First Click: Thanks Microsoft, but the Windows to my life have all closed

July 28th, 2015

Windows 10 is shaping up to be a great operating system. I’ve been using it on and off as a beta tester for months now, and I'm already running the final build ahead of tonight's big release. But I’m not going to switch. Not now. Unlike Chaz_UK I’m too entrenched in Apple hardware and Google services.

I’m not supposing my experience is representative of yours or even the majority of people. Despite the MacBook’s apparent dominance in trendy cafes, 9 Windows PCs are sold for every computer running OS X.

My switch from the PC to Mac started on Christmas day 2001 when I was gifted an original 5GB iPod with click-wheel. I was so impressed that I returned to New York and promptly bought a Power Mac G4 (I also had no choice as the iPod was Mac-only at launch).

My switch from Microsoft to Google services began with Gmail back in 2004. I switched from Hotmail because my default search engine offered better spam protections and filtering. Soon I was on Docs, happily eschewing the Office bloatware I was required to use at work.

There was a time when I could see jumping back to Windows. I’d buy an Xbox which would entice me to buy a Zune and then a Windows Phone and then a Surface. But it took Microsoft too long to turn its silos into a holistic ecosystem. And now that Ballmer’s gone, Microsoft is abandoning its grand device strategy and embracing iOS and Android device owners with a deluge of new software and services.

Thing is, Apple and Google already provide me with everything I need — and I’m satisfied, happy even. Besides, upending my digital life to get the same result down a different path is not a great use of my time.

As a former IT manager, I understand the efficiencies of cost and support achieved through standardization. My wife and I use newer iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks while the kids tussle for the digital hand-me-downs. I’m also thinking of buying an Apple Watch for my wife and HomeKit-compatible automation devices for the home. And the accessories, all those Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad accessories we’ve accumulated over the years, in addition to hundreds of OS X and iOS apps and games we’ve purchased — I'm not going to throw all that away for a few nice to have features exclusive to Windows and Microsoft apps. And you can’t beat free for best-in-class services like Google Photos and Maps — even if I have to give up some perceived privacy in the process.

Not that Microsoft cares about me. Oh sure, it’s courting iPhone and Android users who also have Windows PCs at home and work (which is almost all of them), but my wife and I are full-time Mac users, too — both professionally and by personal choice. We're a niche that Redmond can ignore for now.

My kids, though, are another story. Microsoft cares deeply about the next generation who’ll be living in a world dominated by realities both augmented and virtual, unencumbered by the hardware wars from the days of yore. And right now, Microsoft is beating Apple two-to-one for my kids’ attention in their three respective schools — Google hasn’t even bothered to show up.

So, you could say that I’m married to Apple with a little somethin’ somethin’ from Google on the side. Even with a perfect 10 Microsoft barely stands a chance at luring me away.

But it’s okay to look, right?

Five stories to start your day

  1. Windows 10 release week: what to expect and how to download

    After nine months of waiting, Windows 10 is almost here. Tuesday night at midnight ET, Microsoft will release the first full release of Windows 10, the biggest sea change in PC software in nearly three years. It's kind of a big deal! We've been getting previews of Windows 10 since October, and the rollout of the actual software will happen in stages, but midnight will still be zero hour for answering a lot of the questions that have swirled around Windows 10 since it was first announced. How do you build a single OS for laptops, tablets, and smartphones? Tuesday night, we'll find out.

  2. The OnePlus 2 pushes the boundaries of how cheap a flagship phone can be

    There are more options than ever for getting a good, cheap smartphone, and last year’s OnePlus One was a standout. For $300, you got a well-made, nice-looking phone with cutting-edge hardware and few compromises to be found (assuming its 5.5-inch size didn’t put you off). The just-announced, heavily-leaked OnePlus 2 doesn’t deviate strongly from the formula that made the One such an intriguing phone, but there are some notable differences to be found once you dig into the new device.

  3. Samsung to host Unpacked event on August 13th

    Samsung today officially announced its next major product launch event, which will take place in New York on August 13th. Galaxy Unpacked 2015 will be at 11:00AM ET on that date, and will likely include the announcement of the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, the details of which have leaked extensively over the past few weeks.

  4. Dragon Quest XI is coming to PS4, 3DS, and Nintendo NX

    The next mainline entry in arguably the most popular game series of all time in Japan has just been announced. Dragon Quest XI is coming to both the PlayStation 4 and the 3DS, according to a live broadcast currently underway in Japan, with a release date targeted for next year. The PlayStation 4 version is being developed internally at Square Enix, and will use the Unreal Engine. The 3DS version, meanwhile, is like two games in one — it runs in full 3D on the top screen and uses retro 2D sprites on the bottom. Oddly, Square Enix also announced a version for NX, the upcoming Nintendo system that we know basically nothing about.

  5. Why Bugs Bunny is the greatest cartoon character ever

    Bugs Bunny, one of the most beloved and enduring characters of the 20th century, turns 75 today. That's a major milestone for any American pop culture icon, putting him on a plane right beside the likes of Superman in terms of sheer longevity. As a cartoon character, he's a legend; many of us, along with our parents, grew up with him. He even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But if anyone asked you who the single greatest cartoon character ever created was, you might waffle. It's really not that hard. Bugs is GOAT.

Windows of the day