Monday, June 3, 2013

PC makers do sooooo not get it!

Today's Wall Street Journal is reporting PC Makers Fight Back Against Mobile Devices.

How will they do this? Why, with "much less expensive laptop computers that have touch screens for tablet-style operation", of course. Well, forget it. Time to sell short.

It's not about hardware. It's about software. Specifically, it's about software pricing. Long gone are the days of one user, one device. Multiple devices in the form of phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops (home and office versions for some) are becoming more often the rule. I have multiple laptops, notebooks, and desktops that are in active use. If I am lucky, a(n expensive!) piece of PC software will let me install it on any computer over which I have exclusive control. I expect this to become the exception as companies monitor installation and use over the Web. I have many programs that monitor installations, and one that, if I make the mistake of leaving it running on any one machine, refuses to run on any other machine. Thank heavens for remote access services so that I can shut it down when it is running on a computer I am not actually using at the time.

Let's contrast this with Android. All of my devices are known by the accounts they are signed registered with. The Google Play Store (nee Market) knows my devices by Gmail account. Amazon's app store knows me by my Amazon account. I have four tablets and three smartphones. When I buy an Android program (most of them costing less than the sales tax on a comparable PC program!) I can install it on any Android device I own. Just knowing I can do that is worth a great deal to me. Getting a new device? No worries. Just enter my Gmail and Amazon accounts and everything is available. Try doing that with a PC.

So, PC makers, you may get me to buy a Windows 8 device if I need it for something I can't do with my other hardware, but give up Android? This is "fighting back"? Well, I suppose if you're trying to break the other guy's fist with your chin...

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