Critical Section

when new versions suck

Sunday,  10/19/08  11:25 AM

Don't you just hate it when new versions suck?  You know what I'm talking about, I know you do...  you have this software, and you use it every day, or weekly, or once in a while, and you like it, and you know it, and, well, it works for you.  Maybe it has some bugs, maybe you wish it would be faster or better in some way, but it works for you.  And then you find there is a new version.  And you want to "stay current", and you're hoping if you upgrade maybe it will be faster or better in some way, and so you install the upgrade. 

At this point, one of two things happens...  The good outcome is that the new version is like the previous version that you knew and liked, and maybe it fixes some bugs, and maybe it is faster or better in some way, and still it works for you.  The bad, horrible, sucky outcome is that the new version is different, you no longer like it or know it, and now it doesn't work for you anymore.  Maybe the UI is changed, or they took something away, or instead of being faster or better it is now slower and not better.  And now you have this new version, and you can't decide whether to go back to the old version (what happens then...   do you stay on the old version forever, hoping for a newer new version which is better) or whether you should try to live with the new version.  It is horrible when new versions suck.

SlingPlayer v1This happened to me yesterday with something I knew and liked, and use all the time; my Slingbox Player.  So Sling has come out with "version 2", and it is all different; the UI is different, there's stuff missing, they invented some new kind of online account thing, and worst of all it is slower and not better; the picture looks worse, and it uses way more CPU time.  YUK.  So I've temporarily gone back to the previous "version 1" (thank you Acronis TrueImage - you do backup your computer before you install new versions, riight?).  And now I'm in that "what do I do now" position.  I think I keep using version 1 and hope that version 2.1 is around the corner!

BTW this is exactly what happened with XP and Vista.  And MS Office.  And Visual Studio.  (Microsoft seems to specialize in this sort of badness.)  Other examples in my life include Photoshop (I'm still on version 6, thank you), X1 (I'm still using a beta version from four years ago, thank you), and Norton Antivirus (I'm still using 2003, because it is way faster than subsequent versions, thank you).

When this happens it is usually a leading indicator that the parent company is headed in the wrong direction.  I sure hope that's not the case with Sling!


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