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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

OS Agnostic

I am a hopeless technology geek and I hope you'll indulge me as I vent a little.

The release of Windows 8 is coming Oct 26th and this has led to pitched battles online. Every article I've read about the new Operating System (OS) has been deluged with comments. Yes, I know better than to read them--I fear for humanity every time I slip--but sometimes I can't help myself.

Battle lines are drawn. If you don't like something in Windows 8, you're either a Luddite or an Apple fan boy or To Stupid to Live (TSTL). Apparently, you're not allowed to just not like it or something about it. Allow me to say right now that I haven't used Win 8 and have no opinion one way or the other on its functionality. I do, however, find it aesthetically unappealing from photos and videos that I've seen online.

This is just the latest battleground, BTW. I've also read the same level of ferocity in reviews for the iPhone and other Apple products as well as Android releases.

It's a mindset I don't understand. How do you get to be a fan boy of an OS like Windows or OS X or iOS or even Linux? If you don't work for one of the companies and have a bonus riding on the outcome, what does it matter?

I am an OS and device agnostic. I have Macs, I have PCs, I have an Android device. I don't care who makes it or what OS it's running as long as it does what I want it to do. You see, the bottom line for me is does it fulfill the need for which I bought it? If the answer is yes, that's all that matters.

For me, the device is a tool, nothing more. But these men online (and they are nearly all men from their names/handles that they post under) seem to take the mildest criticism personally. The comments sections are filled with insults.

As an example, I read a review on CNet of Windows 8--that's what prompted this blog post--and the writer of the piece was 99% complimentary about the system with one mild con. Most reviews try to say here's the good, here's the bad, and here's the bottom line. That's pretty standard, so for the con to be as light as it was pretty much made the review glowing.

Comments included accusations that CNet is an Apple stooge and that the reviewer was stupid because he thought the learning curve was high. People who commented that they'd tried the test release versions and didn't like it were hammered pretty unmercifully as being Luddites, people afraid of technological change. These were IT professionals for the most part because few ordinary people are running early versions of Win 8. These people were also accused of being Apple fan boys because they didn't love the Microsoft OS.

I'm sitting there going WTH? If it doesn't work for the way someone uses their computer, how does this make them stupid or a covert agent for a rival like Apple?

It also makes me wonder how anyone gets so rabid about an OS. Chill out, dudes and just use what works for you. If it doesn't work for someone else, it's not an attack on your manhood. Just relax already.