Microsoft Cool And Great, Turns Out (Not a Joke)

New York’s Kevin Roose visited a Microsoft store and liked it, which surprised even him! (“Outside, it was colorful and inviting. Inside, it was brightly lit, well-designed, and crowded with happy masses eagerly scooping up Surface tablets and Asus laptops … It was weird, disorienting, and pretty great.”)

Then the longtime Apple-user visited an Apple store, and, well: “The overall effect was less like taking Prozac, as Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed, and more like being on MDMA at a sad rave.”

We are all going to be using Windows by the end of the year, aren’t we—is that what’s happening? I think it might be. Maybe you’re already using Windows. Maybe you never fell for this $2,000 laptop mess in the first place. My friend bought a new laptop recently. Or maybe it was a netbook? A chromebook? Whatever it was, looked like a laptop and she could go on the internet with it and type and also be on Twitter. What else does one need? (Nothing.) It was $250.

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39 Comments / Post A Comment

deepomega (#22)

The really weird part is how little Apple cares about its former base – graphic designers, video editors, etc. They’ve ditched the creative class entirely. Whoops!

@deepomega I did have a thought the other day while trying to edit a video, that I bet this would be so much easier to do on a mac. First time I’ve ever had that thought, which speaks to how menial my slave position will be when apple takes over the world.

@redheaded&crazy I dunno, I have an aging Mac in my office that houses all of our video editing software for some reason (probably due to the once-dominant position of the Mac in that field that deepomega is talking about) and it is an absolute nightmare every time I have to use it. Oh you can’t import that video clip? How about a dialog box or SOME FUCKING INFORMATION about what the problem is? No, you’re just going to make blooping noises. Great.

The rest of my graphic design tasks I do on my PC, which has two enormous screens and a mouse with two buttons designed for human hands and other such amenities. As frustrating as Windows can be sometimes, I have no desire to pay an extra $1,000 to make the switch.

@stuffisthings Also, I find the fact that OSX windows are never “really” maximized to be extraordinarily frustrating.

deepomega (#22)

@redheaded&crazy As a person whose job this is, here are the things OSX is better at than windows:

-Font management, in that there are third party programs that do it properly
-Finder’s preview-on-spacebar thing is clutch
-Drag-and-drop paradigm makes getting files into multiple programs easier

Here’s what windows is better at:
-Permissions and timestamps that ACTUALLY WORK
-Easier to set PC up to read a Mac drive than vice versa
-Easier to add more RAM to a PC

That’s… about it. Everything else is the samish.

@stuffisthings I think “Oh you’re just going to make blooping noises” is pretty much the exact thought I have before every Mac-induced bout of blinding rage.

RachelG8489 (#1,297)

I bought my new MacBook Pro in June. If I use this one like I used my last one, I won’t be buying a new computer until 2017, so I won’t be switching to Windows any time soon! And my last computer got much heavier use than this one, because I was in school for four years out of the five that I owned it.

But does anybody else find windows 8 impossibly brutal to navigate? like that thing where you have to pull down the window to close it, which is pretty clearly meant for a touch screen because when you do it with your mouse it’s just awkward and takes forever and is AWKWARD.

my only experience with windows 8 has been trying to get my technology ignorant boss to understand how to use it, while I myself am trying to understand how to use it, so granted not the best circumstances but they have not started me off on a positive note. At all.

Microsoft was offering a really good upgrade deal for windows 8 at the beginning of the year but I would rather have upgraded to windows 7. Bad signs.

julnyes (#2,807)

@redheaded&crazy We upgraded our new office laptop to Windows 8 because of that deal and so far no one likes it.

Sallymander (#3,159)

@redheaded&crazy I LOVE Windows 8! But, I am slowly turning into a Microsoft junkie, so there’s that. Also my primary operating system is admittedly Linux (Ubuntu or Fedora), so maybe I don’t have to deal with Windows 100% of the time and that’s a different experience.

Sallymander (#3,159)

@redheaded&crazy Oops I missed your comment about the dragging thing for closing apps. Haha actually I didn’t even know you could do that, so…something learned. Do you navigate using keyboard “shortcuts” at all? Alt-F4 is usually a “quit”. You can also right-click on the app icon either in the start panel or in the floating left-side panel that you open with the corner-gesture. Hope that helps!

@Sallymander So my dad works in IT and attended an “intro to windows 8″ kind of seminar. What was hilarious to me is that they produced a 4 page guide to all the new commands that Windows 8 brought in to make navigation supposedly easier. I dunno … if you have to make a guide to explain how easy it is to use …

Sallymander (#3,159)

@redheaded&crazy Well, so technology is kind of like this: if you go the extra mile to learn the shortcuts, it’s worth it! But you can do fine without. I tend to liken it to driving a car with manual v. automatic transmission. The former gives you more control but requires doing some learning up front and you can screw up more easily, and the latter is the easier way that hides some of the details and gives you fewer options. Plus Alt-F4 has been standard for a long time. And…now you’ve got me blabbering on about computers :)

Sallymander (#3,159)

@redheaded&crazy Yikes, sorry.

Weasley (#1,419)

Eh…I, and everyone I know, likes Macs because they’re just UNIX systems with a better interface. In every science organization I’ve worked in Macs have been standard because of how nice Terminal is compared to command prompt on windows machines.

Sallymander (#3,159)

@Weasley I’ve always wondered whether UNIX commands are any better in absolute terms than Windows ones. I might never know because I, like a other million people who learned UNIX commands first, rage-quit Command Prompt after typing “ls” one too many times…

Weasley (#1,419)

@Sallymander

I think about that too. I never learned Command Prompt and it seems like such a pain in the ass to at this point.

@Sallymander As someone who grew up with DOS, I’ve always found Unix commands to be almost willfully obscure. Interesting to hear that users coming from Unix have the same perspective. I guess now that I think about it there’s no reason why “dir” is any more intuitive than “ls.”

Non-anonymous (#1,288)

@stuffisthings Unix commands aren’t any more intuitive than DOS commands, but they are more flexible and extensible for power users. (Not that I’m a power user, but I can just about see them from where I am.)

deepomega (#22)

@Non-anonymous Yeah I mean, piping and redirecting and all that is great! But, also, very very few Mac users even touch terminal, and of the ones who do touch terminal very few use the advanced shit that DOS couldn’t do.

Weasley (#1,419)

@deepomega

DOS doesn’t have pipe?

deepomega (#22)

@Weasley Whoah. And today is the day I learn that DOS totally DOES have pipe and redirect, so fuck you UNIX you’re not shit

Non-anonymous (#1,288)

@deepomega Ah, but does DOS have grep?

deepomega (#22)

@Non-anonymous If I remember right, it’s “FIND” in DOS. Which I always thought was only for text files but I guess you can redirect into it too.

Unix power users, whatever. I write code in Notepad all the fucking time.

@Non-anonymous It can. Install cygwin.

Sallymander (#3,159)

@stuffisthings I will say gvim in Windows assuages some of the text-editing disparity! Although I’ve only recently started using Windows seriously as a development environment.

The writer has clearly never been on MDMA, because no matter how sad the rave is, it’s still the best couple of hours of your life. The Apple Store is more like the day after.

I am convinced I will never replace my laptop. Once it dies, there will be no need for it. I would like to have a desktop with a large monitor for editing photos and working on work stuff/concentrating, and for surfing/reading the internet, facebooking, tweeting, and even some blogging, all I really need is a tablet. I don’t need a laptop to do the internet and a laptop is not ideal for doing real work, so I doubt I will ever replace mine.

kellyography (#250)

@Punk-assBookJockey This is my feeling on the subject. I got my Macbook in 2006, and it’s starting to have some issues. When it dies (probably within the year), I’m planning on getting a desktop for running CS and keeping my giant music collection, because I have an iPad for travel watching videos. It’s worth noting, though, that I wouldn’t have an iPad if it hadn’t been a gift.

@kellyography I don’t even have an iPad! But I am coveting the ipad mini a little bit. I also have a macbook from a similar era and while it seems to be doing ok, but I rode it hard during grad school so who knows when it will decide to self-destruct. I have a mac desktop that barely gets used (my husbands) waiting in the wings so I plan to just start using that as our main household computer when my macbook craps out.

Non-anonymous (#1,288)

Us elderly Mac-users (elderly = was an adult in the 90s) can remember how frustrating it was when everyone used DOS/Windows just because everyone else used DOS/Windows. Price and technical issues aside, it was the blatant display of herd instinct and refusal to even consider alternatives that really rankled. I guess maybe You Young People Today are now starting to feel that way about Apple products?

@Non-anonymous “blatant display of herd instinct and refusal to even consider alternatives”

I’ve been using Macs since the Performa days. You’re right, that above is basically what I think about Apple now. I’ve switched to a Windows 8 tablet and it’s basically what I’ve wanted since the iPad came out.

deepomega (#22)

@Non-anonymous Yes.

@Non-anonymous I’m pretty sure my old OS/2 Warp machine is still in my dad’s garage somewhere.

Sallymander (#3,159)

@Non-anonymous The article this piece references definitely gives off a vibe of “WHOAH, there are computers that AREN’T Apple products???”

@Non-anonymous as one of a very few people in my Mac-based office that uses a PC at home, it’s definitely the way I feel. People start bitching about Windows and I’m like, you haven’t used a PC since 2001! Except for the crappy old testing machines FROM 2001, and also the crappy super-locked down ridiculous machines this one client sends us for secure access to their VPN that never work right but that is because the machines and the security software are all terrible. I’d say I’m about equally likely to be annoyed at something my Mac at work does as at something my PC at home does.

I haven’t used Windows 8 though, and I am very skeptical of the value of the awkward combining of touch-based interaction paradigm and classic desktop interface. I feel like that was a political decision driven by people high up in Microsoft who are too wedded to the old “one Windows everywhere” vision.
(I am an interaction designer, I have strong feelings about these things)

MissMushkila (#1,044)

I got my laptop – a lenovo – for 350 last year. It does everything I want it to. I sort of looked at Macs when I was shopping around, but everything was at least 2X as expensive for similar or worse specs. I don’t understand why anyone would spend so much more for a device that will be rapidly outpaced in several years.

Also, I am death to electronics, so this way when I inevitably step on it/spill coffee/leave it in an airport I won’t hate myself forever. (I buy 10 dollar sunglasses for the same reason). I understand not everyone is as klutzy.

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