It’s the Software, Stupid!

I recently got Kellie a new all-in-one printer/scanner/copier for her office.  After years of buying HP printers, I got tired of their crappy software.  I have no idea why they insist on a multi-hundred megabyte distribution just to support a printer:  they install a bunch of stuff I don’t want/need, and the software I do need isn’t that good.

This time, we bought an Epson (WorkForce 635), and it’s a refreshing difference.  The build quality seems comparable to HP, but the software is much, much more streamlined.

The whole experience underscores something interesting:  the overall usability, quality, and capability of many hardware devices is increasingly defined by software.  Yet many hardware companies fail to prioritize their software design.

Consider this thought experiment:  would you rather have an Android phone running iOS, or an Apple phone running Android?

2 thoughts on “It’s the Software, Stupid!

  1. It is hard for me to believe that no one has commented on your post. First of all to answer your question. Neither. Either circumstance would ruin my iPhone. Now on to HP Software. You are absolutely correct. HP has terrible software. For instance, why can’t they design scanner software that gives me a simple to use and understand setup page prior to scanning where I can change file type, dpi settings, color or black and white, send to file or email etc.; not unlike many setup pages for simple printing? The scanner software provided by HP in my opinion is not user friendly. A large corporation like HP should get the importance of having simple to use, flexible to install, software to run their hardware. Not having good software diminishes greatly the quality of the hardware. Is the HP bureaucracy too mired to not be able to see the extreme value in this. My pick is Epson too.

    • Thank you for your note. I think HP lost track of the fact that it’s about user experience, not just hardware and not just software.

      I think they also fell into the trap of using partner deals to drive revenue, which further clutters (and compromises) the user experience.

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