The Tech Chat’s Future

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I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus over the last few weeks, dealing with some personal items and trying to figure out what direction to take with The Tech Chat. I’d decided to focus on Microsoft technology back in June, which has become a much more nuanced decision given Microsoft’s push to provide productivity solutions regardless of the platform. Focusing on Microsoft no longer means simply using Microsoft hardware like the Surface Pro 3 or even a Microsoft platform like Windows Phone. Rather, it means evaluating how Microsoft’s various productivity tools, such as Office, can be used to enhance a person’s personal and professional lives regardless of which platform a person uses.

With that in mind, I’ve dusted off my Apple and Google devices and used them alongside my Surface Pro 3 and Lumia 925 (which is suddenly out of the picture given a rendezvous with a tile floor). The experience has been illuminating, because a few months of using Microsoft products almost exclusively had pushed these other platforms to the back of my mind. What I’ve discovered has surprised me a bit: iOS has improved more than I was aware, and Android is no longer nearly as appealing to me as I remembered. And, Microsoft’s platforms are both more and less than I imagined when compared to the alternatives.

At the same time, Microsoft’s productivity products are moving in leaps and bounds toward being even more worthy of commitment. There have been times in the last few years when I imagined switching from Office to something else, perhaps Google Docs. I no longer suffer from this delusion. While Microsoft has perhaps weakened the argument for a hardcore commitment Windows and Windows Phone, they’ve immeasurably strengthened the argument for Office, Azure, and other Microsoft productivity products. In fact, they’re making serious progress on rendering the underlying platform–Windows, iOS, or Android–as irrelevant.

And so, where does that leave me and this blog? In short, as far as I can tell, it means that I should be focusing on productivity in general, on how technology can allow us to accomplish more and better things no matter what we’re doing. I believe that this leaves me still with a heavy emphasis on Microsoft products, but allows me to broaden my coverage to whichever technology can accomplish a goal of increased productivity.

Note that this post isn’t about what I like to use. I’ll probably post on that soon. For example, while using Windows Phone may no longer be as relevant to covering Microsoft’s stated direction, I really do prefer it to Android (and I haven’t used an iPhone for any length of time and so can’t comment on it relatively). At the same time, I’m enjoying using an iPad Air 2 alongside my Surface Pro 3 more than I thought I would, and much more than my Nexus 10. Go figure.

Much more to come, but for what it’s worth, I’ve pretty much settled on turning The Tech Chat into a productivity blog, rather than anything platform-specific. What that means more specifically remains to be seen, of course, but wish me luck.

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