I realized I left out three additional gems that vendors seem to have just fallen off the planet when it comes to the REAL WORLD!

Operating Systems

Mac

They are not going away, and yet an enormous amount of vendors do not support them. I guess they have no desire to attract this audience.  Apparently they are awash in cash or assume that everyone uses Microsoft.

Microsoft – Windows 7

Yes, and it needs to be both 32 bit and 64 bit, which are different. Go to the store and you will see the laptops and home desktops coming out with the 64 bit version home OS, better yet, there is a 64 bit browser for IE, which is slightly different than the regular IE browser.  Some home users are upgrading to 32 bit OS of Windows 7 as well. Why?

Because in order to use 64 bit, you have to have a system that supports 64 bit. And if you had purchased a machine that had XP and decided to take the plunge to get to Windows 7 – without a new purchase, you went to 32 bit.

If you had bought a Vista machine you could have purchased one that was 32 bit, since many machines were not 64 bit.  I have 64 bit. I only get products that support 64 bit. And yes, Firefox supports 64 bit.   I didn’t add Vista, because IMO it is garbage and 7 is just better.

Browsers

Netscape

Many vendors support this. Why? Who uses it? Unless I am back in the mid 90’s with NCSA Mosaic 2.1 or using the Wayback Machine (search google if u are unsure what this is), then I’m not. So dump it.  If you want to hit the alternative browser market – go after Opera (which some Smartphones use) or Avant (another small segment of population use).  But forget Netscape.

Firefox 3.0+

The newer versions offer more functionality, better security, more capabilities – than older versions. So if you are seriously looking at web 2.0 and higher, then update your browser requirements. Trust me, people will go online and download. The specs can handle someone using Windows XP.

Microsoft IE

Same thing. Honestly, IE 8.0.  Welcome to 2010.  Show you get it.  Or stay in the time warp with Netscape.

Safari

Not only is it for Macs, but Windows users can download a version of it as well. That said, it is the browser most mac users – well, frankly use. They hate anything Microsoft, hence going with Apple (at least that is what my true Mac friends say).

Language Support

Yes, there are many languages that LMS/LCMS vendors leave out, considering we live in a global marketplace, but there is one that really stands out:

Latin American Spanish

This is different than Spanish.  LAS is not just Central America, it is Latin America – which many consider to include Mexico.  I grew up on the border and learned LAS, not Spanish from Spain (which they teach in College and many text books).

If you want to learn the language, check out Rosetta Stone and you will see that they offer a course in Latin American Spanish – really great.  When I look at LMS/LCMS vendors I always ask them if they support LAS. One of my top five. If they do not..see ya.  Include your Spanish, but add Latin American Spanish!

Lastly, the only way vendors will change is if end users stand up and say to them – we need you to change – we want to see this and that. Until that happens, many will never change. They will go as it is…never changing. And for some..they will go the route of Polaroid, who waited too long to realize that the digital photography market really was going to achieve success and work.  Polaroid has never rebounded from it.

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