Something to be said for physical buttons
I now have three devices which utilize a touch screen as the primary means of input: the Zune HD, Palm Pre and the Apple iPad. All three share many features like multi touch, pinch to zoom, ‘flick’ and others. For the most part, they work well. Two of them, the Zune HD and the iPad, lack a physical keyboard. The Pre has a slider keyboard and lacks an on screen keyboard in its stock configuration. All three devices have few buttons to control the currently running program. For instance, say you are playing music and you need to pause it for a moment. All three force you into the user interface and then you have to tap one to many times to pause the music. On the Zune HD, for instance, I have to hit the side button then tap the pause icon in the center of the screen. On the iPad, I have to hit the home button, slide the slider to wake up the device, key in my pin since I have ‘security’ enabled, bring up the iPod app if it is not already displayed and then hit the pause button. On my Pre, tap the center button, slide up and then bring up the music player and then tap pause. On my old Zune 30, it dead simple: simply press the pause/play button. That was it.
Dedicated function buttons have a place on these devices. Trading usability for aesthetics is not good and most of these companies seem hell bent on doing just that. Apple is the worst and Microsoft is a close second now that they are emulating Apple
No iPad for you, if you pay with cash that is
Apple, since the release of iPhone 1.0 several years ago, instituted a no-cash policy for certain devices like the iPhone and, now, the iPad. For some reason, they don’t want you to own more than two of each device. This is why they won’t take cash. They cannot track you if you do not pay with plastic. Simple as that. Why they would care about how many iPad’s I want to buy is beyond me. What if I wanted to give one to my son, my mother in law and, perhaps, my wife. Well, that is just too bad. I have to get others to buy them or, preferably, just go somewhere else such as Best Buy. This no cash policy, while not illegal, is just silly and wrong. There are lots of reasons to not want a credit or debit card. The practice just wreaks of discrimination and I would not be surprised if Apple were not sued on this ground.
Alternately, if you must purchase from one of Apple’s stuffy and stuck up stores, they get yourself a travel card. They are just like credit cards and you can put as much money on them as you wish. Apple should change both policies. This is 2010 for heavens sake.
Windows 7 is growing faster than Vista
Well, this is a big fat DUH! Windows 7, the best operating system from Microsoft ever, not only got lots of positive press prior to its release, it seems to have struck a nerve with the public as well. It has outsold Vista something like two to one in just six months. Not only is it selling well on new computers, the upgrade sold very well too. Windows 7 runs on more hardware than Vista and got much better support from just about everyone than Vista did. This and the new features as well as improved overall stability and performance have all contributed to its success.