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Or it is difficult to run other operating systems.

Wow, I really do not agree with this statement at all.

People do not suddenly hate pop music if they hear other, new, better or different pop music. Music enjoyment remains fairly consistent - across decades, now. People will maintain old favorites, not suddenly hate old favorites should they hear a new song that they really like. And I have no idea what metric you would use to define "better" pop music.

And people prefer and choose the music that they like from the extremely diverse range of music available. Whereas Windows is nearly a monopoly. They do not sift through the diverse range of OS's available and then choose to use Windows. It is simply what comes with their computers when they buy it and they use it, often complaining about it, because nothing else is available.

Pizza may be a popular dish because it may be chosen among the available dishes, but Nitrogen is not a popular element just because it is so widespread that it is in everything you eat whether you want it or not.

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If there is healthy market competition, excellent products will be popular. However, big companies often try to avoid competition in order to profit without effort.

I think I totally get your point. And I agree with most of what you're saying.

I'd still call Windows the most popular OS, even if it's not due to people's likings, but just to the well established status.

It seems to me that this is not uncommon.
But the reason I take the difference between "widely in use" and "Popular" pretty seriously is that the verbiage is influential as to what people will think and take away from a statement.
It is like a lawyer saying, "Objection, your honor. Leading the witness".

Calling something "popular" when it in fact is not being chosen due to it being generally well liked, but instead is thrust upon the people with little to no other option implies that it is "chosen by the people due to it being well liked or best suited."
This is called "slant" and it is a very unwelcome thing in readers of media. We must be diligent to avoid bias and slant in our writing.

You are right that the line can be blurred. I just think it is best to enhance clarity, rather than blur. If you define your terms the right way and rely on a vague term here and there, you can justify saying that "Windows is the most popular OS" and remain an honest person.
But making more accurate and relatable statements while maintaining honesty seems to be a more productive and useful approach. Using terms and definitions that most be accept as valid and saying "Windows is the most widely used OS" is an honest statement. It also is less leading, less slanted and is more accurate.

I recall the anecdote about the gym teacher needing to take stock of the equipment and getting a student to help. They were checking the equipment in a shed and he handed her a Carbon Copy form to mark the inventory lists on and she was amazed by it. She said, "Pretty soon, we won't need copy machines, anymore."


Fair enough, I don't disagree with what you say at all.

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