Shifting my paradigm

By Art Schlussel posted 06-10-2010 20:59



Today I am doing something different. I am actually writing this post in Google docs. Why? Because I am trying to pull myself out of my old ways of doing work. For years I have relied on the reliable and time tested Microsoft Office Suite to do my work. I am comfortable using MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel and all the other great tools provided by MS. I use MS at home and at work. Everyday I check email on Outlook, write my correspondence on Word, and present my great ideas on PowerPoint. No doubt they are great tools that get the job done. But know I am at a cross roads. My new laptop came with a trial version of MS Office that has just expired. I am pondering whether or not I should pay the money to activate the tool or give it up. It is a tough decision. I am comfortable with my MS products. I know how to use them to do what needs to be done, and I don't know if I can operate without them. It is scary thinking that I may give it up. 

I've tried other products. I have used Google tools in the past for collaboration and email. I've used Google docs before, created Google sites, and of course I have a gmail account. But thinking about how I really use those products I have to admit I use them in a MS paradigm. I created folders in gmail that mimic .pst files. I uploaded MS Word docs to Google sites. I think in a MS paradigm. Now I am at a cross-roads. Do I continue to do business as I have always done since my MS 3.0 days, or do I abandon the past and try a new way? It's hard to do. I really do want to work in a 2.0 paradigm. I want to create, share, collaborate seamlessly with others. I want to link all my content together. Of course I could do this in a MS world, but perhaps I can do it in a Google world or some other world for that matter. I don't really know because I never really tried before. 

What do you think? Do I need to keep one hand in MS while I dip one foot somewhere else? Can I really operate without it? Do you, and if so how and what is the impact? The future is moving to the cloud. At work we are looking at thin client architectures, cloud computing, and web based applications. We want to be able to do everything from anywhere on any device. I'd like to do that as well for personal and business work. I will admit I am skeptical and a little scared. What happens when the network goes down? Where is my content stored? Will I lose control of my "stuff" and how can I be sure my "stuff" is safe and secure? It is a lot to ponder. 

For now I am resisting the urge to activate my MS Office Suite. For now I am trying to get along without it. I am going to try to find a different and perhaps a better way. For me it's not about MS vs. anyone, it's just a new way. No doubt MS will have a new way that will catch on. It's the change that is hard. After years of operating one way it is hard to change to another. The funny part to me is that I'm someone who is willing to give it a go. I laugh when I think about all the people I know that will have a coronary when their Outlook, Word and PowerPoint is gone. They live in that world and can't imagine what it would be like without it. If nothing else it will be interesting to watch. 

If you work differently please tell me how and why. Let me, no us, understand how you do it and why you do it. Help this digital dinosaur shift his paradigm.

#change #microsoft #Google