Thursday, July 16, 2009

a trip to the Microsoft company store...

I was recently in Redmond and one of my good MSFT friends was kind enough to take me to the company store to pick up a copy of VS2008 and Vista. As we strolled through the lobby, we saw this:

And later on, inside the store proper, we saw this:

My friend, who is a PM for User Experience related things in the Windows team just sighed and said, "why does it gotta be this way?" And I laughed.

But it is easy to make fun of Microsoft for failing in their own technology showcase, but I've learned two things:

1) All software is pretty terrible when you get down to it.
2) Programming is hard.

Both machines are using Windows in a way that was not the primary concern of anyone who was working on Windows Vista. Developers tend to focus on the use cases they expect--users at home, users at work. But as computers become more general purpose, we have to start thinking through a bunch of other scenarios as well. Heck, I bet someone even knows how to configure these machines to prevent these things from happening, but I couldn't tell you how to do it.

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