Service Packs and Updates

In Windows, updating was a nightmare and Microsoft made sure they emphasized the danger. For instance, when I updated to Windows XP SP2, I got copious warning messages that amounted to saying, "Look, you've got a shitty OS so now you need to patch it with this here patch. But we're not really sure how this patch might affect your existing set up so be sure to back up whatever needs backing up." It took ages for XP to upgrade itself to service pack 2 and if I remember correctly, I had to reboot three times just to get Windows back in shape.

In another instance, when Windows auto-updater asked me install new security patches, Microsoft refused to send me those patches unless I loaded this "little thing" called Genuine Windows Advantage (GWA) software. The software checked whether my Windows was licensed -- which took 2 more centuries to run. And after it was absolutely sure that I wasn't stealing money from Bill's gazillions, it finally installed the small security patch, which took 30 minutes. Then my machine started getting noticeably slower and I found out later that the little GWA was spying on my machine and sending back info to Microsoft. Auto-updater also kept bugging me to connect to the Microsoft website.

In contrast, I have been receiving regular updates on my MacBook through the internet. I have upgraded to the latest OSX, including security patches and updates to my bundled applications.

Today I automatically received a firmware update for my MacBook. It had about three sentences that said I needed to reboot and that the notebook might make some noises-- but don't worry, just let it run. I let it run, expecting a longish wait. The restart was quick and painless.

Maybe I'm being unfair. After all, my old machine wasn't Core Duo. Still, I didn't get lots of warning messages. Nor did Apple ask me to prove that my Mac OSX was fake.

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