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Change for the Sake of Change?

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Video Notes

Different people react differently to change.

One of the common themes I hear in comments from people reacting to change is “oh, they’re just changing things for the sake of changing things”. Many people blame their frustrations on a perception that the change happened for no other reason than some random need to change something.

Change for the sake of change alone.

Uh … no.

In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth.

You may not understand a change, you may not like a change, you may think a change is a huge and horrific mistake…. and all that can be very valid and true

But don’t think for a moment that the change wasn’t made for a real thought-through reason. You may not like or agree with the reason, but I can assure you that there was a reason.

And changing something just to change something ain’t it.

The problem seems to be that when many people can’t understand a change – or when they dislike a change – they immediately jump to the conclusion that it was made without any reason at all.

Just because you can’t think of a reason, doesn’t mean there isn’t one.

Look, it doesn’t make business sense to randomly change things for no reason at all. And don’t for a moment think that every change in technology isn’t rooted in some kind of business justification.

Technology is a very competitive place, and that means that companies are constantly having to innovate – which means change – just to stay relevant and alive.

  • Companies that don’t change will die – it’s as simple as that.
  • Products that don’t evolve, disappear – eventually being replaced by more current alternatives.

Change always happens for a reason.

  • It might be in response to a competitors improved set of features
  • It might be due to extensive testing that shows some new way of doing things is more intuitive and easier to use than the old.
  • It might be in response to larger missions like reducing the number of different user interfaces across different platforms.
  • It might be to simply add features that presumably add value.
  • It might be to cater to a specific subset of valuable customers, like the business customer.

There’s ALWAYS a reason, and that reason is NOT just to change things for the fun of it.

Now, here’s the most important thing of all:

Like I said, there’s always a reason, but…

…. that reason might not apply to you.

…. that reason might not be at all obvious.

…. and that reason might just turn out to be wrong.

You might not like the change

But there’s always a reason for it.


And yes, it might help if the companies making the changes explained them better.

And then again – it might not. All the explanation in the world isn’t going to make you like something you just don’t like.

In which case, it might be time for a change of your own: to a new solution that’s more to your liking.

That kind of change IS in your control.

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56 comments on “Change for the Sake of Change?”

  1. Quote

    “Like I said, there’s always a reason, but…

    …. that reason might not apply to you”


    Sir! Are you implying that everything isn’t about me?! Are you saying that Windows doesn’t change its operating system purely to inconvenience me? That Microsoft doesn’t alter Office from time to time for no other reason than to annoy me? That the creators of the software I use reconfigure it periodically based on considerations other than my own personal preferences?

    That is utter balderbash.

    You wrote this column just to tick me off, didn’t you?

    • Sadly there are people who at least act as if the changes were made purely to annoy them, and for no other reason. (But, no, this post isn’t about you. Hopefully that doesn’t annoy you, too. :-) ).

  2. Leo i think this is great and very straight to the point, i think allot of people respond to change in different ways some just plain old don’t like it and some don’t care, you hit all the points in one 5 min video impressive :)

  3. You and I may not agree on this one. I’ve seen MS Office change over the years. And I’ve seen AutoCAD change over the years. And in many instances, the changes did nothing to improve function. simply they expect to put out a new version every X number of months.

    But suppose they didn’t put out a new version of the software? Then less revenue, and no reason to keep some very good software writers on staff. So the business reason is to make money. That smacks me as being disrespectful to me as a customer. If a software product has gone as far as it realistically needs to go, then it’s time to create a brand new product, that’s never been done before. Not play with the user interface.

  4. Your analysis is simply put: wrong. There are times that change is made simply for the sake of change. As a software developer, I have sat in requirements meetings where that is indeed the justification provided for the requested change. Put another way, customers (sadly) perceive that there needs to be visible change in the product to believe it is alive and changing, and thus at times some product management can (and does) advocate for: (visible) change for the sake of change. The truly sad thing is when this occurs while other (often invisible to the UX) areas of the product which actually do need change go unchanged due to a lack of development &/or testing resources. But don’t be fooled into thinking that product change for the sake of change does not occur, because it does.

    • Well, then there *is* a reason for the change — if customers “perceive that there needs to be visible change in the product to believe it is alive and changing”, then the reason for the change was to keep existing customers “happy”. Unfortunately, if that means there isn’t any resources left for “real” changes, then if falls under Leo’s category of “that reason might just turn out to be wrong”.

  5. Leo, I think you’re well-intentioned, but miss the mark on a couple of things.

    Obviously, Microsoft is the first entity that comes to mind in this discussion. While logic says that they change things (like operating systems) because “change is needed,” they fail to recognize that for many people, change is NOT needed in many areas. Sure, faster computers are great–let’s change as needed to get the benefits of faster operating . But don’t tell me that I have to give up using Microsoft Word 2000 and force me to spend money on a “new and improved” software, when my needs for word processing have really NOT changed in well over ten years! That’s like saying “Well, your car is 16 years old, and even though it’s running perfectly, we’re not going to let you drive it any more because we think you shouldn’t.” THAT is bad change! Innovate as needed, but don’t force it. I honestly DO believe that MS subscribes to “change for the sake of change” and in particular, change for the sake of profit. How many “new and improved” pitches are thrown in our face regularly, from technology to items in the supermarket? It all boils down to the gorilla in the room making decisions for everyone, saying “accomodate or die.” And that’s a philosophy best left in the real jungles of the world.

  6. I could not disagree more with your statements about ‘change for the sake of change’. Here in the Flint Michigan area we are well familiar with change for the sake of change. We buy and drive these ‘changes’ -remember cars with ‘fins’? And in the education business there is always change in the was concepts are presented -which makes parents happy -but student test scores stay the same. Finally the computer industry saddled itself with Windows 8 (bloat ware?) and the public rejected it at a terrible cost to MS

  7. Ha! When I read your article, my first thought was “SO?” My second thought was that you’re either waxing philosophical, or ticked off at one or more of us readers. Of course there’s always a reason … several in fact … but that doesn’t mean that the reasons are good. Yes, I know you said that too, but I’m just reserving my right to be annoyed when MS releases something like 8, or Ubuntu decides to shoot itself in the foot and make life easier for Linux Mint.

    As always, thanks for the columns. I enjoy every one, even when I’m annoyed. ;)

  8. I agree. Change happens for a reason. Unfortunately, all too often the reason for the change is marketing. Why do companies splash “new and improved” on a box of Tide when the only thing that is new and improved is the box? Marketing. Why do people spend hundreds of dollars to get the new iPhone that is only 1 mm thinner? Marketing. In the latter case, a side by side comparison of two generations of iPhone showed that, yes, the new model was 1 mm thinner, however, edge contouring and creative lighting made the newer model look much more than 1 mm thinner. And marketing a curved iPhone as an improvement? Put a flat iPhone on a bench next to a curved iPhone and sit on them both and see which fares better.

    Change is not necessarily innovation.

    • So install the UBitMenu and say goodbye to the ribbon while still being supported by Microsoft. Just like I install Classic Shell on all Windows 8.1 machines … and probably also on Windows ‘X’ as its start menu has also been ‘improved’ to the point of unuseability.
      As Leo says, there’s always a reason, you right may not like it.

  9. Leo, we have all heard this argument so many times. Let’s change it here and now for the sake of it. Some things have improved in computers since the 1990s – some things have stayed exactly the same as they ever were. Some of the faults and snags are still with us, even after all this time. Some of the things that we loved being able to do with our computers are no longer available. To some people, sure the changes are improvements, but where some improvements have been obviously necessary they have not happened. Failing to change things for the sake of failing to change things? – Ask my wife, as I’m always grouching about the computer and she will add things to my list! (In Paint we used to be able to save the colour box. We used to be able to undelete things. We used to be able to defrag every single pixel or byte – that’s an improvement? Change for the sake of keeping people buying stuff – obviously if they don’t make any changes and people keep their old computers with no built-in obsolescence, the computer industry would have a lot of time on their hands and have to find other things to do. So they have. Changes for the sake of changes. Harrumph. (And when will programmers learn that English spellings and American spellings can both be equally correct?)

    • I’ll respond to one of your examples. It’s not possible to defrag a computer 100% because operating systems, now, use things like virtual memory to fill in when you don’t have enough RAM. These virtual memory files can’t be defragged because Windows needs to keep this open to operate. There are other files in a similar situation such as certain system files. The change in Paint, since most people don’t use it, but use other more powerful free programs, MS may simply have decided to save money by supporting a simpler (you can say inferior) version of paint. Again, not for the sake of change, but for the sake of saving money.

  10. I disagree. Two examples.. I’ve been using Word 2003 for many years. Now I get word documents that are marked .docx. I generally can’t open them. Only gibberish comes up, and I’ve downloaded compatibility products from MS but it doesn’t help.

    Second example, Yahoo Mail. I’ve been using this for ever. A couple of weeks ago all the formatting options just disappeared. No font, colors, bold, italics, underline, emoticons, etc. No way to contact Yahoo either.

    • This doesn’t mean that there weren’t reasons for the change. There were. They were just reasons that didn’t make sense for you, or aren’t even explained anywhere. I can postulate on .docx (it’s a smaller file format, being compressed, and as I understand it capable of holding more – those would be reasons, regardless of whether they apply to you). You can get a compatibility pack for Word 2003 that should open them. Or OpenOffice is free and understands them as well.

      • You are right, there is always a reason for change. Sometimes, though, change for the sake of change may be the reason.

        • Naturally I disagree. The closest I’ll come is change for the sake of marketing or sales. However even then I don’t believe it’s as prevalent as people think. I honestly do believe that most change is well intentioned. It may be often wrong, or ill-advised, or mis-targetted, but it’s generally intended to make things better.

  11. Oh, Leo, I disagree; sort of. Yes, there may have been a vague marketing reason to make a change; prime example is taking away a fully functional, user friendly, drop-down menu system in Word and replacing it with a poorly designed, user unfriendly “Ribbon” just to make the program look different. They didn’t add vast amounts of new functions, just shuffled things around and renamed a few so you had to relearn the product you’d been comfortable with for years. Perhaps a little more input from actual users of a product would be helpful in determining whether or not a proposed change is actually needed. I’ve gotten so irritated and wasted so much time looking for a particular function buried in the ribbon that I’ve given up and installed a little program that gives me back my original menus. It allows me to be much more productive and less frustrated. And no, I’m not afraid of change; I typically love learning new things.

    • I can almost guarantee that the ribbon was not “just to make it look different”. I’m convinced that it was tested and that users – probably mostly new users – found it easier to use. That’s a reason. It may not be the right reason, and it may not apply in your situation, but it’s most definitely not just to change it for fun.

  12. There is always a reason. But not always in the interest of the majority of users. One thinks about the regular changes in the MS Office suite. It has added more features but might it also be that a certain company is no longer selling as many as it would like ? To change the format of Word and Excel, so that people sticking with the older version are unable to read the new ( unless they buy the new version or find another way to see the documents, Powerpoints and spreadsheets they receive from others… Or was that a change which brought some other benefit to users, rather than Msoft ?

  13. Leo, you’ve been sipping the Kool-Aid.

    When it comes to software, it frequently is just change for the sake of change. No, it’s not called that. It’s called trying to sell more software. If your product stays the same, your existing customers aren’t going to buy more copies. You can’t sell it to people who already looked at it and passed. You need to change the program to try to entice new sales.

    That pressure to change may result in great advances. But it more easily leads to creeping feature-itis and bugs. Microsoft has not added a single useful feature to Microsoft Word for Windows in the past ten years. There is nothing in Word 2007, 2010, or 2013 that lets me write documents that are any better than I could do with Word 2003.

    Some (many?) software vendors place more value on potential customers than on their installed base. How often have you heard the justification for a completely revamped user interface is that it is easier to learn? That is true ONLY for those who are not already using the program. For the installed base, the new user interface is a productivity disaster.

    It is change for the sake of change. Change for the hope that the changed version will be attractive to those who didn’t like the current version.

  14. Change for the sake of Change?
    Windows Vista: January 2007
    Windows 7: July 2009
    Windows 8: October 2012
    Windows 10: October 2015 (Most likely release date)
    Most home users don’t need or want a new Windows OS every two to three years! We will eventually be held hostage by the Anti-Virus programs that no longer support our version of Windows. If the programs that I love were compatible with Linux Mint I would switch in a heart beat! I just retired last year. The State agency that I worked for was still running Windows 2000 and there was an Anti-Virus program that supported it for a fee of course. The only problems that we ran into were incompatible Word and Excel documents that would be emailed to us but once the sender was aware of the problem, the sender would convert it to Word or Excel 2003 and resend it. Rather than coming out with a new OS every two to three years Microsoft should continue to offer updates for a yearly or monthly subscription fee. Same for Anti-Virus programs. Just my thoughts.

    • Subscriptions are another headache. If it’s not buy a new computer or a new OS it’s PAY for updates and frankly, food or computers is not an issue, it’s a non-starter for a lot of people.

      Declaring hardware obsolete due to a software change is unacceptable, whether it’s attributed to safety issues or not. The real injury to Microsoft isn’t releasing a ‘dud OS’, it’s the poisoning of attitudes to acceptance of 8’s replacement by many. Users wanted the ability to retain their equipment and save their own economies and they still feel rejected. Linux is still NOT the answer and it’s developers don’t seem to get it either. Apple isn’t the answer either or they’d be a standard (instead of the ‘think outside the box brand’ that is spurned by the same people that can’t afford a new Windows OS and computer).

      Remember the movie ‘Mr. Mom’? What the public didn’t want was a fancy label, they wanted cheaper tuna.

      We are waiting for Schooner Tuna.

  15. I noticed two statements you made which may, to a certain extent, undercut your own argument
    You wrote:
    Companies that don’t change will die – it’s as simple as that.
    Products that don’t evolve, disappear – eventually being replaced by more current alternatives.
    Doesn’t that imply that there is a fundamental economic imperative to change driving every software (or, probably any other) company.
    I believe that this is the starting point for the necessity to release new versions.
    It certainly is true that Microsoft has to periodically come out with new versions of its products in order to survive.
    So, in a sense, the changes (or, more accurately, the necessity to release a new product altogether) are “for the sake of change”
    However, given that a new product must be released, I’m sure that Microsoft devotes a lot of resources to identifying problems with the existing product and deciding how they can be addressed in the next version. So it is also true that any specific change was done for a reason, based on market research and user feedback.
    It might be interesting to speculate about how many of these changes would have been made absent any intrinsic economic imperative to change. It does seem to me sometimes that they are solutions in search of a problem.
    By the way, in all fairness, since everyone is picking on Microsoft, I have to say that for the past few years, every new version of iTunes has less functionality than the previous version. I finally got wise and stopped accepting their suggestions to upgrade.
    I love your articles, and your no-nonsense approach to issues.
    Keep the good stuff coming!

    • “It might be interesting to speculate about how many of these changes would have been made absent any intrinsic economic imperative to change.” Without an intrinsic economic imperative to change, I don’t believe there would be any progress made in any field. For better or worse, that’s what capitalism is all about. The consumer computer industry is relatively new. I remember in the 50s ans early 60s when car designers were coming out with all kinds of new looks. They eventually learned their lessons and changes haven’t been so radical. The consumer IT industry will probably eventually come to that point and limit their changes to the internal stuff which really matters.

  16. Leo,
    Great post as usual! For business I was recently forced to buy a copy of Word 2013. I had been using 2007. I found the registration process tedious and the new interface to be confusing. Now, after about 4 months of use, I have to admit that I actually like Word 2013 better than the previous version. I don’t like all of the changes but overall I think it is a better program.

    I think there are 2 main reasons that many people have such strong resistance to software/OS changes. First, most people only use about 10% of the available features on any given program. Upgrades and revisions simply add a lot of features they don’t want and will never use. Secondly, the software industry is almost unique in its ability to sometimes force its customers to change. For example, I have an automatic rice cooker that I bought 20 years ago. The new models are sleeker, have more features and are probably faster and more energy efficient. However, my rice cooker still cooks rice! :)

  17. Sometimes, changes *do* get made just because they can be made. In my almost 40 years as a programmer/analyst/database administrator I have seen many, many occasions where features were added to computer systems (programs) for the simple reason that the changes could be done.

    My experience generally is because some Pointed Haired Boss (ala the Dilbert cartoon strip) made a decision, changes were required; changes that did nothing to enhance the user experience. This situation is not limited to application software, it also happens with software packages available to the public; whether it is MicroSoft or Adobe or Mozilla or whoever. Sometimes these changes are based on user suggestions or even on faulty surveys of user desire. (Remember the Ford Edsel? That was the result of customer (user) surveys.)

    Admittedly, sometimes programmers get carried away with new technology or techniques and “features” get added just to show off some new skill someone has learned.

    I used to have a sign that read as follows:

    We use the latest in BIF* technology.
    *BIF Because Its Fun

  18. My problem with changing operating systems is simply this: I must be productive and I cannot afford to have staff learning a new operating system because someone else decided it was appropriate. I wonder if someone has calculated the cost of learning a new operating system in terms of lost person-hours that did not ultimately improve their function. Has anyone of this forum ever been solicited for a survey to ask what features they would like? I assume that this has been done, but not to me.

    • Even if there were a survey, it would only fuel the arguments of those who were going to do what they decided they were going to do anyway :-( (Is there an emoticon for hopping mad?)

  19. Leo, you are quite right, but for an 80 year old retiree like me, the learning curve of a new computer system or release gets longer every year. Excel 20xx may be a lot better than the Visicalc I first used on a TRS 80 around 1970, but the great leap forward was the invention of the spreadsheet concept. Everything since then is just adding bells and whisles. Thanks for your incisive and practical advice for semi-literate Windows PC users like me.

  20. One thing I frequently hear regarding change is that “everyone” hates the latest release of software x. If you don’t like a change, and go to the forums to complain about it, it may indeed seem as though everyone hates the new change, because nearly all the threads and posts will say so. But you have to remember that the people who are posting are there for the same reason you are: to complain. Rarely do people who like or don’t mind a change think “Oh, I like this so much I will go post about it!”

    With major commercial software distributions, even if there are thousands of people who don’t like something, there are millions who do, or who simply don’t care because the change doesn’t really affect them. So before you start ranting about how stupid company x is because they made a change “no one” likes, remember that you are probably in a tiny but vocal minority, and that the change was indeed made for a reason, whether it be functional or financial, even if you don’t understand that reason.

  21. Hey Leo.
    Enjoyed all the comments, whether I disagreed or not, best reading for a long time. That said I’m also in the 80 something, started in computer in the days Coleco Visions Adam computer and Vic 20.
    Used to read all I could find about computer. Still subscripted to your and window secret’s (formerly Langalist) letters. But I have to admit my eyes glaze over, there is so much I can not comprehend any more and therefor I will stick with W7 MS 2003,that’s where I’m at ease.
    Yes there will always change, it’s what makes the World go round.

  22. Sorry Leo, but I also disagree. The primary reason for change when it comes to MS and Intel is money. The rest have to follow suit in order to keep up for the same reason. However, many software companies change solely to push out a new version with hype that it somehow will be better so that less savvy users will buy into the hype. FYI, I still use Adobe Acrobat 8, MS Office 2003, and Quicken 2003. The all work fine in Win 8 once a few install issues are overcome, and I can find no discernible difference in usage when compared to later versions.

    • Agree, But unlike change, like by a machine tool; maker, that makes a change that makes the machiine better, or easier to operate, so people will buy a new machine. MicroSoft and other software monopolies make a change so that other products will not work anymore and people will be FORCED to “upgrade” (for a major fee)

      So you loose productivity
      You Loose cash
      You loose more money learning to get proficient with the new junk (that end the end is not as good as the old program.

      Then when thy figure they have filched as much money as they can out of their customers,,,,,They come out with a new OS,,,,,that nothing most of the existing software will not work with.

      Change for the sake of change,,,,,No
      Change for the sake of greed…….YES

      Can we bring back CP-M and start over?

      • Microsoft doesn’t make programs incompatible to force people to get new software or new hardware. They don’t make any money from that, as it’s other companies that produce that software and hardware. The main reason Windows keeps evolving is that computers are evolving and becoming more powerful all the time. Operating systems adapt to take advantage of the new capabilities. For the average home user, those changes may not be anything that improves their computing experience. Obsolescence is the collateral damage of progress.
        In the 90s, the government mandated removing lead from gasoline. People with older cars either had to get a new car or get an additive at extra cost. I remember conspiracy wingnuts claiming that it was a move to sell cars.

        There were some exceptions, and planned obsolescence is real. For example, in the early 1900 the light bulb industry got together and forced companies to shorten the average life cycle of light bulbs.

        I’m not a Microsoft shill. I also use Mac OS and Ubuntu Linux. I could easily stop using Windows except I need to stay on top of Windows to be able to do my work for Ask Leo!, otherwise, I switch to Linux. And for those who don’t like what Microsoft is doing, you can very likely get by fine using Linux Mint or another user friendly distribution.

  23. Leo,

    First let me say “Thanks” for all the work that you do to help all of us out here. It’s much appreciated and of benefit to untold numbers of folks. My only comment about “Change” is the fact that, yes, change is inevitable and many things, good and bad, come from it. The trick is to have lived long enough to completely understand the difference between “change” and “progress” and to know that one is not necessarily the other. This is really what is at the heart of the fact that we humans keep on making the same mistakes over and over and over again. History will prove this to be true every time. Again, thanks for everything. We sincerely appreciate it. —- Lee

  24. Wow. I am SO tired of hearing that I just don’t like change.

    I like some changes. I do not like others. Am I afraid to learn new things? No, but sometimes I resent having to take the time to learn to do something in a different way, when the old way was working so well. We are mostly talking about Microsoft, so let me tell you about the changes I DO NOT like. I liked Windows 95 (Yep, I’m THAT old). When newer OSes appeared on the market, I didn’t like them, so I didn’t buy them. I made those decisions the same way I make decisions about all the other things I buy. I do not buy what I do not like. I don’t care if it’s popular, I don’t care if it’s new and shiny. I only buy the things I like. I guess you would say I don’t like change.

    Just as I was about to invest in Windows2000, which looked pretty darn good to me, XP came out. I gave it a try and fell in love. So many Oses later, I am still in love with it. Yes, I have a couple of computers that run Win7, but I prefer the XP machine because it just works. It works consistently, it remembers everything, it is infinitely customizable. Win 7 began the dumbing down of Windows. And no I do NOT like those changes. I am outright offended by – as MS is so fond of saying – the “look and feel” of Win8 and everything that has followed. However, I have no issues with people who do like the changes and who do like Win8 and Win10. And I can’t help but wonder why so many people have issues with those of us who do not. It isn’t that we hate ALL change, it is only that we don’t like these changes.

    I have never doubted that there is a reason for the changes to the OS that Microsoft decided to make. $. I don’t begrudge them that either. After all their contribution to the computing world is astronomical. Where would we be without them? However, that doesn’t mean I want to follow them into places I find ugly and boring. It doesn’t mean that I want them to control my computers, which IMO sounds pretty much like what will be happening with Windows10. So, this is where I get off. I do not like this change.

    I probably won’t like switching to Linux, either. But it can’t possibly be worse than what Microsoft plans for my future. Hey MS. I don’t want to run all my programs full-screen. Hey MS, I don’t want updates shoved down my throat. Hey MS, can we get rid of “Libraries” and whatever else you’ve done to destroy Explorer. Is Explorer even viewable in your shiny new OS? Hey, MS, I have a long, long list of changes I would like. I’d be glad to pay for them. But I won’t pay for what I don’t like and what I want is control of my computer. Give it back. Let me fix it up the way I want it and stay out of my face and leave me alone. What a nice change that would be.

    • “Hey MS. I don’t want to run all my programs full-screen. [You don’t have to.] Hey MS, I don’t want updates shoved down my throat. [You don’t have to.] Hey MS, can we get rid of “Libraries” and whatever else you’ve done to destroy Explorer. [Agreed :-)] Is Explorer even viewable in your shiny new OS? [Yes]”

  25. While there always SOME good reason for change, my clients, who are mostly older, don’t usually want, like or need the changes. But they are not the target audience/customer set for a new version of Office, for example. As for Windows, MS could have saved itself a world of hurt if say in Vista and Win 8, they had added an optional screen during the bring up of a new computer or installation which said something like, “Click here to make Vista look just like XP” and “Click here to get all the new look and features of Vista”. Same with Windows 8 offering a look like Windows 7 or even XP. Older folks would have largely been ok if the darn “new stuff” would have looked and behaved like XP, even if there were a lot of changes under the covers/user interface. Start 8 and Classic Shell are proof that it was not that difficult; MS was just too hard headed. Once I put Classic Shell on a Win 8/8.1 machine, most folks just use it. So yes, there was a reason for change, especially security, but the User Interface could have optionally made to look almost the same as before. MS just doesn’t listen OR learn from past mistakes. As for Office, making it hard (at least for my clients) to save a docx in old doc format so everyone could read it, was a big mistake. But they don’t realize how must average users over 50 never heard of “save as”. Not as intuitive as they think. But keep the conversation going, Leo. Maybe some of your buddies at MS will read this stuff.

  26. I’m one of those olddies who generally try to avoid tech changes in software. I’m still using office 97 because it meets my needs, especially Word. Windows xp met my needs but having bought a new computer (my old one broke) I was forced to learn Win 7, which I finally did. I still don’t like the way it tries to anticipate my needs, particularly where and how to file docs. Software is like life, if you’re around long enough it will change.

    That sail, I still read you newsletters, but don’t alway understand all of what they contain. Thanks to your newsletteers, I am using Lastpass to generate and keep my passwords. Recently I did something wrong and I lost all appearances of last pass, but fortunately contacted the company and was able to retrieve my vault from them. A very scary moment.

    I do appreciate change if I understand the benefit. I purchased your book Saved, Macrium Reflect and a terabyte external harddrive. As soon as I think I understand how I’ll be among your readers who are”saved”.

    Thanks again for yoour weekly news and hope it continues for a long time.

  27. Some changes are strictly to avoid looking dated.

    If you can’t change the product, changing the label design can be enough to keep interest up.

    Companies often want to avoid looking stagnant, and the kind of changes that people often complain about can be the result.

  28. Change is indeed inevitable. I am a writer. I started with Radio Shack and Scripsit on a tape based computer. I went to XyWrite on MS-DOS. I went to Word on Windows. Note that all those changes were essentially forced by significant hardware changes.

    I very reluctantly changed from Office 2003 to Office 2013 when I learned that 2003 would no longer work. I found I really disliked Word 2013. And, I got sick of being yanked around by Microsoft, especially when they segued into annual rentals of software.

    Change is indeed inevitable. But this time I changed – to Word Perfect. I bought a full licensed current version on of Word Perfect Office X7 on eBay for a small price and I am a very happy camper. For me, the conversion from Word 2003 to Word Perfect X7 was virtually painless, and indeed, almost instantly rewarding. Word Perfect works perfectly with Windows 8.1 and with Windows 10 – so I am happy, and hoping for years without further wrenching changes designed to help MS’s bottom line with no benefit to me. Bye Bye MS Office.

    Change is indeed inevitable – but you can make some of the changes instead of being forced to accept those of others.

    • That’s 2 of us that went “back” to better programs by installing OpenOffice. – Word Processor and spread sheets have everything “right there” without searching 3 other pages for a function.

      There was not a thing that Word and Excell couldn’t do,,,,until they “improved” them.

      I am seriously considering dumping Mr Gates monopoly altogether and seeing if I can get Linex to do the job. I’d gladly pay for a “Pro” version

      I say greed is at the heart of the “improvements” to windows.

  29. AutoCad 2006/7 did anything a 2D draftsman, that is those that understood the “bible” (“Engineering Drawing” by OSUs Dr French) could ever want and more,,,,but what did Autodesk do?
    “Improve: it untill it was basically a clunky convoluted program that only kiddies that had no concept of the fact working drawings are used to make parts. There is the problem that today few younger people can visualize a 3-view drawing from an object (glass box) What they have done is make the newer versions a nightmare for anything other then drawing pretty pictures and possibly generating G-Code, and if that is not change for the sake of change I’ll eat my LeRoy lettering set.

    When I hear the pencil necks on the re-modeling shows (Wife is hooked on them????) say “OH, This kitchen is “Dated” I want to reach right through the television and choke the nimrod. What would the clowns say about FLRs “Falling Waters”? “BOY, That stream is dated!. Let’s divert it and fill in the channel and put in a corn hole court.” If you have a kitchen where form follows function it can NEVER be dated,,,,unless the use of bacic culinary arts becomes dated. Alerations that improve the function are one thing, just changing for the sake of change is down right stupid.

    The same goes for software and operation systems. XP worked just fine and is to this day the best that MicroSoft ever created,,,but for the sake of change MS tried to ram VISTA and ME down our throats. If they were better and solved any problems why were they dropped like a hot rock. – Because they stunk, that’s why. They came 7 which seemed to work OK but 8 was pushed on us and it was so bad MS made everybody “upgrade” to 10 which is close to impossible to dial in for a specific use.

    Here is a fact. I only use Win10 because you can’t even get a browser that will work with XP any more. There is a reason the DOD STILL has systems that use XP…..Because it works like a charm and WIN10 is a dog…….BTW, You think the military will use WIN11 with MicroSoft having complete access to every single keystroke. ,,,,, Looks like a lot of things will be going back to XP.

  30. There’s a lot of Microsoft bashing here in the comments, but I’ve had similar problems with my Apple devices. For example, Twitter and another couple of apps stopped working because my iPad is too old to get the latest iOS update. That’s just the nature of technology.
    Blame it on greed if you want, but to quote Gordon Gekko, “Greed, for want of a better word, is good.”
    Much progress is motivated by greed. Thomas Edison was greedy and unscrupulous, but because of him, we have so many inventions which enable today’s technology. Actually, there may be a “better word” for greed: profit motive. Profit motive is good and bad, and unfortunately, sometimes, we need to take some bad with the good.


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