I Don't Understand Apple's Reputation

I really don't understand the good reputation that Apple enjoys as the sort of anti-Microsoft.  iTunes and Quicktime are by far the most irritating and buggy programs that reside on my PC.  Quicktime spams my screen about 20 times a day with a request to check for updates, most of the time returning an error or "the server is down" when I click OK.  iTunes has just hung up yet again during an installation.  That makes something like three versions in a row that has done that.  When iTunes encounters a problem in installation, it leaves one's computer in this weird limbo where the installer refuses to run, saying that an installation is already in progress, but iTunes won't run either.  I remember being in this limbo before, but I can't remember how I got out of it.


  1. Anna:

    Try this:


    It's from a previous version of iTunes, but the concept might apply. I'm a Mac user, so I can't really understand the problems you're having (iTunes and QuickTIme work great on Macs). Maybe it's some settings in your Windows OS that's causing part of the problem?

  2. Ryan Cupples:

    Haha, I like how the probable cause is not due to Apple's inability to code software in Windows, but the Windows OS itself.

    Furthermore, it seems logical that "server down" is Microsoft's fault.

    Coyote, try (assuming you are using XP) ctrl-alt-del, and then find out which PROCESS it is that the installer runs under. This will almost always be the name of the executable, so likely install.exe. End this process but do not end the process tree. This should allow you to run the installer again.

    That's all I can think of how you would let yourself to run it again, but that wouldn't stop the installer from crashing.

    Fake Edit: It appears that after reading the link, it sounds similar to what I said. Hrm.

    Curse you Micro$$$oft!!

  3. Damon Gentry:


    I just made 'The Switch' from PC to Mac about 3 months ago. My only frustration now is that I didn't do it 10 years ago.

  4. vin:

    maybe you should just get a mac, I have been using both since there were out and well, I never experience any of this sillyness on a mac.

  5. Ryan Cupples:

    Unfortunately, I think Coyote is one of the types of people that enjoys building his own computer. Heck, look at his articles on it.

    I like Macs. Hell, I sell both PCs and Macs as a living; I just have a real beef with people who think that one is inherently, significantly better than the other. People who say that are like nVidia/ATI fanboys; they have no capacity give a moderate, unbiased opinion, and that's not a good thing.

  6. Jim Hu:

    Apple's good reputation as the "anti-Microsoft" was not built on it's few Windows software offerings. Your comment is like saying, "I don't understand France's reputation as a great place for food. The tacos are much better in the US".

    And regarding "Apple's inability to code software in Windows", heck, Microsoft has a hard time coding in Windows from what I can tell from the news. My understanding is that this is at least in part because Windows has to run on a much broader ecosystem of hardware configurations, including the oddball custom build things that a commenter says Coyote uses.

    Then again, perhaps I'm being too generous to Microsoft, since they can't seem to don't bother to generate HTML that validates from their applications on any platform.

  7. Michael D. Bryan:

    Ever consider that it's not the Apple programs that are the problem, but your shovelwave OS? Microsoft is notorious for subtly sabotaging the performance of competitor's software on Windows. My advice: switch to an Apple machine running OS X and native Windows. Best of both worlds with none of the downside.

  8. MesaEconoGuy:

    I’ve used both Mac & PC, and built my own PC.

    The 2 platforms have significantly converged, with the Mac OS becoming considerably more clunky (but still better overall) the deeper into the updates you get.

    Windows XP, however, is an inferior product. It has so many holes with plug-ins and back software compatibility, it almost looks like a beta that they decided to release without running any quality checks.

    I suspect that the problem here is that ITunes is scripted to run on the Mac OS. I had problems downloading it with Quicktime to my PC the other day.

    I’m considering switching back. I almost never had any compatibility issues/lockups with my Mac.

  9. Matthew Brown:

    It's certainly the case that both iTunes and Quicktime are much more reliable and less annoying on the Mac. Of course, Apple have it much easier than MS do; they control the hardware and most of the add-ons and drivers, while Windows is cursed with buggy third-party drivers and the propensity of everything that installs on Windows to want to burrow into the OS to make it harder to uninstall.

  10. dave:

    I run Windows XP. I have never had any problems with either Quicktime or iTunes, which is more than I can say for (most) non-Apple software products I have tried to run on Windows.

    Seems to me that if Windows is causing you enough ire that you have to spend time blogging about how you don't understand Apple's reputation, then, use your time more wisely and do one of two things:, shitcan the Windows PC and buy a Mac, OR shitcan iTunes and Quicktime.

  11. Bill:

    I think that the Apple/Microsoft thing is mostly a holy war, and not going to be decided by logic.

    Apple has historically had control of both the OS and the hardware, which removes and significant set of problems. And they have been brutal about abandoning older hardware. Microsoft has been pretty good about trying to deal with legacy hardware and software, and has paid a price for this. And both have pretty well abandoned any attempt at efficiency, demanding increasing amounts of hardware performance to achieve small performance gains.

    I ran a mostly Intel/Microsoft shop for some years, with outcroppings of Apple in the graphics areas. I did find it interesting that when we experimented with video editing on both platforms that the Apple systems crashed and burned about as often as the Windows machines, which led to a movement to the Intel/Windows platform, as the cost was lower for equal performance, and the much vaunted reliability was simply not there.

    Like most religious wars, there's no right answer. But look at comparative market share and I think you'll find the future, at least as far as these two are concerned.

    On the other hand, I'm pretty well along on moving to Linux...all the servers here, and making headway on the desktops.

  12. Joe Baby:

    Long time Win user who bought a PBook last year.

    Now, in discussing systems, always feel like I'm trying to urge/cajole/motivate someone to leave a burning building. I know it's been home. I know you feel a lack of fire in my building is not what it's cracked up to be.

    But come anyhow.

  13. Max Lybbert:

    While my graphic-designer wife is a devoted Macintosh fan, and while I have to admit a small preference for OS X over Windows XP, I'm no fan of OS X or any Apple OS. I'm a Linux guy, through and through.

    And while Microsoft may be the culprit with iTunes and Quickvideo when they are actually running on Windows, I think the symptom Coyote is experiencing is clearly Apple's fault. If the people who wrote the installer didn't consider the possibility that an installation could fail partway through, then they are optimists that may be good marketers, but aren't good software engineers.

  14. Zoran Lazarevic:

    I second Coyote's claims: QuickTime and iTunes are by far the worst popular pieces of software available on Windows PCs!