Hey Bill, It Wasn’t Broken!

larry photo for blogI don’t see myself as one who is resistant to change. But, I can also be one of those who doesn’t understand change just for its own sake. I’ve fooled around with computers longer than most people and have tried to stay on top of the rapidly evolving world of personal computers.

DOS was the dominant operating system when I first got involved and before it went the way of the dinosaur I had pretty much mastered it. I well remember the many attempts of Microsoft to develop a version of Windows that could complete with Apple’s graphical user interface (GUI) and the over-hyped release of Windows 3.0 in 1990.

Windows 3.0 was quickly replaced by 3.1 and the versions and variants continue to evolve, each one seeking to create a more stable and user-friendly means of operating the device that has captured and revolutionized our lives.

While I do understand Microsoft’s constantly updating and improving their product I have trouble with their sometime desire to change the look and feel for no clear reason. They spent years and untold fortunes creating a feel and familiarity that users have come to embrace. Why would you change that and end up frustrating your customer base?

This rant came out of my son-in-law buying a new Windows 8 laptop and asking me to set it up and install some software. I had no prior knowledge of, or experience with, Windows 8 and from the go found myself frustrated. Where’s the Start button? How do you restart or turn it off? Where’s My Computer? How do you get to Control Panel? Why do users need a “panels” option as well as the familiar Desktop? Why did I have to go online and Google the answers to all these questions?

I finally figured out what I needed to know but kept finding myself asking, “Why are they making me go through all this?” The only answer I could come up with involves a scenario where a bunch of Microsoft engineering geeks are sitting around a conference table having fun as they devise ways to screw with our heads. Instead of creating a leaner, meaner, more stable, and user-friendly operating system that the world would clamor for, they’ve developed one I wouldn’t spend a cent on until absolutely forced.

While Bill Gates will probably never be broke, his new OS is.

4 thoughts on “Hey Bill, It Wasn’t Broken!”

  1. My recent first Windows 8 experience was with a laptop at a host family’s in Idaho. It had a virus vaccine program that was about to expire and I was okayed to uninstall that virus inhibitor program and install a different free one, such as Avast. I volunteered for the challenge of it all. Like Larry, I had to Google for some instructions first, and I researched some virus detector programs that would work and found that some critics argued that there’s not only one that comes with Windows 8, but that it is about as good as any of them and probably better than the Norton one on the machine that was about to expire.

    So I removed Norton and turned on Windows Defender and the computer seems to be running faster than before. Being a simple sort of person, in some ways, I felt like I had accomplished something, but I haven’t yet decided whether or not I like Windows 8, just that it is fairly intuitive once one learns to work with it.

  2. Friend of mine, who’s in our age bracket, recently bought a new computer with Windows 8. It kept shutting itself off and no one could cure it, so he took it back. Apparently the software was so oriented toward saving battery life on portable stuff that it just couldn’t handle an antediluvian desktop like us Medicare types still own. I said way back in the Windows 95 days that they’d made this stuff so idiot proof that only an idiot can run one of them.

  3. I also got a lap top with window’s 8, took me awhile to figure it out, like you had to go online for the answers, but after having it for 2 months I am starting to like window’s 8, I was still using xp on our desk top, so it was quite the experience for me.

  4. I’m with you. We got my son a laptop for Christmas, and it came installed with Windows 8. I was trying to get it set up for him, and was ready to throw it through a second-story window after about 10 minutes. It wasn’t a necessary “upgrade” at all, and I find that whenever I need to use his laptop, I always switch it over to the Windows 7 option. I think it was basically a cosmetic change. With the panels, it looks and feels incredibly similar to the Xbox 360 screens. I think they were trying to hit the gamers. The kid doesn’t mind it, but he’s a gamer.

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