Microsoft Windows’ innate charm

By SteveJack

Windows get a bad rap from Mac users because they’ve seen how much better personal computing can be without Microsoft involved.

However, once in a while, I find myself stuck on Windows somewhere and I find it has its own innate charm.

Like the late John Belushi, Windows is inherently and deeply flawed, but when it works, its heart shows through.

And, just like the watch-it-or-you’ll-soon-be-late-too Artie Lange is to Belushi, Windows is an inexact, flawed copy of an original. Windows’ charming heart is Apple’s old “classic” Mac OS. Let’s face it, we all use Macs in some form or another, whether it be the real thing or Windows (or, for that matter, Linux imitating Windows).

Despite Windows’ pervasive lack of grace, its bolted-on Task Bar, its inefficient menus stuck to every window, its inherent insecurity, its counterintuitive and randomly unorganized control panels, and its upside-down and backwards look & feel (a failed attempt to avoid a lawsuit from Apple in the early days), when Windows works, I smile (and then I quickly make a clone of the disk for the inevitable wipes and reinstalls). It’s like building your own radio from a kit and hearing a broadcast; it’s not the best radio, but it works a little like and shares the main building blocks of a real radio, so it makes you happy to hear anything emanate from it.

That Windows has tried so long and so hard to be a Mac, it should be, by now, somewhat endearing to Mac users.

So, go ahead, I dare you: use or watch someone using any version of Windows and, if you look hard enough, you’ll see that charming old Mac heart beating in there somewhere.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.

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51 Comments

  1. Sorry, Steve, not giving you this one. I’d take OS 9 any day over XP or any flavor of Windows. I use it everyday and find it a great joy to come home and use my Macs and therefore a computer that just works.

  2. I’ve been playing with Vista RC1 quite a bit lately. It’s really an awesome version of Windows (assuming they fix some of the remaining obvious bugs by the final release date or shortly thereafter). I like it way more than XP, which isn’t saying much since XP is pretty mediocre and everything before it sucked raw eggs.

    However, it’s truly scary how much of an OS X ripoff Vista is. Everywhere I turn in Vista, I see OS X-isms. It’s almost mind-boggling. In some cases, they took an OS X-ism and just tweaked it slightly. In other cases, THEY DID THE EXACT SAME THING. Un-freakin’-believable.

    So no wonder Vista is cool. It’s just one big pseudo-Tiger. Somehow I have the feeling it won’t be so cool once Leopard comes out and shows off some REAL innovation.

    Jared

    P. S. Actually, perhaps the only really cool part about Vista is the blurred glass chrome effect. Hmm…and I thought Apple was supposed to be the “superficial eye candy” company.

  3. “So, go ahead, I dare you: use or watch someone using any version of Windows and, if you look hard enough, you’ll see that charming old Mac heart beating in there somewhere.”

    Windows is about as charming as the crocodile’s smile. Get too careless and you will be bitten.

  4. What…?

    This was just a stupid piece. A waste of webspace, and five minutes of my time.

    Who cares? Really?

    What makes a Mac rock is OSX. Period. Screw OS9. OS9 was a dog. I couldn’t even say it was better than Windows.

    Nothing tops OSX.

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