Tools Toys and Technology

About the Tools You Use and the Toys That Make Life Interesting

Tools Toys and Technology - About the Tools You Use and the Toys That Make Life Interesting

Who’s the King of the Hill?

I’ve been spending a good deal of time over the last few months testing and evaluating the Windows 10 Creators Update, which was released to the public on April 11. While advance copies are available to the 40 million members of the Windows Insiders group (free), most Windows 10 Home users will get this update automatically via routine updates over a several month period. Those using the Pro, Educational or Enterprise versions will have the option to delay installation until August 2017. Development has already started on the next feature update, which is due before the end of the year.

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Useful new features include a privacy dashboard to manage privacy settings, options to delay updates for up to 18 hours and a wallet and an eBook reader for the Edge browser. Cutting edge features like Paint 3D, Windows VR and multiple gaming enhancements are not fully implemented and are unlikely to appeal to the over 55 crowd. Hundreds of minor adjustments change and generally improve the speed and functionality of Windows 10. We customarily install new releases in our computer club classroom as early as possible to keep everyone fully informed.

Despite all of the innovation and the publicity seeking gee-whiz features for Windows and OSX (Apple) desktops and laptops, I sometimes wonder if I’m still rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic while everyone else is pricing the latest Tesla models.

Windows 3.0, released in 1990, became the first widely successful rival to Apple Macintosh and the Commodore Amiga. Subsequent Windows versions went on to dominate the computing marketplace for the next 25 years, peaking at 95% of the computer market in 1999. The iPhone (2007), Android phones (2009) and iPad (2010) marked the start of mobile computing’s exponential climb in popularity.

From late 2016, the mobile era took over, and desktop computers’ market share was down to 45% in January 2017. With pricing reaching an affordable $30 to $50 for some smartphones, people who have never before been able to afford a computing device now own one, and it fits in their pocket.

Android, which held just 2.4% of global internet usage share only five years ago, has now replaced Windows as the world’s most popular operating system according to StatCounter, an independent web analytics company. Samsung currently commands 52% of the Android smartphone market while Huawei, the closest of the largest 9 competitors, has but a 5.9% share. Statistics for the USA show iOS dominant here with 58% of the mobile market, Android with  41%, and Windows phones at 0.41%.  It seems inevitable that there will only be two smartphone systems going forward – Android and iOS.

Will a smartphone someday become your primary or only computer? Samsung will soon be marketing a docking bay for their high-end smartphones, providing hookups for a full size mouse and keyboard, a large screen, and expanded data storage. Advanced smartphones are already able to provide 4K streaming, immersive virtual reality gaming, and seamless multi-tasking. Someday is getting closer every minute!