Ah, the old Apple vs. the World argument rages again

From a Facebook thread I started to troll some of my friends in the Apple ecosystem, which started out by comparing the features of the new iPhone X to the Samsung Galaxy Note s6 (the Samsung won):

Maybe I live a charmed life, but I just don’t have the problems y’all talk about with Microsoft products.

I’ve had Windows machines blow up on me that were the fault of the hardware and sketchy drivers provided by the hardware manufacturers, but rarely if ever could the fault be traced to the operating system software itself. Never, ever use Intel’s software-based RAID for anything. Learned that the hard way.

Is Microsoft software bloated? Yes. But so is everyone else’s. Check out how big your Facebook app is on your iPhone or iPad sometime. For me, it’s the largest app I have on my iPad, and it runs like a pig because Facebook’s programmers don’t know how to bum code the way we used to do it in the Paleolithic.

Do Windows computers slow down as they age? Yes. But you can get rid of the cruft in a number of ways, starting with the built-in Disk Cleanup application that will let you clean up a lot of old junk (like Windows Updates), and ranging to commercial applications that will clean up and compact your registry (just be sure you run a full backup first). Modern versions of Windows run a disk defragmenting process automatically, instead of making you do it manually like XP and earlier. And you can speed things up physically by replacing certain hardware items, like replacing your old-tech spinning disk drives with fast SSDs (which is kind of like replacing incandescents with LEDs, except not). You can generally add RAM, if you didn’t max the machine out when you bought it, which will prevent the machine from swapping memory to disk as often. (I bought my current Dell laptop three years ago with 8GB RAM, and recently upgraded it to 32GB RAM, for instance. It’s also had the boot drive upgraded to SSD. It’s my daily driver and I don’t have any trouble with it.)

And finally (because I need to get back to work), don’t buy cheap sh*t to start with. I keep trying to explain to my lady wife that the cheap laptops you see at the warehouse clubs that run $400 are not what she needs. If it has an i3 processor, avoid it. If it has an i5 processor and you just use a computer for email and web browsing, eh, OK. Personally, I won’t buy anything new anymore that doesn’t have at least an i7 processor. i3 and i5 processors are not future-proof to the extent that a good i7 is. We saw a Dell on sale at Costco last weekend for $799 that had an i7, 1TB drive, and 16GB RAM — which would be my minimum specifications for Windows 10, which it was running. But she balked at the $799 price tag and wanted to know why I didn’t recommend the $499 HP sitting next to it. And I said, because HP’s consumer line is junk now. And she still argued. And I said, fine, you can keep using your five-year-old i3 that I’ve upgraded with more RAM and an SSD and you still complain is too slow.

(I’ve been running Dell computers — mostly laptops — since at least 2002, and I have no complaints. My Inspiron 600m is still running; it’s my last surviving XP machine. My Precision M4300 is in its second incarnation only because I spilled a soda on it and killed the first one dead; I replaced it with a nearly-identical machine off of eBay and it’s still alive and kicking, with the same disk drive off of the old one. I’ve specified Dell for other people and organizations and have never once been disappointed. The only use case where I would specify something else would be for server machines, where I am solidly an HP advocate — their server products are still the best in the business, and the few times I’ve actually had hands on Dell servers, I haven’t been very impressed. They struck me as flimsy compared to the HPs.)

She also keeps talking about just switching to a tablet computer, and I keep telling her that she can’t run a business like the one she keeps saying she wants to start from a tablet (and, Office 365 running on a tablet to the contrary, you really can’t). Maybe a Surface, but a new Surface is more expensive than a new laptop these days — and I don’t do refurbished for a “main” computer.

The fact is, I don’t actually care what you run for a phone, or a tablet, or a main computer — you have to run what you are comfortable with. Hell, I own an iPad Air 2 myself, and like it quite a bit. But I’ll defend to the death my contention that the open hardware architecture in the Microsoft/Android ecosystem beats the closed one in the Apple ecosystem hands down in terms of innovation, and that’s what the image I posted is really all about. In the Microsoft/Android ecosystem, we simply get the newer stuff faster — and contrary to popular belief, it works just fine if the user doesn’t eff things up. In my business, problems are usually a combination of PEBCAK and a refusal to RTFM — not the software or the OS it’s running on.