Tag Archives: windows

Apple Design vs Windows Updates: One Company Simply Doesn’t Care


Today I was updating my Windows installation. And get this, there were 43 updates required to get me all fixed up. Apple would never consider this an option. Their developers have more respect for the user. MSFT just doesn’t care. How else can you explain the pain of managing a Windows environment? You can’t. The people developing Windows don’t actually have to manage or support Windows environments. If they did, we’d see things a bit different.

I read today that Apple designers and developers are paid at least 50% more than other designers/developers. It’s because they think of the entire user experience, just like the Mac vs Windows. Sure, when you have a browser open the experience is about the same. But it’s the rest of the stuff you do with your computer, the filing, finding, and storing that makes the two platforms so different. Windows is like a series of folders. You store your documents in folders within folders. On the Mac you have that option too, but the visual representations of your filing system is unlimited in your ability to color, structure, and save your files in creative ways.

The Apple computer was built for creative people. Windows is built for low-cost and most efficiency. Windows literally dumbs down the options. That makes it easier to manage in large enterprise environments. Everything is in your Documents directory.

But the philosophy goes much deeper.

Today I played with a new Apple app called Music Memos. It’s free. And it was made lovingly to make recording and saving musical ideas. Apple knew musicians were using voice memos to make recordings. So someone in the group decided to make a better musical sketchpad. I cannot imagine this project would ever see the light of day at Microsoft. For one, it’s free. And second, as MSFT moved to a FREE distribution model for Windows 10 upgrades, the started charging money for things like Solitaire. What? That’s silly. Do they charge for Mine Sweeper too?

At Apple, the teams are still focused on HUMAN INTERACTION principles. At Microsoft it’s pure project management, cost containment, and ship the next version, even if it doesn’t work very well. And if it needs 43 updates, that’s not a problem, our users have always put up with that insanity. Why change now. Apple recompiles their updaters each time there are changes. And for the most part you can download ONE updater and it will bring your OS up-to-date.

Apple gets the user and writes program and interfaces around the user needs and requirements. Microsoft gets business and the need to crunch numbers both in development of Windows and by the users of Windows. If you’re creative and you’re on Windows you’re limiting your options. And you won’t see many people buying anything but Apple when they have to put their own money into the laptop. If you buy your own computer, rather than your company, you are likely to pay more for Apple’s design and Apple’s OS system that bridges from your computer, to your iPad, to you iPhone better than any Android or Windows solution.

Friends don’t let their friends do Windows.

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

Windows 10 *HOME* Will Have Mandatory Updates. Um, WTF?

Everyone needs Windows 10 to be a success. I repeat, shouting, “Everyone Needs Windows 10 to be a success.” It’s no wonder some of the press is coming out and trying to spin the forced update story in a positive light. It is an awful idea. Almost as bad as “metro” was with Windows 8. My open letter to Microsoft comes at the end, but let’s lay some historical groundwork for how much everyone loves and trusts Microsoft.

From the Slashdot story, “Windows 10 Pro users will be able to delay updates for some period of time, and Enterprise users will have update functionality similar to that of Windows 8.” Yeah, that’s comforting. Just like in Windows 8!

Just because Microsoft is forcing “HOME” users to update, it’s not a stretch to imagine that they are trying to push this approach forward into the PRO versions. And why are there so many versions of Windows anyway? Does Apple or Google have flavors and price points on their OS flavors?


Um, yeah… Forced updates. Is this like “Sorry, you can’t shut down your computer for 30 minutes to get to your meeting, we’re downloading the latest and greatest Window Update. Sit back and relax. We promise not to break anything.”


Several big lessons about Windows Update in the past.

  • Never update Windows.
  • If you update Windows make sure you have a quick and immediate regression (recovery) plan if it goes wrong.
  • Windows Update will suggest 232 updates each time you check it. It’s your afternoon if you choose to “update all.”
  • Windows Update used to break apps and hardware connectivity all the time.
  • Windows Update will delay shutdown or hibernate at the most inconvenient times.

Why oh why, is Microsoft choosing this fragile moment for Windows 10 (the version we ALL need to be a success!) to FORCE updates on all of us? Why oh why? When Windows 95, 97, ME, XP, Vista, 7, and 8 all requested “automatic updates” we ALL said NO. And not just NO, but “HELL NO.”

Microsoft’s track record with Windows Updates is awful. Why do we believe they are going to play differently?

Let’s look at the best UPDATE SOFTWARE model in the business. Apple. When you go to do a “software update” with Apple they have taken the time to consolidate all the “updates” and “packages” and “hot fixes” since your last update, in to ONE UPDATE. Windows still says, “Downloading 7 of 27 updates… Please wait.”

I’m not excited about Forced Automatic Updates of Windows 10. I think it’s MSFT going for “innovation” again and shooting themself and their users in the bricked laptop.

How many times have you been using Windows (and I’m talking 7 here, when things were right with the world for about 1 year) and been prompted, “Don’t shut down your computer, Windows is updating.” Sometimes this happens even if you have the “NO AUTOMATIC UPDATES” setting to NO. And that’s most of my experience with Windows. NO. Do you want to update now? NO. Would you like to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8? NO. What’s your attitude about forced updates in Windows 10. HELL NO! PLEASE NO!

It’s obvious we all need Windows 10 to rock. The entire PC industry has suffered under the consumer confusion over Windows 8. And even more so, the manufacturers have suffered under the 0.5% enterprise adoption rate for Windows 8. Check any major manufacturer’s website today, even Dell, and they say, “Dell recommends Windows.” Well, why doesn’t it say “Dell recommends Windows 8?” BECAUSE THEY DON’T. All of the major manufacturers are still having to offer WIN 7 and WIN 8, because WIN 8 was killing everyone’s sales.

An open letter to Microsoft about Windows 10 Forced Updates:

Dear Bill Gates,

Please step in and help your former company before it’s too late. STOP senseless updates and misguided “innovation” in Windows 10. We tried that with METRO in Windows 8. Remember how that turned out. Force business IT departments to support on-going updates and fixes to Windows 10 and you will be forcing their support of Windows 7 for another 5 years. NO ONE UPDATES WINDOWS UNLESS THEY HAVE TO. Why? Because your reputation stinks in this department. You’re track record of breaking shit when we install a “hot fix” or even a “security update” is very bad indeed. IT departments across the globe do not have time for your BS.

Stop Forced Automatic Updates of Windows 10! You will kill your next OS before it even get’s a real-world review. If the IT departments of large companies like DELL don’t buy into Windows 10 migration, you will be in trouble again. You will shoot a warning flare over the bow of all IT departments to stay away from Windows 10.

I’m a mac fan, but I have to use Windows for several of my clients. I run it on a Mac inside Parallels. In this configuration I’m running the “Preview” of Windows 10. So far, you’ve not made any metro-sized mistakes. I’m not sure about Spartan/Edge or whatever you’re trying to call the next IE, but take a lesson from your own playbook. You can’t just call IE by a new name and expect everyone to believe you. If you force updates on Windows 10 you are going to force business customers, in HUGE NUMBERS, to NOT EVEN TRY Windows 10!

Why would you doom your new operating system before it officially launches? Sure the press is all over it as a good thing. IT’S AN AWFUL IDEA.


JMac – a concerned PC user who is dependent on the health of the technology industry as a whole.

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)


windows logo - hysterical

Can Microsoft Deliver?

windows logo - hysterical

Pop Quiz: When was the last good Windows release?

Can Microsoft Deliver? < This was the headline from one of my tech feeds. I laughed when I read it.

“Um, on what?” I can only assume they are talking about Win 9, the hail-mary of Windows updates that may bring the entire peecee business out of the backwash that is Win 8.

When we look at the Windows release history we see that they get about ever-other-one right. 97-good-ME-bad-XP-good-Vista-bad-7-good-8-really bad. The entire industry hangs its hope on the next release of Windows. If you doubt the devastating drop Win 8 has had on the entire industry, go Google it yourself. Or just go visit any major hardware manufacturer’s site and notice how prominently they display WIN7 systems still available. So let’s assume that WIN8 was as bad as suggested. What was the biggest mistake?

WIN8 should’ve been the OS for the Microsoft Surface computer, not for everyone. In a word METRO. While Microsoft was hoping to take their tired interface a step forward with Metro, what they did was destroy the traditional Windows interface for a “tablet oriented” and “touch-screen friendly” interface. See, Windows was having a problem on tablet computers. And not just the Apple iPad problem. Windows sucked on tablets. See, the little pull-down menus and overall system flow of Windows had nothing “touch” about it. And WIN7, while bringing us out of the Vista dark ages, and finally convincing IT departments world-wide to begin the forced-upgrade from XP, WIN8 stopped that success cold.

IT in every major company answered the question of migration to WIN8 with a resounding NO. And it’s not me that’s saying this. This is the research. If you can’t get the IT departments to migrate, of say Dell, you’re going to have a hard time convincing Dell to recommend WIN8 to their customers. I mean, that’s a bit like recommending an Android phone to your clients while using an iPhone.

Okay, so WIN8 sabotaged the entire enterprise growth market that was beginning to happen with WIN7. Why. What did Microsoft have to gain by forcing Metro on all of us? I think they just misjudged their customer. Either that or they said, “We’ll do something so cool, everyone will love it.”

And even as the pre-release reviews were consistent with the marketplaces future reaction, Microsoft pressed on. And WIN8 was born and hoisted as the NEW WINDOWS paradigm. Except there was only one big problem. A huge majority of people using Windows, and potentially upgrading to WIN8 or buying a new laptop or desktop, were not using touchscreens. Microsoft forced (or tried to force) a tablet-touch-oriented interface (Metro) down the throats of all of us. Bad move. And a typical Microsoft slip.

Microsoft has a history of ignoring customer complaints and going their own way. And with WIN8 they did their best PR/Marketing “build it, ship it, and make it so” effort. Except the marketplace, and the IT departments world-wide finally said NO. Just like they had with Vista before. And this time it was even worse than Vista. Sure, Microsoft could fiddle with the early numbers, like they always do, and count all Surface computers manufactured as “shipped WIN8 systems.” And like they did with Vista, at Dell, they could count every sale of a Windows system as a WIN8 sale, even if the customer was paying the $50 downgrade fee to get WIN7 installed. But this time the PR games didn’t work.

Nothing worked. WIN8 was a dud. And even Windows loyal, Windows evangelists started saying, “Stay away from WIN8.” And thus we find ourselves in today’s situation. A lot of people are praying that WIN9 will get it right.

Here’s Dell’s Laptop OS Option Screen:

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 10.07.32 AM


Here is HP’s OS config screen:

Screen Shot 2014-07-29 at 10.06.45 AM

And if they can continue their “every other release is a good one” track record we might be in for some help. And more fundamentally, if they listen to their customer feedback (big, enterprise, thousands of systems, customers) as they preview WIN9, perhaps we will see something as good or better than WIN7.

But if we look at Microsoft’s trust record in the marketplace we have to wonder.  Look at Internet Explorer, known officially as Internet Exploder and the worst browser on any platform, period. And the Windows phone OS, as bad as you think it might be, bolt Windows on a smaller screen and you end up wishing for something like Metro. And that’s what you have now.

And more than products or lies, it’s really Microsofts historical arrogance that is coming back to haunt them. Look at system updates and fixes. Why can’t Microsoft take the time, help the user, and create packages of updates? Even Android does a better job of this. Instead your Windows system, regardless of your preferences, it seems, will begin an upgrade, or a fix, or a download just as you are trying to shutdown to head for a meeting. “Don’t Shutdown Now.” GRRRR.

And what about the predatory way Microsoft is still going after Java. They are still building IE specific functions that are created to specifically not work in Firefox or Chrome. And thus they keep the lock on Sharepoint users, or Enterprise VPN users, by requiring IE for successful execution of much of the Microsoft enterprise systems. Of course, the IT departments worldwide, primarily set up to fix and support Windows, are well aware of these draconian practices by Microsoft. And nobody is happy about it. But what can you do? If you’re Sharepoint systems only work 100% with IE, you use and reccomend IE. This is Microsofts “lock-in” strategy.

But they couldn’t bolt on Metro and get everyone to play along. In the end, Metro should’ve been an extension for WIN8 users running touchscreens. It should never have been released as THE Windows interface. Look at WIN8.1, the “fix.” The main difference, they added the old Start Screen back, essentially allowing you to bypass Metro all together. Yay. But it was a back-ass way to get there. If they’d kept Metro to themselves and their Surface computing platform, they might’ve helped the entire industry.

So how long before the Microsoft technology lock is broken? We’ve got Android and Mac OS. We’ve got Google Docs that can read and write Office products. We’ve got superior hardware from every other manufacturer (though I hear the Surface Pro 3 is the best yet). What will have to take place for Microsoft to really begin to see a decline in revenue? That question is above my level of comprehension. But if they keep pulling boners like WIN8 it will be the large IT departments that signal the change, and not the consumer.

Best of luck on WIN8, I run WIN XP inside Parallels on a Mac. It’s better as an app, rather than an OS. (grin)

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)
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Windows 7: New Wool Over the Toothy Old Fox Pretending to Be Pastoral

So I’ve been running WIN7 for a while now. And what can I tell you, it’s pretty. It seems stable. It seems pretty fast (due in part to some prefs I can set to make it turn off the silly Aero stuff.

There’s stuff like this that come up from time to time.

And then this:

uh oh… what happened? That’s the black, white and gray screen of death.

And then the “repair tool.”

How with such a beautiful new Windows do we still have cr*p like this?

Where’s the Aero-smoothness on that screen?

Microsoft OWNS the PeeCee market. Maybe forever. But they don’t have to keep foisting this sort of user experience on us. Sure it’s under the covers. Sure it’s not the “typical user’s” experience. Unfortunately we learned with Vista, it’s not always safe to trust Microsoft. In many cases, trusting Microsoft to lead you out of the darkness is a bad idea. Because they are so much in the dark themselves.

And then that hourglass as a metaphor for anything to do with technology shows how deep the cluelessness runs. Deep I tell you, deep.

I am hopeful that the “repairs” work. I’m not very optimistic about it.

Well, you might have guessed, the repair failed. I had the option to let Microsoft know about the crash… as if… Ho hum.

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