Why I love Windows 7, hate Linux, and think the Mac is lame

After more than 20 years wandering the operating system landscape with hopes and dreams, I've finally settled on a platform with no regrets: Windows 7.

I've been involved with Windows, Linux, and Macs since the early days. After more than 20 years wandering the operating system landscape with hopes and dreams, I've finally settled on a platform with no regrets: Windows 7.

Early versions of Windows, which was released in 1985, were virtually useless. It took Microsoft until 1992, with the release of Windows 3.1, to set Windows on its present trajectory toward operating system greatness.

This screen capture shows the first version of Windows:

Windows 1.0 user interface

Linux is a conundrum. Sleek and powerful, yet nearly impenetrable for most users, the penguin faces an identity crisis.

Some geekier-than-thou proponents use deep knowledge of Linux as a calling card for personal credibility and evidence they have transcended technology heights unavailable to the common man or woman. Then, there's Ubuntu, where even the name has a special meaning intended to uplift the ordinary man. According to Wikipedia:

Its name comes from the Zulu word "ubuntu", translated as humanity, describing the ubuntu philosophy: "I am who I am because of those around me," a positive aspect of community.

Although this flavor of Linux represents an inspiring philosophy, it remains virtually opaque to all but the most committed fans. Disagree with that statement? Install Ubuntu and try manually configuring any hardware that doesn't work right. Good luck, because you're gonna need it.

Here are typical Linux boot messages. Don't you think they're kind of nice, in a penguin sort of way:

Linux boot messages

Next we come to the Apple Macintosh, which represents Computing Religion. ThingsMacintosh describes Apple "Commandment #1:"

I am the Mac, thy Computer. Thou shalt have no other Computers before me, nor shalt thou speak ill of Apple, the company that maketh me.

Although Windows users are practical folk and Linux devotees enjoy their technical ivory tower, Macintosh adherents tend to be frivolous time-wasters dazzled by cheap sensory effects. How else do you explain those cute little doodads that dominate the Macintosh user interface?

Perhaps this video helps place the Macintosh subculture into perspective:

Now, for Windows 7 and why it's great:

  1. Performance over Vista is vastly improved. I'm a serious user of Nikon Capture NX2, and the performance change change is incredible. For example, adjusting low-light noise in a complex photo used to take minutes and it now takes seconds.
  2. The thing is stable and works. Even though the product is beta, it doesn't crash. Yes, it's rough around the edges and some things still don't function properly, but in general it's great.
  3. The support infrastructure is mature. Finding answers to obscure questions is straightforward because the Windows installed base is so large. With Google's help, technical knowledge and assistance are easy to find.

Of course, some people might disagree with my perspective. What do you think?

[Photo of Linux penguins singing their hearts out while hoping for attention by Michael Krigsman. Windows 1.01 screen capture via IntelliAdmin. Linux boot screen from VectorLinux.]