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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 29, 2013 at 7:01 AM

No need for new nationwide software

It’s difficult to implement a brand-new software system

I couldn’t help notice in today’s Times on page A10 Patrick Marshall’s advice column to readers experiencing computer-software problems [“Windows 8 update bombing? Sounds like a driver conflict,” Business, Oct. 26].

Back in the ‘90s and 2000s I worked for a company that had offices in eight Western states and went through several new software-operating systems. All were painful experiences, with even some employees leaving because of the stress and frustration involved in using the new systems.

Our country is now trying to roll out a nationwide software system to sign citizens up for health-care insurance. This involves 50 states — some implementing their own systems, some not — coordinating with hundreds of insurers, dealing with thousands of medical conditions and income levels. Did Microsoft have problems with its initial software rollouts? Did Amazon? Did the U.S. with Medicare Part D?

These experiences show how difficult it is to implement a brand-new software system, especially one that affects the entire U.S. population. Be patient, people. Software can be fixed, patched, upgraded, or whatever, just like in the company I worked for or in the one that employs you now.

Ken White, Seattle

Comments | More in technology | Topics: Computer software

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