Get em young: Windows 8 indoctrination



blog Many young Australians head off to school these days with a collection of Apple paraphenalia; iPhones, iPods and now iPads are common items to see in the schoolbags of students attending both high school and primary school. And in some schools, iPads are even starting to replace physical textbooks (wish that had happened when I was there; our math textbook weighed about a kilo). However, for at least one young man, there won’t be any Apple in his forseeable future. Windows Phone Down Under editor Sheeds chronicles the tale of how he has allocated a Windows Surface RT tablet for his eldest son’s high school days:

“… our trepidation was centred largely around how would his Surface RT go in the big, wide educational world? Would it stand out like a sore thumb (aka Windows 7 tablet) amongst the long list of bland iPads – or would it be sneered at by the Ultrabook crew with their thin, light-supermodel form factors?”

You do see quite a bit of this in the IT industry. Your dad works for Microsoft? Welcome to Windows. Windows everywhere. Your Dad works for Samsung? You’ll be getting an Android device, son. Your Dad works for BlackBerry (yes, we have even seen this case over the years)? You’re getting the latest BlackBerry. Fortunately, as an objective journalist, the LeMay household is technology agnostic, with a combination of Apple, Dell (Windows) and Android being used (and even all three gaming consoles), and even Linux on occasion, so your writer’s children will be growing up with the best of all worlds. They may, however, be forced to go through some compulsory rigorous daily coaching on their inevitable journey to become professional StarCraft II players ;) That’s just par for the course.

Image credit: Microsoft


  1. “They may, however, be forced to go through some compulsory rigorous daily coaching on their inevitable journey to become professional StarCraft II players ;)”

    Send them to a South Korean boot camp for the next summer holidays.

    • If you send a teenage boy to Korea he’ll probably come back a worse player than when he left.

  2. It seems cruel to subject a high school child to the ridicule of toting a Surface RT tablet around.

  3. Lol, my not even 2 year old daughter has decided our family iPad is officially hers and gets quite cris if she catches the wife or I using it! :-)

    She also loves playing with our iPhones! :-D

  4. LOL Renai :) Appreciate the coverage, however despite him knowing my strong preference for the MS ecosystem – he had my 100% support with no pressure on his choice of device. We have 2 ipods in the household. I think you mistook the tongue-in-cheek elements of how this was written with some parental pressure to only choose the path I wanted.

    ANY parent that directed their child this way, whether Apple/Google/MS is hardly my ideal of a good parent.


    • heh I wasn’t trying to be too serious with my post, mate; I didn’t think you’d force anything on the kids ;) To my mind, it’s usually more of a situation of the kids independently wanting what the parents have ;) I wasn’t having a go at you — just poking a bit of fun ;)

      • All good :) As I said – I appreciate the coverage! I thought it might have been a bit of a linkbait headline lol

    • Poor kid. What did he ever do to deserve WindowsRT? I guess one way to make sure your kid doesn’t waste time on games, is to put him on an OS without any good ones.

  5. Agnostic coming from the greek Gnostic (Information) – Agnostic (lack of/no information)

    Therefore the LeMay household is lacking in technology information….

    Well, I suppose still the same thing by the sound of the article…..

  6. I’m guessing Renai missed the point in the article where Sheeds mentioned that they didn’t push any platform on him, they presented all options objectively and then let him make a decision on his own.

      • As someone who currently owns, and is very happy with a Surface RT, I would have to say that it would be a mistake if he didn’t choose the Surface.

        But to each their own I suppose.

  7. Renai – you do realise that Sheeds doesn’t work for Microsoft, he is just a fan of the technology?

    On this particular topic, several children of my friends and colleagues have seen my Surface RT and have asked their parents to buy them one because it looks cool and they won’t look like iSheep. :-)

  8. I’m rather skeptical about the products a child is introduced to affecting what they can use. At school, I learned on Apple IIgs’ and Windows 3.1 machines running ClarisWorks, while at home I used MS-DOS, MS Word 5 and SuperCalc. At university I used Windows 95/98, VMS and Unix, at home it was Windows 2000/XP with OpenOffice. At work I now use Windows 7 and MS Office 2010, at home I use Ubuntu and OS X, both with Google Docs – and of course iPhones and iPads at both.

    Of course, there is no chance any child of mine is touching a Windows 8 device.

    • LOL. I’m with you Charles. The more the better. Owned System Eco-spheres and the Open Source OS’ and their offerings, are wonderful for innovation and evolution of Technology. Never get stuck in becoming dependent on one sphere of existence in your digital world, or risk extinction at the stroke of someone’s pen. It always happens, one day. Let the young learn them all, be happy to work and play across all the spheres of influence and same with all the offerings.

      All Pads, phones and PCs should be platform independent. By making it it mandatory, it would drive all of technology by an evolution of excellence and not just Marketing. The User should be King, not the Market.
      To all the Marketeers out there, sorry, no matter how your dress it up, if it’s crap and cannot perform, it will die and deserves to.

      • “All Pads, phones and PCs should be platform independent.”

        Can I have some of what you on please?

      • In all honesty tho, I prefer iOS precisely because it is a mostly closed ecosystem – imho Android is the biggest piece of mobile malware every foisted upon society!

        While iOS liberated us from the control of the carriers (no crappy carrier bloatware, no nasty carrier brands plastered over exterior of the phone or UI, no OEM skins messing up a perfectly nice UI, no big delays getting OS updates or even not at all etc), Android has given the carriers and OEM back control.

        it’s like the difference between buying a PC and a Mac, the PC’s now come loaded with all sorts of crap and Mac’s are pretty clean (btw I dont own a Mac) – the only advantage to PC’s is BYO (which I do) however when it comes to phones it’s simply not possible to build your own!

        Making matters worse is Google dont even vet apps properly and horror stories abound of android owners getting real malware on their phones from Play store supplied apps!

        • Hence if the hardware could evolve being independent of the OS’, but in a common symbiotic adaption to innovation by excellence, driven by a User adaptation biosphere, the most rewarding product will raise the user experience and evolve a satisfaction driven multi-product market to a competition based Market Economy working as it should.
          This evolution has to be driven by the Consumer and not Executive Board Room incest that occurs today (Remember the Hapsburg Family involvement in Europe’s Royal Families, with the problems of genetic inbreeding). Driven mainly by the the cross-pollination of Executives sitting on Multiple Corporate Boards around the world, we have come by this problem that can incarcerate us all. They hide it very well from us that they have engineered a technological evolution profit being driven by Corporate Executive bonuses and not a technical innovation evolution and profits being driven by the End User adoption. We are becoming the Slaves in technology, and not the Masters of it as we should.

          Continue down the current trends that Board Room plutocracy drives the current Markets and we devolve back into Robber Baron rule again. Do we wish to go there? Technological evolution will be driven once again by whims of the Powerful’s desires instead of the People’s need, where it evolves the best. Remember the darkness and the slow pace of technology in the Dark Ages driven by politico-religious propaganda that is now resurfacing. Ugh! Horrible.

          We now suffer this problem in the Politics of our Nation and isn’t it repulsive. Do we want the Technology biosphere to operate in the same way? It’s happening before our eyes. Stop the rot now by your choices and demanding “Enough of this crap of locked Walled Gardens”. It’s Nationalism all over again which always leads to bloodshed. Spare your children our mistakes of the past and bequeath to them a brighter future, if possible. Your choices matter. Demand choice again and place in check their rot. Wealth is their addiction and money is their oxygen. Remember, your their pusher and supply what they need. You can control them.

          Smile, we create the world we live in. Empower your self with choice for a brighter future for absolutely everyone.

        • I have a love/hate relationship with iOS. I love Apple’s hardware, the speed Nd fluidity of iOS, and a massive ecosystem of quality apps, and I appreciate the benefits of a curated App Store. However I still get annoyed at the lack of choice over something as simple as changing your default web browser.

          If Apple would only loosen their tight control to allow users to a.) choose their default email client, web browser and maps client and b.) Open up a limited and highly curated “system tweaks” and “themes” section to allow some of the brilliant 3rd party tweaks and themes available via Cydia, to be installed via a dedicated section in the App Store, it would be an infinitely more enjoyable and personalised experience.

          Until that time (which will more than likely never happen) I will always jailbreak every iDevice I own (which is currently an iPhone 5, iPad 3 and AppleTV2) all of which have been heavily modified to overcome their inherent limitations. To me this is the best of both worlds. The refined, smooth experience of iOS and iOS hardware with countless apps + the open world of jailbreaking with its huge range of system modifications to get your devices exactly how you want them.

          This is usually the point where someone will reply with “why don’t you just buy an Android phone” but as pointed out above, unless you choose a Nexus device you’re going to be lumped with an ugly skin, bloatware and drip-fed software updates, which generally means rooting and installing a custom ROM to avoid, which is actually more work than jailbreaking.

  9. “However I still get annoyed at the lack of choice over something as simple as changing your default web browser.”

    Yeah that is one of the few things i also dislike about iOS as I prefer Google chrome across all my iOS devices and PC’s.

    Oh and I JB’d my ATV2 as well, XBMC 12.0 is simply outstanding on ATV2!

  10. “Yeah that is one of the few things i also dislike about iOS as I prefer Google chrome across all my iOS devices and PC’s.”

    Same. I have the “BrowserChanger” tweak installed on my iPhone and iPad so I can set Chrome to default, and it comes with the added bonus of setting the new Google Maps as the default Maps app. Google have really lifted their game with high quality iOS apps over the last year (the new Gmail app and Google+ are great in addition to Maps) so you can still have a great Google experience on an iOS device. I don’t think many Android users realise that.

    “Oh and I JB’d my ATV2 as well, XBMC 12.0 is simply outstanding on ATV2!”

    Same again :) . I’ve been running XBMC on my ATV2 since the day I bought it, and I’ve also been using Plex a lot lately (seems to be better if you have multiple devices to keep in sync, as XBMC is tricky to synchronize across devices). Its amazing how much better the ATV2 is when jailbroken. And I get constant use out of airplay.

    • I only have a single Media/Home Server with 6TB of storage so dont really need Plex. :)

      I just wish that the ATV3 JB would hurry up and arrive as ATV2’s are insanely expensive atm and I want another one!

      • It may never be jailbroken to be honest. Hackers have said that because it doesn’t have a standard bootloader, and because iOS on ATV is so stripped down to the basics (with no ability to install apps of any kind by default) that finding exploits is proving to be near impossible. It’s a real shame as a jailbroken 1080p ATV3 would be a beast (and incredible value for $100).

        I’m not too fussed as 1080p doesn’t stream too well across my wireless network, so I have an HDMI cable running from my PC to the plasma to playback 1080p content using XBMC when I want maximum quality. However it’s the ease of use, instant boot time and AirPlay which keeps the ATV2 in frequent use.

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