Interesting statistics

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mbrazil
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Interesting statistics

Post by mbrazil » Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:57 pm

An AP article that appeared in our local paper a few days ago describes how Microsoft's Windows 8 has actually hurt the PC market rather than boosting it as Microsoft intended (the original article is on the AP website here). It explains why Windows 8 has not been well received and why it's rate of adoption has been very slow (I've included some charts showing the latest results). The parallels to Avant's ongoing troubles are very clear, and Avant should pay close attention, since Anderson, Avant's developer, made many of the same mistakes Microsoft made when planning for and implementing the extensive changes in Avant 2013.
os share.jpg
os share 2.jpg
This is one of those rare situations in which I have to praise Apple for their understanding and foresight regarding both the PC and tablet market segments. As the article states, "Apple and Google, on the other hand, believe people use those machines differently and have opted to keep their operating systems separate. Apple, for instance, believes that it can be tiresome to have to constantly move your arm to touch a desktop or laptop screen. That's not a problem with tablets because you're already holding it."

The similarities between Microsoft's disastrous mistakes with Windows 8 and Anderson's disastrous mistakes with Avant 2013 are clear and telling. Both reacted to imagined changes in the use of their products while almost completely ignoring the needs and desires of their existing users. Avant's 'simplified' UI equates very closely with the new 'Modern' Metro UI in Windows 8, in that both are targeted at market segments that are unlikely to ever reach significant proportions -- desktop and laptop users that prefer a touch-centric OS. Desktop and notebook users overwhelmingly reject touch-centric operating systems or applications. As Apple believes, these users, even if they are initially attracted to this new paradigm, will quickly find that, on a desktop or notebook computer, a simplified or touch-centric interface is awkward, tiresome, and an impediment to productivity.

This chart shows the percentage of use of the most popular browsers.
browser share.jpg
Notice that the largest share of the market by far is held by IE8, which does not have a highly simplified UI like Chrome and the newer versions of IE. Also, a large part of the the section labeled Other includes various older versions of Firefox that still have full-featured user interfaces.

There are also some major misunderstandings within the industry as to the future of PCs, laptops, and tablets. Many decision makers seem to accept the theory that the market is transitioning from desktop PCs and notebook computers to tablets and smart phones, and that the PC era is over. While tablets and smart phones are definitely growing rapidly in adoption rates and market share, most of this growth is attributable to filling niches that the desktop PC could never fill, new applications in which the desktop PC does not and cannot compete with highly portable devices like tablets, and replacement sales as tablet models rapidly become obsolete and are updated (you cannot upgrade a tablet; you have to buy a new one if you want the new features and capabilities). While tablets have their strengths for users who must, or choose to, remain mobile, and there are applications and jobs that only a mobile device can serve, there are many millions of users whose job requirements can only be accomplished with a desktop or laptop computer, and many millions more who still find even a high-end laptop to be an inadequate tool.

Like Windows 8, Avant's new 'simplified' UI functions well on the relatively small screens that tablets have, since many features, functions, and buttons are no longer visisble, as they are either hidden in menus that can be several layers deep or no longer exist at all. This does benefit tablet users in some ways, because it eliminates onscreen UI components that consume highly valuable space on these small screens. However, in exchange for the space savings, users are required to perform multiple additional actions to reach some of the features, and many of the software's valuable features have disappeared completely.

With the upcoming release of Windows 8.1, Microsoft has made an attempt to correct some of their major mistakes and omissions in Windows 8. Unfortunately for them, Windows 8.1 is very likely to turn out to be too little too late, since it does not reinstate the Start menu that many users are clamoring for. It does restore the Start button, but that is just a band-aid, since all it does is display the new Windows 8 start screen that many users have been complaining about. This pretty much negates the newly added ability to have Windows 8.1 boot to the desktop instead of to the Start screen. What good does it do to be able to boot to the desktop if the only function of the Start button is to take you away from the desktop and back to the Start screen?

While Microsoft is at least attempting to fix some of their mistakes and to restore some of the important things they discarded when redesigning the Windows UI from Windows 7 to Windows 8, Anderson has done little or nothing to attempt to satisfy Avant users who are extremely distressed by and disappointed with the changes he's made to Avant in the 2013 version, and especially in the 100+ builds. Microsoft, which has a lot more momentum and resources, may be able to make the necessary changes to Windows 8 in time to have it become widely accepted, but Anderson has very little time and very few resources that he can apply to restoring Avant to it's former greatness. We can only hope that he wakes up and accepts the reality of the situation very soon and that he acts as quickly as possible to repair the damage before it's too late.

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Sara
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Re: Interesting statistics

Post by Sara » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:01 pm

This is an excellent asssessment! One advantage Avant has over Windows is that you can stay with a build that works for you, as I have.
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mbrazil
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Re: Interesting statistics

Post by mbrazil » Wed Jul 03, 2013 6:22 pm

Sara wrote:This is an excellent asssessment!
Thanks, Sara. :)
Sara wrote:One advantage Avant has over Windows is that you can stay with a build that works for you, as I have.
I'm still on Avant 2013 build 23, but it has its own set of bugs, and some of them are pretty annoying. Overall, though, I can live with build 23 for the time being. Also, with the rapid-release schedule that Mozilla is using now, the Firefox engine included in build 23 will continue to get more and more out of date unless Anderson makes it possible for us to update the engine separately or continues development of the build 23 platform.

I'm also still using Windows XP SP3, but Microsoft will stop creating and issuing security updates for it in less than a year, so I have to decide what I'm going to do regarding XP. As I see it now, my alternatives will be giving Windows 7 another try or going to Linux, unless Microsoft releases another update to Windows 8 by that time, and that version meets my needs.

mbrazil
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Re: Interesting statistics

Post by mbrazil » Tue Jul 09, 2013 7:43 pm

 
os share.jpg
Source: ZDNet July 9, 2013

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hornakapopolis
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Re: Interesting statistics

Post by hornakapopolis » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:58 am

mbrazil wrote:...unless Anderson makes it possible for us to update the engine separately or continues development of the build 23 platform.
Can you not just switch out the gecko folders? Or did those old builds include the engine in some other way?

mbrazil
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Re: Interesting statistics

Post by mbrazil » Wed Jul 23, 2014 12:31 am

hornakapopolis wrote:Can you not just switch out the gecko folders? Or did those old builds include the engine in some other way?
I was able to swap the gecko folder with a newer version (then next version of gecko after the one included in build 23) one time with Avant 2013 build 23, but the gecko versions included with subsequent updates would not work with build 23.

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