By | July 1, 2015
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This is about evolution – no, not the kind you argue about with atheists and astrophysicists, but about software evolution. Remember when Bill Gates was a skinny geeky, god-like creature who ruled over the world of desktop PCs like a skinny, male school marm with funny glasses – deciding for us what we’d like and then, like the Wizard of Oz only doling out tidbits, crumbs of things we almost liked but never really did? Remember when Steve Jobs got fired and came back to Apple and stuck a penny in his ear and invented the iPod and became the darling of the tech world. Oh ’twas so long ago and far away, when we were younger than today.

For whatever reason, it seems that most software gets worse with each new version. Windows for example. Windows XP? What the heck was wrong with Windows XP? Nothing. But everyone had it, and if everyone has something they like, they don’t want anything new. But Microsoft needs you to buy new things so they can meet the Wall Street forecasts and the executives can get bonuses and buy yachts and fancy cars and private jets, while the rest of us grovel around like fuzzy little peasants tapping on keyboards looking at the latest incarnation of Bill Gate’s Windows. Windows Vista was not as good as Windows XP — it was much worse. What the heck? Windows 7 was better than Vista, and maybe almost as good as XP. Then comes Windows 8 – and Microsoft peering down at us peasants saying “Let them eat cake!” Such arrogance. Still we grovel and push our little mice around and spend our time searching for the start button. What was wrong with Windows XP?

So it goes with software evolution. Newer is not necessarily better. In fact, most of the time it’s not better. It’s worse. How many freeware programs are no longer free? How many freeware programs have become wrapped in malware like a lonely piece of carne in a large cheese and bean burrito? Maybe we really are peasants groveling for a voice – a voice that says, GIVE ME THE SOFTWARE I WANT AND NOT THE SOFTWARE YOU WANT ME TO HAVE!

If you are one of the many who have watched their favorite programs evolve into senseless programs managed by ribbons and toolbars that make no sense, don’t give up — search for an alternative.

Today’s site of the week is called Alternative To and its name is as descriptive as I’ll ever get. So, because I’m tired, full of beer, and yawning, I’m going to turn this article over to Mr. Alternative and Miss To – and let them fill you in, otay?


Tired of crappy software? AlternativeTo is a new approach to finding good software. Tell us what application you want to replace and we give you great alternatives, based on user recommendations.

We have one mission: helping you find the right software for your computer, mobile phone or tablet. Our main focus is to give you alternatives to software you already know and want to replace.

Based on our users recommendations we list great alternatives to the applications you want to replace. By joining the site you can participate in the process of making these recommendations better, so please join in! “

If your favorite programs have evolved into huge hairless apes with too many buttons and knobs – and are no longer giving you the pleasure they once did, search for a good alternative by visiting our site pick AlternativeTo.

I have never once claimed to be sane.

9 thoughts on “AlternativeTo

  1. Nora

    Please, pretty please. If not XP then bring back Outlook Express! Tried and true….then they have to go and fix something that ain’t broke. I used to love to insert music with my emails or animated gifs and beautiful scrolling stationery. I don’t mind gmail but the fun isn’t there anymore. Geez! Now the grandest of all Windows ever that’s coming soon doesn’t have an email program.!!! Was it too hard for the geeks to just develop one little extra app that would make all of us happier? I could go on and on but that’s my short rant!

    1. Nancy

      I agree about the mail service. Give us something we can enjoy.

  2. Deanna Baugh

    Agree Nora…Microsoft made a point of taking out the fun! Example: Themes and also the email fun! Sad!

  3. Scott Johnson

    XP came out in 2001. It was fine then, but the internet today is a very different creature.
    If I had a Model T car, I could get in it and it could transport me to some other location. By that standard, I could say “it works just fine, why do I need anything else?” But would you want to drive a Model T car on today’s interstate highways? Of course not. It would not be efficient or safe. It’s the same way with yearning for the “good old days” of Windows XP. It was fine for 15 years ago, but not for today.

    Things change. You need to get used to it. Crying about it, and whining that the big evil corporations are just stomping out the little peasants and the average guy “just can’t catch a break” is a defeatist mentality for losers that just want to complain instead of taking responsibility.

    1. infoave Post author

      I agree with you although your analogy using the Model T is not particularly apt. The Model T would have never gone out of production if other car companies hadn’t made vehicles the public preferred. Ford discontinued the model T because the public wanted competing cars more. If that were not the case then Ford would have continued to make the Model T as long as enough people bought it. Microsoft could have upgraded Windows XP continually to keep it up-to-date. But unlike Ford, they chose to release a new version and eventually stop supporting XP for one reason: MONEY. Windows XP could have been updated to keep up with the changes on the Web, but that means Microsoft could have raked consumers and computer manufacturers for a new “supposedly” better version of Windows. Windows Vista was a disaster; it was never accepted by the public. And it wasn’t accepted not because of Windows XP holdouts, it was not accepted because it was a horrible operating system – so resource hungry, in fact, that Microsoft had to re-release XP to compete back in the “Netbook” craze because Netbooks were generally low-powered devices with 1GB of RAM or less – Vista wouldn’t run on them. Windows 7 was an improvement over Vista, no doubt, but many didn’t think it was an improvement on XP. Windows 8x was a disaster because people didn’t like it – again it had nothing to do with XP holdouts. The majority of Windows users were using Windows 7 by the time Windows 8 was released. Windows 10 is an improvement on Windows 8 – and it may be the first Windows that improves upon XP – I would say it does improve upon XP except it doesn’t have a viable desktop mail program – like Outlook Express. This is a mystery – a large percentage of users who are testing Windows 10 have asked for a good desktop mail program – the Windows mail app, while serviceable on a smart phone or even a tablet, is not a desktop mail client by any stretch.

      Since, according to Microsoft, Windows 10 will be the last named/numbered version of Windows and will simply continue to be updated so as to keep it current and modern, one wonders why Microsoft didn’t do this with Windows XP. Wonder no more – the answer is money. Now with Chrome, Android and Apple all giving away operating systems, Microsoft had no choice. However, most analysts don’t believe all future upgrades to Windows will be free and those how get Windows 10 free will find themselves paying for updates to it down the road in order to keep it up-to-date. We will see.

  4. Lee

    T.C., couldn’t have said it better myself. Three cheers and a twelve pack of your favorite suds for ya! (Grin) —- Lee

  5. Mary M

    Loved your rant TC! got some smiles out of me and I always need those :0


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