“Windows 8.1 Will Include Boot to Desktop Option to Bypass Metro Interface”

I’m reminded of the difference between Apple and Microsoft:

Apple’s products say, “You can’t do that because we think it would suck.”

Microsoft’s products say, “We’ll let you try to do anything on anything if you really want to, even if it sucks.”

I Know More About Humidifiers Than I Did Yesterday

Marco writes interesting words about not-so-interesting topics. Here’s an article about humidifiers, with a link to another earlier piece.

These posts gave me food for thought. I went out and bought this hygrometer so I can check the humidity in my bedroom and office — if it varies from the recommended 30%-50%, I’ll be sure to give a humidifier a try.

Obsolete

Steve Jobs, 2007:

There is always change and improvement, and there is always someone who bought a product before a particular cutoff date and misses the new price or the new operating system or the new whatever. This is life in the technology lane. If you always wait for the next price cut or to buy the new improved model, you'll never buy any technology product because there is always something better and less expensive on the horizon. The good news is that if you buy products from companies that support them well, like Apple tries to do, you will receive years of useful and satisfying service from them even as newer models are introduced.

It's easy to be annoyed when a newly released piece of software doesn't work on your not-yet-old device. I'm looking at you, iPad 1 owners.

Unfortunately, there's normally a reason for it.

As Marco points out, when the original iPad shipped in early 2010, it ran iOS 3.2 and supported very few background tasks. For this reason, the compromise of including just 256MB of system memory seemed fair at the time. However as iOS matured, the need for background tasks such as iCloud and third-party music apps has demanded more memory. Now the lack of RAM seems like an oversight; a poor design choice. "Why can't my iPad run iOS 6? Apple is trying to make me upgrade to a new iPad just to give them more money!"

It's important for gadget buyers to remember that the first generation of a new product is likely to have more compromises than later generations. With any version 1.0, creators put the fruit of their labours out into the world and watch everyone discover, explore and criticise the hard work that went into them. Whilst any company should always be learning from their existing products, I imagine the releases which teach creators the most are the 1.0s. These releases give the most insight into how the product is used, what works well and what needs to be improved.

A good test for this theory will be to see which changes are made when the iPad mini is updated for the first time. Will the screen be the big compromise of the first generation? Will it be the CPU? Something else?

It's important to note that buying products based on what they can do today is important. Don't assume your device will be updated for years to come. Don't buy a device because you expect an important feature to be coming in a future update: wait until the feature you need is available or find something else. This will lead you to be more content with the products you have. You'll worry less about devices you own being obsolete and focus more on enjoying what you own.

The technology world is always changing. Technology is like a piece of music; you enjoy it for the journey itself, not reaching the end.

Microsoft's Chief Patent Counsel Talks a Lot, Says Very Little

Marco will love this:

What we strive to do is integrate as well as we can with all the different business divisions to really understand where the technology investments are being made, where the innovation is occurring, what the priorities are for the future, and put a patent strategy in place that is aligned with and supports the business.

I read that entire sentence and didn't learn anything. I nearly dozed off a couple of lines in.

Why is it so difficult for companies to communicate clearly?

The difference between Apple and Microsoft in two sentences

Marco recently visited a Microsoft Store and played with the new Surface. I wish there was a Microsoft Store I could visit nearby, because I know exactly what he means about Microsoft operating in “an alternate universe” and would love to judge it for myself. I want to play with a Surface and Type Cover to really get a feel for the hardware, too. Finding out if my expectations are accurate would be enlightening.

Marco's entire piece is worth a read, but what stood out to me was the way in which he neatly characterised the differences between Apple and Microsoft, with regards to their views on products and control:

Apple’s products say, “You can’t do that because we think it would suck.”

Microsoft’s products say, “We’ll let you try to do anything on anything if you really want to, even if it sucks.”

Apple has the balls to say no. Sometimes it's difficult, sometimes they take shit for it and sometimes they're plain wrong. But not often. Remember Flash?