Bing’s Halloween 2019 homepage

While I’m not really into Halloween, I found it interesting and share-worthy to see that Bing celebrates this holiday today by having a video of the Romanian Corvin castle (also known as the Hunedoara Castle), one of the 7 wonders of Romania. Count Dracula can be seen on the castle roof after the lights turn off, and, after he transforms into a bat, a bunch of bats fly out towards the camera.

Also, if you click on the “Protect your neck” text in the lower-right corner of the page and then on the “Play today’s quiz” in box that pops up, you can play the daily Bing quiz, which, especially for Halloween, is vampire-related.

bing Halloween 2019 Corvin Castle Romania
bing Halloween 2019 Corvin Castle Romania

An alternative to Android and iOS is kind of needed

Is it just me or has the Google – Apple duopoly become rather upsetting lately? Personally, I’ve found the gradual withdrawal of Blackberry OS, Symbian OS and Windows Phone OS from the mobile operating systems scene to be quite bothersome.

Do you remember the days when every major smartphone manufacturer had its own operating system? In our home, we still have two LG smartphones from the middle 2000s in our household and yes, they had a touchscreen and could be used to browse the internet. No apps were available at that time for the operating system they ran on, but still, for LG to create its own operating system for a device that probably sold for only a couple of years was a demonstration of the fact that it can be done; that companies can create their own operating systems and maintain them despite the competition.

So what happened? Why have all the companies that had the resources to compete with Apple and Google abandoned the race? All we got from Microsoft and Blackberry so far in regards to the reasons for the discontinuation of their mobile operating systems were vague answers that left their fans’s questions unanswered.

With the ever-increasing technological development, one would think that we should aspire towards diversity. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t necessarily want us to return to the time when each mobile phone manufacturer had its own OS, but a little variety would be more than welcomed. Is having more than two mobile operating systems too much to ask?

The struggle to create the best mobile operating system that got people excited in the early 2010s has now become the struggle to create customization appreciated by users. What do smartphone manufacturers do nowadays to differentiate themselves on the software side? They resort to insignificant and cumbersome gimmicks that have very little use in everyday life.

I can’t help but become nostalgic when I remember the old Nokia smartphones (with the gigantic camera on the back) that ran on Symbian OS, Blackberry’s OS 10 devices and their announcement that they had added a voice assistant to compete with Apple’s Siri, HP’s Web OS devices and, of course, Microsoft’s promising first Windows Phone devices.

Almost all the products (smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, smart TVs) on display in IT stores use Android. Different versions of Android, it’s true, but still Android. The others? iOS. Yes, I’m tired of having to choose between the buggy Android devices with their short lifespan and the expensive “iDevices” and their lack of customization.

Yes, I do miss the variety and the experience of learning to use a new software from scratch, the cool feeling you have when you discover hidden features. I remember learning to use Windows Phone quite intellectually stimulating among other things. Unfortunately, I never got the chance to use a Blackberry OS device and I do not intend to purchase one even though you can still find old Blackberry phones running on Blackberry 10 on the market.

What is your view on the Google and Apple duopoly on the smartphone, smartwatch and tablet market? Are you also fed up with it? Share your opinions in the comments.