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Old lamps for new

Posted by putsimply on 26th September 2007

If it ain’t broke don’t mend it
It is a long held view that new technology is good, old is not and everyone will always want to upgrade to the newest version of everything just to be in that space.

Shame about Vista then isn’t it.

Microsoft fully believed that PC users would flock to change from XP to Vista and the manufacturers pushed out new laptops and PCs with Vista installed. Also, PC component/software manufacturers all developed products that would run on the Vista operating system, rushing them to market before their competition.

To what end?

The PC manufacturers are now offering ‘downgrades’ back to XP with no affect to the warranty. It started with Dell early in the year and is now spreading through the industry. Shops that piled the shiny new Vista ready computers high, expecting a high response, have had to discount them all.

So, where does that leave development? I think it shows that Microsoft took too radical a view when implementing the new system, (‘Microsoft’ and ‘radical’ doesn’t really sound right in the same sentence, bit of an oxymoron) and threw out the baby with the bath water. The consumer wants change, wants new but doesn’t want to ditch familiarity at the same time.

We see it all the time with technologists being convinced that the consumer is going to adopt every new gadget on the market, will want to conduct their lives via their mobile phones and always want the flashest product available. However, the reality is that whilst there are always a few who will readily embrace change, the majority do not want to be confronted with technology which challenges them. They do not want to have to relearn how do every action on their PC, they just want to plug and go. For Microsoft to get it so wrong should be a lesson to us all.