Last week, I published my first-ever video about Windows.
I knew the comment thread would go one of two ways. It’d either be flooded with Windows fans lambasting a Mac guy for immaturely poking fun at their favourite operating system, or I’d be joined by a bunch of die-hard Apple loyalists.
As it turns out, the comments have been a mixed bag. But they have been fascinating. If you have an affinity to either macOS or Windows, they’re worth a read.
There was one in particular that caught my eye, and I’d love to share it with you today because I think it sums up the farcical nature of the platform wars beautifully – far better than I ever could.
I don’t understand the platform wars
Before I get to the comment in question, I need to reiterate something I’ve said many times before.
I do not understand why people get so angry, defensive or, often, downright nasty when they encounter someone who likes a different tech brand, product or platform.
How someone can be so fiercely loyal to a piece of software, hardware or a tech company is beyond me. I completely understand if you have a favourite brand, laptop or operating system, but to treat any loyalty you have like some form of gladiatorial battle against the rest is just odd.
I’m a big fan of Apple products, and I have been for quite some time. But I’m not blinkered enough by their bright, shining, chamfered-edged marketing to overlook the instances where they make an absolute hash of something. That happens quite a lot.
Apparently, though, I’m still an ‘Apple Sheep’, according to some of my viewers on YouTube.
Why I published the Windows video
As expected, several people who watched my Windows 11 video completely missed the point and only heard what they wanted to hear (and what they wanted to vehemently disagree with).
This happens a lot on YouTube.
Why are you pulling apart a beta operating system, they asked. Why don’t you just wait and try it before telling the world that it’s rubbish? You do realise that this is a beta version and won’t work properly yet, don’t you?!
My video doesn’t speak once about the reliability or performance of the Windows 11 preview. It simply highlights what a mess Microsoft has made of its announcement and the subsequent reaction to the confusion created by the system requirements (or lack of them).
Their response felt rushed and was poorly communicated. And the deeper I dived, the more confused I became. The huge list of system requirements and deprecated features offered by The Windows Team did nothing more than reaffirm why I switched to Macs over a decade ago.
Despite this, I really want to try Windows again and see what I’m missing. As mentioned numerous times in my video, I still have a great deal of affection for Microsoft’s operating system, having used it for many years before macOS. Indeed, I actually really like the look of Windows 11 – I’d love to give it a thorough road test for my business.
Thankfully, one viewer spotted the point I was trying to make.
One of my favourite comments – ever
“I like how you point out the obvious – you’ve had many, many years of using Windows machines,” said my new favourite viewer, shortly after I posted my Windows 11 video. “That is forgotten when we’re accused of being ‘Apple Sheep’. Somehow we’re all computer virgins who fell for Apple ‘marketing’. We’ve stumbled into a ‘walled garden’ and have no idea what we’re missing with Windows or Android.
“They ignore the years, money, viruses, frustration, dealing with buggy, bloated, broken machines with almost zero support. How many of us recall the endless loop of the store blaming the manufacturer, the manufacturer blaming the software and Microsoft ‘authorizing’ a shady repair service? It will take more than Windows 11 to convince me to return.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself.
It’s so easy to call someone a brand ‘sheep’ without thinking a little more about why they might use a particular platform. And, ironically, those who use such language are usually far more loyal to their chosen platform and will follow it blindly into the horizon while calling out anyone who dares try something else.
Who’s the sheep in that scenario?
Looking over the fence
I spent so many years with Windows. I built PCs that would either work flawlessly or result in weeks of lost time trying to work out what was wrong. I tweaked Windows, broke Windows and fell in and out of love with Windows.
Then, one day, I bought a Mac G5 and discovered what I’d been missing out on (and how much hair I could have kept on the top of my head if I’d switched earlier). Whether it was the simple fact of growing older and wanting something that ‘just worked’, or being captivated by technology that was just different, I don’t know – but I never looked back. Equally, I knew that my new platform of choice wasn’t for everyone.
According to the Apple Sheep Identification Consortium, this means I simply opted for the easy route and conceded that I’d subsequently pay over the odds for stuff that is all style and marketing over substance. That wasn’t the case at all. Apple’s stuff just felt better for my requirements, and it still does.
If that makes me an Apple sheep, then so be it. But I’ll never stop looking over the fence to see what I’m missing out on – no matter what happens to be on the other side.