How many of us spend time supporting the PC installs of family, relatives and friends? Who hasn’t taken a call from a family member asking why the laptop won’t load the internet or why, when they click on an application icon, nothing happens?
The vast majority of computer users ask no more of their little boxes of magic than they should power on when commanded and that they should be able to browse the web, send email and write a letter when they wish?
Few of these users even know what multi-tasking is let alone need it so all the hyperbole about its absence is a red herring. They don’t do a dozen things at once on a computer and they methodically open and close applications one at a time. It’s a prayer to the computing gods in the hope that the next time they need to, it will power on and behave!
PC’s have never been friendly despite claims to the contrary. And I use the term “PC’s” in the personal computing sense and not to differentiate Mac/Windows. My parents cannot grasp the complexities and depths of knowledge required to keep even a simple laptop running for more than a few weeks. With updates, anti-virus etc required on an ever more frequent basis they telephone in frustration when yet again it won’t ‘do’ what is asked of it.
I read a superb blog post this morning which prompted this post and it quite rightly asked what other consumer technologies demand we know so much about their operation in order to use them?
Solutions such as the iPad are game changers, we will look back on this time and reflect on the huge change that resulted and laugh at the computers we used to put up with. The iPad might be the catalyst of a long needed revolution in computing, just think, a computer that actually enables us to do what we want and assists us instead of hinder!
And even though my living is made on the internet and in the technology arena I’ll be buying an iPad as soon as they are launched. For me it is the ideal lounge based computer, lying on the couch browsing or updating social networks etc, so much more practical than any laptop.
The days of PC’s with their install routines, updates, defrags and anti-virus etc are numbered. A closed controlled ecosphere with a great user experience may well be the game changer in computing, it certainly was for mobile phones.
I’ve marked the calendar!