The clash of the tech ecosystems is leaving me lamenting the changes wrought by the emergence of multiple technology platforms. Like the Titans movies there are powerful forces at work: Google, Apple, Microsoft competing for consumer and business users alike.
I recently bought a Windows phone. I like Gmail, and I admire Apple, and use a lot of Dell hardware. Unfortunately, nobody is trying to make any of these compatible with one another anymore.
I like Outlook to manage contacts and calendaring. Previously I could easily sync my smart phone to a PC; regardless of which device I updated.
Now Outlook is rendered useless, and I’m finding I need to work around the issue, double entry, try cloud apps and the like. All of which takes me away from working on my principal tasks.
I’m told by “experts” to give up on my former methods of doing business. They say “…Go all Google; just upload all your contacts/calendaring there…” …” Go all Microsoft… upload all your contacts to their cloud….” Don’t use Gmail, Don’t use Microsoft. Have you thought about switching everything over to Apple— it’s much cooler anyway…” Ugh!
The switching from one platform to another is not a casual decision. Especially when they don’t integrate well between one another.
There’s not only a dollar cost, but a time and an adoption cycle to adjust to with associated opportunity costs. Once you invest time and cost into a new platform: hardware, software, networking, cloud; you’re not likely to want to change your IT support, and start the user investment to change out of the platform all over again.
There was a time when companies use to work on applications that worked across platforms. Albeit that might have been when Microsoft had the singular distinction of near dominance and everyone had to develop for Windows.
I get it… but wonder if as a user there’s a better way to get the best out of all these great companies’ innovations without having to change everything about work and play?
Times are constantly a changing… but that does not mean we have to like it all of the time. For more on the subject read about Apple’s new iPad line up and the free software for their I works, and Microsoft’s challenge to remain relevant with the traditional PC in decline.
Peter Klinge, Jr. is an operating executive with many years of experience in technology and consumer goods companies. His firm works with owners and executives to help their companies reach their next stage of growth.