Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Does Microsoft Get Usability?

I've played with Windows 7 a bit - still have it on my Macbook in Parallels. It's definitely an improvement over Windows Vista, but I still end up using XP for anything Windows-related that I really have to do. I assumed, like many, that the improvements - Vista to 7, were an indication that Microsoft is starting to finally get usability and user experience. Unfortunately, this video seems to indicate that Redmond may not be as far along as I thought. If a little change like this is so cumbersome and difficult, we might as well sell everyone Linux boxes and have them do their configurations at the command line.
Apple a Day: Windows 7 ‘Quick Tip’ video suggests more switchers in Apple’s future
Long-suffering Windows users hopeful that Windows 7 will make their lives easier shouldn’t watch the video below.

In this ‘Quick Tip,” CNET executive editor Tom Merritt explains how to restore the Quick Launch Bar to the Taskbar in Windows 7. The Quick Launch Bar was a feature popular in previous versions of Windows.

It’s nice that Microsoft allows users to recover such older-version features not switched on by default, but even the spaghetti-thinkers in Redmond could have come up with a better way to go about it.

I’ve never seen a procedure this convoluted in any version of the Mac OS. (Of course, Apple rarely provides an option to restore dropped Mac OS features, such as the editable Apple menu. It leaves that to third parties.)

If this video is any indication of what changing settings in Windows 7 will be like, then Apple will need extra employees on hand in the weeks after the product’s launch to handle all the mobs of disaffected PC users.


Anonymous said...

You mean you don't think typing "Edit Group Policy" is an obvious way to go about adding the task bar? :-)

In all seriousness, I'd be willing to bet that this is one of several ways of doing it -- not to give too much credit to MS.

BTW- what's the point of this line: "still have it on my Macbook in Parallels." Is it to make sure no one thinks you're a real Windows user? If so, why the mention of Parallels? To differentiate between it and any other method of running Windows on your Macbook? Why?

I see this all the time by bloggers, and never quite got it.

Mike Qaissaunee said...

Hello anonymous,

Thanks for the comment.

While I think a windows administrator or an MCSE could easily make that change, it's not something that most average users could do. I haven't explored to see if there are other ways to do it, so I can't comment on that.

The point of saying that I still have it [Windows 7] ... is that for Windows functions I still need XP - Windows 7 is a beta.

My primary machine is a mac, but I also run Windows XP on a Tablet PC, Linux for 2 Linux admin courses I teach, Windows for TCP/IP and all of the CADD software course I teach.


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