Windows: A Bug or a Fix?

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Windows is the Bug #1 in Ubuntu bug database. It might be same case in Apple bug database as well, but since its not public database we will never know it. After bashing windows for last 3 years, I seriously started to think if its a Bug or a Fix?

Windows 7 is officially out. I have been using its pre-release version for a quite a long time. Its better than Vista. But its still windows. After using Mac for last 3 years, every moment on windows PC is full of annoyance. But this post is not about telling how bad windows is, but about what this world would have been, if there was no windows. And how Windows-ecosytem is great in some ways.

Apple made the personal computing revolution with Apple II and then the Mac. Mac OS was always tied to its Apple hardware. It was for a good reason. Later when Steve Jobs left Apple, they seriously thought of licensing Mac OS to third party hardware manufacturers. But it never became a reality. Macs are great computers but they are too expensive. The cheapest Mac Mini is priced at $599. Add another $100 for a cheap monitor and $50 for Mouse and Keyboard. So the cheapest mac computer costs you $750. In same amount of money one can buy two Windows PCs.

Apple enjoys huge profit margins on its hardware where as PC manufacturers have tough times maintaining their profit margins because of the competition. The end result is that PCs see huge price decline every year. Apple faces no such competition, they maintain their monopolistic position in pricing their hardware.

So, If there was no Windows, I doubt if countries like India and China could have seen the same amount of computer literacy as they have it today. Its very easy to criticize the shortcomings of windows, but hard to appreciate what the Windows-ecosystem have made it possible for third world countries. Apple computers are way too expensive for these countries. Today, in India every middle class household has a PC or thinking of getting one. If there was no Windows, I doubt if India could have ever emerged as an IT-Superpower.

So far windows has worked a Fix. The world (90% it) runs on Windows. So its enough proof that windows works, and it works to fix a lot of world’s problems.

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