What Are They Smoking In Redmond?

I think it’s pretty clear I like my Windows 7 boxes. The interface is smooth, and the OS does what I want it when I want it to. Becoming a new Mac owner hasn’t really changed that. Both platforms have their own charms, but I do miss my hot keys on the Mac. So I should be a fan of Windows 8. Right?

Um… No. Why?

Windows 8 desktop

Source: Microsoft

What in the hell is that mess? Where’s my task bar? Where’s my Start button? Windows is a taskbar and a Start button.

Of course, the mentality is that Microsoft wants you to have a seamless experience across all platforms: desktop, tablet, phone. Neat concept. And that screenshot above looks really good for a touchscreen on a tablet. That’s actually pretty smart.

But…

Here’s a screen shot of OS X Mountain Lion, which lives on your iMac, Mini, or MacBook.

Macintosh desktop

Source: Apple

Not too different from the first OS X machines from over a decade ago, is it?

Now here’s an iPad…

iPad desktop

Source: Apple

Notice it doesn’t look like the Mac interface. Why?

Because Mac’s are PC’s! They have a keyboard and a mouse and need Finder and an icon bar to navigate. The iPad has a bunch of big square icons that are finger friendly because it’s a tablet. Pull any Android device off the shelf and look at it. Notice those look more like the iPad or the iPhone because those are tablets and phones. Now, Google has a netbook OS called Chrome that looks more like the Mac or Windows 7 interfaces. Why? Those are PC’s.

I’m not sure what’s in the water in Redmond, but Microsoft needs to stop drinking it. They did this with IE9 as well. You don’t have the Search box anymore. Microsoft wants you to use the browser’s address bar. I’ve tried it. It thinks that word you typed in as a search term is a web address. So let’s say I’m bored at work and want to look at web sites about sex. (My misuse of the company’s Internet is actually much more boring, but work with me. I’m working magic here.) So I type in “sex.” IE9 sends me to sex.com. Now, I don’t know if that’s a real site. (Feel free to check it, but the resulting malware infection is on you.) I suppose that’s relevant, but I was looking for search results, not a specific web site. Worse, type in Google, and it sends you to Bing. I don’t want Bing. Bing sucks. If I wanted Bing, I’d type “Bing.” Get it?

I know Microsoft wants to add features with each new release. I want them to. But I also want a consistent interface. Quit changing things around for the sake of changing things around. You’ll stay relevant longer.

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2 thoughts on “What Are They Smoking In Redmond?

  1. You’ve hit on one of my pet peeves: too many companies think of what might be cool for their most savvy customers–those drinking the Kool-Aid–and run with it. People who use the technology as tools, taking what they want/need from iy, are expected to catch up with what the designers have decided the public “Wants.” I don’t have a smart phone. I don’t need one. I don’t want one. I can see how cool iPads are, but there’s nothing in my life that requires one. Just let us use what we need, and remember to keep things easy for the less savvy among your customers.

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