What You Said: Are You an Early Adopter?

By Jason Fitzpatrick on September 16th, 2011

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Earlier this week we asked whether you were the first in line to try out new things—operating systems, upgrades, etc.—and now we’re back with a roundup of your responses.

So how do you adopt new tech? Some of you jump in with both feet, living on the edge of technological adoption. Niko writes:

For those that wait on the fools to rush-in and work out all the bugs… you are welcome :)

Upgrade adoption schemes? What schemes? I just jump in with reckless abandon and hope for the best. I’ll simply have a full backup ready in case something goes wrong.

Although, the developer preview for Windows 8 is installed on a virtual machine. That is my preferred method for new OS testing.

The slightly more cautious among you adopt new operating systems and software as long as your hardware can hold out. Steve-O-Rama writes:

It depends on the timing. If I have a pretty much new machine that’s made to take advantage of whatever a new OS or software offers, then of course I’ll at least try it. I don’t build my own machines merely because I’m a cheap bastard; I want decent performance for a decent price, and the OS is almost always an integral part of the machine. Let’s not forget cost though: a free OS is free, but only benefits me if it doesn’t cost me time. That said, I don’t have time for notoriously-buggy operating systems, nor ones with very-specific faults, e.g. will not work with certain software packages, programs, compilers, CAD systems, whatever I’m doing at that moment.

Contrariwise, let’s look at the machine I’m using right now: a $300 Acer Aspire One netbook from 2009, powered by an Intel Atom CPU, running Win7 on an Intel SSD (originally WinXP on a WD Scorpion [Blue?]). I think I’ve pushed this machine ‘upward’ as far as rationally possible. Its performance is exceptional for such an inexpensive item, and I’m happy with it. However, if it’s found that Win8 can really make an Atom netbook fly faster and/or prolong battery life, I *may* give it a spin.

I’m due to build a new PC in the next 8-12 months, and it will be a Socket R (aka LGA 2011). NOT likely an X79, as that’s going to be the first generation (read: overpriced and only an appetizer), plus it’s already shaping up to be a feature-crippled, lackluster remix. Most likely, I’ll wait for Ivy Bridge. By that point, the only logical option (besides Linux, yes, shut up) for a Windows PC will be to use Win8, almost no matter how “finished” a product Microsoft has at that time.

On the opposite side of the “Bring us all the shiny things!” group are readers like KB Prez who’d really rather have you work out the painful bugs before they have to suffer through them:

I’m not an early adopter. I’d rather wait a bit and let others find the bugs. The only exception is when I upgraded my OS early to Win7. My experience with VISTA was an absolute nightmare and I couldn’t wait to get rid of it!

Robert Waller weighs in on timelines and when he’s willing to adopt:

Windows 8 is still in Developement mode NOT Beta so I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole, when it goes public beta then I might give it a go [i did when Win 7 came to public beta but only because I hated Vista]

Indeed; we don’t think anyone is clamoring yet to go full time with Windows 8 but it’s sage advice about how early is too early to jump on the adoption wagon.

Check out the full comment thread for more reader insights into the adoption process and when it’s worth it to be the first in line to try out the shiniest of new apps and upgrades.

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/16/11
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