Sunday, October 11, 2009

More stable?

With all the hype coming out about how Windows 7 will "run better" and be "more stable" than Windows Vista, I have to ask: Why couldn't Windows Vista run well and be stable? I mean, when did "stable" and "runs well" come off the collective list of expectations?

People are getting very excited that Windows 7 is "stable" and "runs great". Why is this even an issue? Because Windows Vista hasn't been that great. It had a terrible launch, and 3 years later companies like Dell still get enough demand for an XP "downgrade" that they still ship systems with the older version of Windows instead of Vista. So now we're all excited about how great Windows 7 runs, not realizing this as a symptom of Stockholm Syndrome.

Or any version of Windows, for that matter? I've done IT for almost 15 years and it's been a long, long time since I've seen Windows be really stable. To get Windows stable, you have to not touch the thing, no installing apps. God help you if you install any third party applications or drivers. We just expect that Windows will crash or hang up.

I've rarely experienced stability problems on Linux, and I've been using it at various levels since 1993. Opposite my experience with Windows, it's been a long, long time since I've crashed a Linux desktop. With Linux, if an application crashes or hangs, it's just the application - the system stays running.You don't have to reboot to fix anything. Just close the application window, re-open, and keep working.


  1. Oh, I've had my fair share of problems with Linux that have led me to have to restart. Like this one issue that makes Ubuntu not come out of standby properly -- I can't figure out whether that's a hardware problem, a software problem, or both.

  2. Hmm, I also saw the "stable" and "runs great" in what people said about 7, and didn't see it in this way. Interesting how we've lowered our expectations. If I'm shelling out $120 for an operating system, the damn thing better run well.

    Thanks for pointing this out.


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