Windows Vista Alternatives

I still can’t believe I’m getting feedback for my post on Windows vs. OS X. Smaran Dayal just sent this in:

I read your article on CPU Mag titled “Vista Will Double Apple’s Market Share.” I completely agree with you. In fact, I just shifted my entire family over to using Macs. My mother has a MacBook, my grandfather a Mac mini, and I have a MacBook Pro. Mac OS X is simpler, easier to use, and doesn’t require me to sit and educate everyone about virus/spyware protection. The only thing I do now is warn them about phishing emails.

I also just switched my aunts over to using Ubuntu on their work computer. And it’s not like they feel hindered in any way. On the contrary, they think it’s prettier! They don’t need more than VLC, Firefox, and Rhythmbox. And even if they want to do some image editing or the like, they have the GIMP and a host of other great applications.

MSN isn’t good or fast enough, nor are Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer. The same is becoming increasingly true with Windows as well. The only thing Windows still has on its side is games. This too is slowly changing. Hopefully we’ll see more games for the Mac (and maybe even Linux!) in the near future.

[tags]windows, operating system, os, software, microsoft[/tags]

Article Written by

Chris has consistently expressed his convictions and visions outright, supplying practical information to targeted audiences: media agencies, business owners, technology consumers, software and hardware professionals, et al. He remains a passionate personality in the tech community-at-large. He's a geek.

  • shobber

    Totally agree. OS alternatives are becoming more mainstream. OS X is a great alternative. Or if you don’t want to change out the hardware, UBUNTU, FREESPIRE, or others can provide nearly the same experience as most windows OSs. Sure there is the games issue, but a lot of people don’t play games.

  • larence Douglass

    I have been a PC user for over 20 years – I have never owned a Mac. You guys keep telling people that they should get one. I have always heard that most software is developed for the PC, but not the Mac. If you are going to talk a bunch of people into changing, make sure the software that most average users own will work on a Mac. And more important, make sure your readers know the facts.

    I have been a Gnome ever since it started and would hope it stays leaning toward the average PC or Mac user.

  • Norbert Gostischa

    OS X would be a great alternative if Apple got its act together and allowed its operating system to be installed on my current Pentium 4 Dual 3.2Gig computer. Unfortunately, having to purchase a brand new (overpriced) computer isn’t a viable alternative. Right now the only affordable alternative to Microsoft seems to be Linux.

  • Tim Taricco

    Well, I’m a Web developer that develops on Win XP, but I have an Intel Mac mini as my secondary computer for testing Web sites, and I think OS X is inferior to Win XP. I don’t know about Vista, but Win XP is far superior. Maybe I am so used to Win XP, but OS X seems very disorganized and so many Web sites are incompatible with OS X. Although I develop sites to work with both Win XP and OS X, you wouldn’t believe how much support I give to my clients on OS X. Not support on the sites I develop, but support about why other sites don’t work right. Kudos to Firefox, at least its browser renders the same on Win and Mac computers. Safari is such an antiquated browser, it makes IE for Windows look incredible.

  • Andre Nuse

    I have been an IT professional for 30 years. I have seen the PC coming and have bought and used many of them, always top of the line, always the newest version of Windows. And I have ultimely experienced the crummy product called Windows with the coming of Windows 95. Finally we have now something a bit stable and bloated like Win XP. Last year I bought a iMac, just to see how life is on the other side. And it is very good. And stable. And faster. And smaller. OK, it is true, not so much software for OS X, but I am willing to accept that.
    This is also the first time I will not be switching to Vista right away. It asks too much resources and promises so little. I will wait at least for a year and will be looking at MacPro and iMac machines for my home production.

  • Radical Rex

    I’ve been a Windows user for what? 10 years? and have often thought about going to MacOS in spit of their smug advertising. XP is finally robust and stable, but I couldn’t believe how little they have actually improved the core of Vista; still the same STUPID unhelpful dialogs and default settings. As for IE7, I’m speechless with unimpressedness. It’s almost as if Microsoft want people to switch, and when I start to feel that I have gone as far as I can with XP, I won’t be looking at Vista: I will be taking my plastic to the Mac dealer.

  • Daniel Brownlow

    There is a lot of information here. However I believe in the end the OS we use is totally based upon prefrence. While I like mac and its GLOSSY features and appeal, I dont care about much about appearance, I am all about performance and security, things running smooth and quick.

    I own a Windows XP Pro machine while my younger brother enjoys his macintosh he bought himself. We both hate eachothers machines, yet he eventually had me put xp as a dual boot on his OS X due to compatibility issues with some items…

    The problem isnt windows or macintosh, they are both a market and everyone is owned by that market in some shape form or fashion. Mac has next to no viruses because 95% off the worlds pcs run windows and crackers will only target the machines which will yield the most damage and/or profits. If all of the world was on macintosh im sure the tables would be turned.

    I know a few things for sure, and #1 is that I would never use Mac or Ubuntu if I couldnt run CSS on it (Counter Strike Source) which is a game my friends and I play to keep in touch after college years, as well as Adobe photoshop, Dreamweaver, and many of the high end applications for windows (some also made for mac). I dont care really, I use what I use because its what I learned and know and its comfortable for me. I’m not going to learn french simply because english is known as the least intelligent sounding language. Improve the language and solve the problem. Support what you love and works good for what you need it for, its not a darn war of OS’s.

  • The One

    These debates are sort of pointless. Just like the new dumb Apple commercials about how you have some unstable guy rambling on about all his problems and relating it to a PC where the dude that is a Mac is the total opposite. Pointless….. It’s like saying I am the Ferrari of computers, but I run on hydrogen. No matter how much better these other platforms are, the user needs the support of software to make a computer truly useful. I can’t even guess the ratio of software that runs on a Windows PC vs. everything else added together. When someone figures out how to integrate current Windows software seamlessly into another OS, then we will have a movement.

  • I want a new OS

    I have a bit of a problem with all major OS that are out right now. I have used Microsoft since DOS. I really like Apple a lot…BUT…OS X can not be installed on a home made computer. So I don’t buy Apple. For the past few years I’ve been playing around with Linux. I’ve installed A LOT of different distros to find the one I like the most. (Ubuntu, Suse 10.2 and Fedora are my favorites).

    The problem that I have is that I really only have 3 choices of OS. Windows, Apple and Linux. All of them have MAJOR problems.

    The average American can not install Linux (or any OS) and can not buy a computer with Linux on it. I went to Fry Electronics, Best Buy and CompUSA and not one of them sells a Linux systems (sometimes Fry’s sells a $200 Linspire Computer that is junk). I like Linux more than any OS that I use but there is now way I can get away from Windows. Most of my games will only play on windows. The ones that work on Linux do not run very well.

    Microsoft’s Windows XP works very good for most people…until they get run over by spyware. I’ve seen old people buying computers because theirs is running slow (I’m sure it was spyware) and the sales person just sells them a new one. I am not sure how well Vista works. I have not heard very many good things about it. It sure does looks pretty.

    I wish I could say that “when I buy a new computer I want an Apple”. I grew up very close to where Apple’s Headquarters is located and I know a lot of people that worked there. My wife loves her iPod and the iPhone looks really cool. BUT I am not a big fan of Apple’s hardware. I do not like how hard it is to upgrade your system. I like to add stuff to my computer every now and again (to get my technology fix) and you really can’t do that with Apple.

    I want a new OS. One that just works and does not cost $400 to look pretty. For now, I will be juggling my OS from Linux to Windows and back. Maybe one day I will fell ready to jump ship on Microsoft but I doubt it. I’m sure that I will have to buy a Windows Vista computer and load Linux as a dual boot system… Just like always.

  • Is there an alternative ?

    I think the first comment regarding teaching people how to use spyware/virus protection is irrelevant.

    The reason viruses or spyware are created to run on windows platforms is because windows platforms run on 90% of worlds computers (or whatever the percentage is). Why would anyone bother creating malicious software for OSX, if there are not as many people using it?

    If the tables were turned and OSX became the new Windows, the same thing would happen, although with OSX based on bsd linux it will be tougher to crack, but by no means does that make it unbreakable, if someone can make it someone can make it as they say.

    All we need is an os thats stable, runs properly, does what we want it do (when we want it to!), doesn’t cost the earth, doesn’t fill your hard drive, and is compatible with our hardware/software. I guess thats too much to ask!

  • Is there an alternative ?

    **edit** that should say if someone can make it someone can break it !

  • gotenks05

    @Daniel Brownlow:

    I respect your opinion, but just clarify Photoshop, Dreamweaver, FLash, Illustrator, Fireworks, and Contribute (true, you did not mention Flash, Illustrator, Fireworks, or Contribute) all have Mac versions, because Adobe has made Mac compatible software for years.

    @I want a new OS:

    people can upgrade the hardware in Mac Pros, but it’s just going to make it harder to move computer, if you need to worry about both monitor and keyboard, as well as the mouse.

    @is there an alternative?:

    There is no such thing as BSD Linux. It’s called BSD Unix. There are many security holes to every OS, but Unix-based OSes like OS X takes a lot more time to create, because not all the important files are in one location, like in Windows.

  • P_R_O_Z_A_C

    Yeah I agree, the software compatibility isn’t a problem these days with Macs, unless you’re a gamer. Macs are fantastic computers – the are incredibly well designed and pretty to look – especially the new iMacs. Lets face it, OSX is nicer operating system and a little more practical than Vista, but I think Vista gets a bad wrap. The programs are exactly the same on both systems – does the operating system make you any better at Photoshop? No.

    I think the problem is that it’s become cool to bag Windows… which is encouraged by the funny yet kinda-false Mac vs PC ads.

    Come on – Vista isn’t that bad – it looks prettier than OSX and especially XP, and as long as your computer isn’t crap it flies! Go to your local computer shop and try it on a new computer and see for yourself.

    If it runs rubbish… maybe you need an upgrade?

    I’m curious to know how OSX Leopard runs on slower Macs… anyone know? I’m guessing now where near how it is intended.

    I use a Mac at work and a PC at home, so I’m well aware of the differences between the two. So which one you use really is up to the reason why you want to buy the computer in the first place. For the record, we have loads of problems with our Macs at work –

    I find that most Mac users do not realize how cheap it is to build your own PC. You can build a Mac Pro equivalent PC for LESS than half the price on the apple website. Of course not everyone knows how to do this… but if you buy a ready built computer (such as through a local computer shop), you can get a very powerful machine which is very cost effective that you can work on and play games AND that you can upgrade – which is a big deal for me. Why buy a whole new case when you can simply replace the guts? I have the same PC case that I’ve had since 1998, and I’ve just upgraded every couple of years.

    To sum it up, I think it’s a compromise between a prettier computer / nicer operating system and more powerful computer (per dollar spent) / ability to upgrade.

    Neither OSX or Vista are perfect. Both give me grief from time to time. By the way, to enhance Vista, install ObjectDock and you have a fully operational dock which works exactly the same way as OSX Tiger’s. Works sweet for me – and completely free :)

    the P_R_O_Z_A_C

  • george daniels

    In the Jan thru Feb of ’08 I was the system administrator for a small company network. It consisted of 6 Vista machine ans one Mac POSOS. The ONLY computer which consistanly gave me problems was the Mac! And if you think Mac are more reliable yada yada yada just google Mac repair and learn the truth! PC’s rule Mac’s drool!