Interoperability

I like to think of myself as fairly tech savvy. I work for a software company, and I am working on an advanced computer science degree. However, I often find myself simply frustrated by technology these days. The two primary points of contention are web applications and interoperability.

Wouldn’t it be nice if ten years ago, when all of the web based services came out, we were given a warning to chose one and stick with it?

There are really three primary camps that you can be in. The Microsoft Camp, The Apple Camp, and the Google Camp. If you only hang out in one of these camps then you are in good shape because individually these three companies provide a pretty good ecosystem in which to get all of your work done.

But I would venture to say that most people are not lucky enough to hang out in one camp. They are either forced to use a different camp (for work or school) or made the fatal error of setting up accounts with all three and trying to figure out which ones to stick with.

Choosing which one to stick with is the hardest part in my opinion. For instance, here is my current situation:

  1. I use an outlook.com email address and with my Office365 student subscription I get 30GB of Skydrive space so I do email and Skydrive with Microsoft. Skydrive is great, but it does not work on Linux natively, in addition the Microsoft Web Apps are “ok” but don’t allow you to do silly stuff like paste an image in Chrome.

  2. I have a bucket full of Apples at home (mac mini, macbook Air, iPad, iPhones, etc.) which are great except outlook.com calendar does not really work outside of the web so it’s kind of useless. In addition icloud was so late in the game that although it has some neat features and a good web interface, I don’t use it to its full potential because I’ve been using these other services for so long. Lastly, Microsoft Office is atrocious for Mac and Remote desktop is a joke so I am constantly frustrated when traveling on the road and trying to get back to my office PC.

  3. My previous school used Google Apps for everything, which was great. Except a google apps account is much more limited than a regular Google Account and is essentially useless.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to find a workflow with these three services that makes me happy — I am constantly frustrated by limitations of one service, but don’t have the time or energy to migrate everything to a completely different platform.

If you have somehow managed to avoid any of these services in the past, but see a need to go with one of them today, my only piece of advice would be to pick one and stick with it, it will make for a much less frustrating experience.