Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Technology Black Holes - Blackberry and MS Pitfalls

We assume the new computer we get will work with our existing Blackberry, etc. but beware the "Technology Black Hole" that sucks you in on a mission of no return - getting the damn things to work together.

I have a Blackberry Storm that was working fine with my Blackberry sync program and Office 2007 - until I bought a new notebook computer and wanted to start syncing with it. The new notebook had Office 2010 trial (my old laptop had Office 2007), so I tried it since the notebook doesn't have a disk drive and Microsoft won't let you download Office 2007 for love or money.

That is when the black hole swallowed me - two days and a whole blown weekend spent trying to get my Office 2010 Calendar to sync with my Blackberry. Despite trips to Microsoft and Blackberry's website I found nothing indicating a problem

Only after several Google searches did I find the answer: Blackberry won't sync with Office 2010 - and won't until 2011!

I guess it didn't occur to anyone that someone of us would get a new computer with 2010 software and expect it to work! After all, it wasn't a big surprise that Office 2010 was coming out.

So what is Blackberry thinking? It's roll-out is slower than NASA's development of the Constellation! How do you wait to 2011 to service a 2010 product? No wonder Apple's Iphone is eating people's lunch. Yet I like the BB because I need the calendar and address book apps more than apps to find a restaurant in the middle of China.

Companies have got to do a better job. Blackberry is Canadian but I see this with American companies all the time. I finally had to buy an optical drive and reload my Office 2007 disk-which I fortunately still had-and finally got back in sync - so I don't miss appointments and can keep up with contact information. This is the most critical need in business and even personally.

Even Congress recently pulled the plug on more advanced technology (and the private space entrepreneurs) in favor of the mediocre technology that has become a NASA jobs program.

We have to do better. It shouldn't take three days and an online detective investigate to hook up a new computer and carry on your business.

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