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Why Windows rules the world… December 27, 2006

Posted by Nigel Ajay Kumar (NAyK) in Article Watch, Discussions-Conclusions-Hopes, Linux, Software, Windows.

…because fathers will never change.

(this article was written after reading this article, but it doesn’t respond to it)

This holiday season I visited my father’s house armed with various Linux Live CDs to display on his two computers. I have become pretty proficient in loading (or testing) Linux without affecting a Windows-based machine negatively. And so I thought it would be a perfect way to introduce my father to the latest alternatives.

However,  when I arrived, I offered to show my father a few live CDs (Mandriva 2007, MCN Live, who can resist?) and my father rejected them flat-out! In fact he was so adamant that we almost had a fight over it!

I was surprised by his negative reaction. It’s not that my father is computer-change phobic. He uses and installs windows-based software daily. That’s not an exageration…. his homepage is http://www.download.com!

So assuming that my father would be open to something new, I thought he wouldn’t mind trying out Linux. But no! Absolutely not!

My father is a a renegade when it comes to computer management. He installs a lot of software on his computers (he has 6 browsers loaded!). Plus, he keeps trying out any interesting software tryouts he can lay his hand on. He uses three/four security products which may or may not clash. Plus, he loves to experiment with configuration of windows to make it run faster etc. Particularly attractive to my father is any software that purports to improve Windows productivity. His current favourite is some registry mechanic tool, that ‘automatically’ fixes the registry problems in Windows. To top it all, he doesn’t make backups. Hmm.

Not surprisingly, my father’s computers are in a mess. His monitor display one one machine is kaput. On the same computer his C Drive does not work, so he has shifted everything to D/E. Plus, on the main computer where the family works, there are regular crashes. When one is doing anything, even burning a DVD, it is quite common that the ‘blue screen of death’ (windows users know what that is) appears. I have already lost five DVD-Rs (and they’re still quite expensive here!) I was shocked to see that the accepted ‘solution’ in this house is to press restart and move on! In my four-five days of use here, the computer has crashed roughly two times a day!

In all this, my father’s logic is that he will not use Linux because his computer is having problems and he doesn’t want to complicate it further. But little does he realise that his computers are probably failing because of the way he is using it!

Most of the problems as I see his computers are windows-related. This crash or others. Even the C drive crash is windows related, which happened while installing some programme (he confesses). Obviously when I offered to recover data on C through Linux my father said no!

So why am I telling all this? Because for my father, Windows still rules! To him, it allows him to install the software that he needs. Plus, there are plenty of tools and workarounds to solve problems. In effect, Windows is a “safe” place for him, where even when things go wrong, at least it gives him the ‘illusion’ of control.

And that’s why Windows rules the world. Because Windows has so many problems and makes you dependent on its own promised fixes.

Of course my dear ol’ dad, is a great guy. I love him a lot. He just that he has scary computer practices, which I would never allow on my systems. I can see that he is dependent on Windows for many of the things that Linux will not offer him. The illusion of easy problem solving. Meaning, if something goes wrong in Linux, my father would want a button, or software, which would promise to “fix all”. Even if it doesn’t, for my father I think it should at least look like it does. Windows offers plenty of that stuff, doesn’t it!

And that’s why Windows rules the world. Because it has so many problems and makes you dependent on its own promised fixes

I feel sad though. He’s missing out on so much. I’ve really enjoyed loading software on Linux, trying out new things etc. Configuration edited in Linux etc is so cool. Of course there are times that I have to go to the command line, and perhaps that’s why I haven’t pushed my dad too hard on all this. I understand his fears, that if he enters a Linux world, he would enter it as a babe (newbie)… and for my dad who only picked up computers a few years ago… it’s too much of a journey to start again.

Maybe even I would have become him, if I hadn’t been introduced to Linux.

But still, I know for now that Windows rules the world, because it has proliferated the world with a really popular software that is not the best in everything that it does. But for normal users like my father, it is adequate enough to be good for something, so much so that for the other things, problems etc… there will always be another windows-based workaround/way.

What a great world of monolithic mediocrity we live in! I just hope that when my dad moves to Vista, he finds the paradise he longs for. And certainly as a normal user, he deserves it!



1. laosboyme - December 30, 2006

Aw! his already missing a thing enjoying how to install stuff on P.C.. LOL cause i like messing with the CL. :)

Speaking of fathers:
His the one who install linux on our computer and attracted to it and he said”If We’ll buy a P.C i’ll buy pre-install linux computers” :) lol

good luck :( I wish he try linux

2. Anonymous - April 25, 2008

The way your father uses Windows he should better never ever lay a single finger on linux. He will destroy his whole system within hours, maybe even minutes.

It´s strange but even under the circumstances you wirte about … windows just reboots and runs … linux will hang in the console and thats it.

Let him be with windows. Be honest. Linux is not suitable for your father. Or should I say your father is not suitable for Linux … ?!? …

Sry, but thats the way it is. And yes, I use Linux myself (and MorphOS, AmigaOS, TOS, …). So I know what I am talking about …


3. nanditha - June 13, 2008

we have to use fedora because we have to us the vi editor and the ncursus library. but in my view fedora is one of the most bitter operating systems. i cannot play any sort of music or any thingat all. i have to down load stuf form the internet to do that, i dont think a normal person would want to use linux, anyone would get tired of it. i mean it takes a hell of a long time to find and install software and really people dont have time for that. i had formatted my computer more that 30 times now and i managed to install fedora 7-8 ubuntu linux mint mandriva and even knoppix, but every this has their own share of probs and i dont believe i have time to fix those things. im ok with what ever the FOSS community is trying to do and i respet them, but if it goes like this(no codex, no user friendlyness, dependency loops, must read a 400pg book to learn how to install basic programms or must read 1000s of internet forum). i realld dont need the source code. you can keep it. i believe the 4-500$ for the windows cd is well worth because i have wasted months trying to figure out a way to install codex to fedora without the net or to install the vieditior and all its libraries to ubuntu or linux mint. yes knoppix is good, but cannot use the windows and knoppix on the same computer.
every one can say linux is good for this and good for that.. but in my point of view, linux is not replacement for windows and the way linux is going it will never replace it.
if windows visual c++ had the ncursus library i would never even use fedora.
any ways those are some of my views. dont mean to offend any one.
if some one oneday find a way to repace windows with linux, and a way to have all the codex and the vim editor and the ncursus libraries on the same computer, and a operating system that no so much internet dependent please send me an email


4. Sleepy guy - June 25, 2008

I dont think windows is bad, is just an OS for easy people, I use ubuntu every day and to be honest, somethings aren’t made for every person. Yeah, has lots of problems, but my windows XP still working well. We just gotta take care of our OS. and for the issue of monopoly of Microsoft, maybe a problem, but the linux community get bigger and bigger, so even if we cant stop the MS monopoly, at least they wont delete us from the Medium-hardcore computing community.

Im not an expert linux user, but Ive managed to install several utilities and compiz fusion (yeah!!). I still use windows sometimes because I need it (and really I still want to play games without wine). Windows is a common-user OS, we should respect that. Many people just want easy instead of efficient.

Like a signature in a forum that I read:
Get MacOS if you dont want to know why it work
Get LInux if you want to know why it work
Get DOS if you want to know why doesn’t work
Get Vista if you dont want to know why doesn’t work

5. Sleepy guy - June 25, 2008

Lol, my first part of m previous comment sounded bad. THe thing that has lots of problems is windows XD

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