14 votes

Switching from Mac to PC?

I've always used Ubuntu. It has better privacy setting and I can have total control over the OS. However, due to my work, I use many programs that don't run in Ubuntu and if there's an alternative, the cost of switching is too high. So in the end, I ended up using a mac more often than not.

Mac is not the perfect alternative, but I have to say that I'm more productive with it. It runs smoothly. And of course, when it comes to laptops, macbooks are usually built to last.

BUT, I'm tired of Apple's BS. There are so many things that bother me, but one of the things that really bothers me is the fact that I can't use an AMD graphics card because they no longer support openCL. I just don't want to be hooked up to their products. So I'm highly considering (1) selling my mac and buying a Razer (?) laptop, and (2) try Windows again.

I'd love to know your thoughts:

  1. How bad is windows really? (Please let's be as objective as possible)

  2. Is there a way to run Windows "privately"? (I've heard about windows "Flavours", but I'm concerned about their security)

  3. Any laptop recommendations? I don't mind if it's expensive, but I want it to last. Ideally, I want it to be as powerful as a desktop. (Upgradeable up to 64gb RAM, 8 or 16gb GPU and a powerful processor.)

Please let me know your thoughts, and share any information you think it's useful.

29 comments

  1. [6]
    Adys
    Link
    You could dual-boot. Windows is definitely friendlier to dual-booting than macOS is. For laptops I recommend the XPS13 line. Depends on your standard. IMO it's pretty bad. The fact during the...

    You could dual-boot. Windows is definitely friendlier to dual-booting than macOS is.

    For laptops I recommend the XPS13 line.

    How bad is windows really? (Please let's be as objective as possible)

    Depends on your standard. IMO it's pretty bad. The fact during the installation they have to ask you a BUNCH OF QUESTIONS about how badly you want to give up bits of your privacy, mostly because they're legally required to ask you those… idk, it rings alarm bells for me.

    Is there a way to run Windows "privately"? (I've heard about windows "Flavours", but I'm concerned about their security)

    What do you mean by privately?


    Also, what are your actual requirements in terms of programs? You mention having to deal with specific programs for work. I take it Wine is not an option?

    12 votes
    1. [4]
      petrichor
      Link Parent
      I'd actually recommend against an XPS 13 if upgradability is important. It's reliable with top-of-the-line specs in a convenient form factor, but everything's soldered completely in and down. If...

      I'd actually recommend against an XPS 13 if upgradability is important. It's reliable with top-of-the-line specs in a convenient form factor, but everything's soldered completely in and down.

      If you're looking for an upgradable laptop that will last, I'd recommend instead a ThinkPad. (And @OP - Razer laptops have a tendency to break down fast).

      5 votes
      1. [3]
        Adys
        Link Parent
        Isn't the thinkpad line getting old by now though? What are their most recent models?

        Isn't the thinkpad line getting old by now though? What are their most recent models?

        1. TheJorro
          Link Parent
          No? Lenovo's been keeping the various ThinkPad lines regularly updated for a long time now. They've had yearly releases for most of the models over the last five years at least. They update so...

          No? Lenovo's been keeping the various ThinkPad lines regularly updated for a long time now. They've had yearly releases for most of the models over the last five years at least. They update so frequently that Wikipedia's list of the current ThinkPad models doesn't even have all the 2020 models listed anymore even though they're mostly still available to buy even on Lenovo's site (click "Legacy and local market lineup" to see the other models that are still reasonably current).

          3 votes
        2. petrichor
          Link Parent
          Not really, no. You might be getting that idea from the strong used Thinkpad market (which, in turn, is a testament to their durability). Some of their more modern models include the X1 Carbon and...

          Not really, no. You might be getting that idea from the strong used Thinkpad market (which, in turn, is a testament to their durability).

          Some of their more modern models include the X1 Carbon and X1 Nano, which compete with ultrabooks like the XPS 13 and Macbook Air, the X1 Fold, which is one of the first commercial laptops with a folding screen, and their top-of-the-line P and T series workstations. But even their older series are updated yearly-ish.

          2 votes
    2. zlsa
      Link Parent
      To add to the dual-boot discussion, Boot Camp lets you run Windows on any recent Intel-based Mac.

      To add to the dual-boot discussion, Boot Camp lets you run Windows on any recent Intel-based Mac.

      4 votes
  2. [4]
    pseudolobster
    Link
    I kinda hate windows these days. Used it as my primary OS from 1990 to 2015 or so, but I've switched to linux pretty much full time for the past few years. I'm annoyed by the privacy issues, the...

    I kinda hate windows these days. Used it as my primary OS from 1990 to 2015 or so, but I've switched to linux pretty much full time for the past few years. I'm annoyed by the privacy issues, the bloat, the ads, the horrible control panel interface, the fact that searching the start menu is completely broken and doesn't work at all, etc. The lack of control is really annoying, like MS tends to install games you don't want into your start menu. You delete them, uninstall them, implement group policies to prevent them from reinstalling, but next time it decides to update and reboot when you're not looking, bam! Start menu's infected with Bubble Witch Saga, Candy Crush, etc.

    Any time I have to use Win10 I use a stripped down version called LTSC. It's up to date and gets regular security updates, but it doesn't have Cortana, the Store, etc. So long as you never need to install anything from the Windows store (Microsoft games like Forza could be a problem,) then I highly recommend it.

    Once it's installed I use Spybot Anti Beacon to turn off most of the telemetry (spyware). Then I use Tron Script to get rid of some more bloat. Tron is great, but it's a 100lb hammer, and does a bunch of things that aren't really necessary on a new install, like virus scans or rebuilding DSIM, but it does a good job. It just takes hours to run. There are also a lot of powershell scripts and debloating programs out there. Here's one I'm pretty sure I've used in the past.

    After that I install WinAero Tweaker, which I use to prevent windows update from rebooting without your permission, maybe enable aero lite theme, more debloating, reinstalling old calculator, old solitaire, old photo viewer, etc. From there, I go to https://ninite.com to install Firefox, 7zip, VLC, LibreOffice, SumatraPDF, etc.

    It takes a few hours, but it's possible to disable almost all of the annoyances in windows. After all that I still use linux 99% of the time.

    As for laptops, everyone's been saying gaming laptops, which I agree, might be your best option. My issue with gaming laptops though has been tacky RGB, Adolescent stickers of dragons or snakes or whatnot. Tacticool styling, with all sorts of angles on everything, etc. I usually go for refurbished business class laptops from Dell, HP, or Lenovo. Dell has the XPS line and HP has the Spectre line for high-end thin, well built consumer-grade stuff, but a step up from there, Dell's Latitude and HP's Elitebook lines can often be found for cheap but with some very decent specs. Or, a step up from there, Dell's Precision, and HP's Zbook lines are beastly machines with desktop-grade components. Sometimes you can find these cheap refurbished and you can end up with something with 64gb ram for under 2000. Lenovo's thinkpads are great too. The X series is great for portability, T series is a good mid range, and W and Y series are the serious workstations. They tend to keep their value though, and due to brand recognition from geeks they can't be found cheap as easy as some other business machines.

    As an example, here's a Zbook 17 with a Xeon, 64gb ram, Quadro m5000m w/8gb, still under warranty until the end of 2022, under $1900: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/324420080209

    Or, if you want something more portable, this Dell has a slightly worse video card, but this Precision 15 has a xeon 6 core 12 thread, 64gb ram, etc. Warranty until May next year, $1800: https://www.ebay.ca/itm/333866756107

    11 votes
    1. [3]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      You can disable those with command line options and make the overall runtime much shorter.

      Tron is great, but it's a 100lb hammer, and does a bunch of things that aren't really necessary on a new install

      You can disable those with command line options and make the overall runtime much shorter.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        pseudolobster
        Link Parent
        Good point, and I recommend people DO thoroughly look at the readme file before trying to run Tron script. If you find yourself using it on multiple computers, since it's a batch file, you can...

        Good point, and I recommend people DO thoroughly look at the readme file before trying to run Tron script. If you find yourself using it on multiple computers, since it's a batch file, you can either comment things out you don't need, or simply delete the scripts for the stages you don't need.

        3 votes
        1. mrbig
          Link Parent
          Tronscript is quite aggressive and can break things even if you know what you're doing. It's like chemotherapy -- harsh and dangerous, but usually not worse than the disease :P

          Tronscript is quite aggressive and can break things even if you know what you're doing. It's like chemotherapy -- harsh and dangerous, but usually not worse than the disease :P

  3. Ember
    Link
    Anecdotal, but I don't find Windows bad at all. I use both a Mac and PC side-by-side for work. They're both getting to the point where a lot of stuff is plug-and-play. (Except printers. I hate...

    Anecdotal, but I don't find Windows bad at all. I use both a Mac and PC side-by-side for work. They're both getting to the point where a lot of stuff is plug-and-play.

    (Except printers. I hate printers.)

    I first installed Windows back in 2014. It was a massive pain... lots of digging for drivers, messing with settings, running scripts to disable telemetry. Trips into the registry, etc.

    Within the last year, I've installed Windows on 3 different machines. It's way better now. I only had to grab the motherboard and graphics drivers; everything else is plug-and-play. All the security questions get asked up-front during installation, so I didn't have to go digging through the settings afterward. Sure it's still a bit more than Mac, which is out-of-the-box ready like any pre-built machine, but the experience has drastically improved compared to the early days of Windows.

    For example, I don't use OneDrive. It comes pre-installed on Windows, and back in 2014, the only way to deactivate it was to dig in the registry and flip a flag. So when I did my recent installs this year, I tried to do the same thing... and ended up breaking something; 25% CPU usage on idle from Explorer. So I re-installed Windows, and just decided to open OneDrive to take a look. And, surprisingly, there's now a flag in the settings to turn it off! No registry tweaks, just a checkbox and it's gone!

    The same is for automatic updates. I leave them on because, I don't really care; it's just a computer. But, if you really don't want automatic updates, you can now turn them off* in the UI! Don't go digging in the registry. (*I think they'll still send you security updates.) If it wants to restart, sure! I've never had a problem where it reboots in the middle of work, because I'm not actively fighting my machine.

    I've found that the easiest way to work with Windows & Mac is to give in to their design choices. I usually end up having problems when I get stubborn and try to do things "the old way" or "my way". But when I just shrug and say "it's only a computer", and go along with whatever design Microsoft/Apple has decided on, it works. Microsoft Store apps? Sure, it's just a computer. New update changed the tint of a window? Don't care. Calculator looks different? Whatever. These computers are tools that I use probably 10 hours a day... how about a little variety?

    Also, give the Windows Terminal a spin. It's a neat tab-based terminal that can run bash or powershell or old cmd at the same time. Gotta install it and Ubuntu through the Microsoft Store. It's nearly replaced my usage of any other terminal on windows.

    9 votes
  4. [5]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    Windows is really bad, almost unbearable. It will make your machine slower and unreliable. Linux is recommended but less things will be plug and play. Despite recent improvements on the Linux...

    Windows is really bad, almost unbearable. It will make your machine slower and unreliable. Linux is recommended but less things will be plug and play. Despite recent improvements on the Linux side, Windows is still the best for games. Look into tronscript for a way to unfuck a Windows install. Windows does not respect your privacy. You can mitigate that, but that's just unavoidable. IMHO macOS can be the best of both worlds for some users.

    You have to choose which compromise you can live with.

    8 votes
    1. [4]
      keb
      Link Parent
      I personally have never found macOS appealing; even if Apple is less invasive privacy-wise than Microsoft, I found that they overstep on user agency and autonomy far too often for me to justify...

      I personally have never found macOS appealing; even if Apple is less invasive privacy-wise than Microsoft, I found that they overstep on user agency and autonomy far too often for me to justify switching to macOS full-time. Although I admit that their walled garden certainly is a beautiful garden.

      6 votes
      1. [3]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        Yes, I personally don't like macOS either. But it does work, and, for the average user, it is frequently a good choice, and almost always superior to Windows.

        Yes, I personally don't like macOS either. But it does work, and, for the average user, it is frequently a good choice, and almost always superior to Windows.

        4 votes
        1. [2]
          suspended
          Link Parent
          This is an accurate statement. @borja is saying: I have almost 2 decades of professional experience working with Windows (and enough experience with Linux). If someone is looking for...

          ...almost always superior to Windows.

          This is an accurate statement. @borja is saying:

          I want it to last.

          I have almost 2 decades of professional experience working with Windows (and enough experience with Linux).

          If someone is looking for reliability/stability with an operating system, then it is hands down MacOS. To provide an example, those decades of using (and working on) Windows machines, there were countless problems. This was, at least, on a weekly basis.

          I switched, personally, to MacOS in 2008. Almost 13 years ago! I've had, precisely, one problem that was easily resolved with a phone call to Apple support.

          3 votes
          1. teaearlgraycold
            Link Parent
            Huh. I definitely had more than one problem with my last Windows machine, but probably not more than 5. No hardware issues either (although I don’t know what information that really gives anyone...

            Huh. I definitely had more than one problem with my last Windows machine, but probably not more than 5. No hardware issues either (although I don’t know what information that really gives anyone as it was a custom build).

  5. nutax
    Link
    As a whole, I think Windows is as secure as the other OS. Privacy might be the same or worse than on the Mac. Same as the Mac, Windows can't really be easily customised if you prefer some other...
    1. As a whole, I think Windows is as secure as the other OS. Privacy might be the same or worse than on the Mac. Same as the Mac, Windows can't really be easily customised if you prefer some other workflow. Windows will also eventually change how things look & work and there's not much you can do about it. Finally, in the past Windows have done forced updates and reboots (I don't know how they are handled today).

    2. I guess you can disable or uninstall most of the unnecessary apps, block the Windows data collection using 3rd-party apps (WindowsSpyBlocker etc.), monitor & block unwanted network traffic and maybe run the OS on a virtual machine. However, I feel like that's a lot of work and in the end there might be some functionality that will be broken.

    3. I really like Lenovo laptops but I'm not sure if there is one with the specs you require. Gaming laptops might be the best option in this case.

    6 votes
  6. [2]
    psi
    (edited )
    Link
    If you have recent-ish hardware (and you aren't too intimidated by the command line), maybe consider giving VFIO [1] a shot (that is, virtualization with gpu passthrough -- the performance can be...

    If you have recent-ish hardware (and you aren't too intimidated by the command line), maybe consider giving VFIO [1] a shot (that is, virtualization with gpu passthrough -- the performance can be very close to bare metal). Compared to dual-booting, you have the advantage of being able to run both operating systems at the same time. So you can, for instance, temporarily switch to Windows when you need to run some specific program without closing your Linux apps. In my case, I like to play video games on one monitor (Windows/guest) while leaving discord/an internet browser up on the other (Arch/host).

    Downsides:

    1. As I said, you need recent-ish hardware.
    2. Works much better with two gpus (one of those can be integrated, however; in fact, technically both can be integrated if your chipset supports GVT-g, but personally I haven't had much success with this).
    3. gpu bugs with older AMD/NVIDIA cards makes gpu passthrough difficult (reset bug and error 43, respectively).
    4. Probably a total pain in the ass to set up on a laptop.

    I suspect the limiting factor here is probably (3). But if you're interested in seeing this setup in action, LinusTechTips has quite a few videos where they experiment with VFIO [3,4].


    6 votes
    1. pseudolobster
      Link Parent
      This is good advice if you're building a desktop for this purpose. If you're trying to use a laptop with nvidia optimus switchable graphics though, you could be in for a world of pain. I spent a...

      This is good advice if you're building a desktop for this purpose. If you're trying to use a laptop with nvidia optimus switchable graphics though, you could be in for a world of pain. I spent a year trying to fix my Code 43 problems, without any luck. And that's on a workstation laptop with a Quadro card, which is supposed to be licensed to support VM passthrough.

      4 votes
  7. floweringmind
    (edited )
    Link
    I have used Linux, Mac and Windows and I continue to use Windows 10. I have found no OS is without it's problems but I run into the least problems on Windows. The reason is the wide range of...

    I have used Linux, Mac and Windows and I continue to use Windows 10. I have found no OS is without it's problems but I run into the least problems on Windows.

    The reason is the wide range of software and hardware that I can run without problems. With VMWare Workstation I run Zorin Linux and use it daily. Windows is way more backward compatible than either Linux or Mac, which is called baggage by other people. I use the default Microsoft anti-virus and have had zero problems with viruses.

    On Linux I often spend more time configuraging stuff and I have had terrible problems with multi-monitor setups. With Wayland coming out this year for Ubuntu as default maybe this will resolve many of the video issues I have encountered. I do love Linux but it hasn't been ready for me to switch.

    The Mac looks nice, but forces you to do things their way instead of yours by limiting you. There is no longer 32bit support and now they are forcing everyone to switch to ARM chips and basically have the iPad OS. The range of laptops is very limited as is the ports. The selection of laptops for Windows and Linux is amazing these days! If you want to build your computer you can forget it with Apple. Also they charge you double for their computers and their hardware is often one to two generations behind these days.

    I have also customized Windows 10 with:

    1. https://www.startisback.com - which brings back the really usable start menu.
    2. https://www.displayfusion.com - this allows me to move and organize my windows between monitors or organize my windows on large 58 inch wide screen monitors.
    3. https://www.stardock.com/products/fences/ - this allows me to organize my programs and folders that I have on the desktop.
    4. https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/powertoys/ - powertoys add some great features to Windows.

    I never find my computer slow as I run on high end systems because I like to game as well as work. My work computer is a Razer gaming laptop. You can open these laptops and expand storage and memory.
    https://www.razer.com/gaming-laptops/razer-blade

    4 votes
  8. Venko
    Link
    In answer to your question about privacy Windows 10 "calls home" with information on how you use it. Although you can turn down the level of reporting you cannot disable it unless you're on one of...

    In answer to your question about privacy Windows 10 "calls home" with information on how you use it. Although you can turn down the level of reporting you cannot disable it unless you're on one of the enterprise editions. Even on an enterprise edition with the "feature" disabled there are still parts of Windows and its built-in applications that will "call home". Although I imagine the same is true for macOS.

    3 votes
  9. vegai
    Link
    Windows is pretty bad. It still carries baggage from the 80s and 90s whereas MacOS carries baggage only from 2000s :) Plus Apple has been way more efficient with deprecating things so a lot of...

    Windows is pretty bad. It still carries baggage from the 80s and 90s whereas MacOS carries baggage only from 2000s :) Plus Apple has been way more efficient with deprecating things so a lot of that baggage is not there anymore.

    3 votes
  10. [2]
    keb
    Link
    I've used Windows as my main OS since I was a teenager (so maybe 15 years at this point). Mac and Linux enthusiasts hate it, sometimes for completely justified reasons. I recently bought a used...
    1. I've used Windows as my main OS since I was a teenager (so maybe 15 years at this point). Mac and Linux enthusiasts hate it, sometimes for completely justified reasons. I recently bought a used $120 HP EliteDesk to use as a primary work computer with Xubuntu installed, and I enjoy working on it more than my now gaming & PhotoShop-only Windows PC. In my opinion, Windows is less frustrating to use as a poweruser than macOS.

    2. Kind of/not really. I suggest taking a look at the /g/ Friendly Windows Thread paste. Personally, I've been using LTSC since 2019 now with practically no issues. It only receives security updates (for up to 10 years), but no feature updates. It comes with almost no bloat, and all ads removed, but also lacks some major features because it's frozen on Windows 10 1809 (no Windows Store, no WSL2, no Windows Virtual Reality support, some newer GPU features not supported). In general, it's been a great experience. You can disable automatic updates and update downloads easily by specifying that you are on a metered connection in the settings. LTSC still has some telemetry; you can never remove telemetry completely without also removing Windows Updates from the system. If you're really, really concerned about privacy, maybe look at Windows AME, but in my opinion, it seems like more trouble than it's worth.

    3. I'm not a laptops guy and primarily use Thinkpads. Lenovos are typically extendable, and I think the T480 supports 64GB of RAM. Maybe look at gaming laptops.

    2 votes
    1. teaearlgraycold
      Link Parent
      I also run LTSC. I definitely recommend it. The only problem is you can’t get it legally as a general consumer. But if you’re buying a Windows laptop it’s less of a moral issue IMO. I just think...

      I also run LTSC. I definitely recommend it. The only problem is you can’t get it legally as a general consumer. But if you’re buying a Windows laptop it’s less of a moral issue IMO. I just think of the LTSC installation process as an over complicated feature toggle on my stock Windows 10 install.

      3 votes
  11. Staross
    Link
    I've been using Windows for a long time (windows 95 to 10) since the windows 2000 series it's been very reliable for me. You've got to configure things a bit and install proper software (unlike...

    I've been using Windows for a long time (windows 95 to 10) since the windows 2000 series it's been very reliable for me. You've got to configure things a bit and install proper software (unlike MacOS that has great stuff by default). I'm also using "Classic Start Menu" tool because I never got used to the new one. I usually prefer window's file explorer over MacOS's because it has a real address bar and allows you to cut files (wtf apple?). I've had much less drivers and hardware issues than on linux. For development it mostly sucks but that depends on what you do.

    For privacy you've got a bunch of settings you should turn off at first use.

    2 votes
  12. knocklessmonster
    (edited )
    Link
    It isn't. There's stuff that just works better in different operating systems, but people solve these problems in Windows. I use Linux and Windows, and do much of the same stuff with the same...

    How bad is windows really? (Please let's be as objective as possible)

    It isn't. There's stuff that just works better in different operating systems, but people solve these problems in Windows. I use Linux and Windows, and do much of the same stuff with the same exact software (but, I specifically seek out software that supports both).

    Is there a way to run Windows "privately"? (I've heard about windows "Flavours", but I'm concerned about their security)

    Windows 10 Ameliorated, but frankly you'd probably have a bad time with it. Don't do any sensitive stuff in Windows if you're concerned, and you'll be fine, just turn off all the Microsoft telemetry. Don't even worry about extra antivirus because Defender is as good as anything else these days, with fewer false positives. Most of the complaints about Windows from the Linux camp are nerd hipster circlejerking anyway, and I'm saying this as somebody who used to be in that specific Windows hating camp. I prefer Linux, but it doesn't mean the other OS isn't valid for many people.

    For "Flavors" just stick with vanilla. Why risk somebody injecting something into your operating system? Just manage the one existing, well-documented threat, and don't use an administrator account for daily tasks.

    I'm pretty bad at open-ended laptop questions, using older ones myself, but Thinkpads get a lot of good hype for their Linux support, and being enterprise laptops will be repairable in the long-term.

    2 votes
  13. jcdl
    Link
    I feel you on the OpenCL and AMD bullshit. It’s such a shame that Metal came out before Vulkan and made the fragmentation situation even worse than it already is with Nvidia’s proprietary...

    I feel you on the OpenCL and AMD bullshit. It’s such a shame that Metal came out before Vulkan and made the fragmentation situation even worse than it already is with Nvidia’s proprietary dominance. Even though Metal and Vulkan are primarily for graphics workloads they be used for generic compute purposes too. Maybe the MoltenVK translation layer can help with that but it feels like a hack.

    This is probably the right time to exit the Apple ecosystem as they’re going to go further down the proprietary path with their own in-house graphics.

    I don’t know how you’ll fare as an Ubuntu guy at heart in the Windows hellscape but I wish you the best.

    As for laptop recommendations I strongly suggest a ThinkPad. They’re the only non-Mac laptops I can stomach, and I love the track point. Plus, if down the road you find that Linux can work for you ThinkPads have great support.

    1 vote
  14. TheJorro
    (edited )
    Link
    I find it about as good as any other OS. They all have their upsides and downsides. I find Windows to be the easiest to troubleshoot when things go wrong. For example, if I have to blow away the...
    1. How bad is windows really? (Please let's be as objective as possible)

    I find it about as good as any other OS. They all have their upsides and downsides. I find Windows to be the easiest to troubleshoot when things go wrong. For example, if I have to blow away the OS and re-install it, I'll take the Windows job over the OSX job any day as I've found there are far less showstopping consequences to Windows' errors than OSX's. Windows 10 is pretty friendly to repairs and resets, having multiple options for resetting the OS, from fully to only third party (non-Windows) programs.

    As for using it regularly, I find Windows requires a mouse and keyboard. I think OSX offers the best laptop style interaction since that OS feels like it's made for the touchpad gesture control but Windows focuses on mouse and keyboard, even despite their foray into touch controls. I also find Windows to generally have the most efficient file system browser in Explorer. Even though file system browsers are pretty basic, I find that Windows lets me access the widest amount of options quickest out of any GUI based one I've used. I either use Explorer (Win+E) to navigate directly into the filesystem, or I use Everything to search for more specific files or folders and enter Explorer directly from there.

    Other than that, generally speaking, I think the current state of Windows 10 is the best version of Windows yet. It address most of the longstanding complaints that Windows used to have. Automatic updates aren't an annoying pain that result in shutdowns in the middle of work. At most, you'll get a prompt for only the most important updates that ask you to schedule them, but otherwise they run almost invisibly. I haven't had any problem with files getting locked up by phantom processes. Blue screens are very rare, and almost always the fault of something else (e.g. driver issues, failed overclock on a CPU). Adding and working with new or external devices has been super easy.

    The only other big thing about Windows 10 compared to other OS' is the Windows Store. It's something of a holdover from their bad Windows 8 approach but now there's an entire Microsoft Windows app store that deliver a whole other sort of software. I'm not a big fan of it but it's for some reason necessary for a number of things to do with DRM. For example, Netflix will only run at 720p max on Chrome or Firefox. It will run at 1080p on Edge, and it will have full 4K and HDR support if you use the Windows Store version. It's fairly annoying, and these particular apps can be hit or miss.

    But, that said, it does open up some interesting new possibilities for applications that either can't be installed in normal ways for whatever reason, integrate into existing Windows 10 menus, or have cross-compatibility with other Microsoft hardware like the Xbox. One I particularly like is called EarTrumpet, but I've also used it for things like Dolby Atmos for Headphones. Also Netflix hasn't worked on my Firefox for over a year now, so the Windows app suits me fine rather than opening up Chrome or Edge. I've never had a problem using it, really.

    If anything, my last remaining bugaboos with Windows have to do with displays, but that's something that even OSX struggles with in different ways.

    1. Is there a way to run Windows "privately"? (I've heard about windows "Flavours", but I'm concerned about their security)

    I think there are a lot of programs that shore this up, many linked here, but at the same time I feel like a lot of the privacy concerns are overblown. I feel like many people play up privacy concerns for sport for many pieces of software, and Windows is the biggest, softest target.

    You can turn off quite a lot, and Windows is very upfront about what it can collect, then it asks if you want to accept or reject the various pieces. In terms of being straight with the user, Windows is probably miles better than most other products. In fact, during setup, Windows will even let you disable a few things that break some of its marquee functionality. I still have far, far, far more concerns just having Facebook apps on my phone than I do doing anything at all in Windows 10. And still, there are many programs to turn off even more telemetry.

    That's not to say this is a privacy-forward OS, it's not, since Microsoft in general is moving towards cloud accounts, similar to Google Accounts. On one hand, it's worse for privacy, but on the other Microsoft has integrated it into Windows well so that re-installing or signing into another Windows computer is a much better experience if you use a networked Microsoft account and are hooked into a few of their services, like Xbox or OneDrive. Personal settings, files, and more carry over between things. It now feels as painless to wipe away and re-sign into Windows as it does to reset a smartphone now.

    1. Any laptop recommendations? I don't mind if it's expensive, but I want it to last. Ideally, I want it to be as powerful as a desktop. (Upgradeable up to 64gb RAM, 8 or 16gb GPU and a powerful processor.)

    In my experience, Lenovo's made the most reliable and reasonably good quality machines over the last 10 years as far as Windows laptop-makers go, especially their T-series line as a good standard. They're upgradeable, solidly-built, and I really like their latest keyboards best out of any laptop (though Apple still runs away with the trackpad crown). Also they work with Linux really well so even if Windows doesn't work out, tossing Ubuntu back on is dead simple.

    1 vote
  15. NoblePath
    Link
    I’ve been an Apple user almost continuously since the //c days. Every so often Apple makes some move that pisses me off and I think about ditching. Then I turn to my Windows box that built to mine...

    I’ve been an Apple user almost continuously since the //c days. Every so often Apple makes some move that pisses me off and I think about ditching.

    Then I turn to my Windows box that built to mine btc a couple years back (heh heh)(and also because i just wanted to play with some hardware).

    Partly the problem is one of paradigm and familiarity that leads to frustration and annoyance on my part. These are design preferences, subjective, neutral and equivalent in either direction. But they add up, and my preference is strongly on the mac side, especially for aesthetics and human interface function (especially pointer control). I am always happy to get back to my mac. It’s a more comfortable and organic experience.

    Fwiw I haven’t been a pro nerd in over a decade, so the productivity issues for making nerd money you will have to resolve yourself. But remember a mac can do anything any unix box can do.

    Good luck and please come back and let us know what you did and why.

    1 vote