads, visit The Apple Museum’s Great Apple Ads.)

Image: Clippy Death from Annoyances.org