Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Couple of words on “Windows 8” and Microsoft.

There are a couple of articles out there that are debating whether or not we’re starting to see the end of Microsoft because of horrible sales of their tablets/states/flat widgets. While I think the theses of these articles are wrong (Microsoft isn’t going anywhere) there are some points I would either like to consider or have answered.

First; Nobody has been able to give me an answer to this question that I felt was adequate enough for me to get on with the rest of my life… why did Microsoft release Windows 8 so soon after Windows 7?
I mean… besides the money issue.

Rather than release a “brand new” operating system, should they have been working on an upgrade to Win7 that would allow it to work (better) on touch screen devices? We had five years between XP (2001) and Vista (2006), then only a few short years between Vista and Windows7 (2009) – Windows seems to have a track record of releasing a great OS, then a weak OS, then another great one again… Windows8 users have been scrambling to find a way to either find a way to make it look and work like Windows7 or downgrade to Windows7 all together…

Could Windows7 be the “XP” for this decade?

Rather than creating something brand new from scratch, shouldn’t they have been building more essential tools for something that already works and works extremely well?

Win7 is a great operating system and I am able to get more work with my machines than I ever could with my XP unit or on any Mac. Granted, it’s an OS that I’m used to and I know where everything is… and maybe that’s the point.

Again, why fix what isn’t broken by rebuilding what isn’t broken from scratch.

Second; One of the reasons why Microsoft (and PC manufacturers) are in such trouble is the number of people who are buying tablets instead; you either want an iPad or an Android tablet.

No matter how awesome a tablet is, it’ll never be as powerful as a desktop computer nor laptop simply because you can put more hardware in either of those two. A tablet is, by its nature, limited by its size. I have yet to meet anyone who has gotten work done with a tablet without the use of a Bluetooth keyboard and even then they have to use an external storage like “Dropbox.”

A laptop/desktop PC might be over kill for your grandmother or great-aunt who only wants to read emails, go on the internet and play solitaire while a tablet is woefully insufficient for doing real work. All those people who really ever needed something small and simple like a tablet are getting those now and is a reason why PC sales are suffering.

What’s going to be curious is the phenomenon that will occur after everyone who wants a tablet gets one.

Third; One of the biggest beefs I have as a graphic designer is the footprint of operating systems – regardless of whether or not it’s a Mac or PC. Meaning, how much system resources are being used by the OS rather than the programs I use to create like Adobe Creative Suite.

If it were at all possible to use Adobe Creative Suite on a Linux machine everything in this article would be moot – I would be switching ever computer in this house (except my wife’s work computer,) over to something like Fedora or Ubuntu because in most instances they have smaller footprints.

As a professional graphic designer – not using the Adobe Creative Suite in this point in time is the surest way to handicap your career. You MUST use something that runs CS (and now “Creative Cloud”) if you want to be considered for a job or freelance work. For Graphic Designers who are still using PC’s, Windows isn’t going anywhere for a very long time unless something horrible happens to them like Windows9 is a bigger dud or Adobe does something daring like release a version of CS/CC for Linux.

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