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Why Windows Sucks Today

If I had the ambition and the time, I could make this a daily rant but I'll cut to the chase. A customer gets a nice fresh install of XP home. We do all the updates and "life is good" right? -- Until she sticks in a DVD movie to watch it. Then she gets this message:

"Windows Media Player cannot play the DVD because a compatible DVD decoder is not installed on your computer."

But there is a button for "web help." When I hit the button it does not (in true Microsoft style) display "help," it displays an advertisement to buy a codec for 30 bucks.

Ha! Silly I say.- Certainly Windows will play a DVD movie right out the box... Right? So I google the error message and find this:

To play DVDs, you must have a DVD-ROM drive and a software or hardware DVD decoder installed on your computer. If you do not have a compatible DVD decoder installed, DVD-related commands, options, and controls do not appear in the Player and you cannot play DVDs. By default, Windows does not include a DVD decoder. For more information about DVD decoders, see Windows Help.

What the Hell are these people thinking? Does Microsoft have any idea how people life, work and play today?

I'm sure there is an "easy" solution." (leave it in the comments if you know it BTW) All I have to do is spend 20 minutes with google and download 3 things to try. and blah blah blah blah blah, it works.

But that's not the point.

Why doesn't the damn thing work?!?!?!

If I buy a Macintosh not only can I play a DVD, but I have all the software required to author a DVD! And it is all install and configured and more importantly... IT FREAKING WORKS! I don't have to jump thru 50 hoops.

Whatever marketing genius made this decision has probably scammed a few million dumb users out of 30 bucks. More power to them. But I have news for Microsoft. It was the last straw for at least one customer. She is getting a Mac and getting it over with.

There is only so long people will put up with the grief involved to run Windows. It has never been a good solution. Back in the day when it was the cheapest solution out there, it because popular. Now it is not even the cheapest. I can get a Mac cheaper than a comparable Dell.(for example) On the high-end it is MUCH cheaper to drive a Mac. So, what's the point in buying an inferior technology?

P.S. Anyone telling me that there are 87 million pieces of software for the PC will be summarily insulted. What good it is to have 87 million pieces of software that don't run? (Not to mention that 47 million of those are viruses, spyware and adware.)

What about when the software I want is only available on a Mac? Give me iLife on a PC then you can try that line on me.

Just remember... There are more cockroaches than humans. Quantity does not denote a higher life form.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Why Windows Sucks Today:

» The Big Picture linked with Macs are Now Cheaper than Windows Computers?

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Comments (66)

I bought my first MAC in 19... (Below threshold)

I bought my first MAC in 1986, a 512E. Still have that computer. Now have a I-Book that I carry with me every where. If you want a computer you can use buy a MAC.
Never has a viruse shut down my computer. A freind has spent $500 to fix viruses that shutdown his computer 3 times.

It's just a way for Microso... (Below threshold)

It's just a way for Microsoft to include a third party vendor. It's also a way for Dell and Gateway to push their own software compatible with Windows. Usually, you get this codec when purchasing these machines from the vendor. Other companies provide better layered codecs for $$$$. Anyway, no fear.... find out which codec you want and get it on a p2p network. Be careful of wrappers (viruses masked in programs) if you decide to go this route. WinDvd is fairly decent if you do want to pay. Good luck and all hail Bill Gates.

I bought my first MAC in 19... (Below threshold)

I bought my first MAC in 1986, a 512E. Still have that computer. Now have a I-Book that I carry with me every where. If you want a computer you can use buy a MAC.
Never has a viruse shut down my computer. A freind has spent $500 to fix viruses that shutdown his computer 3 times.

So, you're comparing buying... (Below threshold)

So, you're comparing buying a complete system, with all software already installed and configured by the manufacturer, to an operating system that you, yourself, install and configure? Good luck with that!

Microsoft can't include the... (Below threshold)

Microsoft can't include the software because they might be then veiwed as monopolistic.

The DVD's that I've put in ... (Below threshold)

The DVD's that I've put in the PC have generally included DVD player software on them, just use explorer to browse around on the DVD to check. Also, you can download the CODEC's for free from several shareware sites. I found http://www.softlandmark.com/DVDEncoding.htm
in just a few seconds of looking. I am not using that, because my DVD drive came with a DVD-viewer bundled with the driver. If you can figure out what DVD maker made your DVD, you may be able to download a viewer from their site; or you may be able to download a player from whoever made the PC.
I can't vouch for the site above, it is just given as an example of what is out there.

Apples come out of the box with a lot of nice features, and don't need much maintenance -- but there's not as much customization that you can do with them. PC's come out of the box with a few less features, but you can tweak the heck out of them.

And there's much more than 87M programs for the PC, once you start talking about the various flavors of Linux.

45 seconds on download.com ... (Below threshold)

45 seconds on download.com gave me this, free, suggestions


What wayne and jschuler sai... (Below threshold)

What wayne and jschuler said... also, if you're building the PC, the codecs should come with the DVD drive. I'm almost 100% sure that's where mine came from on my custom-built PC.

That said, my home-built PC has been "just working" for 3+ years.

I'm an idiot. "The only fe... (Below threshold)

I'm an idiot. "The only feature missing is DVD support, which is available in Zoom Player Professional"

Either way, you'll be able to find a free one without too much work, I think.

I would much rather spend $... (Below threshold)

I would much rather spend $1500.00 every five years on one mac then spend $1000.00 repairing a $500.00 Windows-based PC every two or three years. I prefer quality over the "People's Computer" always built to the "lowest common denominator"-- price.

TRUE STORY: a good friend and business partner is through his 3rd PC in the six years I've known him. Viruses and worms, cheap PC hardware errors, Windows OS errors and Spyware/Adware have either crashed his computer and stopped his computer cold in its tracks. I talked to him for a half-hour yesterday and he assured me his next PC would be from Apple.

Been a Mac user all my life... (Below threshold)

Been a Mac user all my life and as an IT, I have the influence to prompt people to convert to Macs. Just yesterday, a girl at work purchased a new iMac. I went over, set it up for her and I didn't even have to explain the thing. Now she's burning DVD's, making slideshows, posting her wedding pictures on her .Mac account, burning and downloading music with iTunes, and just absolutely loves the machine! All that with a warranty for the price of a gigantic ugly piece of shit peecee that she would hate, like their predecessors. More than anything, she loves that it's a piece of artwork.

What you need is Media Play... (Below threshold)

What you need is Media Player Classic (MPC)


I use it for all my media needs

Let me see if I've got this... (Below threshold)

Let me see if I've got this straight, then. I can buy a Mac, or install OS X on my older Macs that aren't currently running it, and have a working DVD player out of the box.

Or, I can install Windows XP Home Edition (which one might think would be used for playing DVDs), and:

* grab codecs from p2p sites, being careful to not get a virus along the way (Jig)
* live with the fact that the OS doesn't include DVD player functionality out of the box (JSchuler)
* blame the government (wayne)
* dig through PC-enabled DVDs or search shareware sites, meanwhile contenting myself with the ability to really tweak the heck out of the OS if I wanted (ignoring, of course, that you can tweak the heck out of a Mac, too; you just have to know more about the underlying system to do so) (Eric)
* change the subject to how much Linux software also runs on PCs, ignoring that they don't run on Windows, and that Linux runs on Macs as well, if you're not happy with the built-in UNIX (Eric again)

You know, I'm not trying to engage in OS bigotry or trolling here. It's just that, as an IT guy of many years, Windows is a professional embarrassment. There's no reason why a general-purpose OS should not be usable out of the box for all general-purpose computing tasks (even if they can't do everything as well as it can be done; it's OK to not have MS Word out of the box, but it is necessary to have some sort of text manipulation software).

By the way, the suggestion of buying a new DVD drive that includes a codec is probably your best bet. They are cheap ($60 or so) and you have a pretty good assurance that the software and the drive will be compatible with each other.

Thank you Windows apologist... (Below threshold)

Thank you Windows apologists for proving a point...

I'm sure there is an "easy" solution." (leave it in the comments if you know it BTW) All I have to do is spend 20 minutes with google and download 3 things to try. and blah blah blah blah blah, it works.

But that's not the point.

Why doesn't the damn thing work?!?!?!

Obviously you all have accepted the soft bigotry of low expectations. Windows sucks but you're ok with it.

I expect better. I want the damn thing to actually work.

Silly me.

chad helps promote the myth... (Below threshold)

chad helps promote the myth that Macs are less vulnerable
only because they are less popular.

That's what the Microsoft camp would like you to believe. It's
called FUD. Millions of users use Mac OS X and Linux. The
fact is that Windows is a much easier target. In its default
setup, Windows XP on the Internet amounts to a car parked
in a bad part of town, with the doors unlocked, the key in the
ignition and a Post-It note on the dashboard saying, "Please
don't steal this."

Windows XP Home Edition, for instance, ships with five ports open.
Mac OS X ships with zero ports open to the Internet.

Windows XP, by default, provides unrestricted,
"administrator" access to a computer. This sounds like a good
thing but is not, because any program, worms and viruses
included, also has unrestricted access. Mac OS X and Linux
get this right: Users get broad rights, but critical system tasks
require entering a password.

That's all I'm going to say on this topic.

A "PC" is the same as a "CA... (Below threshold)

A "PC" is the same as a "CAR". There are many available, all of which do basically the same things with varying degrees of quality and style and performance. If you buy a PC version of a kia, and drive it like a 16 year old, expect to replace it shortly.

Buy the PC equivalent of a BMW, custom built from quality parts by someone who knows what they're doing, have it configured and your OS installed by someone who again, knows what they're doing, and then use some common sense in your usage practices, i.e. not downloading everything offered to you, and having some security safeguards in place, and the PC will last as long, and most likely longer than any mac on the market.

I've had this one since 2001, and haven't ever had a single virus, any spyware, and maybe a grand total of 2 crashes since it was booted the first time. I'll probably replace it out of lust for new stuff when Nvidia's NFORCE 4 boards are out and stable. This old machine will keep cranking for god knows how many years as a file server or media PC or whatever else i decide to use it for.

I bought my first Mac last ... (Below threshold)

I bought my first Mac last month, and haven't looked back since.

*Everything just works.*

I spent an entire evening trying to get my WinXP Home laptop to see the shared drives on my WinXP Pro desktop. Note that I've worked in IT for 6 years, including tech support. I've programmed several internal C# applications and wrote a Linux blog client in Python that's distributed worldwide.

The damn thing never worked.

I bought the Mac, turned it on. Airport Express picked up my wireless network instantly. It detected my desktop and connected to the shared folder without a word of protest. I accomplished something in 5 minutes with a Mac that took me hours with a PC - and we're talking about Microsoft's own networking here.

Once you use a Mac, you never want to go back. It's the ultimate jack-of-all-trades - a nice and usable interface with all the power of UNIX underneath.

Why people still torture themselves with the routine of anti-virus programs, spyware removers, or having a machine that's slow as molasses from being a spam zombie while simultaneously saying "but Macs are too hard to use!" is well beyond me...

I have purchased 5 Windows ... (Below threshold)

I have purchased 5 Windows machines from various vendors in the last 3 years. Every one came with pre-installed DVD playback software. If you have a DVD DRIVE, you either have or *had* the software at some point. They HAVE to include it as part of the deal with MS. It violates about 50 different agreements with MS if you were sold a drive OR a computer with a drive that did NOT contain some form of playback software.

This post sounds like more Mac zealotry telling half the story and blaming the box for BCAK error. Where was this machine bought? Who has touched (as in installed and uninstalled software) it since? Was it a home-brew machine?

See? Missing details.

We PC users don't need some overseeing entity telling is how we should do things and what software and hardware to use. We prefer the freedom, flaws and all, to screw things up or run them smoothly as we see fit. Zealot Mac users (i.e. anyone who would use the ridiculous term "Windows apologists") on the other hand seem to believe that The Jobs will provide. Trust in The Jobs, for he knows better than you how to configure and stock your machine.

In other words, you sound just like a Kerry-voting Democrat. ;)

Hmmm... I bought a new Comp... (Below threshold)

Hmmm... I bought a new Compaq laptop about 6 months ago with Windows XP home edition pre-installed--and it plays DVDs just fine. We used it as a portable DVD player on a road trip.

Man...I just love all these... (Below threshold)

Man...I just love all these Windows people scrambling to defend their POS PC's.

COMEto theREA... (Below threshold)

to the

I have five PCs ranging fro... (Below threshold)

I have five PCs ranging from 8 years old to 3 years old. They're running on everything from Win 3.1 to XP Professional. Yeah, I have anti-virus software, spy ware programs and firewalls. But they all run on their own with minimal set-up in the beginning. It's a shame that we have to do that, but lay the blame where it belongs - Malicious coders, hackers and their ilk.

So ..... I'm not unhappy. If Mac were the monopoly, this argument would just be reversed. Mac would be the target of all those goons out there. Maximum coverage is what hackers and malicious coders want. They're not exactly discriminating in taste.

If you ask me, I have probably learned more about what my PC does and doesn't do just from the exposure to all the malicious code and evil minds out there. If you want hassel free, no hands on, plug it in and go, get a Mac. Personally, I've enjoyed the learning experience with my old PCs.

But as to the topic ... why can't I play my DVD's? The last place I want to watch a DVD is in an office chair at a desk. I've got a comfortable couch in the livingroom for that.

And merrily we go fishing f... (Below threshold)

And merrily we go fishing for Trolls. Sorry, this is an obvious case of USER ERROR. The last 2 machines I bought came with DVD drives. They watched movies "right out of the box". I also bought a DVD burner. It came with software to allow watching movies "right out of the box".

Now as for the eternal Mac vs PC question. I have 4 pieces of software I run at home and at work. They are:

1. CASE tool - work $1900 package. No MAC versions available.

2. DBA support tool - $2K package. No MAC versions avilable.

3. Blood meter software - $75 - no MAC versions available.

4. Dive Computer software. Free with dive computer. Only sensus available on MAC and that is a crappy implementation and not useful.

As a 20+ year veteran of IT and a BSCS, I always advise picking the software first, and then buying the hardware to run it. Oh, and emulators don't.

As for your CODEC problems, I have run into music newer than my machine requiring a new CODEC. Every time that happens, I go to the Microsoft website and download a FREE CODEC package which cures the problem.

In 20+ years of IT and running BBS sites and being the "go to" guy for a large site running 100+ PCs, I have run into very few viruses, because we take simple precautions.

Mac vs PC? No MACs here, no thank you.

I agree with JimK"If... (Below threshold)

I agree with JimK
"If you have a DVD DRIVE, you either have or *had* the software at some point. They HAVE to include it as part of the deal with MS. It violates about 50 different agreements with MS if you were sold a drive OR a computer with a drive that did NOT contain some form of playback software.

Not to mention his second major point
"We PC users don't need some overseeing entity telling is how we should do things and what software and hardware to use. We prefer the freedom, flaws and all, to screw things up or run them smoothly as we see fit. Zealot Mac users (i.e. anyone who would use the ridiculous term "Windows apologists") on the other hand seem to believe that The Jobs will provide. Trust in The Jobs, for he knows better than you how to configure and stock your machine.

I do not think that PC's are pieces of shit, neither are MACs. Both are different ways to do the same job. However, the PC is a licensed product from IBM way back in the day. The whole thing about PC vs MAC started back when there were about a gazillion different microcomputers and OS (operating system) software. PC's got so huge so quick because IBM had the foresight to license its product out so that other manufacturers could make IBM PC clones. Hence why its called the PC, because its IBM's name for it. Windows just became huge because Microsoft had the operating system for the PC and they just became huge quickly (the lucky Operating software system company that got taken along for the ride). I know its a lot more complicated than that, but I don't want to get into the details of the history.

Actually, Microsoft DOES contain text-manipulation software right out of the box, its called Wordpad. Look it up under the accessories start menu folder.

Back to the main point. As a PC user, I like the ability to customize and tweak my computer and settings to how I wish. I take the time to learn how my computer behaves and as such, I can usually diagnose and fix any software problem myself.

All computers, if you purchase them from dealerships like Gateway, Dell, Toshiba, Apple, ALL come with bundled software and drivers. The only time you won't get anything bundled is if you purchase the computer from a discount company like emachines or as straight parts, and you have to load EVERYTHING by yourself. The only reason I would get a Macintosh is if I were to get into video-editing or something of that nature, and had to use speciazed software that only the MAC had or similar.

There is no real "one is better than the other" because both have their good and bad points (MAC vs PC)

Besides, if you download an... (Below threshold)

Besides, if you download and get the upgrade for Windows Media Player to 9 or 10 (10 might be just for XP, I'm currently on win2000), it will automatically have the DVD drivers. ITS NOT A SPECIAL WEIRD WEBSITE

you really should check it out sometime

Another satisfied customer ... (Below threshold)

Another satisfied customer here. And just to stab at the heart of the only remaining issue, NO Macs are NOT cheaper. Anand Shimpi, who is a rather credible techie actually tried a Mac for a month (http://www.anandtech.com/mac/showdoc.aspx?i=2232). He liked it. Some of the more "nuanced" features were better than Windows. One thing is for sure, though, it WASN'T cheaper. So let's dispense with the hyperbole, shall we ?

Furthermore, Windows is an "operating system", not a complete software suite, nor does it try to be, really. The software MS does provide are for business purposes. The fact that most of the software that runs on MS Windows is not made by MS is a successful business model that perpetuates their existence and contributes to the growth of their market share (insert Mac joke here).

As pointed out numerous other times above, there is no way to know the details of this particular PC, but suffice to say the others are correct in that the DVD drive should have come with DVD player software. Why, exactly, a computer without a DVD player (of which there are millions) would need DVD player software, is beyond me, but somehow that seems to be the assertion here. Regardless, I, as with the others, have numerous (5) PCs functioning perfectly at this moment in time, and I can make them do just about anything, including, boot into Linux with the use of a single CD. Now why would I want a Mac, exactly ?

You don't have to get back to me now.

Use a mac cause your a geni... (Below threshold)

Use a mac cause your a genius.

Use a PC because you like to solve problems, all the time, any time you want to do something, because no mater what you do, it creates problems. Then you can say to people who are smart enough to spend their time working instead of "problem solving" how righteously smart you are.

Mac = Working

PC = Problems )solving(

Of two Windows XP machines ... (Below threshold)

Of two Windows XP machines we've had, both have DVD drives and both run DVDs without having to download anything new.

Where did the pop-up tell you to go to download your CODEC, Paul? By any chance does the website belong to the outfit that set up XP on your computer?

Of course, it could be that... (Below threshold)

Of course, it could be that your wife (I'm assuming)popped in a different region DVD and the DVD player / current codecs don't recognize a different region DVD.

I sincerely doubt that, though, because since we're in the US, we all have region 1 DVD movies, but it could be the off-chance.

Henry LEARN TO FREAKING REA... (Below threshold)

Henry LEARN TO FREAKING READ- Typical Windows user,

I read in the Wall Street J... (Below threshold)
Literally Retarded:

I read in the Wall Street Journal this morning that Sun Microsystems is going to make its OS available for free sometime in the next week.

I know I'll be trying it out.

McGehee, I'll forgive you f... (Below threshold)

McGehee, I'll forgive you for not reading my post as you usually do.

Go back and read my post and you will see that 90% of the Windows losers comments are irrelevant because they did not actually read what I wrote.

Windows XP does not come with a DVD codec. Forget any other discussion. That is inexcusable.

(BTW I also upgraded to media player 10- no go)

I've tried Macs, and I don'... (Below threshold)

I've tried Macs, and I don't like them at all. You say everything works...perhaps, but nothing works as I want it to. It's like a great ice cream parlor that only sells vanilla. I want to get down inside and change the way the PC works. That's much easier with a WinPC than a Mac.

As for the DVD player, who did she buy this PC from? Remember that Apple builds the hardware and software. Microsoft does not build your PC. Dell, Gateway, HP, Sony, one of them builds it. And all of them....ALL OF THEM....play DVDs right out of the box. So did mine from a small vendor. So if the DVD player didn't work, it's because somebody built a crappy PC for her. You mention a fresh install of XP home...so this is either a new bare bones system, in which case some customization is expected, or an older Win 95 system. If the latter, it probably never played DVDs. If the DVD player is new, then it came with software to play DVDs.

Bitch all you want, but Microsoft isn't responsible for your whole PC "experience". All WinPCs are cobbled together with parts from multiple vendors. Most consumers buy a big brand, and will always get the basic functions they plan on getting.

Fedora Core 2 - mplayer - n... (Below threshold)

Fedora Core 2 - mplayer - no problems.

Personally I have never owned a mac. I had to program on one in college and didn't like it much, but that was a long time ago. I got out of the IT business a few years back and now make my living as a video producer. While I can't move my whole shop to Linux as I would like to (software isn't there) I have been seriously considering a Mac.

Windows is junk. Anyone who wants to defend it is desperate, or doesn't use it much. There are some nice qualities to the PC platform (the hardware) for power users who want to be able to do all the hardware work themselves. The Mac having UNIX underneath it, and major vendor software support makes it a VERY attractive platform. UNIX flexibility and stability with main stream vendor support? What's not to like?

Personally, I'm still pulling for everyone to move to Linux, but the Mac is the next best thing. :)

I love posting about hating... (Below threshold)

I love posting about hating windows. It always pulls us mac evangelists out of our doldrums. I was "born again" in 98 after having enough of my job as an NT admin at a military base in Texas.

I am married to a photographer/film maker and he brought his own love of the product with him as well.

Mac is an amazing product. Our motto is "Yeah there is more PC software, but if it is worth using someone will port it over to Mac." We let the PC folks waste their money on crap.

Finally someone who validates my comment to friends that MAC is NOT more expensive. I have a Mac which I got in 98 that has been upgraded with less than 200 bux to a g4 and has a gig of memory. How many PC machines can you say are still up to snuff that were bought in 98?

You comment about high end being a less expensive is so true. I can buy the most extreme power user mac for CONSIDERABLY less than a Dell, not that Dell makes one even close to the quality. I worked for them too. CRAP!

I am typing right now from a shiny new eMAC with a superdrive that burns dvds with ease and i love it. Only problem I have is trying to rationalize buying the new iMAC. I want it. NOW.

Windows XP does not come... (Below threshold)

Windows XP does not come with a DVD codec. Forget any other discussion. That is inexcusable.

Paul, I read that. And in my experience it isn't true.

Reiterating your claim isn't going to change the fact that dozens of other XP users have stated in this thread that their versions of XP DID come with the CODEC.

Or are we all liars?

Okay. Okay. Windows XP m... (Below threshold)

Okay. Okay. Windows XP machines THAT HAVE DVD DRIVES come with the CODEC.


That isn't Microsoft's fault.

I'll admit that I've always... (Below threshold)

I'll admit that I've always been a PC guy because I don't want to get marooned on Mac Island, cut off from compatible software. But I'm getting very frustrated with the PC - my wife and I bought a Dell laptop, and went through many hours with tech support to get the wireless operational so that it will, sometimes, receive the signal from the router in the basement.

Anyway, the laptop has a popup with "Updates" it suggests you download. So, thinking I'm for once being diligent, I download the updates, which were from Microsoft, and it fries the computer, first crashing Internet Explorer and finally making the whole machine inoperable. After many hours on the phone to the Dell guys in India - who tell me that this "Microsoft Service Pak 2" is a known problem, and one with no known solution - they send over a hardware guy, who has to replace the motherboard and leaves us to our own devices to reinstall every piece of software on the laptop. So, I try to reinstall Windows XP, having to guess at various points when it asks me questions I can't possibly know the answers to. Then we get the kicker: XP won't work unless I register it . . . over the internet! Which I can't do because I have to get XP up and running before I can get connected!


2 answers, Kevin:1... (Below threshold)

2 answers, Kevin:

1- Superior marketing.

2- A majority of the populace falls for #1

My apologies paul, I missed... (Below threshold)

My apologies paul, I missed the few statements of what you said about "all the upgrades".

However, I don't trust XP Home.

If you DO get XP get XP Professional, its based on the WINNT platform, not the Win9x platform.

WINNT was a lot more stable, network friendly, and definitely less holes in the security (it almost seems like there are two different companies making the operating system to explain the "home" versions of the systems suck so bad), which is why I still have Win2000 on my computer. Win2000 is effectively WinNT 5.0 (an upgrade from WinNT 4.0), and its really stable.

However, again to reiterate what other people are saying, Apple builds its entire computer packaged with its own operating system and certain software.
Microsoft doesn't build computers, all they do is make software, so for them to bundle a DVD encoder within the WinXP package would violate anti-trust laws.

Besides, DVD's are not standardized formats like CD's are. There are a few different types of DVD encoding formats out there (examples...DVD+R and DVD-R), so to bundle codecs with windows DOESN'T garuntee that the DVD's will work anyway.
Apple's DVD players work right out of the box because they have BUILT the computer FOR you, and they already know what DVD reader they're using, what DVD player they're using, and what other driver software will be used to play it.

I'm not for Macs or PCS nor am I against Macs or PCS. I just currently own a PC (its a hand-me-down from my parents...who is going to argue against a free computer?) and in the future when I decide to purchase my own computer, I might buy both a PC and a mac just for the capabilities of both.

who knows

Just to clear up one point ... (Below threshold)

Just to clear up one point (without getting embroiled in the debate):

Henry, Windows XP Home and XP Pro are both based on the NT kernel. There are certain things that are taken out of XP Home, and some so-called "user friendly" interfaces added, but the core operating system for both versions of XP is the same.

Ya'll crack me up!!...I can... (Below threshold)

Ya'll crack me up!!...I can't believe I just read all of your comments. My husband always preaches how Windows sucks. I am not one who does well with change, so I stuck with Windows for a while, but now I have the cutest little PowerBook and I LOVE IT!!!...It's a smart little devil. It was a bitch to switch over, but now that it is all set up, I would never go back. I'm no computer genius like my hubby, but you gotta admit Mac is the better product. My husband will be so filled with pride when he reads this. MAC ROCKS!!!! Thank you all for being so entertaining.

McGehee (since you have a b... (Below threshold)

McGehee (since you have a brain)

Why on earth is it acceptable to require a 3rd party piece of software to play a DVD? (especially when you have the player, it just needs a codec)

As I ask, "Does Microsoft have any idea how people life, work and play today?" We are fast approaching 2005.

What if Windows required a third party program to get on the internet? People would (rightly) complain that the internet is part of our everyday life and not having support for it was just foolish.

So too with DVDs. I'm not asking to edit video and burn DVDs... though I can do it with my Mac. I'm just saying that the BASE OS (in 2004) should come with a codec to play a simple DVD for Gawd's sake. The Mac has had this ability for probably about 5 years. Long before most people could afford a DVD drive.

Why all the Windows freaks think fighting problems like this is acceptable is beyond me. It shows they have no idea the difference between a gadget and a tool.

And don't get me wrong... T... (Below threshold)

And don't get me wrong... This (missing codec) is not, in and of itself the reason Windows sucks.

As my subject says. "Why Windows sucks TODAY."

There are thousands of examples to provide dispositive proof Windows sucks.

This is just today's data point.

If someone filed an anti-tr... (Below threshold)

If someone filed an anti-trust suit against Apple every time they included a new feature, this feature wouldn't be there either. Note that Europe may force Microsoft to remove ALL of Windows Media Player for just this reason.

Other features Windows is missing:

A PDF viewer
Repair utilities
Java (oh, wait...)

But Adobe, Symantec and McAfee would all sue.

BTW, nearly all DVD drives ... (Below threshold)

BTW, nearly all DVD drives come with the codec. on CD. Did you install it?

Kevin Murphy read or get de... (Below threshold)

Kevin Murphy read or get deleted.

OK my original comment was ... (Below threshold)

OK my original comment was erased / deleted. I apparently said something inappropriate or offensive. If someone could tell me what it was I would appreciate it.

I will stand by my assertion that one of the reasons that there are not more exploits on Linux / Mac is lack of use on the home desktop.

It is not the only reason, but it is one.

A point of clarification on one of the other posts both XP home and XP pro are based on the NT kernel. I like pro better because it has a couple of features that home doesnt.

Finally, George, yes XP ships with everyone being given default root or admin privileges, that is probably a mistake. With SP2 the open ports you are referring to are closed, which is one reason there are complaints about incompatibility.

The points about Anti-trust lawsuits etc are also well taken. What really perturbs me is this is the same type of argument that the Kerry supporters use if you disagree with me your stupid. Personally I dont care what OS you use the purpose is to make you productive. For me thats Windows for others its OSX or whatever, I can respect your opinion / choice give me the same courtesy.

What if Windows required... (Below threshold)

What if Windows required a third party program to get on the internet?

...you might recall from the anti-trust suit, if you weren't so caught up in your mac zealotry to notice, that this was a core component of the anti-microsoft case. The MS's opponents WANT them to require a third-party app to get to the internet. But I'm sure that's Microsoft's fault, too, right?

Maybe you should compare apples to apples, Paul -- complete pre-configured systems to complete pre-configured systems... as opposed to building a straw-man out of an upgrade which may or may not have been performed intelligently.

Of course... I'm probably just "stupid" for being able to correctly configure and use my PC. (Strange, too: your charactarizations of PC users sounds a lot like the way liberals try to shout down conservatives -- something you've admonished them for in the past)

Jeez. Just two weeks after ... (Below threshold)

Jeez. Just two weeks after the election, and already the party is falling apart. And over operating systems no less....

Pete said -incorrectly-... (Below threshold)

Pete said -incorrectly-

...you might recall from the anti-trust suit, if you weren't so caught up in your mac zealotry to notice, that this was a core component of the anti-microsoft case.

No, Pete unlike you I actually REMEMBER the case. It was about not being able to REMOVE Internet Explorer. If you weren't so caught up in your Windows zealotry you might have gotten that right.

Then he said incorrectly:

Maybe you should compare apples to apples, Paul -- complete pre-configured systems to complete pre-configured systems... as opposed to building a straw-man out of an upgrade which may or may not have been performed intelligently.

Again he is wrong. If you buy OS X and it install it the damn thing plays a DVD. Comparing Apples to -well- crap.

Pete you and a few others are offering possibly the stupidest defense I've ever heard of Microsoft....

"They'd love to make a better operating system but the lawyers just won't let them."


an operating system is a ch... (Below threshold)

an operating system is a chunk of software that provides a foundation on which other software can be run. nothing more, nothing less. If windows xp came with a dvd codec which was automatically installed I would have to then turn around and remove it, because I do not need such a module.

a DVD playback codec is not something that an OS "needs" to provide in 2004, nor will it be so in 2010. You think UNIX, which your precious Mac OS X is based on comes with a DVD playback codec? Hell no it doesnt. You can add one if it is needed just like you are doing/have done on Windows XP.

all-inclusive packages are great for people who have no idea what they need/want and lack the gumption and/or ability to get those things themselves when the need arises. for the rest of us, a modular approach to software makes infinitely more sense, as obviously the engineers in redmond and berkely both have recognized.

and for the record, Pete wa... (Below threshold)

and for the record, Pete was right about the anti-trust case. It was most certainly NOT about it being impossible to remove IE, it was about integrating IE with the operating system unfairly neutralizing the consumer's option to exercise choice with a third party application.

Ain't the free market just ... (Below threshold)

Ain't the free market just grand?

You want a Mac, you buy a Mac. You want a Windows PC, you buy a Windows PC.

Why would I give a rat's ass what you own? All I care about is what I own.

I have been a long time fan... (Below threshold)

I have been a long time fan and uder of macintosh computers. Like you said in the article they work right out of the box. the graphics are also much better. It is not a good gaming machine but when i bought my computer i wasn't really looking for a high priced X Box. I have never had to deal with the virus or trojan horse threat. Macs are just better computers. no doubt about it.

My Compaq came with DVD, XP... (Below threshold)
Fred Boness:

My Compaq came with DVD, XP, and an InterVideo player.

The XP player played without sound or error messages.

The InterVideo player sort of worked but, didn't make use of features like menus.

After some experimentation, it looked like the Windows player installation had crippled the InterVideo player. (Don't ask, I've forgotten the details which had something to do with startup strings and file types.) Got that sorted out and I now have a fully functional InterVideo installation.

The Windows player still does not have sound. I don't know why and I no longer care.

I have a "beater" computer I am going to use to play with Linux. I may go that route with my next computer. I really want an option besides Microsoft. I have been fighting their stuff since 1985 and I see little progress.

I always think it's funny w... (Below threshold)
death to Apple.:

I always think it's funny when people can't make a pc do something as simple as play a movie, especially when they have something else as simple as a movie player. Those kind of people should buy a mac, since they don't need it to do anything relevant in the computing industry, just use it like a toy typewriter that plays music and movies too.

I'll keep my pc as my pc, my mac as a test platform so my web code works on mac too so that I can continue to support your monority of a user group, and I'll watch my movies on the sofa in front of the big screen....

Sheesh....just download Win... (Below threshold)

Sheesh....just download Windows Media Player 9.....or the new 10. I have about 6 different programs on my computer to play DVD's....I find that the Windows player is more versatile than any of them. Also, if you are so against Microsoft, just use Real Player (with downloadable codecs) and whistle while you sit back and wonder...HOW COME I"M SUCH A DUMB FUCK Apple eater?

DickD Apparently you are a ... (Below threshold)

DickD Apparently you are a dumb fuck who can't read.

I downloaded Windows Media Player 10 and it did not work.

Further, that thing I posted saying the codec was not included was from the Media Player Help page.

How come you are such a dumb fuck? Well- for starters you can't read.

Paul, One question, did you... (Below threshold)

Paul, One question, did you install the DVD player yourself, or was it installed when you bought the system. If your machine was an ME machine, not a 98 machine, you should have a disc from the DVD manufacturer that has the DVD player. This should work. If you have a Win 98 system (possible, but unlikely) with a DVD player, you are right, you need to purchase DVD codec software. You can legally purchase WINDVD for 10.00 or less. Try Froogle for your search.

You can buy a Windows emula... (Below threshold)

You can buy a Windows emulator for your mac if you want to run PC software not available on mac. They work pretty well unless you are trying to run a graphics intensive game. And all the messing around with the OS you need to do to tweak the system to work still exists, so you folks that want to do that are free to.

You can hack the unix on the mac, in fact once you know the simple tricks to get into it, its a lot easier to play with than NT or XP. So its a bunch of BS that ya gotta own a PC if ya want to tweak yur machine.

I have to use Windows at work, and love the ease of finishing stuff at home on my macs in half the time, especially the ability to save documents as pdf's by just printing them as a file.

Sure Apple has it's big business faults, but I still find my macs more reliable and versitile for common tasks in writing, publishing, graphics and just messing around with code.

<a href="http://distrowatch... (Below threshold)
Here is what I gather:... (Below threshold)

Here is what I gather:

Spend $1500 on a Mac -- get DVD playing, recording, editing, many other features

Spend $1500 on a PC -- WILL do the same thing, maybe have some money left over

Get on the cheap side and spend $500 on "just the hw and base OS" for a Mac because you don't need or want all that stuff -- you can NOT

Spend $500 on basic PC hardware with just the hw and similar "lite version" of the OS -- PC's make this an option

Sorry Paul, but you crashed your car, threw in a freshly remodeled engine and wondering why in the hell the air conditioner doesn't work, blaming Ford for all your problems.

You spend three times the amount on a "new" car and spouting the greatness of Honda wondering why in the hell doesn't Ford have air conditioning?

Also irritating is that had you crashed your new Apple (yeah, i know, running for the past 5 years, my pc email server and others have been going for ten...whoop), your expense would have been huge to fix and repair it. Again, you are playing the mechanic yourself and now bitching because Ford won't give you the air conditioning pipe you threw away (like when you formatted the old OS along with the preinstalled DVD player software) as well as the spare kit they threw in (DVD software cd).


Now, for the Apple making DVD "work" for the past 5 years and why MS doesn't in 2004:

1) Pointed out already, but MS is software only and Apple makes both. MS points out that the mfr knows their hardware best and they should make the software for it. I agree.
2) Because nobody gave a rat's ass about DVD except those that could afford the $2000-3000 models of Apple before PC mfr's could make an affordable model to include (unless, of course, you bought a similar $2K-3K machine, in which case you ALWAYS got anything and everything that Mac can offer).
3) Now that DVDs 'are' affordable in 2004 (no thanks to Apple's proprietariness, certainly) and the masses' drastic comprehension increase (and even acceptance to the concept of a 'home' computer thanks to lowering prices), you're bitching about an OS made two years ago before the newer one that it doesn't play the same. I'll bet when Vista shows up to do just that, you'll complain it won't run Apple's proprietary
Now that my own rant has reached your level, let's sum things up:

You're comparing $1500 to a $500 model?! This is like buying a $200 iPod and then opening a consumer complaint on all cheapy mp3 players because they don't have the same integration and features for the $20 pricetag. Furthermore... you insult the buyers of the less expensive equipment because you just can't understand why people don't fork out the $$$ they cannot afford -- i suppose you're going to give me some bullshit line about 'well, if you can't afford it, you shouldn't have it' crap.

Bah, Windows sucks, everyon... (Below threshold)

Bah, Windows sucks, everyone knows that. Yes, get a mac. Good choice. Good luck with many happy years with a looooooovely brand new, trustworthy mac :D

I love it when people try t... (Below threshold)

I love it when people try to blame an os or a platform for things that arent the responsibilty of the said os or platform.
Microsoft created an operating system. Microsoft doesnt create, or own the licenses to distribute the mpeg 2 codecs required for DVD playback. In order for Microsoft to have DVD playback as part of their OS, they would have to buy a license as these codecs are proprietary. Also..it is not the job of an OS to provide you with such a high level ability. You will most likely find that PC or MAC's that have DVD playback right out of the box have software pre-installed from the factory that the OEM has bought licenses for to make their offerings seem like a better deal. Macintosh wil be different ofcourse because everything they do is proprietary because not only do they market their os they also control the manufacture of all of their PC's, so the closed marketing of a MAC would mean that Macintosh as a company has to assume the role of an OS distributor, and also a hardware and software OEM. MICROSOFT DOES NOT BUILD PC's. So why would microsoft even see it to their benefit to buy expensive licenses to provide something that should be provided by an OEM? Because Windows is designed for the IBM pc clone architecture, they have to assume a much wider array of system setups. Why would an end user who perhaps doesnt need DVD capabilities wanna cough up more dough for an OS feature he doesn't need. Windows costs enough as it is.
aslo...if a $500 PC doesnt last as long as a $1200+ Mac....its simply because you paid $500 for it...you get what you pay for. If I spent as much on a PC as I would for a MAAC.I would get more expensive hardware which would have more testing and better quality workmanship behind it. Seems to me if you opt for a cheap solution, you should be smart enough to accept that you are in turn buying substandard gear. This is like comparing a hot dog from a street vendor to a steak at an expensive diner. Both will get you fed...but the steak will stick to your ribs...as it should...you probably forked out $20 for it.
On a side note...I have no brand loyalty...I am a consumer. I will go for the best bang for my dollar...and for now...untill there are drastic changes I have to stick with Windows and the IBM pc clones. It is still the most cost effective solution. Microsoft, Macintosh, Dell, ect ect....are all companies that only care about getting their paws on your cash. Its buisness...its their jobs. I have seen people adamantly deny improvements on either platform just for the sake of brand loyalty, wheather it be a platform or a company..ect..ect.\ Why show these companies such loyalty? Do you think they are somehow being loyal to you? They are huge money making entities...with no centralized brain to show you loyalty or any kind of affections. So why commit to only using one architecture simply because "I hate microsoft" or "macs suck" or "fuck them all, Im only using Linux". Stop whining about whats better....and use what you like...use what's best for you...and stop chastizing others for their choices. That dont go to anyone in particular...but at the same time...everyone who flames and starts these "my daddy can whip your daddy's ass" arguments about which OS or platform is better.

chad, let me explain why th... (Below threshold)

chad, let me explain why the "Linux and Mac OS X are not as exploited because the install base is much smaller than windows" statement is plain wrong. Take the example of web servers; Apache commands about 60% of the web server market (and this is growing), Microsoft's IIS about 15%. However, of the two web servers, IIS has experienced most of the successful hacking attempts despite the fact it is not the most used of the web servers. Next, look at the architecture of the Linux OS (I'm not going to re-iterate because it is covered in a previous post). You can go on continuing to believe what you want but it's simple; Windows is just plain poorly made.






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