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Windows 8 and the emotional reaction to new gTLDs

Kevin Murphy, September 14, 2011, 12:06:26 (UTC), Domain Policy

Watching videos and reading reports about the Windows 8 demos at Build 2011 yesterday, I found myself experiencing a quite overwhelming feeling of despair.

I’m not usually what you’d call an early adopter.

I did buy my current laptop on the day Windows 7 was released. Not because I’m a Microsoft fanboy; I just needed a new laptop and figured I may as well wait for the new OS to come out.

I resisted buying a mobile phone until 2006. The one I have now cost me £5. I have literally no idea if it does internet or not. The thing I thought was a camera lens turned out to be a flashlight.

I bought an iPod once, but the only reason I haven’t stamped it to pieces yet is because it’s full of photos of loved ones I cannot retrieve because it’s “synched” to a PC that I did stamp to pieces.

I’ve never owned a touch-screen device, and I don’t really want to.

I’m not interested in gestural interfaces or chrome-free environments; I want menus that tell me what the software does and let me click on the thing I want it to do.

Hence my despair at Windows 8, which appears to be doing away with useful stuff in favor of, I dunno, looking nice or something. Microsoft appears to be trying to appeal to (shudder) Apple users.

I felt the same about Google+, which I have yet to join. Apparently it’s quite good, but my initial reaction to its launch earlier this year was “For god’s sake, why?” and “Do we really need more shit to update?”

I fear change…

(tenuous link alert)

…and I feel certain I’m having exactly the same emotional reaction to Windows 8 as many people are having to ICANN’s new gTLD program.

Just as I don’t want to have to think about typing onto a screen (a screen, for crying out loud!) there are millions of people just as pissed right now that they’re being forced to think about new gTLDs.

“But we don’t need them!” they wail. “Everything works just fine as it is!”

Yeah, well that’s how I feel about all the shiny shiny fondlelabs everybody else in the world seems to be currently obsessing over.

I share your pain, Bob Liodice.

But sometimes technology companies come out with new stuff because they think that’s the way to innovate and (of course) make more money.

It’s just the way it is. You’ve got to accept it and move on. If you’re smart, you’ll figure out a way to turn the thing to your advantage.

Everybody currently using Windows 7, Vista or XP will eventually upgrade to Windows 8, even if it’s probably going to be a prettier but less useful version of its predecessors.

If you still buy DVDs, one day you’ll probably be forced to buy a Blu-ray player, just the same as you were forced to upgrade from VHS.

And if you think VeriSign’s mindshare monopoly on the domain name system is the way things should stay forever, new gTLDs are going to make you think again.

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