Learning from Marriott

This morning I’ve received the following twit by @gregsramblings “The Marriott TV system is having issues. The attached screenshot made me laugh. 14yr old OS!”

The screenshot was showing the Windows 98 logo with a message that it’s shutting down.
It does look funny that a major hotel chain is using a 15-year old OS to support their TV broadcasting. But give it a second thought – is there a compelling reason to upgrade the Windows OS? For Marriott, this would translate into a multi-million project with questionable outcome?

Most likely, their guests would not even notice the change. I can only guess that the CIO of Marriott was not able (or haven’t even tried) to sell the OS upgrade to his higher ups.

Is the “Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix” policy always a smart strategy? It depends on how often Windows 98 gives troubles to Marriott’s TV system. Most likely, Microsoft charges premium to support outdated Window 98 software. But is there a need to support it?

I’m receiving offers to upgrade the software on my MacBook daily. Unless it’s a fix for a security hole, I just ignore it. Apple has released their Mac OS X Lion 18 months ago. I have not upgraded my OS as of yet and lived happily thereafter. Modern software requires more powerful hardware. I guess, Apple was not able to sell me the need for the upgrade from Snow Leopard to Lion.

Half of the enterprises are still using Internet Explorer 6. Attend any HTML5 presentation at any conference. The speaker will never forget to mention that certain features are supported by every Web browser except IE 6. The audience laughs. But people who run IT operations in any decent size enterprise seems to have bad sense of humor. They often can’t fund money for doing an enterprise-wide upgrade of Web browsers. Besides, creators of JavaScript frameworks advertise support of their features on any browser including IE6. Why bother?

When you live in a house, the kitchen or bathroom upgrades increase the reselling value of the house. But replacing carpet with hardwood floors or digging a pool in the backyard does not increase the value of the house (at least in the USA).

So should Marriott upgrade their Windows 98 to Windows 7? I’m not so sure. Unless the upgrade will offer some new TV services to their guests, I wouldn’t bother.


2 thoughts on “Learning from Marriott

  1. Good post and I agree with all the points but don’t enterprises think that there are always limits to what extends they can stretch these? I mean eventually, at some point, maybe even soon it’s going to collapse on them. There definitely would come a moment when they’d need to either upgrade or build everything from scratch, and I’m not sure if it would be cheaper to do everything from ground up rather than slowly keep things at least somehow up to date now.

    Just my 2 cents…

    1. Just FYI: What you run into is for sure one of the channels from the many channles being displayed/listed, connected to a Windows 98 pc/laptop that was probably displaying powerpoint or something of that nature. I would not comment about technology without knwoing how the TV system works. If Windows 98 or even Windows 7 was running the TV system and it froze like that, you would have seen a blank screen. What you saw was a result of one of the channles set to broadcast a screen of a laptop/pc which in this case sounds like a machine running windows 98 OS.

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