Coffeehouse Thread

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What would it take?

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  • User profile image
    theshadguy

    Okay, I've been polling people recently about this and I figured C9 would be a good spot to get some feedback...

    Okay, so everyone here probably has their favorite operating system. I’d say that’s a given. Mine is Mac OS X. I know some of you love Linux, and there's obviously lots of you here on Windows. So my first question is Why do you love your choice so much? What makes it so much better than MY choice or someone else’s choice? Why won’t you use anything else? Is it cost, or support, or morals or more obviously form and functionality?

    And my second question would be what would it take for you to drop your current choice for something else? What features in an operating system could possibly make you want it so bad that you’d switch and never come back?

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    I use Windows because it works (but not great... but it works), I understand how it works, I'm well versed in it, but #1: program compatibility.

    I'd switch to Mac OS X in a blink if it weren't for the massive incompatibilities with all my games and that Visual Studio is only available for Windows (Mono/SharpDevelop and XCode don't cut it I'm afraid). But VS is how Microsoft makes Windows customers.

    Same thing goes for Linux, whilst unlike Mac OS X I don't have any compelling reason to switch, the compatiblity thing is even worse (Photoshop!)

    Oh, and make OS X more skinnable and that might just push me over the edge, since I could always dual-boot into Windows.

  • User profile image
    joem83

    My OS is Vista.  I love the OS because it shows me a lot of logs so when something goes wrong I can find out what it is.  Simple editing of pictures, easy to put together a sideshows or move, then burn to a DVD with Menus.  UAC allows me to know when a program or action is going to do something that could change system settings.  Fast, Quick, and Reliable.
    I have used OSX, using scripts I used in the 98 days works without any user interaction and was able to cause the RSOD.  Also was very easy (surprised) to add ads into Apple's Panic screen.  Personally OSX looks nice and does some interesting things, but in the end I don't think it is worth the Cost.

    As for Linux, I have used the Red Hat versions, and find them way tooooo hard to use for the average user.  It just does not work out of the box.  I have been using Vista for over a year now, and even during the beta, after beta2, I was basically using it as my primary OS.

  • User profile image
    TiAdiMundo

    I really like Windows (Vista now) because it got the best ui concept. It's great to work in full screen mode and be able to see and reach all tasks over the task bar. Windows has the right features that I need (especially Media Center, Games, powerfull file management capabilities) and it works great.

    Before I would switch to Mac OS, Apple should come up with a better solution for managing windows and apps. You can feel that the old Lisa kind of concept, the NextStep concepts like the Dock and the new features on top (like Exposé) didn't really match together.

    Furthermore the Mac OS should support a better font rendering engine (it's sometimes hard to read text really fast), should support current Games and should have a powerfull integrated Media Center and Tablet PC functionality.

    But maybe the biggest barrier for me to switch is the smugness of Apple. You can't really be critical, Apple users are kind of religious.

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    W3bbo wrote:
    But VS is how Microsoft makes Windows customers.


    Whaaa?!?

    In comparison to the overall user base, there aren't that many developers that use VisualStudio. IOW, VS most certainly is NOT how Microsoft makes Windows customers.

    Moreover, a development tool doesn't make much sense as a reason to choose an OS, at least to me.  I mean, I'm almost in agreement with you, since one of the reasons I prefer Windows is because I'm a Windows developer... but that has to do with my development skill set much more than a preference for any tool.

    Before anyone reads too much into that... I know I could develop the skill sets for developing on other platforms.  In fact, to some degree I already do have that skill set, as I've done cross platform development.  But I enjoy the Windows APIs, especially when it comes to GUI development, much more than the alternatives.  Just a personal preference.

    Further, that's only one reason to prefer Windows.  Linux isn't ready for prime time (though I do use it extensively any way).  BSD and (Open) Solaris don't have much of a community of users.  OS X intrigues me, but I don't care for Apple, especially under Steve Jobs, and I'm too much of a tight wad to shell out for a Mac in any event.  Then there's the software.  No other operating system can compete with the software that's available on Windows, IMHO.  In some cases, there's simply no counter part for other OSes (especially when it comes to games), and in other cases the counterparts just aren't as good.  Then there's hardware.  Just about any hardware device you could pick up will work on Windows.  With other OSes, this is hit and miss (I don't blame the OS for this, but it is still a factor to consider).  Finally, there's the most compelling reason: it's what I'm used to.  I'm not like most people, who have problems with the "minor" changes made between Windows releases, but that's minor in comparison to the changes you experience when changing OSes.

  • User profile image
    TimP

    wkempf wrote:
    
    Moreover, a development tool doesn't make much sense as a reason to choose an OS, at least to me.


    It's the most common reason I hear among the developer crowd. Microsoft has the game planned out well. Developers refuse to try other platforms because of the perceived absolute supremacy of Visual Studio, said developers develop more Windows applications, users are less likely to switch because said programs will only run on Windows. No wonder they give them away for free. Smiley

  • User profile image
    theshadguy

    These are good responses so far, and I'm really glad this hasn't turned into "Y is better than X!!!!2" or something like that. But you all make good arguments. Now, maybe thinking out of the box a little more, what about "other" OSes, as in ones that currently don't exist. Of course when it comes to "switching" we usually think Windows to OS X or something like that, but also if you could have your ideal operating system what features would it have?

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    creditcard wrote:
    ...it seems Channel 9 is the deepest you can go into the Windows world...

    Ever heard of this? Smiley

  • User profile image
    Lloyd_Humph

    Windows. I used XP for years and I'll use Vista for years until Win7 comes along, at which point I'll find a way of getting my hands on it Big Smile

    I know how to use Windows. I've lived, eaten and breathed Windows for 5/6/7 years (I was a young adopter Smiley) I was kindof worried about switching to Vista, but then again, I figured I could switch back if I didn't like it. I liked it.

    I've used OS X. I didn't like it. I like the linear taskbar and the start button and the stuff I'm used to.

    I like Ubuntu and KDE. I've never used them, but when the EEE 1001 gets released next year, I'm sticking Ubuntu on it. I like Ubuntu and KDE from what I've seen, so I can hardly say a lot about them.

    Ranked:

    Windows XP
    Windows Vista
    Linux (IE Ubuntu/KDE)
    OSX

    If Blackberrys are addictive cellphones, Channel9 is the ultimate addictive website.
    Last modified
  • User profile image
    RobbieCrusoe

    Whilst I can't say I love it, my preferred OS of choice at the moment is XP.

    I have Vista installed on another machine purely for the media centre side of things, and XP on my other machines.

    In the past I have preferred DOS over Win3x, OS/2 over Win95, Linux over Windows xx, Netware over NT... it all depends what I am doing at  the time with the particular machine.

    Why tie yourself to one OS as the be all and end all?


  • User profile image
    Erisan

    My choice is Linux. It "just works" and it's openness and developing model fits perfectly on my techical interest and the way how I love to work.

    Do it with style!

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    creditcard wrote:
    
    PaoloM wrote:
    
    creditcard wrote:
    ...it seems Channel 9 is the deepest you can go into the Windows world...

    Ever heard of this?


    I mean something more like the LKML.


    LKML isn't very useful to people who are not directly involved in designing and maintaining the Linux Kernel. As an ordinary developer for Linux, or for WebServices I can't see the need for LKML.

    Since you do not work on the Microsoft Kernel, you should have no need for a site of this nature. I suspect that if you did work on the Microsoft Kernel that you would have access to a simmilar site internal to Microsoft, although not working on the Microsoft Kernel, I wouldn't know for sure. (Ask Paolo, he might know).

  • User profile image
    Dr Herbie

    W3bbo wrote:
    I use Windows because it works (but not great... but it works), I understand how it works, I'm well versed in it, but #1: program compatibility.

    I'd switch to Mac OS X in a blink if it weren't for the massive incompatibilities with all my games and that Visual Studio is only available for Windows (Mono/SharpDevelop and XCode don't cut it I'm afraid). But VS is how Microsoft makes Windows customers.

    Same thing goes for Linux, whilst unlike Mac OS X I don't have any compelling reason to switch, the compatiblity thing is even worse (Photoshop!)


    ++

    Analogy: My car isn't the best car in the world, but it works.  I will only get a new car when this one stops working. Even then I might get the same type again due to familiarity and convenience: dealer\service garage a 5 minute drive from home, and being a very common make (Ford) parts and replacements are easy and cheap(ish) to get hold of and most mechanics will know their way around it in an emergency.



    If OSX had some IDE that was as good as VS then I might be tempted to give it a go.

    Also, my current job is Windows, C# based; I'd have to get a new job too Smiley

    Herbie

  • User profile image
    Isshou

    Windows here, I've used Macs in the past, I run linux (gentoo dual boot with Vista... mostly running Vista right now and it's installed on another machine as well).

    VisualStudio is the defacto standard and tool for hordes of developers... VB developers, ASP.Net developers, MFC C++ developers, C# developers. I think it's valid to describe that Microsoft uses VS to draw people to the Windows platform. The developers make programs in VS that target only Windows. Users want to use those programs, since they run only on Windows, they get a computer than can run windows.

    Other systems do have work arounds Wine, Cedega, Parrallels, etc but they aren't perfect.


    To rock the boat, I would switch to Singularity if it provided a Windows on Singularity emulator/base/framework (kinda like WoW for 16... and now 32 bit support) to maintain backwards compatibility with the existing software base. Oh and if was actually available to the general public. There's just something alluring about a managed code OS written from scratch...

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    Isshou wrote:
    Windows here, I've used Macs in the past, I run linux (gentoo dual boot with Vista... mostly running Vista right now and it's installed on another machine as well).

    VisualStudio is the defacto standard and tool for hordes of developers... VB developers, ASP.Net developers, MFC C++ developers, C# developers. I think it's valid to describe that Microsoft uses VS to draw people to the Windows platform. The developers make programs in VS that target only Windows. Users want to use those programs, since they run only on Windows, they get a computer than can run windows.

    Other systems do have work arounds Wine, Cedega, Parrallels, etc but they aren't perfect.


    To rock the boat, I would switch to Singularity if it provided a Windows on Singularity emulator/base/framework (kinda like WoW for 16... and now 32 bit support) to maintain backwards compatibility with the existing software base. Oh and if was actually available to the general public. There's just something alluring about a managed code OS written from scratch...


    Sorry, I still can't buy that argument.  First, as good as VS is, it's not the only developer tool used on Windows.  The VAST majority of developers work doing business type applications, and a very large percentage of those jobs are done with Java, using one of the many Java IDEs.

    Even for strictly native Windows development, it's only been a few years that Microsoft has had such a clear dominance with VS.  In fact, there was quite a time in which VC++ was considered a poor choice in compilers by many.

    Next, as I've already said, developers simply are a small fraction of the user base.  We're geeks and developers here, so it's easy to lose sight of that, but think about it.  An overwhelming majority of users are non-technical, much less developers.  Not a one of them was drawn in by VS.

    "Developers, developers, developers" is a winning strategy, to be sure, but you can't turn that on its ear and claim the IDE must therefore be the reason everyone uses the OS.

  • User profile image
    Isshou

    wkempf wrote:


    Sorry, I still can't buy that argument.  First, as good as VS is, it's not the only developer tool used on Windows.  The VAST majority of developers work doing business type applications, and a very large percentage of those jobs are done with Java, using one of the many Java IDEs.

    Even for strictly native Windows development, it's only been a few years that Microsoft has had such a clear dominance with VS.  In fact, there was quite a time in which VC++ was considered a poor choice in compilers by many.

    Next, as I've already said, developers simply are a small fraction of the user base.  We're geeks and developers here, so it's easy to lose sight of that, but think about it.  An overwhelming majority of users are non-technical, much less developers.  Not a one of them was drawn in by VS.

    "Developers, developers, developers" is a winning strategy, to be sure, but you can't turn that on its ear and claim the IDE must therefore be the reason everyone uses the OS.


    My point was that the tools create the software that end users use, without that software, the end user may not be drawn to a specific OS. Is it the only reason for the choice, certainly not. Do the end user really know anything about the tools used to make the software, no. Then again they probably don't realize or understand the difference between a Java app, a C# app, VB app, C++ app to them they are all just applications (some requiring some other software be installed too).

    VisualBasic has been in the past the RAD language of choice, especially for quick UI business apps, at least in the Windows world. I personally have not heard of another IDE for producing VB apps.

    Why exactually am I still seing VS6 projects for source code? that's a product released in 1998, not exactually "a few years" when you consider Windows development is at most just over 20 years, with it being closer to 15 years where Windows had a string market.

    Yes I do know that other compilers and IDEs were and still are available for developing applications.

  • User profile image
    Dharma Punk

    theshadguy wrote:
    Okay, so everyone here probably has their favorite operating system. I’d say that’s a given.


    In the sense that one has a favorite OS like one has a favorite tape measure, sure.

    theshadguy wrote:
    So my first question is Why do you love your choice so much? What makes it so much better than MY choice or someone else’s choice?


    I know Windows well. I can count on it to run most applications. It's skinnable.

    It's also not as "mousy" as OS X and I don't have to edit arcane config files like I do in Linux.

    theshadguy wrote:
    Why won’t you use anything else? Is it cost, or support, or morals or more obviously form and functionality?


    Well, I do. On my box at home I have VMWare Server installed and I use three virtual machines mostly: Xubuntu 6 and two MediaWiki virtual appliances built on Ubuntu that I use for working on story ideas.

    theshadguy wrote:
    And my second question would be what would it take for you to drop your current choice for something else?


    To switch to Linux, I'd have to be assured all my peripherals work. I'd also have to be assured that the software I choose to install works like it should. And it has to look good. I've tried going to a Linux desktop two or three times and I usually come back to Windows because the fonts are so smooth and crisp.

    theshadguy wrote:
    What features in an operating system could possibly make you want it so bad that you’d switch and never come back?


    That it runs both proprietary and open source applications, easily scriptable and lets me use my machine the way I want to use it (no DRM, no forcing certain drivers on me because other, higher-quality drivers don't adhere to a rigid philosophy). Other than that, good support (officially or through Internet forums) and good community.

    Love the avatar, BTW.

  • User profile image
    Soviut

    theshadguy wrote:
    Okay, I've been polling people recently about this and I figured C9 would be a good spot to get some feedback...

    Okay, so everyone here probably has their favorite operating system. I’d say that’s a given. Mine is Mac OS X. I know some of you love Linux, and there's obviously lots of you here on Windows. So my first question is Why do you love your choice so much? What makes it so much better than MY choice or someone else’s choice? Why won’t you use anything else? Is it cost, or support, or morals or more obviously form and functionality?

    And my second question would be what would it take for you to drop your current choice for something else? What features in an operating system could possibly make you want it so bad that you’d switch and never come back?



    I started on a PC.  Why switch.  My needs are met and there's not a single compelling reason to bother.  In terms of concerns in my day to day, an operating system is practically non-existant.  I find that if people have "favourites" its usually because they don't have much else to do but latch on to something and desperatly try to convince themselves that they're part of a movement or something.

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