Why Flash died-Proprietary doesn’t work

I’ve been thinking about why Flash died, and it isn’t the technical reasons that most people think it is. I believe it died because proprietary solutions don’t work.


A common sight if you work in IT

Yes Flash had issues with being reliable, safe, and draining batteries. However those were side effects of not being supported as an open solution that no one owns. We have seen over time that when companies try to do proprietary technologies they mostly don’t get market support. Things like Firewire, Apple 30 pin iPhone connection, Apple lightning adapter, Apple Thunderbolt, BeOS, NEXT, many varieties of Unix, Dr. Dos, WordPerfect, Betamax, ect.

There are so many other examples of propriety solutions that had a brief life and then people moved on. Yes there are some proprietary solutions like Microsoft Office, Avery labels, HP printers that are very popular and seem too popular to die. However I believe that in time, those products just like many others before them will become commodities and eventually die. Already things like Google Docs are digging into Microsoft’s Office dominance, and with the rise of PDF and websites/databases, office format is becoming less critical than it once was. I would be surprised if Office survives another 10 years frankly. I see people who have moved to PDF as their preferred workflow and it makes lots of sense for many companies.

The problem with technology from the standpoint of proprietary technologies is that there is always a competitor trying to take away the market share of the popular leader. Even the PDF format which is increasingly becoming more important than Office formats has its competition. Now many companies want their information and things for employees on a webpage for many reasons. It makes sense. Why struggle with trying to find a document in a big directory when you can have things indexed and presented to you more easily?

The web is going to continue to dig at proprietary formats until they die. Then I think the competition will be between CMS like WordPress and Joomla and how easy it is to manage data on a larger level. You see the rise of small/mid-sized businesses and the lack of IT qualified people enhances this self-serve model of document management. It is going to be interesting that IT people will move from managing the desktop to managing a cluster of information points, and one that I welcome.

Is Microsoft Office 2016 worth it?

First look: Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac doesn’t feel like an afterthought | Macworld. This is a pretty good review of what it is like. If you ever have to use Outlook in an office setting you probably welcome that it looks and acts like its windows counterpart. It still doesn’t have full feature parity with Windows, but they are doing better.

First look: Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac doesn't feel like an afterthought | MacworldIt is really unacceptable that Microsoft has taken so long to standardize their interface between Windows and Mac. Too many users have to use a Windows computer at work, and prefer a Mac at home. For them to offer Mac users a second class experience for so long, that is something that was customer hostile. For this reason, I can’t suggest that you buy or support Microsoft on this program. If you want exchange functionality I would suggest Fastmail which has an iOS app and the ability to sync contacts and calender easily. It can also hold files much like Gmail’s Google Drive.

Is this a worthwhile upgrade if you need it? Sure, it works for the most part. I was able to set up an Exchange account. I wouldn’t personally buy it. I think that 2016 is ugly, and 2011 looks nicer. I have worked with the PC version of office and the interface is boring and basic. I don’t think it helps anyone. It is a return to the early days like WordPerfect where the style is minimal and they try to avoid icons. Icons are crucial for casual computer users. There should be an option in programs to allow the different interfaces for programs. For example, the upgrade to Ribbon was so hard for most people. When corporations randomly change interfaces and require users to relearn their program that is the biggest problem that people don’t upgrade. People don’t have infinite time/ability to spend learning. Is it so hard to consider the customer first?

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