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Why I still don't use Windows 10

10-31-18



Since I've been using my own laptop for my work since early 2015, no one has forced me to switch to Windows 10. I can't tell you how nice it's been to work on a computer that I own. The fact is that I have no plans of ever switching to Windows 10. Here's why.

The number one reason I'm not switching is that I've never really liked Microsoft or their products. Many of you who are reading this article are too young to understand intuitively why I dislike Microsoft, so I'll try to explain. For decades Microsoft did it's best to force PC users to use it's products exclusively. Bill Gates started the company with that goal in mind. Read the book Hard Drive, if you don't believe me. It's eye-opening. And for a while, it looked like he would succeed. With Microsoft Word, he managed to drive out of business all the makers of word processing software. I paid $90 for Turbo C++ in 1993. Then I upgraded to Watcom C++ for $250 around 1995. Then Bill Gates killed the makers of compilers with Microsoft Visual Studio. One company after another fell to the Microsoft Behemoth. Throughout the '90's, for almost everything I did on my computer at home, there were just no viable alternatives to Microsoft products. At work, from the early '90's until I started using my own laptop in 2015, everything has been Microsoft. At work I was forced to use Microsoft products for three reasons: 1) the companies that I worked for provided computers that ran Windows, 2) I had to use programs and file formats that were compatible with those that everyone else was using, and 3) I wasn't been able to find alternatives to Microsoft products that did what I needed them to do.

In addition to Microsoft's business practices that I don't like, there's its software. I wrote in a previous article that I stopped using Excel something like 20 years ago, because Microsoft kept changing the menus for no apparent reason. It is also my opinion that most of Microsoft software is harder to use than it needs to be. Try making an index page in a document in MS Office. Try finding anything in the menus of Power Point. There are so many options that I will never use, that I can't find anything that I need to use. In my opinion, not just Windows, but most of Microsoft's software is far too bloated and slow. I do have to admit that Microsoft software is less buggy than it used to be, but that's only because it used to be so horribly buggy.

When it first came out in the '90's and for many years afterwards, Linux just wasn't up to the job; today, this is no longer the case. I tried a couple of Linux distributions in the mid' to late '90's. They were useless. So, I ignored Linux for a couple of years. In 1999 I tried Peanut Linux. Total disaster. Whenever I tried to run anything it crashed my computer. I ignored Linux for a few more years. In 2003, after trying for days to get on the internet with Red Hat Linux 5, I decided to ask for help from our Linux "experts" at work. Of the three I talked to, none had actually used Linux to get on the internet. That's when I knew it still wasn't ready. So, I left it alone for a few more years. Then in 2010, I tried it again. It seemed much better. I went through maybe a dozen distributions, including Ubuntu, looking for something that would work with every piece of hardware on my computer. Then I found Linux Mint 7. It worked with my ethernet network interface card and my sound card. I could play music, and watch videos, and get on the internet! The Linux Mint GUI wouldn't always mount my USB stick when I plugged it in, but I could use the command line. And there was a new thing called a Linux repository with lots of free software--useful software. I had finally found the solution to my Microsoft problem--at least at home. And on top of that, it was much less susceptible to viruses than Windows. Linux was finally up to the job of being my operating system! At last, Microsoft could no longer force me to use its products--at least, not at home.

One of the things I've disliked most about Windows itself is that it takes over my computer like it owns it. And it's rather difficult to wrestle back control. If I don't stop it, Windows constantly churns on my hard drive, rearranging files. This bothers me, because when I'm not doing anything, nothing should be happening. I have no way of knowing whether Windows is doing this or my computer has viruses. If I don't stop it, Windows will take full control of my computer to do "updates", and it will completely lock me out, sometimes for over an hour. This is when I need to get work done. I've hated fighting for years with my operating system for the right to have top priority on the computer that I own.

Then Windows 10 came out, and on top of all the other things Windows was doing, it added to the list:

As I mentioned in a previous article, I removed Office 365 when it demanded that I connect it to the internet before it would let me open a document, a document that I wrote, a document that was stored on my hard drive!

No, I have no plans of ever going to Windows 10, at least, not unless Microsoft can force me. I know it's trying. First, it invented UEFI in an attempt to keep Linux off all PC's manufactured after about 2012. It denies that of course, saying that UEFI is needed for security. UEFI has been shown to have it's own security flaws, by the way. See here, here, and here. Then, Microsoft employed the same tactic it used to drive word processor and compiler manufacturers out of business. It added Linux to Windows. Same old Microsoft, same old anti-competitive tactics. What Microsoft seems to not understand is that makers of Linux are not in business. They don't have to make a profit. They are volunteers. I wonder what Microsoft will try next.



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