FWD’s Matt Buchanan argues that if you’re going to be buying any sort of tech gadget, make sure you are buying one that is great to use today and not something that has the promise of greatness once it receives an update.
The even grosser, hairier underbelly of update culture is beta culture: Companies releasing products that aren’t finished because they can “finish them” after you’ve paid money for them. Because youexpect updates, and well, simply because they can, releasing not-quite-finished products is all part of the plan. Whether it’s finally optimizing software to run as fast it should, adding in basic features like multitouch, fixing a show stopping bug right after launch (oh wait, I guess the Lumia 900 didn’t work), smoothing over a hardware bug, refining essential features or — and this is really amazing — promising to add new hardware after launch. You might be shocked to know that most of these released-now-fixed-later products weren’t exactly amazing, even after their update.
Sobering reminder about the way in which technology companies over-promise and under-deliver time and time again. He notes the only gadget that has actually improved over the years is Microsoft’s Xbox. It’s six-years-old and has blossomed from a gaming console into a full-fledged entertainment console.