Windows is easy, right?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Mrkvonic, Jun 26, 2010.

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  1. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello all,

    We all know that Windows operating system is easy. Right? Well, not necessarily. I'm about to shatter another myth. Here's a part-rant most-truth article about how difficult software really is, focusing on the ease-of-use illusion of Microsoft Windows and related products. Read and thou shalt be enlightened. This is some serious food for hungry minds. Enjoy.

    http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/windows-easy.html


    Feel free to crucify!

    Cheers,
    Mrk
     
  2. Greg S

    Greg S Registered Member

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    Lol, I enjoyed reading that. I don't know why, but the first thing that came to my mind whilst reading that was my wife. I was sure that before I got to the end of the article, her picture would appear somewhere within it. Here user name is Computer Clueless.
     
  3. MikeBCda

    MikeBCda Registered Member

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    "Intuitive interface" is in effect one more oxymoron ... something is "obvious" only if you're well experienced in it.

    The last time I was hospitalized for my psoriasis was back when DOS was the most common OS, and I was considered fairly expert with that (with the help of QEMM and its memory-settings recommendations). I learned that the hospital had a computer room for use by patients, so I naturally jumped at the chance for some extra recreational activity. Turned out they had only two "IBM-compatible" PCs, usually already in use, all the other units were Apples.

    I'd heard all kinds of things about Apple's wonderfully "intuitive" GUI, which of course became the inspiration for Windows, but found that my first hands-on experience with it was highly frustrating, trying to find out how to do things. They had boxes full of game disks for the Apples, but I didn't have a clue how to load them. I finally asked help from the room's supervisor, and even he had to dig out of the manual how to do that (probably a DOS person too).

    I still miss the old days, when Win was an application running under DOS rather than being its own OS, I had a much better sense of telling the computer what to do rather than it telling me. Admittedly, those were the days when MS was fond of brief, cryptic, and idiotic error messages ("bad command" was probably the classic one). But with even my now-antique XP, I'm just one more point-and-click-and-pray user these days.

    (Edit, after-thought) DOS 5 was probably MS's biggest improvement in error messages, adding suggested ways to eliminate the problem.
     
  4. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    What do you expect from the folks who think the way to initiate a shutdown is with a "Start" button.
     
  5. ALookingInView

    ALookingInView Registered Member

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    I'd personally rather have to take steps to protect my computer than have to deal with a CLI every time I turn around, but maybe that's just me.
    I've dual-booted with Ubuntu Linux for a spell on two different occasions and I don't miss it.
    I'm typing this from a Mac that sees its primary Snow Leopard OS boot less than once every full moon.
    I won't preach Windows though (or OS X, Linux, or anything else for that matter) as that kind of talk tends to get old pretty quickly.
    Carry on.
     
  6. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    And remember login with control-alt-delete?
     
  7. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Windows is as easy as any other OS, you have to learn. Wonder when Windows will be used as an excuse to drop out of college ;)
     
  8. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    Documents with macros? I guess that's a really typical scenario users run into.

    Let's try something far, far more commonplace: upgrading to the latest version of Firefox. Good luck to the average user for that.
     
  9. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Good one, good one. Upgrade, .... lol.

    Wait, ... you're not serious are you?

    What do you get with the upgrade? Is it like the premium package or something? How much is it. All those little pop-ups that I usually buy never advertised for Firefox Pro Platinum Edition.

    And I don't know about this topic, windows is certainly not easy. I keep having to buy new coffee cup holders. You would think they could at least figure out how to do that right. Geeesh, how hard can it be to make that little tray out of metal instead of plastic?

    Sul.
     
  10. Eice

    Eice Registered Member

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    Actually, yes, I am.

    I believe you were trying to make a point of some sort in your post, but I wasn't exactly sure what it was. Would you be so kind as to tell us what it is?
     
  11. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Nope, no point in there. I just like the topic. I think it is bi-polar. It is both easy and not, it all depends on who is using it and if they want to understand or just click buttons.

    Sul.
     
  12. Franklin

    Franklin Registered Member

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    Well at least you got one thing right in the article Mrk. :thumb:
     
  13. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Personally I think the only thing frightening about linux is the amount of time you have to devote to it to be a geek on it. No different than windows though. I wonder how many advanced windows users don't use linux because they understand enough to know that to use it the way they would want to would require a fairly significant time investment.

    I know that is how it is for me. I get excited about poking around in it, but then I realize that I have spent a week trying to figure out what I already know how to do in windows. So then I drop it. But then, inevitably the geek in me wants to try it again, only to realize yet again that the time I have spent in windows already lets me do what I need, and that learning linux to the point I want to is going to take awhile.

    Throw on top of that the whole gaming situation, and the fact that I help a lot of people all using windows boxes, there is nothing extremely compelling for me to use linux except that nerd mentality that I seem to have ample supply of. There is nothing in either OS that is a make or break situation for myself. Maybe if there were no games. Maybe if I actually knew some people who used it who would call on me for help. Well, I do know some people who use it a lot, but they don't need my help on any OS.

    I personally think that linux is frightening only to advanced windows users who understand they have to learn a lot of new stuff. Novice users probably dont' know enough to be effected. CLI can be quite daunting because you have to both remember all those commands as well as the correct syntax. Maybe that is one reason why windows users are so fearful of linux, because windows has always provided so many GUIs for them. But I certainly do know a lot of medium to advanced windows users who almost cringe or laugh when I tell them about my latests linux experiences. They look at me like I am off my rocker because I would want to. Most of them say what do you want to use that for? There aren't many games and it is hard to use. To which I reply yes, it is hard, but so was windows when I first started using it. I still know next to nothing in linux, because as soon as I have learned a few commands I end up going back to windows and forget them. But slowly I get more comfortable with the syntax.

    Maybe there needs to be a reason to switch other than it is free and might be more secure. Evidentily it is easier to use than windows, I mean we can all stand to learn a little Sudo for self-defense, right?

    Sul.
     
  14. Franklin

    Franklin Registered Member

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    Sandboxie or Sudo for security?

    Way better to know you're secure with Windows/Sandboxie than hope you're secure with Linux/Sudo.
     
  15. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    I know I come off as a fanboy, but my point is that operating systems are simply too difficult, regardless what their label is. It can be called Windows, Linux, Goosfraba, it really makes no difference.

    The claim that X is easier than Y is wrong. Emphasis on word: easier. They are all equally simple or difficult. It's the matter of habit. People started using Windows 15-20 years ago and it has remained the same way since. Most people use Windows visually rather than logically. Change the layout of visual elements and they start from scratch. This is why Linux or whatever appear alien. But when you think about it, top, bottom, left, right, there's nothing in actual desktop layout that makes any difference, except habit.

    And it gets worse as you pile applications on top of that. But that's just reality, geek tools designed by geeks for geeks and let the average guy struggle the best he can.

    Mrk
     
  16. pbw3

    pbw3 Registered Member

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    Hope this is not OT, but re the references to MS Office in your "dedoimedo" article, I hated why Office 2007 had to abandon the look, shape and functionality of 2003 and prior.. As a mainly keyboard user, ie Alt / Ctr etc (much faster than using the mouse for say spreadsheet development or similar etc), 2007 is effectively a completely new product for me (with the wholescale change of menus and Alt commands). There are also incompatibilities where one cannot use 2003 with 2007 data files. Because clients are increasingly using 2007, I know I have to fall in line.

    In that context IMHO, for many people (and including within business) Microsoft IS simply a monopoly. By releasing products like Office 2007, they demonstrate that their primary focus is making money out of people, by forcing otherwise unnecessary expenditure on upgrades, and over which the majority ultimately have very little choice.
     
  17. PJC

    PJC Very Frequent Poster

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    Since Linux has been as Easy as Windows,
    then,
    why the majority of PC users
    are Still spending their Money on Windows
    and not using Linux which is, by the way, Free?
     
  18. MaxEntropy

    MaxEntropy Registered Member

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    As far as I can remember, there was a critical time back in the late 80s and early 90s when MS built up its critical market share of the PC market compared to IBM's OS/2 and Apple's offerings of the time. I don't remember Unix/Linux being in contention in those days (apart from maybe at Bell Labs). So, it could well be that you're championing a great OS, but you may be 30 years or so too late to make any impact on the market.

    If that's the case, there's no need to feel bad about it. Just think of the clever chaps who've come up with far superior alternatives to the QWERTY keyboard layout. They, too, have to live with the frustrating realization that the world is not going to embrace their great idea anytime soon.

    Your myth-shattering seems to centre on Word 2007. Are its pecularities really representative of the Windows OS? I'm not an Apple user, but isn't the Office suite much the same with their OS?

    So, you seem to be criticising a particular application rather than the Windows OS itself - the subtext presumably being that it would all work better under Linux. But if MS were to port Office 2007 to Linux, wouldn't they keep much the same interface and still warn users about macros?

    Just mild criticism and a different point of view.
     
  19. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Espozito, MaxEntropy:

    Linux is newer than Windows, which is why it still lags on desktop in the perception segment. However, notice the server dominance of the UNIX market, including the inevitable fact the infrastructure was in place before Windows even existed.

    In terms of readiness, Linux has to overcome not only with the technology, it has to win over 10 years or so (and possibly as much as 15 years) of habit.

    Most Windows users are simply not aware that alternatives exist. It's really that simple.

    Oh, I'm not championing anything, just pointing out the simple fact NO os is easy or difficult, it's just a perception of habit, which is bigger than logic and technology.

    Office 2007 is a good example because: 1) one of the latest MS products in terms of design, ergonomics etc 2) advertised more than Chuck Norris' tears 3) is a core Microsoft product and not much different from the overall os concept.

    And yes, you would get the same crap messages on Linux, which is exactly my point.

    Mrk
     
  20. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    I have heard stories about VCR's being too difficult and technical to control.
    These days my wife prefers to not touch the remote control, but to leave that to me.
    And I haven't figured out the wireless handset of our home phone yet.

    It makes me wonder if this thread is more about the technical interest of the consumer than about accessibility.
    My experience is that we only gain the skills that we require.

    What do you think?
     
  21. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Definitely.

    I'm very technical in some things, a complete moron in others. For example, anything related to TV, video, jacks, cables, etc, I simply don't like and don't want to handle. I also hate cellphones. But give me a computer and I'll tweak it to death.

    So I'm primitive when it comes to some technologies, very advanced when it comes to others, definitely the matter of interest and need.

    I guess most of us are a combination of geek/moron.

    Mrk
     
  22. PJC

    PJC Very Frequent Poster

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    UNIX Servers are Not for Average Home Users who are the Majority of PC Users.
    Home Users are now aware of the Linux alternative, and they try Linux.
    However, they go back to Windows despite the fact that Linux is Free.
    This shows that Linux is Not as Easy as Windows.
     
  23. MaxEntropy

    MaxEntropy Registered Member

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    You're absolutely right that UNIX is the OS of choice for many (maybe most) critical applications like servers. Unfortunately, that does nothing to diminish the popular perception that it's an OS for geeks and computer experts.

    Quite right again. Those are essentially the same problems that the non-QWERTY keyboard chaps face. It's not easy to gain market share. You need to promote your product's outstandingly strong features and benefits - preferably including a unique selling point. Slagging off the competition just turns most people off.

    This is where I still feel a bit confused, because you've latched onto an application that would run much the same on any OS. Many Windows users might agree that Office 2007 is not Microsoft's greatest product, but that's not really terribly important. And it's hardly likely to make them turn to Linux.

    Shouldn't you really be showing that Linux is a better/easier (or whatever) OS than Windows 7? That's Microsoft's current flagship product, not Office 2007 (which has, in any case, been superceded by Office 2010).

    I'm not personally a great fan of Windows 7 and am still using XP. But I can see that Win7 does extremely well what the vast majority of PC users want. It may well be even harder to encourage those users to switch to Linux.
     
  24. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

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    Have you heard that with the newest models, you need to position yourself in a certain way, in order to make phone calls?
    Acrobatic qualities are required.
     
  25. Shankle

    Shankle Registered Member

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    Interesting article. Lot of truths being expounded.

    My feet are in both ponds.
    I am also a programmer in MASM32. (Windowzzz).
    My programs won't work in Linux. No APIs.
    I don't and will not ever program in a high level language.
    People that do IMHO are only on the job to get paid and
    care nothing about good fast code. I know about WINE.

    Hence I will never be able to completely abandon Windozzzzz.
    I use PcLinuxOS to escape the hassles of viurses and constant
    messages going out of my computer to God knows who.
    I use it for the internet and mail. No hassle and no problems.
    I wish I could completely switch. Microsoft has been pulling
    my chain for so long it's sickening.
     
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