One thing leads to another. And now I'm pretty much Microsoft across the board.
Some baseline that shows we were already tilted that way to some degree:
- I am not unhappy with MSFT stuff.
- All my computers are Windows 7, leftovers from when the Triangle MLS supported nothing but Internet Explorer. I also have Comodo Dragon and Comodo IceDragon and Firefox browsers loaded, but work mostly with IE 11.
- I have been using Outlook email on MS Hosted Exchange for years.
- I have had Microsoft Office Professional 2003 on my machines since 2004, and MSFT is ceasing support and updates this year.
- Bing mapping Birds-Eye View is the real ticket, IMO. And GOOG charges me money to have my office location on Google Maps. Grrr....
- I edit photos with MSFT Digital Image Suite, a 2006 program that still works nicely on my 64 Bit W7 machines.
- OTOH, we did have Android phones, and have a Verizon 4G LTE Xoom Android tablet, and a Color B&N Nook Tablet with a truncated Android OS.
Then we approached the end of 2013, and various influences developed:
- I thought I would like to try a Windows phone. Specifically a Nokia 1020 or Nokia 1520. We were with Sprint, and Sprint cannot get Nokia.
- AT&T has a fine selection of Nokia Lumia phones. 820, 920, 1020, and 1520. Plus the 2520 tablet.
- Hubris and Drama. Sturm and Drang.... Sprint was bought by Softbank, with the promise of a multi-billion dollar capital infusion, and we have patiently awaited a better wireless network and a better device selection. And, Sprint/Softbank announced that they will try to buy T-Mobile. Billions of dollars, with a multi-billion dollar penalty if they fail to close. Failure to close on T-Mobile cost AT&T $7 Billion.
I know this is all about securing wireless spectrum for the long term, but after the recent "long term," some aggressive wireless network improvement light at the end of the tunnel would have been, oh, so nice.
And Deutsch Telecom desperately wants to unload T-Mobile, which lost about $16 Billion last year. Yikes. I decided enough was enough. "Hello, AT&T. I want to try your fast and reliable 4G LTE!"
- Microsoft Office 365 came on my radar again. $150/year for Office 365 Small Business Premiumto load the full Office 2013 suite on 5 computers and 5 mobile devices was hard to ignore. I have been paying $136/year for my Outlook Hosted Exchange, and Office 365 will include it in that $150. And as mentioned, support for Office 2003 will ride into the sunset this year.
- And, AT&T was eager to convert me from Sprint. I am satisfied with the transaction that delivered to me a Hot Red Nokia 920 for Mrs., a Hot Red Nokia 1520 for me, and a Nokia 2520 tablet for work.
Since we paid separately for LTE for the Xoom, we find we can actually share data for less than the Sprint and Verizon bills totaled together.
Done deal. For 2014, All Microsoft, All The Time.
Office 365, Small Business Premium, which I will also provide to any associate brokers.
The three Nokia Lumia devices. Put me in the camp that likes the tiles.
Disconnect Verizon for the Xoom.
Sell two Android phones, and possibly the color Nook, if Mrs. says so. Making the upfront cash outlay wash out, and then celebrate the monthly savings.
Who knows? Maybe the next brainstorm will be to go All Apple All The Time in 2015?