Death Of The Fanboy.

I am a Microsoft Fanboy. OK, I'm not. However I think by some people's definition I am. Looking at my purchase history, I think some would call me that. I've owned a HTC Diamond Touch (<---satan), a Zune HD, a HP Touchsmart (IQ506), a Windows Phone 7 device, and a Microsoft Xbox. So, with a history like that, screams fanboy right? I am thoroughly looking forward to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. I find what they are bringing to table, interesting. On the Verge I comment quite often but I do find that a bit of my chatting to be on Microsoft related articles. So am I a fanboy? I'd argue no actually. I my humble opinion I, especially now, I have a legitimate reason to like what Microsoft has brought to the table the last 3 or so years.

Let's start with the HTC Diamond. Ok, that was hell on earth. I wanted a touch screen phone. It seemed adequate when I 1st got it. You have to understand, I was (still am) on Sprint. I wanted a touchscreen phone and there weren't that many good options besides the iPhone. Which, I'm sure I don't have to remind this crowd, wasn't available on Sprint. That phone got VERY slow. That was my 1st encounter with HTC's skinning process. The Zune HD, in my opinion, the best MP3 player I'd ever owned. I much preferred it to an iPod Touch and Samsung P2. I am well versed in how popular the ipod was but, at the time of it's release, it just felt like the superior product. And The Zune software was the first software that required no effort to use. I don’t think I'm alone in the sentiment either. Granted, the IPod touch had a much better app ecosystem but I just wanted a MP3 player. I never even used apps on the thing. I just knew it was thin, beautiful, had a great screen, and had the potential to be powerful as it was the 1st device to ship with a Tegra chip. My Touchsmart PC, which I have still, I love. I'm one of those people where a all-in-one actually fits my needs. It came with Vista, which thanks to the processor, wasn't a nightmare to use. By the time I upgraded it to 7, it had actually gotten faster.

After the disaster that is the HTC diamond you'd think "why get ANOTHER windows device". Frankly, if it had not been for the Zune HD, I wouldn't have. Every single person who reviewed the Zune HD said the same thing, "why isn't this a phone?". I said that too. So upon WP7's announcement, my curiosity was peaked. I landed a Arrive on Sprint, and it's my main device. Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike Android or ios. As a matter of fact in addition the the list above, I've also owned, however briefly, a Asus Transformer, HP Touchpad, Kindle Fire, iPad 2, iPod Nano (6th gen) as well. I just honestly like my Touchsmart, my Arrive and my Zune HD. Don't get me wrong, every one of those products are flawed. For example, I like Wp7 OS, but there a issues. I am actually one of the few that defended Josh critique of the Lumia 900. What he said about the OS was accurate in my opinion. I defended his review however because I am a WP7 device owner. It's in my interest most of all that those issues be addressed. I want the OS to actually get better. I want the application selection to improve. I want the multitasking to evolve. I want the limitation on the hardware to be unlocked. But I like using this operating system. A few years ago, yes I'd have to be a fanboy to say that about Microsoft's mobile offerings because they weren't good. However now, I don't think I'm unjustified in saying It's a nice smartphone OS to use. I am actually excited about windows-phone 8 because think many of these issues will be addressed.

The same goes with my Touchsmart. Windows 7 is a very good OS. On my Touchsmart yes it's not the most touch friendly, but I knew that going in. I actually don't even use the Touchsmart software. I actually just touch and swipe around the actual OS in addition to the mouse and keyboard (oh and I also have a Wacom Bamboo capture). I do however feel something like Windows 8 will improve upon it even further. Despite that I am thinking of selling it when the Surface Pro arrives. I am one of those specific people who feels like only carrying two devices, my phone and a tablet. I have tried a few tablets, really every type of OS one can, but it was always a compromise. The Transformer was nice but the OS (4.0) felt like a ecosystem without an experience. The touchpad felt like a experience without a ecosystem. The Fire was purely consumption based. The ipad while it offers (arguably) the best ecosystem, I still wanted something I could whip out some of the programs (full desktop) that I use. Plus, I hate I Tunes. I know that sounds like a fanboy statement, but in my opinion it's not. I don't know what it is but using iTunes is a unpleasant experience on the PC. It's probably worlds better on a Mac, but I don't own one. Furthermore, like I said, I'm one of those people who just wants one device. I don't want to have to sync my tablet to anything. I want my tablet to be THE everything.

I'm not trying to justify my desire for windows 8. I'm arguing that someone who might appreciate what Microsoft is now offering doesn't have to be a fanboy to appreciate it. Same can be said for Android or Apple. The Nexus tablet is quite good. The previous iteration of android tablets weren't as much. But if someone said "I'm getting a nexus tablet", they don't have to be a fanboy to want it, it could just be a good product. Don't get me wrong, fanboys exist. I've been following Josh and Co, since Engadget. Trust me, they exist. I do feel however the someone, like me, who leans a certain way towards the products he purchases doesn't really qualify for said distinction. Especially if those products are actually good. Well provided he/she isn't bashing anyone who talks about the products negative aspects or purchases from a competing company. I also have been signed up for Windows live for quite some time. I never really used it. It integrated well in to my Windows Phone but, the online services just didn't feel pleasant to use. But again, Microsoft has updated mail (outlook), and SkyDrive. To be honest, I find myself using them more often. See it's not that I like ONLY Microsoft, but that they seem to be doing something I respond to right now.

In the end though these are just products. No one would die without them. We need not hate each other over them. If someone likes a set of products that fits their needs, that doesn't make them a fanboy, or a 'idiot'. An idiot is someone that feels their opinion about anything, IS anything but an opinion. What works for 1 person may not work for the other. I got a notification for an event on from my calendar because windows live is integrated with my Facebook. I'm sure Android and iOS do the same thing. Why'd I choose Windows, because I liked it. That's it. Didn't think any further than that. Same thing with the editors of this site. They aren't fanboys, they are people. Josh has been called a fanboy of Apple since time immoral. That's never been true. He just likes using a Mac, likes G-Mail, and the occasional Vodka soda with lemon. Nilay likes bracelets, patent arguments and hates IR Blasters and Samsung keynotes. And Mr. Miller likes extremely high pixel densities, Minecraft, gifs, and the occasional Diet Coke. We're all just people who like what we like. Despite what some might say, there's actually nothing wrong with that.

Paul.