Why I don’t use Windows…

In: CS-General

By Bakshi Gulam

9 Jan 2016

When I was at school almost all computers I could see was running Windows. I used to get excited every time when I could hear the Windows Welcome Music. I got fascinated by Microsoft & it’s founder (World’s Richest Man of that time) Bill Gates and it’s no wonder he became one of my early influencers. Later when I started learning programming, Microsoft’s Visual Studio was like a Oasis in the desert. I just loved it’s features like “Drag & Drop GUI components”, “Intellisence”, etc. and developed few small applications also using it. Things were just great and I was happy & proud of it.

One fine day, just to show the app I developed to my friend, I copied the project directory in a CD and went to my friend’s house. The same application which was running fine in my PC refused to run in my friend’s PC. It complained about missing libraries, fonts, etc. I hadn’t expected this and indeed was very much disappointed. I came back home; copied the “missing” stuff and went back to his house. This time things were better. But still I wasn’t happy. The the same application that looked “gorgeous” (‘gorgeous’ for me at that time; in reality I had dumped all the options I could in that GUI), looked “ugly” in my friend’s PC.

After going back to school I met my Computer Science teacher and explained him what had just happened. He told me “Yeah! There are lot of Compatibility Issues with Windows. Whatever works on one PC might not work well on another.” “Moreover, Windows applications are ‘platform-dependent’ and that’s the reason why people are moving towards ‘JAVA’ which is ‘platform-independent’”, he added. I started asking myself “What is this platform-dependent & platform-independent stuff?” and was pondering over how the operating system and applications that run on top of it work.

I was pre-occupied by these thoughts for weeks because there was no point in spending months developing something if that didn’t work in any of the PCs other than my own. Eventually my respect on Windows started going downhill and I started exploring other operating systems in the world and other ways of developing ‘platform-independent’ applications. Canonical was spending a huge sum in making Ubuntu reach masses at that time. One of my friend has just registered for a free Ubuntu (8.x) CD. We installed Ubuntu (alongside Windows) and started experimenting it.

Ubuntu eco-system wasn’t that good at that time. I didn’t get many of the applications I was using in Windows and hence I couldn’t completely get rid of Windows. But having a Linux distro alongside Windows was very helpful during my college days. Linux proved it performance in some aspects like “copying huge files to-and-fro my PC”, “transferring huge files over local networks”, etc. It was especially helpful in protecting my files form malwares. When pure Windows users were fighting vehemently with Windows Viruses, I was just relaxing and deleting the viruses by hand in Linux.

In addition to characteristics like giving better performance, being immune to Viruses, Linux is open-source too. The closed nature of Windows further fueled my hatred towards it. After my graduation I took a resolution to completely stop using Windows. Initially it took me hours and even days to complete a simple task which I could have been completed just in minutes in Windows. But still I was determined to go Linux and wasn’t willing to look back. I started learning a lot about operating system’s internals as I completely started using Linux. The Ubuntu eco-system had developed much better over years such that I almost had an equivalent application here to do any task which I was doing in Windows.

The more and more I started using/learning it, I felt more and more in love with Linux. Especially when I started exploring the field of “Distributed Computing” (which fuels today’s Clouds), I realized how good and scalable Linux was and how pathetic Windows was at these things. At one point of time, I degraded Windows from ‘operating system’ to “‘so-called’ operating system” and started calling it with a prefix “stupid” (as in “stupid Windows”) wherever I happened to mention it’s name.

There were times only government agencies (NASA, ISRO, etc) could carry out space missions. Today we can see independent organizations (like SpaceX, Team Indus) running space missions. There were times our web browser had to reload the current page whenever there was a new response from Web Server. Today we learnt how to send/receive asynchronous request/response which has tremendously improved the web experience and has paved way to light weight yet rich web applications. No matter how we evolve in technology there will always be people refusing to change and pulling others to Stone Age.

Recently I had one such experience. I had to access few web portals that (was developed using ASP.NET) can be accessed only via IE. First, I tried to access those portals using Firefox & Chrome but couldn’t. I usually don’t login to Windows until it is really necessary. I then logged into Windows7 and tried to access those portals using IE8. IE just said “IE can’t open this webpage”. Then I tried to update  IE with a hope that those portals might be accessible with newer versions of IE. But Windows7 didn’t support IE11. IE11 is supported only on Windows7-SP1, Windows8, Windows-8.1, Windows-10. Then I tried adding SP1 for Windows-7. Since I don’t login to Windows at all, everything in it was years old and Windows Update didn’t list SP1 at all. I first had to update “Windows Update” tool before I update my Windows7. After “Windows Update”‘s update, finally it listed SP1. I selected it and it said “Upgrade Success”. But even after this happened, IE11 still complained it’s not compatible on current version of Windows. I checked the “Updated Software History” in “Windows Update” and SP1 was present there. But “Change or Remove Program” in Control Panel doesn’t list SP1 as installed. After lot of research I found out that this was a bug in “Windows Update” since Vista days. Finally I decided to update my Windows-7 to Windows-10 and downloaded a whole lot of stuff (may be around 7GB) overnight and lost my sleep for two days in all these struggle.

Whenever new version of Windows get released, as many others, one thing I observe is the “boot time”. With Windows-10,  I couldn’t observe any considerable improvement in boot time also. As Microsoft claims “decreased boot-time”, I think, it just forgot to advertise “increased shutting down time”. After so much of hardship, finally I decided to shut my laptop and go to bed. I just gave “shutdown” and it said “shutting down…”. I waited for 5-10mins. It still was saying “shutting down…”. I just lost my temperament and closed my laptop hoping either one of the below should happen.

  1. Windows should successfully shut down before my battery drains.
  2. My battery would die completely before Windows shut down.

The next morning I tried to power on the laptop but it was dead. As per my “precision engineering calculations” :-P option-2 had happened. Windows just proved “stupid” once again! Hope, by this time, you would’ve got why I don’t use Windows.

3 Responses to Why I don’t use Windows…

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Muthulakshmi

March 21st, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Nice blog Bakshi !!! Keep going !!

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Bakshi Gulam

May 14th, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Thanks Muthulakshmi! :-)

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Priya Dharshan

November 22nd, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Bai iam following your opinion. So i am don’t panic. Thank you for your advice and blog.

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Welcome Web-Surfers!

This is Bakshi Gulam. I’m a programmer, a blogger and an open-source lover interested in anything related to computer systems. Click here to read my bio.

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