Two Steps forward, a few steps back… Operating System Aggravations

Jan 21, 2019 | Technology, Uncategorized

As aggravating as it is, often the technology that we have today was brand new six months ago. As quickly as things change in the world having the latest and greatest often yields painful learning curves and the need to update and upgrade our wares constantly.

If there is one thing that I have learned over the last 20+ years is that the latest and greatest technology can often be a pain the backside for the first few months you have it.  A prime example is computer operating systems. No matter the operating system, Windows, Apple, Linux etc. There are always several things that have changed from the previous version.

I remember managing a Network Operations center about the time Windows ME and Windows 2000 was released. When our support techs got a call and new operating system was released the support technician, would cringe, take a deep breath and proceed with the support call. The difficulty was not knowing the OS. The difficulty was explaining to the client over the phone how what and where to find things. Much different from today’s ability to connect to the client’s desktop directly with a secure remote connection program.

Most PC users would agree that Windows XP was one of the happiest, celebrated operating systems. Easy to navigate, not very difficult a learning curve. Despite the missed promise of not having to reboot for every little thing, XP made everyone happy for well over a decade. Till Microsoft informed that the operating systems would no longer give extended support after April 8, 2014. A sad day indeed. People have used XP for a long time and got used to its nuances good and bad.

Windows Vista… initially, there was a lot of confusion especially in the area of performance issue related to gaming, installed bloatware, software compatibility, and energy consumption. Through time most of these issues were resolved through a few service packs but issues were often caused by hardware driver compatibility issues and software updates.  Not Microsoft. Windows 7 brought new life into the Windows brand with several features reminiscent of Windows XP… but where did the start menu go… Oh, there’s is a windows button in its place.

Windows 8 by far had been disappointing in respect to the navigation and overall aesthetics. Social media style tile menus, even more, confusing keyboard shortcuts to switch from tiling to the desktop. After an outcry from the populous Win 8.1 was released and changed operating system items to be friendlier. If your still really put off by Windows 8 and its menu scheme there are several “classic shell” or overlay programs that can help give your OS that XP/Win 7 feel. If you have the means I strongly urge anyone to update from Windows 8 to Windows 10. I assure you, you will be much better off.

For data on the lifecycle of currently supported Windows operating systems, check out this official Microsoft website:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet

Here are release notes on MAC/Apple OSX:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacOS

In closing… With technology, there is a period often during the initial release that there are bugs, problems and design flaws that the original manufacturer may have overlooked despite focus groups and general testing. Waiting to get the new smartphone, laptop, OS, smartwatch after a few months of its initial release in some cases will give time to iron out some functional issues and save you some money and heartburn.

By keeping up with your Operating system security patches and releases you will be in good shape. With the addition of a good antivirus and malware protection suite…. But that’s another matter altogether.

Till next time….

Brendon S. Bean
Bean DataServicesContact Us

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Brendon Bean is the owner of Bean Data a Computer, Network, Web and Information Technology related services company in Gray Maine. For inquiries related to this article, technology-related issues and or topics that may be used in future articles feel free to contact him at info@beandata.com