Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Programmed Obsolescence

What IT companies would never put on their advertisement

Customers are supposed to upgrade or buy a new computer every 3 years, doesn't matter if the old computer still works, if customers have complex setup - doesn't matter if they have spent a lot of time customizing their configuration, or have specifics applications ... Customers have to replace their old devices or computers every 3 years.

Don't believe me?
- Mac OS 9.2 was the last version after that Apple switched to OS X
- Motorola Powerpc is no more, Apple switched to Intel processor
- Adobe Flash is constantly asking for update
- Applecare Protection plan covers 3 years maximum
- Digital port equipped with DVI port, then ADC port, then now HDMI (VGA being still supported! Thank God)
-  Browsers are displaying messages complaining that there aren't supported anymore
- And I'm not even talking about Microsoft, where Windows XP couldn't be killed and new version (like Vista) couldn't even compete with their previous releases  ...

What if customers don't want to upgrade or change their computer?

IT companies will then pretend that suddenly things will not work on an old machine, the usual way is - "Sorry this application won't work unless you have 10.x installed."
the System Requirements BS trick. Or even better new environmental legislation (not RoHS compliant).
Another tricky way is to pretend that your computer is at risk if you don't have the latest version.
Another subtle way is to have the spare parts so expensive it isn't even worth to repair a computer.

Honestly, since my first PC with 5"1/4 floppy disks, I played the "upgrade game" and bought 3"1/2 disks drive, then cd-rom drive and omega zip 100Mb disk, then computer with dvd-rom and cd-burning capacity, then more ram, then more hard disk space, then got some usb disk because there was no cd-rom anymore on the new computer, then instead of having a desktop PC - I started to buy laptop, then a tablet, then a second monitor to have dual display,  then external backup hard disk, then I invested in network switches, then wi-fi, then routeur ... and now I think, we are somewhat at a plateau, the only things that is pushing customers are ... BS incentives like the one above - "Sorry, we don't support this version anymore!" - you are probably broke and we don't care, you need to buy a new machine to keep working with us!

This is BS because Youtube was playing video just fine in 2003, but now you have to update Flash player to watch the exact same thing, the trick is "Oh, we are so sorry, the new Flash Player isn't supported for your old machine!" ... hint, hint ... buy a new PC!


The whole economy depends on the customer buying like a crazy maniac everything that is newly produced - the problem is "new" doesn't necessarily means "better" than the old machine (newer model may or may not have webcam, or microphone, or as many USB ports, or a DVI port ....) 
And usually changing computer means you will have to buy new devices (like scanner, tablet, speakers, printers etc ...) - because of the change in the ports, or the lack of support for drivers with the new OS ...

Where do the old computers pile up?

 I bet somewhere in Africa, making a big heap of electronics, next to a mountain of old printers, and close to an enormous hill of broken monitors.

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