Why nobody should use Windows
Windows has been commercially successful, and it appears that Microsoft always
tries to suggest to all PC users, and especially buyers, that this is the
standard, and a must, for every PC installation. While this view had some
justification at the time before 1992, when the only affordable and functional
alternative was pure Dos, which did not support a graphical user interface,
it is now completely misleading, as a user can select between several systems,
especially as several of them are superior to Windows in many respects.
There are two sorts of facts why I think it is important to view things
For the ethical aspect, I don't want to buy products from a company which
- Microsoft Ethics
- Technological Viewpoints
I could easily extend the list, but you probably know of these aspects yourself
anyway. Certainly, this is concerning not only Windows.
- offers buggy products, and wants to sell bugfixes and upgrades
every few months (others have them for free)
- doesn't tell me the limitations of their products
- doesn't respect nor even acknowledge in some cases, the property rights
of others (individuals or companies)
- claims to have invented E-Mail for the general user in 1995
Windows, in particular, was originally developed as the GUI for OS/2, i.e. as a
predecessor of OS/2's Presentation Manager, when MS and IBM together developed
OS/2 version 2. Microsoft managers saw that this would also sell well without
the underlying advanced platform, took it out of OS/2, and ported it to Dos.
While they were correct from the marketting standpoint, there was a price to
be paid in technological respect:
- Windows is not an OS, but just a TSR running under Dos, which provides some
(sometimes appealing, I admit) graphic functions for the user. Therefore,
I wouldn't call Windows a platform.
- As a Dos program, it suffers from the Dos limitations. In particular,
- it has to implement (or simulate) multitasking; this was done in a
lousy manner with the "cooperative" multitasking for the original
16-bit release, and due to compatibility reasons, it is still the basis
of running 16-bit Windows apps in Windows 95. Cooperative Multitasking
depends on the well-behaviour of all applications, and if (as usual)
one doesn't behave nice, or two collide, the system crashes
(maliciously, one could call this "Teamwork in Practice", and wish
"Happy Hanging" :) )
- the use of Dos slows performance down
- the original 16-bit windows has little basic improvements over the
underlying Dos; e.g.: It still only has the FAT file system,
and must use complicated access to memory higher than the Dos limit of
- Particularly superfluous are bad conceptual aspects, e.g.
- The lack of a good batch, or script language for Windows
(you may start several programs at one time, but you have to use a
compiler if program 2 needs the result of program one, as you cannot
start 2 when 1 has finished ..)
- Bad interface to the underlying Dos (commandline)
- For running with reasonable performance, Windows needs at least the same
hardware resources as OS/2.
- I cannot recommend anybody to use Windows, regardless of 3.1 or 95,
but Win-OS/2 (to run Win-Apps under OS/2), even though some beginners who
don't know OS/2 may be happy with some new graphical possibilities
compared to Dos.
On machines with less than 4 megs RAM, Windows lames (if 95 will run at
all) so that one is better adviced to stay with Dos. Since the invention
of objects-oriented Full-Screen (though Text-mode) shells in Dos (e.g.,
Borland's Turbo Vision), there are convenient Dos programs available for
most purposes such as programming or using the Internet.
The opinions expressed in this page are those of the author only, and it must
be emphasized that they are independent of the opinions of others at SEDS, the
University of Arizona, or the University of Konstanz.
Neither SEDS nor one of the Universities have ever expressed an official opinion
on this thread, as far as I am aware.
if you have comments or additions to this page.