I’ve come to realize one thing lately.
This will be a different post. But bare with me on this one, okay. It will make sense in the end (I hope).
My epiphany about hating computers happened when my lab machine all of a sudden decided that “I don’t have a bluetooth adapter anymore” after about 2 years of actually having one. I did about everything but reinstalling Windows on the machine, but the bluetooth adapter was not recognized by my computer. I even opened up the NUC to see if I could see if there was any obvious physical damage (I’m not an expert), but nothing.
THE DAY I decided that “fudge this, I’ll just reinstall it” it started working again. No new driver updates, no new patches. It just started working. I still have no clue what happened to be honest.
That was the moment I started hating computers.
I just want to be productive
Living without a functioning Bluetooth adapter in the computer meant that I needed to find the USB-receiver for ALL my wireless accessories (headset, mouse, keyboard) in order to even work from this machine.
This ment that I needed to take time out of my day (mostly late afternoons) and firstly try to figure out the issue and secondly since I suck at troubleshooting hardware, find all the USB receivers for all my stuff since I had of course also lost my USB Bluetooth receiver 🤦♂️.
I’m one of those computer guys who don’t really like troubleshooting, I just want stuff to work.
Reinstalling Windows is a breeze now adays, and it would have taken me an hour or two to be back up and running. I work from a strict policy to save EVERYTHING in the cloud so that wiping my computer isn’t an issue anymore, I will just lose what ever app I didn’t add to Intune. But it’s still a hick-up in my flow.
This “incident” has gotten me thinking a bit. One thing I tend to hear with customers is that there is a fear to patch/update drivers for example, since we are afraid that it will break something in the OS or an application. I’ve been doing Intune work for the last 10 years, and I’ve strongly advocated to “maybe it’s time to also update drivers” for the past 7 years since it’s usually more risky to run pre-release versions of drivers than the latest. OEMs tend to also update drivers only when they have to, and the 700 million consumer Windows machines out there with the latest drivers seems to be working fine (don’t quote me on the numbers). One thing I’ve seen way to often is that an old driver breaks Microsoft Teams. The camera stops working usually and as soon as you install the latest driver. Poof! The camera works!
When you start think about it, what if we stopped caring so much about drivers and just automated it with Windows Autopatch? New drivers are installed when released and needed.
Windows 365 to the rescue?
Let’s take it one step further. What if we use Windows 365 to consume our apps and desktop experience instead and we only need to make sure that the OS and out applications are up to date. The hardware we are accessing through could be any kind of device, not neccesarily a Windows based device. Windows 365 makes it possible to actually be device independent. The bare minimum I need is something with a browser.
This is actually something which excites me a bit too much. I started my career in the mobile device management field, managing iPhone in the “mobile first” era when we though we would be able to do EVERYTHING from our mobile. If we can access a virtual desktop from our mobile, all of a sudden we actually can even consume those legacy Win32 apps from a mobile device.
I’m really excited about the Motorola ThinkPhone with the Windows 365 integration even though I don’t own one and I really don’t like Android since I’ve had an iPhone the last 15 years. But the idea of only having one device is something that excites me. Or at least in some situations only need one device. Still not enough to by the darn thing, but I love the concept of it.
So what is the point of this post?
Well, maybe we should start to rethink the workplace and what devices we need. Do I really need a desktop, a laptop, a phone and a tablet? Maybe not the reality for everyone but I know a lot of people running on such a setup. What if I just needed one or two devices, but I could still do all the stuff I need.
Looking at my current setup, I’ve downsized to one phone from two and I prioritized battery life over performance when getting a new laptop. I even went with an ARM-based Surface with the knowledge that “I can always use Windows 365 if I need more power” which is really comforting to know. This opens up that I can go for more slim formfactors and prioritize different aspects.
Moving the workloads to a Cloud PC would also reduce the need of getting the “latest and greatest” machine to do things. Our Cloud PC will be kept up to date since Microsoft is lifecycling the infrastructue in Azure, which for me as a user would mean that I always have “the best” configuration.
There are of course a lot of if’s and but’s around this, like the need for constant internet connetivity. But let’s face it, how often do we work without internet connectivity? You can even get some what reliable connectivity on an airplane today.
Problem with this appraoch is that this is how I reason, I still have way to many laptops on my desk for different customer engagements and testing things, since this is not the reality yet. But maybe it’s the future?
If you ever meet me and also hate computers, let me know and I’ll give you “I hate computers” sticker!