A Small Petition and a Big Problem . . .

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I got this email, from which I quote:

I have just purchased an HP ipaq/phone, the hw6955 and HP has decided to NOT offer an update from Windows Mobile 5 to Windows Mobile 6 like ASUS and DeLL do even though there is no hardware incompatibility as there was on their previous hw6500 series. This was why they didn’t offer a WM2003SE to WM5 update, two years ago.

I know this really doesn’t concern you but there is an online petition to try and persuade HP, and while I don’t expect it to succeed I remain hopeful and determined to do something about it.

I am asking you to please read it over and perhaps sign if you believe in it, but more importantly, would it be possible to put up a small article about this on your main page? I will do my best to raise awareness in the computer world, starting with Futuremark.com in the hope that more computer educated individuals sympathise with me and the other 6900 users and help us.

I thank you very much for your time.


Glad to do the favor, for whatever good it does, and that’s the real problem here.

Let’s face it, support is a four-letter word in the tech industry. In general, a product comes out, it gets supported for about a year, then it gets dropped like a hot potato.

This doesn’t strike me as being a good thing.

Yes, support costs money, etc., etc., etc… but if you bought a computer and it came without a CPU, I doubt you’d accept the explanation, “Well, CPUs cost money!”

What’s worst about it all is that when you buy a new product, you almost never get any idea what support you’re going to get with the product and for how long you’re going to get it. Off the top of my head, MS is the only software company that says how long they’ll support a product, and if they can say how long, why can’t everyone else do the same, short or long?

Contrast that situation to that of a warranty. A warranty states quite specifically what gets covered and for how long. It may be good, bad or indifferent, but at least you know what the deal is when you buy it.

How many of you have had to junk perfectly good, less-than-ancient equipment because the maker of the equipment didn’t feel like writing a Vista driver for it? Would you have bought the equipment if you had known that to be the case?

The standard answer to such a problem is government regulation. Since in this field many lose their reason, and sometimes even bladder control at the mere mention of such words, let’s put the ball in your court. The market has obviously failed to deliver in this situation: the answer essentially is, “We’ll do whatever we feel like, consumer be damned.”

Does anyone have any ideas on what could be done to remedy or at least ease this problem without getting the government involved?

As the pace of true innovation (as opposed to bloating systems with unused and mostly unwanted features) slows to a crawl in a mature industry, maybe we need to pay a lot less attention to new stuff, and a lot more attention to the maintenance of the old stuff. New cities need new highways, but at some point in time, fixing the potholes takes precedence.

You know where to find me.


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