By James Wallace Harris, Saturday, May 23, 2015
I regularly use the following computer applications: Chrome, Outlook, Windows Live Writer, Word, Spotify, Photoshop, Xmind and Excel – pretty much in that order. The application I spend most of my writing time in is Windows Live Writer, a tool for writing blogs. Microsoft has not updated Live Writer since 2012, and it looks like it will be abandoned when Windows 10 rolls out.
I’ve been using a personal computer since 1979. My life since then has been one long history of learning new programs, getting attached to them, and then having them ripped away from me. This pisses me off. Windows Live Writer is considered by most reviewers as the best blog editor by far. I now need to decide if I want to cling to Windows 7, or upgrade to Windows 10. Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for its first year, that’s a huge enticement to switch.
The obvious solution is to start using the web based editor built into the WordPress. I’ve spent years using Live Writer, so that’s going to be a painful. I’ve been looking at reviews of other standalone applications for blog editing, and nothing comes close to the web application WordPress offers.
Is the lesson here to give up on local applications altogether and switch to web applications? I just bought a Chromebook and that’s also forcing me to work in the cloud. But if I do switch to all web apps, then it won’t matter what computing platform I use – Windows, Mac, Linux or Chrome. Does that also tell us something about the future? These changes could portend big changes down the road.
I decided to stick with Windows because of Windows Live Writer. For years I’ve thought about buying an iMac. That urge became a craving when that beautiful 27″ 5k iMac came out. But I’d always think, “What about Windows Live Writer?” Nothing is stopping me now.
Yet, I have to wonder, “Why buy a Mac?” If I do everything inside Chrome, why care about an OS? Won’t it be overkill? Does the OS x or Windows 10 even matter? If I buy an iMac, won’t it just become a very expensive Chromebook?
Will we stop buying computer programs like we’ve stopped by music CDs? I already subscribe to Office 365. I mainly do it for Word and Outlook, both of which are free if you use the web versions. The free version also includes Excel. Google Docs has me covered too, for those programs. And I’m sure I could find web applications for the other programs I use.
The two programs I’d miss the most are Live Writer and Outlook. I’m writing this post in the WordPress web app, and it’s not bad. I could adjust to it if I had to. Is this the future of personal computing? Are computers just going to become different sized screens with the operating system becoming invisible? I understand why Microsoft is pushing so hard to get market share with its phone and tablet. Since I have an iPhone and iPad, why shouldn’t my next computer be an iMac? Microsoft really should have kept supporting Windows Live Writer.
Hold on though. If the need for Windows and OS X is disappearing, why do we need iOS and Android? Is it possible to have a future where we buy phones, tablets and desktops without reference to the operating system? When we buy a television we don’t think about how it does its magic.