I have just spent > 2 hours trying to get round a system bug in Windows XP, on someone else's PC. Seems that a Microsoft update a few months ago has caused the update mechanism itself (an app called wuauclt.exe running under svcsync.exe) to choke the CPU at nearly 100% and hogging memory for hours on end (and maybe for ever). The PC was almost unusable, like taking 3-4 minutes of disk-thrashing just to open a file. Looking on the web, it seems to be a widespread and recognised problem.
Yet the web was of dubious help. Googling for like "svcsync problem" led to sites that said like :-
"You need PC Spring Clean (tm)! Solve all Windows [insert search term here] problems!!" "FREE DOWNLOAD NOW!!!" [on a big green button].
How the hell do I know this would not download Trojan malware? Such sites just do not have the ring of trusworthiness that Linux help sites do.
Or web sites that tried to sell me a "Solution" for $25 (yes $$), trying to make money out a shortcoming that should not be - no freedom of knowledge in the Windows world.
I did find Windows user forums, but they gave wildly conflicting advice, some of which was no doubt knowledgable but the majority was clearly of a pretty poor standard, with the majority of posters clearly having no qualms about spouting off about something they knew nothing about. Again, I could get no feeling of confidence that I can get from Linux forums. Perhaps if I spent more time on Windows forums I would get better feelings, but the standard of comments is still low - eventually BTW I took a solution I had seen repeated several times, but don't know if it works yet as this problem builds over time (they said).
Even trying to follow the advice was difficult because the PC was so sluggish - I had to resort to the command line just to move stuff about.
But what of Microsoft themselves? No-one in the forums could say that MS was doing anything whatever about this bug (the solutions were all home-brewed), and only few even grumbled about that fact, despite XP being meant to have support until April 2014. Crying out loud - don't MS test their own updates before releasing them?? The users seemed resigned to MS's indifference - So much for proprietory systems being "more professional" than open source. With (is it?) hundreds of millions of PCs around the world still on XP (including institutions like the NHS) why isn't the World having a riot over this? If I had to use Windows I think it would drive me crazy.
I am computer literate. What does the average person do? Oh, I know - toss the PC in a skip and buy a new one (with Windows 8 installed).
While I was still suspecting malware I downloaded a copy of AVG for Windows from their own website - it was called AVG 2014. An hour later I got a pop-up (among many other annoying ones) telling me that my copy of AVG needed updating! Don't we just love Windows!