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I’m a Windows power user

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For all the criticism Vista gets, I happen to be one happy Vista user. Sure, I do have complaints about it, and even with all the patching and SP1 fixes, I still believe the OS has to improve considerably in areas like power consumption, waking up from sleep as quickly as OS X (two critical improvements for building the ultimate laptop-optimized OS), and excessive HDD thrashing, however after some frustrating trial and experiment with the very acclaimed OS X Leopard… I have concluded it’s just not for me. And that’s what this post is about.

Ironically, I happen to be writing this on a MacBook Pro that I bought back in November, but from a Boot Camp Vista install. For me, Vista marries the eye candy of OS X – that XP has lacked for a long time – with all the Windows app compatibility and the environment I have grown to appreciate and customize to my very needs.

To tell you the truth I’m trying to be as neutral as possible here, just because my needs do not reflect everyone else’s. I bought the MacBook with the sole intention of having more current experience with the Mac and being able to give a good assessment on either system when time came, and so far I wouldn’t even go as far as saying OS X is superior to Vista, or vice versa. I have noticed however that the Mac is too strict on the way it wants you to work, I found the system to be too intrusive, sitting between me and the applications I’m working with rather than easing the way along.

Perhaps I’m just too used to Windows… that’s a thought I have had wondering in my mind for the past month, while I concluded that OS X was just going to sit there unused in my brand new laptop. However, during that time I also sat back and put myself on observation mode, looking at how people interact with Windows. I found it extremely impressive how different all people find their way around the OS. Opening files, browsing the web, searching for something, you name it, there’s at least 3 different ways for doing each. In the other hand, I always hear from hardcore OS X users how their system is more streamlined, more consistent and intuitive. Well that might just be the problem for me…

But while on the topic, let’s also consider the audience.

I have to admit I’ve been simply stunned by the mainstream media reviews on either operating system – usually concluding OS X is better – measuring things like boot time as an excuse for a real assessment, or praising the OS for its built-in newbie applications. What’s worse, usually these people use the latest Apple hardware (great hardware ever since they use Intel platforms) against some horrible pre-configured OEM Windows installation from Dell, or whoever. And I guess that makes for a huge difference, where I consider myself a power user, I would never buy an OEM desktop system but build one myself, and I would never use a pre-installed Windows configuration on a laptop without messing around with it for a few hours before finding my place. Finally, if I came across a problem with my OS installation I know I could figure it out myself without ever having to call tech support (never had, never will). For some this may be complete annoyances, but just like any good Linux user loves his ways around the less consumer-oriented OS, for me that’s just part of the ride and part of being a PC enthusiast.

At the end of the day, it’s all about the OS that fits you and your needs. In my case, I’m the most productive under Windows by far, and Vista is in my opinion the best version released so far if you have a speedy-enough system.

Written by Julio Franco

February 18th, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Posted in apple,blog,windows