As a geek, I often deal with software updates for myself and others. There’s a certain expectation in software updates that something will usually go wrong, so you plan for it. I present you with a tale of two very different software updates:

Upgrading to OSX Lion: Open App Store, click “Upgrade to Lion” ad. Pay once. Update any computer you own. Seamless update, no issues. Resume using computer.

Total time: less than one hour.

Upgrading to Windows 7: Spend ten minutes trying to find the Windows 7 website. Give up, look on Amazon and take another twenty minutes to figure out which version of Windows you need. Pay once. Update up to three computers, and may god help you if you try to upgrade more – if so, pay again. Insert CD. CD doesn’t load. Find CD in explorer. Initiate the Update. Update fails on all three computers. Have to reformat the harddrives and install from scratch. Told I cannot use my activation key because I didn’t have windows already installed on my computer. Spend twenty minutes Googling for a fix. Must use a REGEDIT hack or reinstall Vista (and forcibly re-activate VISTA too, because they only let you install that a few times – and by the way, you can’t use a NON-OEM disc to install an OEM version of Vista). Twelve hours later, resume using computer. Wait, no, scratch that. Windows Update informs me that I have 15 minutes to make a decision or it will reboot for me and initiate the update sequence. Five hours of updates later, I can resume using the computer.

Total time: 18 hours of update time, 4 hours incomprehensible weeping in a cold shower with my clothes on.

Windows is becoming great for one thing: wasting the family geek’s time. I almost -never- get asked to fix a problem with a Mac. 99% of the time my phone rings for tech help, it’s a Windows issue.

I used to LOVE my XP-based Alienware kick-ass gaming machine. I dominated Quake Arena, MechWarrior 4, you know – in between Windows Updates. I even thought I should go back and revive it one of these days, but the thought of having to buy yet another Windows 7 activation key makes me want to set it on fire.

Lion, while buggy for the moment, just freakin works. Windows seems to do everything it can -not- to work.

Is it any wonder why Microsoft is losing market share? When you violate non-geek expectations, a geek gets a call. When you violate geek expectations (that, you know, I don’t have to spend a day upgrading my fucking software), you create a malicious hacker or an Apple fanboy.

All I’m trying to do is play fucking Star Trek: Online!

(Header photo: Helpdesk by arycorge)