Monday, October 29, 2012

More on Leadership and Why I'm Not Upgrading to Windows 8

Because one of my readers took the time to post a thoughtful comment to my post entitled "5 Reasons I am Not Upgrading to Windows 8 at This Time," I felt the need to clarify my reasoning as to why a Windows 8 upgrade is not in my picture. Because my explanation is longer than the comment-reply feature can handle, I include it here.

You have my apologies for your disappointing experience with this post, but my target for this post was clearly Windows 8 and my own experience and decision not to upgrade at this time, because everything I read about the new OS indicates that it would be a poor purchase decision for me. Like everyone else, before I spend my money on devices and new operating systems, I turn to the web for information, and in this case I did. Like the web link I included in the original post, article after article indicated to me that upgrading to Windows 8 with my current devices would not be a wise decision. All of the information I have says it was designed for "touchscreen" devices, and that those who purchased it, and were trying to use the OS with a mouse and keyboard, were finding the experience miserable at best. In the interest of fairness though, I am going to change the title of that post slightly to simply read, “5 Reasons I’m Not Upgrading to Windows 8 at This Time,” and I will do a follow up post listing all the resources that led me to make that decision not to upgrade.

It is true, I have not physically tried Windows 8, but that does not mean I can't use the experiences of others to make a judgment on whether the OS it right for me. All consumers do this. I have no testing budget for the software and hardware I describe on this blog, so that means, like any consumer, I can't just rush out and buy every new OS, software platform, or device that comes along "and try it for the sake of being a good leader."  I can and will continue to share both my experiences, and the resources that I can to help others make decisions best for their particular circumstances. In this case, the best decision I can make, with the information I have, is not to upgrade to Windows 8 at this time.

As I mentioned in the above post, I also ran the compatibility utility available from Microsoft as well, and there were way too many "driver incompatibilities" as well. The last time I did an operating system upgrade, I spent an entire day finding compatible drivers. My decision right now is based on the fact that I would have to spend a great deal of time trying find compatible drivers for things like my laptop’s Bluetooth interface, DVD burner, and several other onboard hardware devices.  There were just too many devices in the list that would force me to search the web for Windows 8 compatible devices, and that does not weigh to well against the minimal gains I might get from upgrading. Perhaps in a few months, when Microsoft has had time to work out the bugs, I can reconsider, but my laptop is running smoothly right now. If Microsoft wants me to upgrade, it is up to them to create a product that doesn't change that, and part of that is ensuring that the transition to their new products is a smooth one.

As for the need for a "consistent experience across Windows devices"? I don't need that experience, because I only have one device with Windows, my laptop.  I have recently purchased three Android tablet and e-reader devices, so I am very unlikely to purchase a Windows tablet. I also do not have plans to purchase a Windows phone. This means I have no “Windows devices on which to have a consistent experience,” so that selling point does not work for me.

Anyone can clearly see from my blog that I am willing to try new and different devices and software systems, so you could hardly accuse me of advocating for "stagnation." Choosing not to upgrade to Windows 8 at this time and sharing that decision with my readers does not mean that I am trying to advocate for anything other than informing those who might be in my same situation, that a Windows 8 upgrade might not be in their best interest.

I would love to try Windows 8, but unfortunately, because of the way Microsoft has engineered this new operating system, for me to do so, I would have to purchase a new device to fully experience it the way designers intended, and I don’t have the kind of resources to rush out and purchase a new tablet or a touchscreen computer to sample that experience.

Does any of this mean I will not upgrade in the future? No, but if I do, it will be because the software meets my needs, not because it is latest thing out there. From my perspective, leadership isn't about avoiding stagnation; those who do so, often find themselves only trendy and ineffective leaders who pursue the flavor of the week. Leadership for me is about making wise decisions using the best available information out there, and in this case, at this time, the best information is telling me to avoid a Windows 8 Upgrade at this time.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to reply to my comment and I understand and appreciate the points you've made.

    I use an Apple phone, a ChromeBook, a Windows (8 now) PC and a Google Nexus tablet. I'm not looking for a consistent Windows UX either but I can see what MS is going for.

    In fairness, I think you're describing why you wouldn't upgrade personally whereas I was reading your blog as a reflection of you as a leader.

    It's in this context that that I took issue with the "If it ain't broke..." sentiment. I think innovation flourishes when there's a culture that supports exploration. Wisdom rarely begets innovation. In fact, reckless abandon more often begets innovation. I think it's the leader's role to create a culture that legitimises exploration and then to hold the reins.

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and please don't apologise for catalysing the discussion.