Incrementalitis: The Un-Upgrade

Sign: New and Improved TechnologySometimes a new edition of a product works well for all the features of the previous version, but for the newly-added ‘reasons to upgrade’, well, they’re just not ready. Windows has had a long set of new features that didn’t work, but were heavily promoted. Windows 7 has clumsy support for touch screens, but that feature works well in Windows 10.

Windows 95 had no Internet support until you also bought the Win 95 Plus! add-on, and that gave you Internet Explorer version 1.0, based on the old NCSA Mosaic software from the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. Now, the internet in Windows generally works without any setup whatsoever.

And going all the way back to 1993, in Windows for Workgroups 3.11, we had “network support”, which worked if you fiddled with the settings long enough for the other computers to declare Bingo! and accept the connection. Networking has become better in subsequent Windows, and now, it works if you don’t mix product ages too dramatically.

While yet-another faster version of what we’re using is generally a safe purchase, it pays to check reviews on new technology. And new tech should come from old names. If the latest, greatest technology is from a good company with a history of good products, I know they’ll get it right at some point. But if it’s a no-name security camera from an Amazon Marketplace vendor shipping directly from the Hong Kong post office, it’s trouble. Such vendors may be OK for a cheap cell phone case, but not for anything that’s complex or new.