Feeding On Ignorance, Preying On Their Customers

Instances like with FixWinReg are perfect examples of Windows users needing to migrate to safer operating systems where they will not be a target.

Despite Microsoft obviously having no ability to stop this from happening on their OS (it’s not their fault), I have to tell me people who ask me about where to upgrade to that considering a Mac or purchasing a new Ubuntu box pre-configured, might be. I’ve actually done thing on a few different occasions and which I chose depended greatly on that user’s needs. Generally speaking, if this was someone whom I could simply point to System76.com support and they are not needing anything terribly fancy with regard to specialty software, the Ubuntu box made the most sense as these individuals had no interest in relearning everything from scratch. Mac’s are great, but you put any long time Windows user in front of one and the lack of add/remove software and a right click is going to wear thin pretty fast – I have seen it time and time again.

And then there are those people who learn quickly and adapt easily. Designers, coders, etc. People who work off of their PCs and would be able to learn the OS X way of doing things fairly easily. A Mac Mini almost always fit the bill for these folks as it is inexpensive and allows them to buy from a sizable library of proprietary software if needed.

So what about Vista? Microsoft remains strong financially, yet they are still sitting squarely in the toilet with regard to public perception and Ballmer is at the helm as per usual with his little white brush in hand. It’s wild as Microsoft has done so well in the mobile and gaming sectors that they continue to hit a sour Catch 22 in the desktop market with value and usability. Sales have been good enough, but if they are telling you this translates to value, then someone needs to be fired.

Based on the trends I have seen since about 2004 using XP, I would not at all be shocked if within the next 10 years we see Microsoft concede the home and ‘prosumer’ markets to others while making enterprise their exclusive focus. At that time, I believe the health of their OS division may depend on it as things continue to flop and stumble. At the same time, their other divisions will continue to succeed and they will grow into other new areas. But make no mistake about it, they will lose with Office and Windows with home users, mark my words, it will happen and is already beginning to.

Vista stinks, I’ve used it at length and in all brutal honesty, it makes Windows Me look forgivable. Anyone out there who still runs a repair business had better think real long and hard before recommending that OS to anyone unless they are ready to be lynched later by some extremely unhappy clients. This is not to say that they won’t have learned some hard lessons by the time Windows 7 rolls out. But this current release offers ZERO value of any kind whatsoever to the casual user. And if you cannot see that, then I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

I told each and every one of you long before Vista was ever released that it was going to be problematic. Imagine my shock when I discovered that even if things ran perfectly, people still wanted XP back.
[tags]Windows, OS X, Linux, security[/tags]

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  • http://www.calcresult.com Mike

    What are you talking about: ‘No right-click’ on a Mac? Are you kidding me?
    I appreciate there are reasons why Windows users notice a difference when they move to the Mac platform, but there is no need to invent non-existant reasons!
    Who needs ‘add/remove programs’ anyway – never heard of drag-to-trash, that is way easier for anyone to understand: want to delete this program – just delete it then.

  • Paul Higgins

    I think you started from a pretty shaky and misleading premise. First though, to qualify my statement, I agree Windows is not as secure as it might be. But Windows users can make their system secure, if they can be bothered to understand its weaknesses and close the ‘loopholes’. When I first used Windows (and t’internet) I knew nothing about security. Over the last 10 years, because I experienced catastrophic failures I became pro-active and learned how to protect my system. (Lockergnome was the first help site I used, and is still one of the first and most useful forums I still use.) I can honestly say I have not had a successful phissing, virus or any other malware (and, by the way, I never even see a pop-up or under!) attack in about seven years. Because I taught myself to spot these, to protect against them and to remove them when they ‘sneaked’ in. I understand most people just want to turn on their PC and have it do the job. Those people would, I am sure find O/S’s like Ubuntu intimidating. I know this, because I do a fair amount of work cleaning and securing friend’s PC’s. When they ask me, sometimes just weeks later, to help again I find they have removed or disabled protective software I have installed for them. If they can’t be bothered or understand how to configure these programs they won’t be bothered with Ubuntu and similar O/S’s because they are safe due to the user input necessary to make changes that spy/ad/malware does easily under Windows.
    This, I know is a little off-subject as you are talking about programs that deliberately mislead. But it is all part of the process of learning how to use your expensive machine safely. Just like a car can be a danger to other road users, an unprotected PC can be a danger to other internet users. Maybe there should be some kind of test before we let you on the information highway!
    You also need to consider, as happened with Firefox (though I still use it as it is much safer than IE) that when these alternative O/S’s become popular, the phishers and virus writers will, I am sure find a way in when it becomes viable.
    Finally, no matter how secure the O/S, how much protective software is installed it is the human link that is the weakest link. If people will insist on downloading software just because a message tells you your system is insecure or damaged or under threat, if people will download software because the programmer says it is the best or only solution and if people aren’t prepared to do the research before falling for the scam, that just ain’t the fault of Windows, no matter how good or bad we perceive it to be.

  • Jodi

    Why only hack less than 10% of the market OS? If micro soft is so bad then why do sooooo many people use it? A cross training in standarization is something you don’t have with some of the free stuff. But the rub comes when one guy leaves and another spend months tring to figure out what the last one did. At least with Micro Soft I have a good idea that when I fire one guy the next can pick up sooner than three months. Now a gold Partner I understand what is happening. Guess I won’t be seeing you at the Air Lift in Seattle next week! Try and explain to your grandmother long distance how to change a printer using a Ubuntu box!

  • Kathy

    feeding-on-ignorance-preying-on-their-customers? You would assume sir that most users are not intelligent adult and over the age of majority. I have worked many OS’s and still go back to the Windows format .Simply because it works for my business applications. Why does everyone want to reinvent the wheel?

    As far as Vista goes, I’ve used it at length in Beta and honey, you GOTTA have to have the right Hardware. Maybe your Ubuntu box needs to scrub itself clean before an up grade. Maybe get the taste off its hard drives.

    I do run a repair business and the only ones who are unhappy own one of your boxes. If you want to support the digital divide build a bridge. Quit bashing those who are working to do something more than snipping. Bridge the divide and quit peeing on the foundation. You sound like Bill Envy.