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Information Technology / Is Microsoft Windows (10) an operating system?

A lot of people make use of Microsoft Windows in their homes and businesses worldwide. They often have technical questions and put them on Microsoft forum. Year after year, the important customers questions are left without proper answers. So the question arises: is Microsoft Windows (10) really an operating system? In this article I shall answer that question according to my own personal opinion.

That question crossed my mind when searching for specific problem and found the following thread on Microsoft forum where one customer asked Microsoft experts for help:

Where is "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them" Option in Windows 10?

We want windows 10 to inform "Hey These Updates are available? Do you want to DOWNLOAD them? if yes which of these you want to download?(NOT DOWNLOAD AUTOMATICALLY)" like old editions.  Windows 10 does not download updates automatically but also install them. We only  have control over when to restart the machine.

We want control over downloading and installation of updates like previous windows versions. Is there a way we can get the old Windows Update option in Control Panel? Or another new way of choosing which updates to download?

Conversationbroken windows

We shall not let you die of boredom about details of this thread because it is not important for my text. But when I was browsing through answers to the above technical question, I found out that Microsoft people or people advocating Microsoft company abandoned answering to the real hot questions. That means user asks about one thing, but he gets answer for some other question that he did not put at the first place! What is more: not answering questions directly became a matter of habit to them!

That game of false telephones was sort of irritating for lots of people who were very angry to be abused that way. It seems as if Microsoft company is laughing to their customers. Finally I posted my own comment on the thread and making a statement that Microsoft is not an operating system at all! After my comment was published one of Microsoft proponents (allegedly not associated to Microsoft) tried to argue about my statement but finally ran away with no further response. Here is our conversation.

Is Microsoft Windows really an operating system?

My comment:

samuraj2macaWebOperating system is supposed "to manage computer hardware and software and provide common services for computer programs". In this definition it is not mentioned but it is generally understood that operating system should be controllable and useful to the appropriate level for his owner. It is nowhere stipulated that operating system should be highly uncontrollable and loose system for the primary benefit of manufacturer only. BTW that would be the deviation from normal market operation anyway.

Despite it's appearance and colloquial term "operating system", which we are actually fooled to believe into, Windows is more of a payed advertisement platform, akin to a TV set. Technically it is built around a "store" software package. The store package is central in modern Windows platform, what is clearly seen because you are not allowed normally to remove that piece of unwanted software.

Real operating system is usually built upon a kernel or whatever, and generally has not immediate commercial, advertising and spying (or you can call them "telemetry" if you like) features built in and directed straight against his customer's best interest. The real operating system is more about effectiveness and usability for end users and not primarily for his manufacturer. That is very much the same as if your car manufacturer forces you to drive your (payed for) car to the places your manufacturer wants you to drive to.

Final verdict: Windows is not an operating system, and if we are more or less forced to use it, that we should know at all times and say that clearly, as I do.



It's not "very much the same." 

 You don't own Windows as you do a car.  You pay for a license to use the OS in accordance with the licensing terms.  And if Windows isn't an operation system, how are you able to use your computer at all?  Do you know of any computer that can be used without an OS?



My comment:

samuraj2macaWebWindows has perfectly arranged piece of legal paper with small letters quoting all license details what buyer gets. We all know that. Still license is not the substitute for an operating system features. Windows does not include appropriate nor generally demanded features. Of course you can make Windows product for your own pleasure if you like.  That is completely legal as well. One can make a rocket, put a large notice with "Rocket" sign on it, provide license terms, but that does not make it a rocket if it does not fly, right?

If you do not believe me, just sort out no less then 20-30% of highly unsatisfied customers on this and other forums of Microsoft to see my points. Didn't you notice that a lot of people almost laugh bitterly when they read some of the answers here about the simple and quite normal problems they report on this forum?

If you prefer my car examples, here is another one: if any car manufacturer would have 20-30% of (very) unsatisfied customers, would it be normal him saying: "You payed for a license to use the car in accordance with the license terms".

You should probably work more on Linux, or even old Unix AT&T to remind yourself what real operating system is/was. After more then 20 years of development, Windows technically has not a slightest technical excuse for what it has become.


You have no way of knowing what percentage of Windows 10 users are highly dissatisfied. johnWayneWeb You can't go by forum posts, because no one goes to the hospital to tell the people there how good they feel.  Even if were were to consider the silly 20-30% numbers accurate, you also don't know how many of those would be highly unsatisfied due to their own ignorance and bungling.    I will ask again:  If Windows isn't an operating system, how are Windows users even able to use their computers, highly unsatisfied or not?  Do you know of a computer anywhere that can function without an operating system?


My Comment

samuraj2macaWebIf one accepts hardly functioning and purposely constantly unfinished bundle of software with crucial bugs disrupting normal usage - in that case Windows might be considered an operating system. From that point you are right.

The first practical rule for an operating system and technical systems in general is the predictability of operation.  E. g. the Start button and notify area stops functioning with no apparent reason in many machines with no sure solution for that problem. Officially offered procedures for solving that work just occasionally. How many years do you need to take care of this flagrant problems? But of course, the users are surely guilty for that!

If the "silly 20%" of unsatisfied customers is not the proper number for Win 10, what number would you suggest? Maybe zero?

As you can see yourself, elementary technical conditions are not fulfilled for Windows to be called "an operating system".  At best you can call it "software still in development phase after quarter of century." And that has nothing to do with any personal mood, preference or rainy days.

What is more I should never ever call my customers  "unsatisfied due to their own ignorance". If your customers are as you call them, then why their "ignorant" questions are often not straightly answered here on this forum?

Speaking of ignorance, do you or any of say 10,000 highly competent colleagues from your company have the real solution to the two years old question posted here on this thread by the above  dissatisfied "ignorant user"?


johnWayneWeb< no response up to now>





What happened?

We don't know why Jimmy boy ran away. It is hard to say whether his answers were the worst, or the one and only Microsoft support engineer's answer that was put on this thread who answered some other question different then posted by thread author! This thread that I just showed you above is just one of many on Microsoft forum that actually proves my point.

Microsoft Windows 10 is NOT an operating system because the company chose not no solve the basic functionality problems of their flag product before or after launching it to the market. To summarize let me propose three real definitions for Microsoft Windows (...10):

  1. Microsoft Windows is mostly an advertisement platform that you payed for.
  2. Microsoft Windows is in my opinion purposely constantly unfinished bundle of software with crucial bugs occurring occasionally but then seriously disrupting normal usage.
  3. Microsoft Windows is piece of (hmm...) software still in development phase after about a quarter of century spent in vain.

Are they going to make a real operating system? Younger ones can wait maybe another 25 years and see what happens, right?

 Reference: Microsoft forum