Yeah – that last post I made got me thinking. And it’s been just about 27 years that I have worked with computers. And that reminds me of a story from a few years ago – right after XP was released…
One of my close friends wanted to buy his wife a PC, and he asked me for help. We picked out a computer, I snuck over to their house while she was at work, and I set the machine up – including the Wireless LAN (yes, I’ve been wireless for almost 15 years!)
Anyway, a few days after Christmas my friends wife called me up and needed help with something (scanning a document I think) and I walked her through several screens until finally she said, “Never Mind. I shut the computer off”. And she hung up the phone. It took several weeks for me to find out that she actually thought I could see her screen, and that I was spying on her – when in fact I just knew the OS very well – I beta tested it for a long time before it was ever released.
And that brings up an interesting point – I don’t think we have ever had a better trained support group for ANY Operating System than we have for Windows XP right now.
And Vista is going to change that – a lot. I wonder how that will affect the Vista adoption. I know Microsoft has thought about it – and they have acted on it. As a Windows enthusiast as a “voice” to my friends about all things PC, Microsoft realized early that they needed people like me as evangelists – that’s why I have had at least three opportunities at a free copy of Vista and at least 5 at a free copy of Office 2007.
There will be a huge knowledge gap for a year or so, and Microsoft needs evangelists. And giving them the software for free in exchange for the many hours of free support and consultation they give is a very smart move.