Calculations Underperformed

The heavy hitters of the gaming personal computing industry have been striking out lately, and they don’t appear to know why. Blogphilofilms has a good take on the epic failure of Windows 8. Watch it. He put the nail on the head better than I could have, though I have to say he reminds me of Vizzini, the Sicilian from Princess Bride.

Sure it’s possible to learn the OS–in a short time, even– but millions aren’t, and thus the UI is not serving it’s purpose by design. Capice?

I’m sure someone at Microsoft was crying “inconceivable” when they found out the sales of 8 were worse than Vista. I have to agree with BPF… Windows 8 is “user-hostile”. His point in fine is that Microsoft failed to connect with its users. Yes, he recognizes that 8 was built as a media consumption OS, and that’s another nail on the head.

So I wonder why they just didn’t make Windows 8 Consumer, Windows 8 Producer, and Windows 8 Server?

Probably because that’s a lot of R&D they can’t afford. There’s a lot of logic in adapting versions of your OS to suit industry sector needs. Indeed the security industry makes the upgrade decision for M$ because they won’t budge until they know it’s secure enough to trust. Windows NT and 2003 are M$ most secure products.

They’ve had time to mature. I see no problem with an OS existing for a long time and enduring a lot of punishment. Doing so the OS is refined and becomes increasingly trustworthy. An unpatched OS can become a massive security risk, but maintenance is a product of the systems’ complexity. Hence Apple chose the sturdy and flexible code base known as Unix.

Having open source code streamlines release schedules and puts them less out of pocket. This enables Apple to make money, rather than spend it, and who can argue with that? The contrast of modern consumerism is where the plan goes awry.

Herein lies the problem: Competition exists in upgrades and new features. Do we need a ribbon menu for M$ Office? No. Millions use M$ Office alternatives that push the older interface as a significant perk. I ascribe to that – being able to write is better than having to waste time learning how to handle the program before I can get my thoughts onto the page.

Sometimes change is necessary, and sometimes optimizations of thought, not just code, bring much needed refinement to the time spent, which means more dollars in your pocket. This is not just about Microsoft though. Sony has recently announced the PlayStation 4, and its features highlight what Sony considers to be most valuable:

Control.

Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony all share this, but that’s fatally obvious. Nintendo has its restrictive DRM scheme, Microsoft pushed media-as-a-service with Windows 8, and Sony is caught up in the trap I pointed out not so long ago: social gaming as a service. These are all smoke and mirrors, as you might expect.

If you weren’t expecting, wake up.

Nintendo’s greatest fear is piracy, which is rampant. Anyone with a modicum of computer skill can handily emulate the NES right up to the Wii with better presentation than the real hardware offers. Microsoft is a marketing hound with an eye on your wallet and dictating what you consume. Sony promises entertainment, if we’ll just submit our every whim and passion to their control.

Nintendo is rapidly losing intellectual marketspace to up-and-comers such as the Ouya, and established leaders such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Microsoft is losing relevance in an industry that clearly still depends upon desktop computers, because mobile computing does not meet our needs as the producers the social networking moguls need us to be. Sony promises the premium experience in exchange for every personal detail we willingly–or unwittingly–part with.

We have a bracing cycle of hardware updates to the tune of approximately five years in the console gaming industry. Operating Systems are effectively updated whenever the developers get bored. One idea leads to a whole new architecture. It’s a naturally procedural process that occurs frequently.

We used to be able to pay for it, but this isn’t the case any more. We’ve been in steady decline since 2006, and its the refusal of the truth that drives companies like Atari and THQ into the ground. The pace of computing technology is so rapid that it serves as an effective microcosm of the world at large.

What hope remains means accepting what is… but I wouldn’t bank on that.

I won’t be buying a PlayStation 4. It’s fatal flaw is the cost of the games that it will need to survive, just as the Wii U is debilitated by its lackluster library. Granted that consoles take time for developers to make good games, the fact is we’re looking at a smaller economy every day, and fewer dollars for every one who’s asking.

This really could be the year of the microconsole.

hastypixels
hastypixels

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