It’s Getting Hard to Recommend Windows to Anyone

It’s Getting Hard to Recommend Windows to Anyone

Today, I booted my Windows laptop for what should have been a simple task. Instead, it turned into an hour-long ordeal, waiting on an important Windows update that ultimately failed, resulting in a rollback with no apparent recourse.

I’m increasingly hesitant to use the machine for anything other than playing games. It's either not working correctly, spying on me, or bombarding me with promotions and ads. A quick trip to Microsoft Edge’s settings reveals numerous ways it can spy on me or sell me something—all enabled by default.

My Computing Ecosystem

Normally, I don’t have to deal with this. I use macOS for my personal life and writing, and Linux for nearly all my work. This balance has suited me well for several years. macOS provides access to the proprietary software I need, while Linux offers the freedom and power to do my work.

Before adopting macOS, I ran a Windows/Linux dual-boot environment on my laptop. However, the advent of Apple’s powerful M-series chips, combined with Microsoft’s privacy policies since Windows 10, pushed me into the Apple ecosystem.

Recommending Alternatives to Windows

People sometimes ask me if they should switch from Windows. They inquire about moving to macOS or shifting all their computing to tablets and phones. Occasionally, they consider switching to Linux. While I enjoy promoting Linux, I carefully evaluate each person's computing needs before recommending a switch.

If someone encounters a significant issue with Linux, they’re likely to revert to Windows and may never return. Therefore, I’m cautious about recommending Linux except for specific use cases.

The Gradual Approach No Longer Works

I used to advise people to start using open-source programs like LibreOffice, VLC, GIMP, Krita, and Inkscape on Windows. I believed that becoming accustomed to these alternatives would ease the switch to Linux. However, with the rapid decline in Windows' privacy and usability, I’m hesitant to continue this gradual approach.

My New OS Recommendation Decision Tree

Here’s how I now recommend operating systems:

  • Primary Activities are Streaming Video and Social Media: They are best served with a phone and tablet.
  • Light Computing Needs, including Writing, Simple Finance, and Casual Gaming: Linux is now a good choice.
  • Moderate Computing Needs and Self-Described Power Users: macOS and Linux are my go-to recommendations.

Farewell, Windows

I’m saddened by what Windows has become. I grew up with MS-DOS and Windows 3.x, and they’ll always have a place in my nostalgia-filled heart. However, as long as Microsoft focuses on data collection and marketing rather than providing a quality product, I cannot, in good faith, recommend Windows to anyone.