Comment: Your's is a failure to see the forrest for the trees.

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In reply to comment: Hardware vs Software (see in situ)

Your's is a failure to see the forrest for the trees.

Yes, hardware and software are separate issues.

That is irrelevant, AND SHOULD BE, to the end user.

It matters not if your Dell is spec'd to the hilt.

Slap a Windoze OS on it and take an identical box and slap Linux on it, and it's no contest.

The Windoze box will live down to its hype. It will wheeze, and hiss, and whine, and churn and chug and take forever just to let you make your first click, not to mention do anything else. And this will even seriously degrade in short order after a few months to a year or so of use.

That Linux system though will just keep happily zipping along like the first day you fired it up.

Same goes for Mac OS X systems.

Of course, one can always muck things up with poorly written 3rd party software, or upgrading to newer OS versions that are barely within the limits of now aging hardware, but that's not the same thing as an original configuration like what I'm speaking of above.

The point the OP is making without knowing it maybe, and that someone apparently so experienced as you should know, is that M$ operating systems are NOTORIOUS for being sluggish and crummy - OUT OF THE BOX. Yes, I know all about how to "slim down" XP. After learning how to do so, I sill prefer Linux and Mac. (I'm not even touching Win7 or 8. Why bother?)

I've had more printing issues with Windows anything than Linux or Mac. (effectively NO issues at all, save one 15 year old printer, which doesn't work with Win7 either not-coincidentally)

Software in short, can render a super spec'd hardware choice perfectly pointless.

M$ is skilled at it.

Of course, not all of the blame is theirs.

Sure, their OS is crummy and tries to perform too many memory swaps, no matter HOW much memory you really have, thus causing that "noisy" hard drive problem.

But the bigger culprits are the behemoth anti-virus monitors that more closely resemble something designed by the TSA. (yes, there are AV programs for Linux and Mac, they are tiny and don't hog resources and no, those systems are not immune, but in 7 years of dealing with them, never once had an issue. I've had countless on Windows systems.)

Then there are the dime a dozen 3rd party apps for useless stuff that are full of memory leaks, the worst of which come pre-installed as "trials" that you forever and a day can't figure out how to fully uninstall. Those are the fault of the OEMs like Dell who sell you the hardware with that crummy OS bundled to it.

This also brings up the little known issue of having to periodically re-install Windows based OSes just so they'll function again. Most people don't know that solution. Instead, they just buy a new computer because the old one (2 years old) is "slow."

The best thing any new computer owner can do, is completely reinstall their OS upon first turning it on, and either skip all optional software, and/or remove anything not explicitly desired other than the OS, and then build up from there.

Of course, that is beyond most consumers.

Which brings us back to the first point.

It is irrelevant if hardware or software is the problem.

The consumer wants something that works, and that they don't have to keep replacing or buying new stuff for that formerly worked.

The advantage there goes to Apple. Why? Because their hardware is tested and certified to be compatible with their software. Does that mean zero problems? Of course not. Parts break. Some are made poorly on the assembly line. Accidents happen. But odds are, a Mac, if kept in it's original state, save for the usual user end software, will perform 5 or maybe even 10 years from now, just as good as the day you bought it.

The same can ABSOLUTELY not be said for Windows based systems.

(Linux can hold the same claim, but hardware compatibility can be a nightmare if you are unlucky)

I am no fanboy of either Mac or Linux. I've used all three. (among others) But I can say I certainly am a detractor of Windows after 21+ years of experience with it.