Windows Is Ubiquitous, But That Doesn't Make It a "Standard."

All my life, I've been told by ignorant twats that Mac OS is "non-standard" and that "Windows is the 'Industry standard.'" However, the standard is called POSIX, Portable Operating System Interface. (I guess "POSI" was too "soft" for tech bros of the era that POSIX was formulated and an X made it look "tough," LOL.)

screenshot showing a google listing for the definition of POSIX

Window's isn't really a "defacto standard," either, as there are way more POSIX-native OSes on the global network than there are Windows machines. Linuces are the majority of server OSes, Debian, Ubuntu, etc. Then, since the advent of MacOS X and the veritable explosion of that platform, along with domestic Linux and even private enterpise adopting Linux to manage costs, along with the graphics and app industries leaning more back to Mac (at the user level, at least), Windows is probably the second largest platform, maybe neck-and-neck with Apple. (And Apple is POSIX, therefore standard and part of the standard group, so hey.)

Now, standards aren't always the best platforms, and if you have an affordable support service/person/deal, Windows may well work for you, but the "Windows is 'standard'" argument is innacurate noise. Cease with the OS snobbery and please stop talking out your arse at non-Windows users, lest we throw you out of a window.

Why is this actually important? Well, standards mean interoperability, for a start. Metric threads are a good example. The vast majority of the world now use M-standard nuts and bolts. Windows is the Imperial System of the internet. Metric and Imperial are not really interoperable, there maybe one or two sizes where you could force an AF nut onto a metric bolt, but the threads will be damaged by it.

Likewise, for people learning computing, if you start with a relatively easy standard Terminal (POSIX is the command line standard, there's no GUI standard) then, regardless of OS, you can use the same learning across a range of platforms... except Windows, unless you have "Unix Subsystem for Windows." This approach by Microsoft is probably the biggest admission on their part that they are not a part of any standard, and never really were. POSIX predates DOS, let alone Windows. It's a standard that starts with "big iron" so that corporate mainframes could be interoperable but now it applies internet-wide.

Microsoft could, no should, begin the task of making Windows POSIX compatible. Completely compatible, natively, just as the US really needs to grow up and metricate. Nobody needs a measurment system based on a "king's forearm" and nobody needs an operating system that doesn't play that great with others.

One day, the Microsft board will wake up and find they're left behind. And they ARE left behind. My Windows VM, while necessary for the occasional task with a non-pro 'ware, feels like the noughties calling, and they want their "dominance" back. Seriously, being different works in fashion, music and the arts. It doesn't work in engineering. And before you say it, "Think Different" was advertising, it's in the arts. I use a Mac because I can learn from and work with Linux and BSD peeps, as well as from people who know my platform. You do't get that with 'Doze. Even today, they're stuck in an ivory tower at Microsoft.


  1. Even Raspberry PI is more compatible than your average AU$350 laptop.


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