Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Microsoft to buy Nokia's handset business

I gave up on Microsoft a while ago. For the first few computers I bought, I accepted the notion that it would come pre-loaded with Windows. That's what everyone used. And often there was Office and sometimes additional software like Money. And the most frequent memory that remains is that it was always baffling, needed all kinds of support and not unusually a trip back to the store to have things sorted out. Eventually, I came across the various free "distros" of Linux. They could be downloaded and put on a CD and then you could run the same computer from that. The first one I tried was Knoppix. I still could not do everything I wanted to easily, and spent more time than I wanted to "under the hood." But as it didn't come from a shop, it couldn't go back. Though it could be easily updated or replaced at no, or minimal cost. And Ubuntu even made them look good too.

I also started to use free software. Not software "stolen" or copied but simply available at no charge. Open Office and GIMP have both been steadily improved and replace the very expensive Office and Photoshop, and can produce computer files that interchange with people who still buy that software when necessary.

My children were easy converts to Apple products. Expensive to buy but very easy to use. Eventually I realized that Iw as still spending too much time and effort on geekiness, and got a MacBook Pro.

But my Linux running cheap net book was also not really what I wanted. And when tablets started becoming available I got a Nexus 7 from Google.  Runs Android. Wow what a difference. No cables. Slips in a coat pocket. Works every time. The only thing that is wrong with it is the camera. Which is pointing the wrong way. Selfies only!

I do not use a cell phone very much, but I appreciate that when you need one they are very useful indeed. And increasingly the world seems to expect you to have one: at least the bit of it that I inhabit. I looked for ways to keep the cost down, which meant I avoided the big telcos and iPhones. I got a Nokia smart phone from Wind, and was able to unlock it and take my business to Mobilicity - as reported here. 

Frankly the performance was unreliable at best, useless too often. For instance, car2go use requires a smart phone. You can get by without it but nothing like as conveniently as it ought to be. But my Nokia and its app usually cannot locate me correctly. The contrast to my Google tablet was instructive. So when the price of a Nexus 4 smartphone fell to the same price I once had paid for the Nokia, I ordered one from Google and I am tracking its progress now. I should have it soon.

Nokia abandoned its Symbian operating system and its new phones have been running M$ software for a while. I felt abandoned. The apps that are available still are about as good as the carthago one. Not good enough.

So I feel that the marriage between Nokia and Microsoft is fine. I hope they work nicely together. I doubt I will ever feel it necessary to go back to either.  

What puzzles me are the people who labour on with outdated versions of Microsoft products, simply because they once paid a lot for them. If you could have a newer, better software for free, why would you not cut your losses and dump things that are just frustrating? Life is too short to waste it on bad software and apps.

No comments: