Monday, September 16, 2019

Ng: Are restrictions a good thing?

THERE was a time when Microsoft lorded it over the classroom.

While it’s still important for graduates who are applying for jobs to be proficient in Windows, and to know Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook, many schools are also using other technologies like Chromebooks and tablets.

The Chromebooks offer a cheaper way for students to surf the web without paying for a Windows license. The feedback is that it is not only cheaper, but easier to manage and run faster without the baggage or the virus.

Microsoft is coming back with an offer called Windows 10S. What is this version, and how does it work?

It targets schools and is priced accordingly. It is more secure because you can only install apps that are available in Windows Store, thus preventing you from installing apps that might have viruses or malware that will compromise the security of the computer.

It is also locked to use default Microsoft’s Edge browser and will only use the Bing search engine. Obviously, in exchange for a lower price, you cannot use Google search or Chrome. Because of these, it supposedly boots much faster, performs better even on cheaper computers, and also has significantly longer battery life.

This looks like an attempt to combat Chromebooks and in return for a cheaper price, (and of course, give a reason why companies or some individuals will not choose it), is that it offers limits – you cannot install desktop apps like most corporations need to do.

Will it work? We don’t know. Sometimes, limiting choices is good (consider Apple that has very limited configurations), but sometimes people don’t want it.

Consider a recent interview with Bill Gates who has three kids. He revealed that even as founder of Microsoft and world’s richest person that he didn’t give cell phones to his kids until they were 14. That would have raised a howl in most homes. He also said that even now, the kids are now allowed to bring their cell phones to their dinner table.

It is harsh, but in the face of increasing technology, we always need to remind ourselves that interacting and working with our fellow humans is still very important.
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