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Rokus, tablets, Sonos, smartphones, gaming consoles, Chromebooks – there is so much choice on the market that it’s now possible to make a coherent argument against even needing to own a laptop 4 Reasons Why You Don't Need a Laptop Anymore 4 Reasons Why You Don't Need a Laptop Anymore The era of laptops may be coming to an end. In fact, there are several reasons why laptops are now sub-optimal purchases. Here's what you need to know! Read More . I’ve made this point myself on this very site. However, in this piece, I’m going to make the opposite argument.

Why do you still need Windows? What makes a 30-year-old operating system so special? Why is it so integral to our daily lives? What would happen if you walked away from Microsoft tomorrow?

Here are my top five reasons why you still need Windows:

1. To Act as a Central Hub

How many of you own a Sonos system Sonos vs. Chromecast Audio: Which Is Best For You? Sonos vs. Chromecast Audio: Which Is Best For You? A lot of people seem to think Sonos and Chromecast Audio are the same thing, but they wold be mistaken. While their core purpose might be the same, the differences between them are vast... Read More ? Or have a Roku plugged into your television Which Roku Media Streamer Should You Buy? Which Roku Media Streamer Should You Buy? The current offering is split into five products – the Roku Streaming Stick, and the Roku 1, 2, 3, and 4. This article looks at what each product can offer, and tries to ascertain which... Read More ? Or frequently move data onto/off external hard drives?

And how did you set up those services in the first place? Almost every time, the answer will be “on Windows”.

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Yes, it’s possible to get your Sonos working without installing the desktop controller. Yes, your photos and videos could be stored on a network attached storage (NAS) drive 7 Reasons to Use a NAS for Data Storage & Backups 7 Reasons to Use a NAS for Data Storage & Backups External hard drives are great for data storage, but there are many more benefits to using a network-attached drive instead. Here's everything you need to know. Read More and viewed on a tablet. And yes, your Xbox will work as a standalone console without the need for further integration.

But the fact remains that Windows makes setting up almost anything faster and more straightforward, makes long-term management of those services much easier, and normally improves your user experience.

With the steady growth of Cortana 6 Coolest Things You Can Control with Cortana in Windows 10 6 Coolest Things You Can Control with Cortana in Windows 10 Cortana can help you go hands-free on Windows 10. You can let her search your files and the web, make calculations, or pull up the weather forecast. Here we cover some of her cooler skills. Read More , this trend is only going to continue. It’s time to stop thinking of Windows as merely being an operating system, and start thinking of it as a centralized hub to your technological life.

2. For App Compatibility

This is linked to my previous point and is also part of a wider argument about why Windows is the most useful operating system out there.

Almost every app, device, or game works on Windows; the same cannot be said for other operating systems. For example, Chromebooks still don’t have an official Skype app (though there are workarounds How to Install Skype on a Chromebook: The Ultimate Guide How to Install Skype on a Chromebook: The Ultimate Guide The lack of Skype is regularly cited as one of Chromebook owners' and would-be buyers' biggest gripes. All that has now changed. Here's what you do. Read More ), Macs cannot write to NTFS-formatted drives Write To Your NTFS Drives Again in OS X El Capitan (For Free) Write To Your NTFS Drives Again in OS X El Capitan (For Free) Some of the most common methods of adding NTFS support broke with the recent release of El Capitan, but you can still write to your Windows drives with a bit of tinkering. Read More without some third-party tools and tweaks, and Linux – while popular among certain groups – lags way behind in terms of the amount of popular software available.

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The same point can be extended to Android tablets and iPads.

Ultimately, if you’re a jack-of-all-trades computer user who likes to dabble in a bit of everything, owning a Windows machine is a vital part of your armory.

3. Full-Featured Apps

Make no mistake, cloud computing has grown at a tremendous rate during this decade and will continue to grow long into the future. However, at the moment, the online versions of most apps lack many of the features of their desktop counterparts.

Just look at some of the differences between the OneNote web app and the desktop version 5+ OneNote Note-Taking Tips & Tricks for First Time Users 5+ OneNote Note-Taking Tips & Tricks for First Time Users OneNote is an amazing note-taking app and it's free. However, it has a steep learning curve.Our tips and tricks will help you settle in faster. Read More : In the web app you cannot mark notes as read, sort notes by number of edits, take screen clippings, insert or edit symbols, link notes to files, search across all sections, use the format painter command, or find tags.

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The same story is repeated across products from Adobe and Google, among others. And, of course, lots of the most widely-used programs don’t even have web versions.

Bottom line: If you’re a power user of a certain app (perhaps you need it for work or school), you unquestionably need a traditional PC, rather than a web-only device like a Chromebook Chromebooks Don't Work Offline? Debunking the Myths Chromebooks Don't Work Offline? Debunking the Myths One of the biggest criticisms aimed at Google's Chromebooks is that they are online-only machines – ergo, no Internet, no point. How true is this statement? Read More .

4. Ports and Peripherals

Apple created a storm last year when it announced the new MacBook would have just one single port Should the New MacBook's Single Port Scare You Away? Should the New MacBook's Single Port Scare You Away? Apple recently revealed the new MacBook, and it's a jaw-dropper — but it also has only a single port. Was this a blunder, or a sign of the future? Read More . It’s not even a commonly-used port, with the company opting for the new reversible USB-C option.

I’m not here to argue about the pros and cons of Apple’s decision, but the consequence is clear: If you want/need to use multiple peripherals (wired printers, a USB mouse, SD cards, USB flash drives, high-end webcams, external hard-drives, HDMI-out cables, etc.) you’ll either need to spend a lot of money on adapters How To Add Missing Ports To Your New MacBook How To Add Missing Ports To Your New MacBook Sometimes you just need more ports, particularly if your laptop only has one connector. Here's how to add them to your new MacBook. Read More , spend a fortune on a more expensive Apple product, or turn to Windows.

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As with my point about app compatibility, the point extends to tablets. The iPad only has a charging port and a headphone jack and Android options will typically include a single USB port at most. The only exceptions are Microsoft’s range of Surface Pro tablets, which come with a USB port, SD card slot, and a mini-display port.

5. File Type Support

A key part of using a Windows machine (or a Mac), is that it will support practically every file type imaginable. If it’s not done natively, you can almost always download a codec All You Need to Know about Video Codecs, Containers, and Compression All You Need to Know about Video Codecs, Containers, and Compression Explaining the difference between codecs and containers is relatively simple, but hard part is attempting to understand each format. Read More , app, or plugin that’ll solve the problem.

If you only use other devices for your services and media, this won’t always be the case.

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For example, Google Docs will frequently scramble complex Word formatting, Sonos will not support 48 Hz AAC audio files streamed from an iOS device, DRM-protected content is not supported on Roku and nor are AVI files, and tablets might not able to download the necessary apps to open a particular file type.

If you always want to be able to open any document, presentation, music file, or image that comes your way – stick with Windows.

Why Do You Still Need Windows?

Everyone is different; no two people will use their computers in the same way or rely on it for the same things. Nonetheless, I’m confident enough to say the vast majority of people still need Windows Should I Use Linux Or Windows? 3 Deal-Breaker Questions You MUST Answer Should I Use Linux Or Windows? 3 Deal-Breaker Questions You MUST Answer Linux. Windows. We aren't here to tell you which one is better; rather, we're here to help you decide which one is better for you. Read More , and will probably do so for a long time to come.

We’re curious about what makes you so reliant on Microsoft’s flagship system? Could you ever see yourself giving up Windows? What would need to happen for you to turn your back on it?

Tell us all about your unique situation in the comments section below.

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