Probably one of the most interesting things that I have seen in the mobile technology arena has been the debate about which platform is better for who, when, and why.
On some sites, there are those that swear by Windows Mobile and will tell you that nothing is as nice as a computer that you can get down into the registry and change a slew of things. On the other hand, Palm OS users will tell you that simplicity and ease of use rules over features and fluff. Symbian users will scoff at both and tout an OS and solid software library (and that amazingly high number of users who don’t even know they have a smartphone in their pocket). All of this is not at all wrong, just a different way of looking at things.
I admit, I used to be one who swore by my Palm OS PDA. There were just some models that were absolutely perfect, and I figured that if they were perfect for me, they would be for perfect everyone else as well. Funny thing about perspectives, though; the view changes a whole lot when you can look at things through someone’s else eyes.
For example, a few years ago, while on a men’s retreat, I was reviewing the HP rx3715. My daily device was a Zire 71. These were very similar, except for the OS and a few notable areas of ability. Despite the higher resolution camera, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth, I used my Palm and really only carried the rx3715 around because I had to. I liked how the Palm OS did things. Well, at that retreat, my Zire caught some water damage and that was the end of that; the rx3715 was there, though, and so I used it. I still don’t like the Windows Mobile side of things, but after having to use it for a time, I began to understand the appeal some people have for that platform.
Now, I don’t say this because I want everyone to start holding hands and singing Kumbaya; these are personal computing devices. We should have some type of attachment to them. But, I don’t know if we really help people out when we bash one platform over another for the sake of ego.
A lot of times, we will change to a new platform within the year anyways (if only for a short time because it’s the best thing out) and then adapt to whatever is comfortable (not always what has to most future viability).
Our devices are really just outward manifestations of our different perspectives on mobile technology and how it can be used. It’s those perspectives that drive the nonsense out of this highly competitive market, and why carriers, manufacturers, and software developers are running hard trying to sell the next big mobile thing; this is personal and we will value it (to the grave in some cases).
So the next time you come across a review, posting, or just a general ad that says that one product is most definitely better than the other, just be sure to check the context of who is saying it. They just might be right that it is for them. But last I heard, not everyone drove a Ford Truck and listened to country music.