Apple’s High Sierra, Adobe and Your Hidden Stakeholder – long

After – and I state it again – after the launch of High Sierra, the “new”, i.e. mostly incompatible, Apple operating system, Adobe warns its customers that

has discovered the compatibility issues listed below when running Illustrator CC 2017.1 and earlier on macOS 10.13 (High Sierra). Unexpected behavior may result due to compatibility issues with graphics processing units (GPU) or Apple File System (APFS).

While a fix is on the way, users of Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac will not share the same luck, as Microsoft clearly states on its website:

Office for Mac 2011
Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Lync have not been tested on macOS 10.13 High Sierra, and no formal support for this configuration will be provided.
All applications in the Office for Mac 2011 suite* are reaching end of support on October 10th, 2017. As a reminder, after that date there will be no new security updates, non-security updates, free or paid assisted support options or technical content updates. Refer to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle for more information.

Other computer programs, whose number is not known, are dying of the same disease, technically named “lifecycle management”, actually meaning “programmed incompatibility”.

Thank to this Apple “turn” – but Apple is hardly alone in this strategy – people will face time and work losses and an increase in their expenses because of the need to find alternatives in the short term (new learning curve, file format incompatibility, conversion issues), and the all-but-free choice to buy a “new and compatible” version of a specific software.

To be clear, I’m not questioning the concept of software lifecycle as such, as I’m not advocating to go back to Wordperfect or DBII for DOS (while for a huge quantity of users these old software still do a decent job.)

What I strongly criticize is incompatibility as a business-pumping strategy, a long-practiced dark art that under the label “innovation” actually just sells cosmetics changes or minor technical changes and force people into spending, spending, spending.

Thanks to copyright, that allowed the “creative invention” of the software-as-a-service and the “volume subscription license”, the heavy blow given by this “innovation” to the users’ financial assets (people’s money, in other words) is softened and partially not felt.

But if you think that you’re paying a yearly rent just to continue writing the very same documents, retouching the very same picture or post-producing the very same music of the last couple of years, you understand that you don’t actually need to “upgrade” every now and then, and that a “lifetime license” would have been less costly and fit for job. And if you’re not so lucky to work for a company that buys volume license, you have to pay on your own all the software (and hardware) upgrades to use the “new” software.

And now a tricky question:

Whereas:

1 – We all agree that the Internet is the most important tool – in absolute terms – of our society. Notwithsanding all the fault and flaws of the Internet-based services, we still can’t going on without it.

2 – IPv4 – the protocol that runs the Internet – is doing its job since about forty years.

3 – IPv4’s “upgrade”, IPv6, is still far from having replaced it.

Question: why’s that?

And now, think of what would have happened if the very same “lifecycle management” approach  meant “to provide users with a better experience, make them feel on the verge of innovation and access innovative features” had been applied to the IPv4-IPv6 transition… the Internet would have been dead in matter of days.

 

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