Change For the Sake Of Change

Change For the Sake Of Change
22 Jan 13

Regular people don’t talk about it anywhere near as often as one might be led to believe when you read the tech press, but pundits and tech journalists love to share their views and ideas on how some of the largest tech companies should deal with their products. In many, if not most, of the cases they want to change something that goes directly against the fundamental design principles of the product. Of course there are also the fantastically clueless financial analysts who appear to understand amazingly little about what they are supposed to be experts.

Microsoft very often catches heat for what they do or don’t do, mainly focused on Windows and the Office suite, and to a lesser extent the XBox. Windows 8 has been the main target for a little while, and some of the criticism is probably legitimate, but people don’t see the huge leap Microsoft has started taking with it and only focus on the negative aspects. Instead of seeing the potential of the new User Interface That Used To Be Called Metro, they scream and yell for a complete scrapping of it and a move back to the old desktop metaphor that has been around since 1995. While I’m the guy who adamantly says just because something is old doesn’t mean it’s useless or bad, I can also see the great benefit of sweeping the slate clean and starting afresh. Assuming that Microsoft can iron out the most serious problems with the new UI, it can be something truly great!

RIM is another company under fire from the tech pundits, mostly because they haven’t been doing anything new and shiny for a while. While I do agree that there has been stagnation in the product offering, the devices and attached services have indeed been quite functional and useful to those using it. Let’s not forget that RIM has its own aim and philosophy for how mobile devices should look, work and interact with the rest of the digital world. Wanting them to start using Android or Windows Phone, and reduce themselves to yet another hardware vendor, and forgo their own system just shows you how much you are missing the point. They might not be as flashy or trendy right now, but BB10 might be a breath of fresh air. When it finally arrives.

Google oddly enough doesn’t get too much flak for what they do, but there have been voices suggesting the most absurd and downright stupid things one could imagine the company doing. Things like making Android more locked down, keeping the source code only to themselves and their closest partners, in an attempt to thwart more Amazon Kindle Fire style of devices being created. Locking down Android would betray the very core idea behind the system, but that doesn’t stop people from suggesting a total lockdown. Or perhaps how Google should stop doing their advanced research and just focus on the search engine. Because, you know, R&D doesn’t do any good, right? Oh wait…

I don’t even need to mention Apple on this list, as that should be quite obvious to anyone who pays attention to consumer technology in general, no matter what your stance on Apple might be. One moment Apple can be failing to capture enough market shares or have too few products in their current offering, and in the next moment have too much capital available and should scrap their most successful and best selling products. Naturally people have also said that they should effectively turn iOS into Android, start licensing Mac OS X to other hardware manufacturers and scrap the whole iPod concept, because that’s the only way they can stay alive. For a company that’s performing pretty darn well in every metric, it’s difficult to take these “suggestions” as anything but bad comedy.

Wanting change for the sake of change makes little to no sense, and if you don’t even bother trying to understand what the philosophy behind a company, product or system is, you really have no business shooting your mouth off about it. Specially not how it should change in order to suit your personal preferences and use case.

 

Robert Falck

Robert is a freelance tech writer from Sweden. You can follow his posts here on the British Tech Network, listen to him yap away on the British Tech iOS Show and read even more of his stuff on his site streakmachine.com or you can even follow him on twitter @streakmachine or app.net @streakmachine. (But you won’t find him on Facebook!)

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Robert Falck