Really! You were an Apple fanboi until you said this.
I'm an admin, so that probably accounts for a lot of my perspective. I judge a system by more than how convenient it is for me. Most systems have good and bad parts and I've rarely used something I couldn't find both the good and the flaws in. It's not totally unfair to call me a Unix geek, Linux zealot, Apple fanboi and MS shill if you must, they've all helped me earn a paycheck. Even Xenix and SCO had good points. About the only OS I didn't care for at all was an NCR ATM system but even that probably had something good about it if I'd looked harder.
When has Microsoft ever increased security in a application release? There's Vista, where the security was so anal, everyone turned it off. Just about everything else was worse, usually because the microsoft 'extensions' were designed to break the previous version.
I didn't turn off the UAC in Vista for myself or our company; I learned how to work with it. When we moved to Win7, we already had the skills and experience to use it, but I was really speaking of Security Essentials and Windows 8 and 10 building in anti-virus and malware protection. MS had done plenty that they deserve to be faulted for but UAC and integrated AV and Malware protection are things that I think have been good for the industry. It's no SELinux (love it) but it is a step in the right direction.
We would still be limited to Genie/CompuServe/AOL, if that model was really followed.
The open internet seems obviously the way things should have gone now, but back in the days of running a bulletin board system, it wasn't so obvious. Genie/CompuServe/AOL provided a necessary stepping stone. If you think the internet would have developed as quickly as it did without AOLs send everyone a disk approach, you're overestimating the average consumer.
You say how great training wheels are and then whinge you don't want them.
If everyone was like me, there wouldn't be a need for anti-virus and malware protection and UAC. There wouldn't be a need or market for Microsoft for that matter. I can accept that most people need protection from their own bad decisions because not everybody has the aptitude or interest or even energy to learn the things they need to in order to work with computers safely. I'm a long, long way from being an average computer user. It is a hobby, a career and a friggin' paycheck for me. Of course I don't want to follow the normal computer user recommendations, I'm not the normal computer user.
That Windows is a less stable and less secure system is a different issue. Yet many people like you, demand that everyone else be shoved into the walled garden as a solution.
Windows is a quite stable and secure system handled correctly. Microsoft has made the decision to offer backwards compatibility over and over again and there is no doubt that has hurt their ability to make Windows as stable and secure as I wish it were, but Win 7,8,10 have made significant and important strides. Vista had some serious growing pains, but if you move someone from Win7 to Vista now, it is nearly painless, proving the industry was more of the problem than Vista was. When you consider how many programs used to be designed to have free reign without ACL controls, it is clearly Vista that was on the right track. Look what disdain it got them. (Metro was a terrible decision, but it wasn't about security or stability.) The average consumer will make bad decisions even if you try to protect them from it, but making it take more thought is not a bad thing.
Walled gardens have yet to be designed so that people like me can't get around them. (Can I get a woot woot from the Cyanogen crowd?!) If every system was a walled garden, then I might be on the other side of the debate, but the way things are now, people using aptitude, yum, ports and iOS are far more unlikely to mess up their system than people who don't have dedicated package maintainers trying to protect them. You act like iOS keeps people from running what they like but I'm running software on my iPhone now that isn't in the App store without breaking the terms for Apple Care. Anybody really can, but it isn't easy to do by mistake, so the walled garden clearly has gates. If you fear the walled garden then you're either immersed in a esoteric and philosophical debate or too inexperienced to be allowed to take your training wheels off yet.
And they make a lot of money ensuring that you install only devices they approve via their obsolete-in-18-months hardware interface. Plus ensuring that you only install applications they allow and don't want to make themselves
Yup. I run Mint, but my background with LFS, Gentoo, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and other more obscure systems make me desire things that most people don't care about. Most people are happy with the iOS ecosystem. I'm not, but then that's not the same as recognizing that it works well for most people.
It's a lot easier to uninstall a faulty 3rd-party application than a faulty hidden MS service. Plus it's easier to detect that a 3rd-party application is faulty.
Bullshit. I can't tell you how many people I've walked through removing rundll registry keys to replace them with the original OS configuration after a major AV vendor messed them up. Microsoft is far from perfect, but they have the advantage of being able to review an exponentially larger user base's results and they have faster resolution in nearly every case. I was a fan of AVG for a LONG time, but security essentials has a better track record of not screwing things up and I don't think there has yet been an instance of Win8's integrated AV messing something up.
This is outright defamation. A real AV has to use algorithms and databases to check the user is doing the right thing. A fake AV has to open a telnet channel to a data-scraping server. When both are sold at the same price, I have a different conclusion on who is running a scam. And that's avoiding the fact that many real AVs provide virus removal for free.
No true Scotsman? McAfee and Norton pay to get their trialware installed with OEM systems because nobody would pay for them to do what MS now does for free and with lower impact on performance and fewer screwups. They screw up cookie handling or delete registry entries that were useful and harmless so they can appear to be doing something useful. Their business depends on MS not providing decent AV and now that MS is doing just that, they're scrambling to create non-existant problems to fix. The ethical thing to do is close shop and put a "just use the AV it came with" page up instead, but that'll never happen because they have a vested interest in fixing something they don't need to fix anymore. The best way to make money they have now is by deceiving consumers into thinking they need something they don't, and they do that. It may not be illegal but it's shady as hell. It seems to me to be a very, very short step from outright scamming. Why do you think Symantec is doing so many things besides AV now? It isn't because they suddenly decided the other markets needed them, it's because they realized that their money maker market was disappearing.
Sure there are decent AV companies out there. Kaspersky (is a pain in the ass and screws shit up but basically does a good job) and AVG do what they advertise with minimal screwups, but I have yet to see someone suffer by choosing MS's free solution instead. The only one that I still regularly recommend is MalwareBytes and I only recommend that to people who have demonstrated a tendency to fall for scams.