"Back In The Day…"

68859-insert-cd “Remember the time when you had to get hold of a CD or DVD, rummage around for a serial number, go through a 20-step installation process, and wait around for 15 minutes to install some software? How ridiculous was that?”

The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced it’s going to inevitably happen: software will eventually stop being shipped on physical media. We’re seeing archaic glimpses of that today in products like Google Docs and Yahoo Mail. But they don’t feel like desktop applications yet. They’re still very clunky and Web-like. The groundwork is being laid to deliver even the richest of applications over the wire. Adobe, maker of some of the most visually-rich and complex applications, is already saying that’s where it’s all headed.

It’ll take time but we’ll eventually get there…and we’ll look back on the way we do things today and snicker.

5 Comments "Back In The Day…"

  1. Chris D

    I agree for the most part – there are two things that I think go against it:
    1. Operating Systems – These days, if you need to install an OS, you’re gonna need a CD. This might not be a problem for people who either buy a computer with the OS already installed, or are comfortable enough with burning, but I’m not convinced that’s 100% of the marketplace.
    2. Additional Media – things like manuals (which are almost antiquated anyway), and promotional materials that companies stick in their packaging. If the industry is cool with getting rid of these things, so am I. But I’m not sure if they are there yet.

  2. Jim

    I haven’t seen a printed manual actually ship with software in ages. It’s always on the CD (PDF).
    In regards to OSs – I think the Linux distros are really leading the way here – I could foresee (if it doesn’t already exist) a small distro you download (to a CD or USB drive) which does nothing more than sets up a net connection on your PC and pulls everything down over the net before installation…
    I’m running Ubuntu at home and other than the original 6.x CD I burned a few years ago – I haven’t used any media – and that’s with loads of software installed and 2-3 major upgrades.

  3. Jim

    Oh yeah – and I can remember these really archaic things called ‘floppy disks’. It used to take an hour (or more) to install Office off of floppy disk.

  4. Josh

    Yes, no more PCs, all we get is a Monitor and a Mouse and all the software is controlled by one single computer core at the only computer company thats left in the world. It’ll be easy, it’ll be fast and it’ll be hell on earth…


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