Experiments with devices – Part 2, first day of work

20160125_144605 - Edited

I resisted the temptation to use my laptop instead of the Chromebook for an entire weekend. My next challenge was to get through a week at work. With two full days of e-mail exchanges behind me and already being aware of the printer challenge, what could I expect next?

I had a web conference scheduled so the first thing I needed to do was fire up my browser and set the meeting up (I was the moderator). We use WebEx as a provider, so I did not anticipate any issues. Was I wrong! WebEx has an extension for the Chrome browser, but I forgot that it relies on Java being installed on the operating system. ChromeOS does not have a native Java environment, so I could not use the Chromebook for the conference. This is an activity that is rather common in my job, so I consider it a rather sizable roadblock. There are alternatives, such a Hangouts that work perfectly well, part of my experiment is working with corporate standards.

Outside of WebEx, I was able to get through the rest of the day. I worked on some documents, modified a presentation and even updated the code for a project I’m working on for RESO. I also put in a request to replace an outdated departmental printer with a newer one that supported Google Print Services.

At the end of the day, I walked by CRTLabs and stopped in for a visit with Chris Cote and Joe Sullivan. I told them about my experiment and listened to their reactions. My takeaways were:

  • UX development has progressed quickly over the last couple of years. In many cases, native applications are closely simulated by web applications.
  • There is a difference between creators and consumers. Creators still need native applications, especially when working in the IoT area. Musicians and film producers need native applications to perform their work. Similarly, IoT creators need direct control over the processors that only native applications provide.
  • UX improvement is allowing some who thought they needed native applications to move towards internet applications. I’m not saying some who considered themselves creators are now consumers, but high level (from a language perspective) application developers and database administrators will rely on fewer native applications over time.

The conversation helped me address the “Am I being a technology snob?” question that was bothering me. I wanted to look at my experiment without as few biases as possible.

There is a future for Chromebooks, but perhaps not everyone will use one. I still have lingering questions to ponder though.

  • Will those who do not really need native applications be able to overcome their own biases and consider internet devices?
  • With only two classes of users (creators and consumers), will the resistance to using the same equipment as consumers inhibit internet device adoption?
  • Will the same resistance to device adoption be a factor in looking past innovation like containers?

I will continue my progress report tomorrow.