Some "random" considerations.
Once upon a time the good MS guys made available DOS (and Windows 3.x).
Then time passed and at a certain point they did understand that DOS (and Windows 3.x) was not suitable anymore for some corporate uses, and made NT (3.1/3.5 and finally 4.0).
Then came WIn95.
The idea at the time was clear:
- have the NT family for the "business".
- have the DOS/WIn9x family for "home users".
Windows 2000 was a bettered NT 4.0, actually better, reserved to "business use", Windows ME a bettered WIn98, only worse, reserved to "home users".
The "deviation" came with XP (a bettered Win2K, only worse
For the first time EXACTLY (please let's not discuss the senseless and very minor differences between XP Professional and Home edition, whih are much more "commercial" than "technical", like the various editions of NT 4 an 2K were before, tweakNT being the living proof of this) the same
OS was "pushed" to both kinds of "end users" (and BTW Server 2003 is a bettered 2000, actually better):
- business users were "forced" to have a somehow "less-secure-than-2K" OS
- home users were "forced" to have completely meaningless for them "features" such as authorized login, NTFS with ACL, Quotas and what not
The decision, like it or not, makes a lot of sense from a business standpoint, instead of needing to support and develop two largely different "codebases", you had to support only one (though they failed to have this fully implemented, and there were some issues of "portability" from the "base XP" to the "Server 2003" OS).
No need to talk about Vista
Windows 7 is/was another step in the same direction, though I am far less familiar with this OS and it's Server 2008 R2 counterpart then I am with earlier versions, from what I can see the differences between the two are reduced when compared to previous corresponding versions. (talking about the numberless and senseless versions of Windows 7 - all evidently motivated by commercial reasons would be a digresssion).
So, in the "old days" there were two completely different kinds of users which were little by little forced to use the "same" OS.
Until, say, XP, the hardware available to each group was substantially the same as well as the software (meaning not so much the actual programs, but rather the "scope" of the programs) and the usage paradigm was also very similar.
At the office, you used a word processor, a spreadsheet, and one or more very vertical app (possibly written in FORTRAN or COBOL), later some e-mail program and a browser were added.
A reduced subset of the "corporate users" might have used a graphical program, let's say conventionally either of Photoshop or AutoCAD.
At home, you used a word processor to write (completely useless) letters complaining to the municipality for this or that, a spreadsheet to keep your bank account balance, a graphical app to remove red eyes from the poorly shot photos you took, later an e-mail program and a browser were added (and the municipality saved a lot of money by directly deleting your protests from the server without producing the huge amount of waste paper as before, and you lost a lot of sleep hours by browsing the internet in the night).
Then came the "broadband" internet and the multimedia, so you spent most time at the office trying to download through your employer's faster connection all kind of software you won't ever need and sending to all you ever increasing e-mail contacts funny (mostly actually NOT funny) videos you got from the internet.
At home you spent all your time looking for more NOT funny videos, to get some (usually LOTS) of free p0rn, and the like.
Then you started converting all your VHS and Vynil to digital (and this kept you busy for some time), and downloading all the MP3's and moviesyou could get your hands on.
For the record most of the above were lost forever in a hard disk crash, those that survived you cannot anyway find anymore as they are backed up "somewhere" and you cannot find anymore those CD0s, DVD's, disks, whatever where you surely have them (a situation NOT much different from all the other stuff you have in your basement or attic or your lost during your last move).
Now, you have different devices:
- A desktop at the office.
- A laptop at home.
- A smartphone that -between ringing for incoming calls - keeps beeping and senselessly forwarding you all e-mails.
- A tablet.
The idea (completely senseless of course) is that you should be able to do the "same" things on all these different devices, and eventually have only one: a tablet.
Yes, I have seen the "tablet" version of AutoCAD on the iPad, I won't comment on the usability, set apart "pure browsing" of .dwg's.....
To do the same things on all these devices, the way the good MS guys chose was to "dumb down" the "better working" ones so that your "experience" will be the same on each of those.
For a very large part of the user base (those that passively use whatever they can get from the internet - made/produced by the minority of the "active users") this is an advantage.
For the very smaller part of the user base (those that actually "work" and create things) it is a big nuisance.
But again, from a purely business standpoint, it makes sense.
If you have a product that is (in theory) suited to (say) 95% of the target and is a big PITA for the remaining (say) 5%, would you discard it in favour of continuing your old product that suited the minority but was increasingly - no matter if rightfully or wrongly - frowned upon by the majority that wow
ed at the iPhone first and then is now wow
ing at the iPad?
Same kind of people that would say "Isn't it cute?"
So, the point is, what will the "active" 5% (if you prefer the very few that actually "work") do ?
- keep hang to the "old" OS and continue producing *something*
- change OS to another one and continue producing *something*
- stop being active (what the heck, I'm done with this)