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New Gadget OOBE at Christmas Can Be a Frustrating Experience



One of the problems with being a geek is that your entire family depends on you for any sort of gadget knowledge, troubleshooting, and advice.  Already during this holiday season I’ve set up or answered questions about setup on two Windows devices, one Mac, one iPad. I have at least one more Windows device to go.  That device has been waiting for a couple of days for “uncle Warner” to get in town to set it up. When the word comes down that “uncle Warner” will figure it out, all I can do is smile and say here we go again

Geeks everywhere know this, but setup on a Windows device is a tedious process and it is certainly one that can slow down anybody’s Christmas joy after a package is opened. Setting up an Apple device is a much easier and much quicker process and the difference between the out of box experience (OOBE) between those two platforms is, well, let’s just call it night an day. After you get through the basics and get things running, OEMs certainly don’t help with all of the popups and trash they throw at you either for all of the supposedly “value add” CRAPWARE they’ve pre-installed. The number of questions I get that begin with “Do I need this?” or “What is this?” is astounding.

I won’t go into details as we all know what I’m talking about it. In a way I feel sorry for Microsoft. With all of the patches and security crap you have to go through to set up a Microsoft computer it is a no win situation compared to Apple. The question I have is how many folks try to set things up ahead of time to eliminate those slow OOBE moments on Christmas moment.

How about you? Do you set things up ahead of time or do you wait until the wrapping paper comes off? Does Windows OOBE turn you off? What are your thoughts?



  1. Xavier Lanier

    12/27/2010 at 5:39 pm

    Surprisingly, the only gadget gifted in our family was a new Kindle for my dad. Out of box experience was absolutely painless.
    I really hope Microsoft/PC OEMs come up with a better solution as not everyone has an uncle Warner and the devices are returned too often.

  2. KidDoc

    12/27/2010 at 6:03 pm

    Never pay it much attention. I set up so many devices because of my bad habit of buying them that it is just a natural part of the experience. Certainly, the 11″ Air I just got this am was faster than the ExoPC I bought a few weeks ago. At the end of the day, the difference in long-term use is what will make or break a platform/brand.


  3. savagemike

    12/28/2010 at 7:27 am

    It is the geek’s cross to bear.
    The more awkward part is drawing that necessary line in the sand about how far your reach of free support is going to extend.
    It is never a fun conversation explaining to your brother-in-law that you simply don’t have time to go set up or fix his cousin’s computer even though you always show up with a smile every time he or your sister call in need of help.

    As to setting up in advance, it never really occurred to me to be honest. It would feel a little odd giving them an already opened box to open. Kind of takes the ‘new car’ shine off it somehow.

    • savagemike

      12/28/2010 at 7:31 am

      Just wanted to add, that the ‘cross to bear’ is kind of nice as well.
      It does make one feel good having something concrete to contribute to friends and family.
      There is nothing abstract about something not working, then you show up, and now it works.
      Perhaps I betray some insecurity by confiding it – but it makes me feel good inside to be able to do that for people I care about, as well as people who have helped me in various ways.

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