Originally Posted by NSutherl
I don't think you're following his point. He's saying that Windows computers were also "fragmented" in the sense that 1 OS has to work on hundreds of of hardware platforms, and they seemed to turn out just fine.
Fragmentation isn't inherently bad. Case in point, Windows currently owns almost 75%
of the OS market (Mac OS is under 10%), while Android has 59%
of the smartphone OS market (iOS is at 23%). Part of what makes Android so great is that you have hundreds of devices to choose from, not just one with a teeny tiny screen.
The main difference between smartphone fragmentation and computer fragmentation is that one is expected when the equipment is purchased and the other is sold separately.
OS updates and upgrades are expected with any smartphone you buy (at least one during the life of the phone). The things that limit that from happening are the manufacturers and the carriers. With computers you may buy a Vista (shiver) computer just before Win 7 comes out, but you are going to have to go out a buy Win 7 and install it yourself.
We expect updates (right or wrong, we do) and when those updates can take as long as a year to come out it is frustrating to see the next version of the OS coming out just as you are getting the previous one. I had a Fascinate and didn't see Gingerbread on that phone until right about the time of the ICS announcement. What makes it even more frustrating is that with each OS update we are excited about impressive new features that we want to have. Eclair had Google Nav. Froyo had flash and tethering. Gingerbread had NFC, Video Chat, VOIP, etc. ICS has a whole new design, faster camera, tabbed browsing, new notification bar, etc. When all the new stuff comes out you want it and you don't want to wait 6 months while a bunch of people who don't care mess with it before giving it to you like they promised when you bought the phone.
I understand the comparison and in some ways you/he are right. Software still works, phone calls can be made, browsing can still be done and games can still be played. To most people it makes absolutely no difference. To us it is like having that proverbial carrot dangled in front of our faces and some sadist laughing in the background as they pull it away again and again.
We can all hope that with the less blurred blur and the more sensible sense with ICS we can get updates that much faster now. We will probably have to wait longer for the Wiz to touchdown, but maybe they can all speed things up with less skinning to do.