I get excited about technology. If I didn't I wouldn't be in this business. If you're like me, you just have to have the latest gadget. It's fulfilling in a weird, geeky sort of way to show off the latest and greatest technology to a room full of onlookers. You walk into the room and someone says, "Hey, isn't that the <insert latest geeky technology name here>?" You say, "Sure is," and then you spend a good half hour or so going over the features and functions like you’re a used car salesman trying to hit your monthly sales quota or a Price Is Right prize model showing your proud gadget like it's a newborn baby.
While it's fulfilling, and sometimes seems to be a bit of an OCD, it's becoming ever more evident that being first is not always a best case.
In the Enterprise, we've all learned that rolling out the latest software product, or most current security update, can have a negative impact. Most companies are fearful of dot zero (.0) products from Microsoft and generally wait until the first service pack is released. Even more recently, in Does Microsoft have a Quality Problem?, I talked about the latest round of Windows updates and how several issues with multiple patches is only another footstep on a trail of release failures in the last couple years.
Still, it's almost painful to see cool, new technology released and not take part in it right away. At least it is for me. And, it's going to be tough for me to do, but I have to learn to take a step back, or take the Enterprise mentality for new gadgets.
Here's a couple reasons why:
- If you read Paul Thurrott's Short Takes for July 19, 2013, Paul runs down the latest Microsoft earnings report. One of the biggest stories from the earnings report is that Microsoft has taken a $900 Million write-down on the Surface RT, meaning they made a whole heck-of-a-lot more than they could sell. I was an early adopter of Surface RT, had the thing in my hands a week after it released. I love it, but it seems no one else does. So, I may have been an early adopter, but the life of the Surface RT is close to an end, it seems. Support for it will probably tank and leave me with a nice paperweight. I don't think I'll be showing that off to a room full of people anymore. Microsoft has already dropped the price on the Surface RT, but with so many left in stock, you have to wonder how they'll get rid of them, particularly with a v2 on its way.
- In another news item (You Got Your Xbox LIVE in My Office 365!), Paul reports that customers signing up for an Office 365 Home Premium (or Office 365 University) account between July 18, 2013 and September 28, 2013 will get a free year of Xbox Live Gold. Me = stunned. My family and I could have used another year of Xbox Live Gold for free, but I did the early adopter thing again and outfitted my entire family and their computers with an Office 365 subscription a couple months back.
BTW: I was also an enormous Zune fan, owned a Motorola Xoom, and still have an HP Touchpad. What does that say about me? Either I'm a huge fan of the underdog, or my propensity for having the latest-and-greatest is getting me into trouble and helping erect a stack of failed devices in the corner of my office like a mini episode of Hoarders. If I had waited on the Surface RT and just purchased the Pro version, and if I had stuck with Office 2010 for just a little while longer, I'd have all the spoils and none of the remorse.
So, what do you do? Are you like me and start scheming ways to obtain new technology when its future release is announced, or do you wait for the peer reviews and apply your IT Enterprise experience before making the jump?