Listen to the billions of us who use technology on a daily basis. They would be protesting in the streets if technology hit them with new standards—standards that would ruin the skills and knowledge of a dedicated generation of users.
Let’s face it: users can’t stand change. Change leads to new skills, which many will argue that they don’t need to learn. Why change what works? Everything about a computer works in such a precise manner: mouse clicking, reading email, printing a document, sending an attachment, watching a news video, working on a spreadsheet—this is all routine, all comfort-level skills that took twenty years to learn. Why tip the cart over and dump out all the good stuff? Why change the formula of technology’s success?
Because the industry intends to show its true colors.
First and foremost, technology is a business model. The industry needs standards to make money and survive, and without constant upgrades to technology, the whole thing would flop. Secondly, there are bills to pay, offices to run, employees on the payroll, servers to repair, and software upgrades to stop hackers and thieves. It’s a business. And like any successful business venture, the retooling of its pieces makes for a better-run product.
But what’s so different about 2017 with technology? Is it forced upgrades for good intent? Or does it spell out digital socialism? Whatever way you examine these questions, it all comes down to one thing: standards. You are living in a time where upgrades, whether forced or not, will move forth to become the official standard of using a computer. There’s no way around it. Microsoft does it. Apple does it. Don’t forget Samsung. Don’t pass by Hewlett-Packard. Even websites like Amazon, Google, MSN and Yahoo do it. They are all involved in the same philosophy of regulating and maintaining computer standards. In fact, each of these companies have been releasing new content on all of their products since the beginning of this year—and hardly anyone knows about. Forced upgrades just happen. Upgrades are a natural part of an evolving digital age. Their reasons are simple: it’s because of Russian hacking, identity theft crimes, and also amateur programmers who write malware software to attack institutions.
Since the world is under “digital attack,” the response in the industry is to form support around standardization, a term that hardly has worked in the past. Every few years another round of products emerge that pushes the industry forward, not toward an ethical standard. Look no further than Microsoft’s slow progression: Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. That’s eight generations (and counting) of software development. That’s eight generations of computer learning skills. It’s interesting to note that not every computer user on the planet has worked with and mastered all of these software versions. Millions and millions of users have skipped over one generation to the next. Therefore, standardization seems an almost weak attempt by the industry to structure technology.
The same failure of standardization holds true with Apple. Their laundry list of version names speak volumes about a product that’s developing at a rapid pace: Cheetah/Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks, Yosemite, El Capitan and Sierra. That’s twelve generations (and counting) of software development. Once again, there’s not many users who can claim they spent time and money purchasing each version.
2017 is the year of set standards, real industry colors, and true digital socialism. You can’t blame people for their personal frustrations, their outbursts of confusion, and their dissatisfaction to constant change. They’ve been taught to either sink or swim in the maddening waters of this digital era.
Author's Note: Here's a part of the industry that no one really talks about: digital socialism. In some odd way, every single year, you can understand how their "standardization practices" are forcing users into a world of limited choices and products. With each "digital attack" that hits the industry, the common response forms around more rules, more standards, and more control. It's getting to a point that users won't be able to help the industry to help itself: they'll have complete control over the Internet, equipment, software, hardware, creativity, and system upgrades. Now doubt, digital socialism is the direction of an industry that keeps offering more promises of perfection and digital bliss.
Want a break from regulations? Read this: Ordinary Reflections.