“Rent-an-app” indeed.

Most of the time, the focus at leBUZZ is on what’s going on in the Haiku community, but sometimes I indulge in a little editorializing on what the world outside looks like to a Haiku insider.  One thing that’s on my mind today is companies that adopt the increasingly common “rent-an-app” approach to software distribution.

Microsoft does it with Office.  You don’t buy Office anymore, you rent it.  You pay a yearly fee for the privilege of using it, like a tenant in an apartment building.  Adobe does it with Photoshop, except you get access to lots of other programs too…building supposed value so they can jack the yearly rent up to something nearer to the price of buying Photoshop afresh every 365 days.

I don’t love Office and do very well without it.  I do love Photoshop.  Fortunately for me, the last lifetime-licensable  version they offered has more capabilities than I’ll ever take advantage of.

They say, “never say never,” but I think I can safely say I’ll never let a company force me into renting their software.  There’s something so impermanent-feeling about using software that’s going to expire.  I just can’t get comfortable with the idea.  Am I the only one who finds the “rent squeeze” approach to software sales deplorable?


Hey Windows, Welcome Back.

smallbee2 I always wear pretty much the same style of clothes I’ve always worn.  Occasionally I’m back in fashion, which I think is pretty funny.  Maybe that’s what I like about Haiku.

For anyone who might have been concerned that Haiku’s approach to the desktop was too “Windows 98’ish” for modern-day users, consider the journey Microsoft has been on. Windows been through at least a half dozen iterations in the past 16 years.  It’s been fluffed…it’s been puffed…it’s been metro’ed.  And now, it’s going back.  The latest version, which, curiously, skips a version number and will be called “10” (maybe to avoid being thought of as one version back from the Mac), retrieves much of the classic look of desktop operating systems we’ve used ever since Rover was a pup. 7ebdce9f-7ed1-401f-bb9b-8a242dabd28c-460x276-1

Once again, by default, there’s a fast bar and a start button (flat in appearance, no longer 3D), floating windows, desktop icons, and a trash can.  You can still get to the “metro” stuff from the start button, and a touch environment will appear when Windows detects that no mouse and keyboard are present.  But there’s no escaping it:  Microsoft realized they had sent users down a blind alley with 8, and they’re going back.

Suddenly, Haiku’s look, especially when users swing its Deskbar into “across-the-bottom” mode (which I prefer), is  en vogue again.  Are there things that could eventually be done to modernize it further?  Absolutely.  But in the meanwhile, Haiku’s comfortable, classic, mainstream appearance is certainly legitimized by Microsoft’s latest move.