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Windows Software Ugly, Boring & Uninspired

Zonk posted about 9 years ago | from the i-didn't-say-it dept.

Software 924

An anonymous reader writes "CPU magazine has written a very straight-to-the-point editorial on the lack of quality and innovation in software for the mainstream OS. They compare it to the Mac, which is found in a much different light. Where has all the innovation gone?" From the article: "There's too much coal and not enough diamonds within the sphere of downloads. The greatest pieces of software are plagued by unintelligent design, and very few rise to the level of ubiquity. Windows users don't have a strong sense of belonging; there's no user community rallying around the platform. We use the computer, certainly, or is the computer using us?"

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924 comments

Garbage (5, Insightful)

nokilli (759129) | about 9 years ago | (#12975220)

So if it's so ugly, boring & uninspired, there should be a ton of examples as to how, say, Mac OS X is so much more beautiful, exciting and uplifting? Yet, he's only able to give us one:
With Apple's release of Tiger, widgets--desktop applets that each serve one purpose--have jumped to the forefront of everybody's imagination. Why? Because they look slicker than snot!
Excuse me, but Widgets are easily the most retarded thing out of Apple since the Dock.

There isn't one of them that gives you functionality that your browser doesn't already afford. Sure, they're pretty, but what's going to happen is that as people amass more and more of these widgets, the dashboard becomes cluttered and slow (it already is painfully slow on my MDD 1.25GHz G4, and that's just with the stock widgets, with the default set active only). Then there's going to be the question as to how to organize them all... the faux dock at the bottom is already insufficient. I know, let's stick a menu in there! Great idea!

Why not call it the Widgets Menu? And when you choose a widget from the menu, up comes the widget! Just like if you had chosen a bookmark from the Bookmarks menu from your favorite browser: up comes the web page containing the info you sought!

Or, we could create a page of little Widgets links, and then the user could click on the link and up pops the widget! Just as if it were a web page full of links, each leading to a separate page with different and useful functionality!

So my question is, why not just use the browser? IT ALREADY DOES THESE THINGS!

Not as pretty? Find a web page that has a decent designer/artist behind it. Between CSS and the GiMP, there's no excuse for ugly web pages anymore.

If you want to throw stones, throw them at a target that deserves to get hit: the Desktop Metaphor. Menus and windows with scrollbars and dialog boxes and lions and tigers and bears. The same constraints that Windows suffers under are also felt by Mac OS X, Gnome and KDE users too.

The branding has nothing to do with it.

BTW, Chris Pirillo, the guy who wrote this, he's the one who couldn't make the cut as a TechTV ScreenSaver, isn't that right?

Re:Garbage (3, Insightful)

sgant (178166) | about 9 years ago | (#12975237)

Wow, there's one web page out there that allows a browser to do all the things that a widget does...at a glance? I mean, you go to the widgets and BAM you see everything on one desktop all in one place and at a glance you see or can use specific things.

Didn't know an ordinary browser does this too! Which one? Where do I find that feature at? Again, which browser/web page has all this stuff all at the same time? You seem to know! Tell us oh wise one!

Re:Garbage (4, Insightful)

itistoday (602304) | about 9 years ago | (#12975261)

There isn't one of them that gives you functionality that your browser doesn't already afford. Sure, they're pretty, but what's going to happen is that as people amass more and more of these widgets, the dashboard becomes cluttered and slow (it already is painfully slow on my MDD 1.25GHz G4, and that's just with the stock widgets, with the default set active only). Then there's going to be the question as to how to organize them all... the faux dock at the bottom is already insufficient. I know, let's stick a menu in there! Great idea!
Widgets take up very little memory and all of the default ones take up 0% of the CPU most of the time (check with top if you don't believe me). You've got something else going on there if you say it's sluggish.

Your "Widget Menu" is coming though, and although it's already available in the form of many third-party tools [versiontracker.com] , Apple will be releasing one built into the Dashboard in their upcoming update: 10.4.2 [thinksecret.com]

As for the rest of your post, you clearly seem to have a very poor understanding of OS X. I suggest reading up on it [apple.com] to find out "a ton of examples as to how, say, Mac OS X is so much more beautiful, exciting and uplifting?".

Re:Garbage (0, Flamebait)

nokilli (759129) | about 9 years ago | (#12975295)

You're like Purillo, you can't give an example, so you first insult my "understanding of OS X", and then back it up by sending us to an advertisement by Apple as evidence of same?

Mod this guy up funny.

What really is there that is superior to Windows (besides FreeBSD underneath)? And don't you dare say Spotlight... it's a resource pig too (and one it seems you can't turn off either, much like Dashboard.)

C'mon, let's hear it!

Re:Garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975262)

Actually, there are a few dashboard widgets that I find more useful than hitting the browser. Mostly, because it's easier to hit F12 than to open a browser tab, click into it, type in the address, wait for it to load, etc.

I like the weather widget. I kind of like the calendar widget. I like the "count down to a specific day" widget. The phonebook, UPS/FEDEX/DHL tracking widget and wikipedia widgets are not bad, either.

But in general, widgets are just crap. I mean, why do I need a calculator widget when OSX has a calculator? Why do I need a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy widget or a Pacman widget? (Why isn't that an APPLICATION instead?). Why do I need a post-it-note widget, when Mac comes with Stickies already? And do I really need a "quote of the day" or "word of the day" widget?

And Chris Pirillo is a douche that looks like the annoying kid from those encyclopedia commercials back in the day. He does television, books, news articles and other crap based on tech, but he doesn't strike me as being any more informed or insightful than your average techie.

Re:Garbage (3, Interesting)

nokilli (759129) | about 9 years ago | (#12975326)

Mostly, because it's easier to hit F12 than to open a browser tab, click into it, type in the address, wait for it to load, etc.
You need to reexamine the way you use your browser then. Bookmark the address! Stick the bookmark in your Links bar, or in a menu within your links bar. Or drag it to the desktop... one double-click and you're at the page.

Everybody should spend five minutes working to optimize their browser experience. It's easily the most productive five minutes you'll spend on your computer.

As for waiting for it to load... that's my biggest problem with Dashboard. You invoke Dashboard and the widgets come up quick enough, but now you're waiting for all these different pages to load AT ONCE and during this time the GUI is VERY sluggish... I thought I'd enjoy the dictionary/thesaurus widget, but I was wrong. It's unusable. The interface indicates that it's ready for input, but it never is... it's always waiting on other widgets to load!

Like you say, it's easier launching the dedicated app that does the same thing. Or better yet, just keep it open.

Re:Garbage (3, Insightful)

itistoday (602304) | about 9 years ago | (#12975312)

So my question is, why not just use the browser? IT ALREADY DOES THESE THINGS!
Sorry, a web browser cannot do all the things as quickly and conveniently as Dashboard. Say I'd like to leave a note for myself with a list of groceries, while I'm not sure how you'd do with with a web browser, you can easily use the built-in "sticky note" widget to jot down several items.

What if you want to know the 5 day forcast for this week? You could launch up firefox and go to an easily memorizable website like weather.com, navigate through it, and find your forcast among the puddle of advertisements, or you could just press F12 and instantly see it in a very clear, simple interface.

Need to do some quick multiplication? Instead of searching google for a bloody online calculator, press F12 and out of nowhere pops up a calculator instantly.

In class and listening to a boring lecture? Press F12 and quickly play a few games like Pacman, chess, and Snake, right in the dashboard - no internet connection required!

Umm... so how would you do all that with a web browser, especially if you have... no internet connection? ;-)

Re:Garbage (4, Informative)

nokilli (759129) | about 9 years ago | (#12975357)

First off, any widget that requires an internet connection isn't going to work when the connection is down.

Secondly, I guess I could have been clearer, but I'm talking about the browser together with the stock desk-accessories that ALL of these OS's have... calculator, notepad. And games too.

Want to know the 5-day forecast for the week? Well, of course your browser is already open, so you're not waiting for it to load. And of course you've already bookmarked the exact place where that forecast is available, so basically, you're clicking on a link.

So let me rephrase that...

Want to know the 5-day forcecast for the week? Click on a link.

Given that you're only loading the page for that one link, and not potentially dozens of pages like you are when activating Dashboard, it's much faster.

Re:Garbage (1)

bheer (633842) | about 9 years ago | (#12975360)

> Umm... so how would you do all that with a web browser, especially if you have... no internet connection? ;-)

IE supports the res:// protocol to load pages, images, and even HTA (hypertext applications) from local files, such as DLLs. Similarly Mozilla has chrome://.

Re:Garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975375)

Checking the weather requires an internet connection (unless you happen to have a direct connection to the weather service...), and you can just bookmark the website, place a link anywhere you want, both in windows and linux, no biggie. Calculator? same thing, if you want a key and not and icon, you can use keyboard shortcuts, both windows and linux have them. If you want small games... well, get them and play them, no need for a web browser or anything special, in any of these cases. Etc, etc, etc. If you know how to use the OS, nothing of this is new. Maybe it's more 'in your face', but I for one don't like that.

Re:Garbage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975331)

So, if all the stuff to mac apple, is so fucked up, slow and borring. Does apple have more sales than ever. They have 79 % larger sales in the first quater of 2005 than in 2004.

And even more still, ralley to the mac osX.

So all bad it cannot be. And you complain, that there is no examples of windows beeing shitty. There is nothing to prove otherwise.
And since, windows has the most used os ever. And, they are 'Ohh' so good as you say. Shouldn't they be a little more innovative than they are ?

Re:Garbage (1)

dancingmad (128588) | about 9 years ago | (#12975356)

I'm a student of Japanese and Dashboard is very helpful.

Under Windows, to check Jim Breen's Biblical WWW Japanese dictionary I usually have to fire up Firefox (or make a new tab) browse to the site (either via the bookmark in my toolbar or through a google search on someone else's machine) and do my look up.

On my iBook, I call up dashboard with one button type or copy the text I want to look up from the new widget that hooks into Breen's dictionary.

Dashboard is about convience and little apps that you use often and for short periods of time.

Re:Garbage (1)

nokilli (759129) | about 9 years ago | (#12975397)

Under Windows, to check Jim Breen's Biblical WWW Japanese dictionary I usually have to fire up Firefox (or make a new tab) browse to the site (either via the bookmark in my toolbar or through a google search on someone else's machine) and do my look up.
Firefox is already running, so what you really have to do is click on Firefox then click on a link.

Now, if Apple really wanted to do something useful, they'd let us bind keystrokes to more sophisticated actions, like being able to open up a specific webpage in its own tab and activating the browser. THAT would be cool.

And it would be faster than your Dashboard solution.

Re:Garbage (0, Redundant)

jcr (53032) | about 9 years ago | (#12975387)

Yet, he's only able to give us one:

Why do you infer that he was only able to give one? Perhaps he didn't feel a need to belabour the point.

Excuse me, but Widgets are easily the most retarded thing out of Apple since the Dock.

YMMV.. I use them all the time.

-jcr

Re:Garbage (1, Troll)

PsychicX (866028) | about 9 years ago | (#12975403)

So, it seems to me that the problem is that this Chris Pirillo idiot defines consistent, functional, and efficient user interfaces as "Ugly, Boring, & Uninspired".

Maybe he's right. A real man's computer consists of hundreds of tiny little fragments, each of which behaves completely differently and shows no relation or connection to any other fragment. Now that's innovation.

Slashdot is ugly, boring & uninspired (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975223)

Wake me up when you're done frothing at the mouth.

Mac isn't boring and uninteresting?! (2, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | about 9 years ago | (#12975227)

As a recent Mac convert (okay, I owned a powerbook for awhile a couple years ago, too), I have to say that two of the three (boring, uninspired) fits for most of the Mac world, too.

Don't get me wrong, I love my powerbook. I am quickly becoming a big Apple fan. However, all of the software looks the same. It all has the same uninspired brushed-metal plastic-shiny interface. And aside from a few big applications and open source stuff, everything else is second-rate after-thoughts (that most certainly goes for games, which seem to be a last minute consideration in most developer's minds, resulting in lame five two or three year old games just-now coming out for Macs).

Yes, the Apple gui is prettier. But really, is there that much more innovation when it comes to applications and software for Apple (video and audio editing aside) than there is for any other platform? I don't really think so.

In fact, I would say that the Apple experience is very Orwellian. "Here is the interface you will use. It is the same as every other interface. Your ability to configure it and later it is very limited, but you will learn to love it and live with it.".

Let's see... in Apple, you can choose from "Aqual blue" and "aqua graphite" color schemes... and.... you can change your desktop wallpaper. Fuck, the CDE window manager has done that for years.

Not to mention, you have to pay for anything decent on the Mac. There are some nice open-source/freeware applications around, but a lot of simple things cost money. I guess Apple developers know that there are enough mac suckers who won't mind paying $10 to be able to collapse their windows into shades, since they spent $3500 on a laptop already. Fuck, even the default browser (Safari) doesn't do most of the simplest Firefox functions -- unless you install some Safari extensions... Oh - by the way - those extensions (tabbed browsing, adblocking, etc) ARE NOT FREE. That's right, you have to PAY for the Safari extensions (unless I've missed something..?) that do what Firefox does for free (except firefox is sloooow on OSX). Amen for innovation, huh?

Granted, Camino can do these things with a few free plugins installed, but they aren't nearly as good. For instance, Adblock is part of one of the plugins, but you can't configure it in any way. You just turn it on or off. So it blocks far fewer advertisements.

Anyway, Mac is great - but it is a very rigid, enforced experience. I hope that will grow as the number of Mac users increases (which I hope happens quicker after the move to Intel chips).

Re:Mac isn't boring and uninteresting?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975250)

Safari does tabbed browsing out of the box, what are you talking about. Now adblockign, no it doesn't, but are you surprised a major company isn't backing blocking of ads??

Re:Mac isn't boring and uninteresting?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975291)

are you surprised a major company isn't backing blocking of ads??
AOL and Microsoft are. What does Apple have to lose?

Re:Mac isn't boring and uninteresting?! (2, Insightful)

PygmySurfer (442860) | about 9 years ago | (#12975253)

Oh - by the way - those extensions (tabbed browsing, adblocking, etc) ARE NOT FREE.

Tabbed browsing is an extension for Safari? Strange, I seem to recall having the option to use tabs right there in the options immediately upon installing Panther (And later Tiger).

Re:Mac isn't boring and uninteresting?! (1)

homesteader (585925) | about 9 years ago | (#12975305)

I for one feel that going to the preferences and checking the "Enable Tabbed Browsing" box is just compensation to the hardworking developers who built tabbed browsing for Safari.

Parent sounds like a Troll (3, Informative)

Schwarzchild (225794) | about 9 years ago | (#12975318)

Safari does indeed have tabbed browsing and pop up blocking. Not sure what you mean by ad blocking. Also the case for Orwellian design seems kind of weak to me. If you don't like it then don't buy it.

Re:Parent sounds like a Troll (1)

robbieduncan (87240) | about 9 years ago | (#12975366)

I think the parent was probably referring to PithHelmet [culater.net] for add blocking.

Re:Mac isn't boring and uninteresting?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975333)

even the default browser (Safari) doesn't do most of the simplest Firefox functions -- unless you install some Safari extensions... Oh - by the way - those extensions (tabbed browsing, adblocking, etc) ARE NOT FREE.

You certainly are missing something. In the Safari preferences window there is an entire page for "Tabs". Where you can enable them. For free.

Re:Mac isn't boring and uninteresting?! (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 9 years ago | (#12975384)

Sorry, I'm still not touching it with a ten foot pole unless I can do adblocking (among other things) with it. First thing I did when I fired up my new 17" Powerbook was delete the Safari icon from my dock.

Surfing without a decent adblocker is just unthinkable to me.

Oh - and none of the (non Firefox) browsers seem to have an option that saves your browser session when you close the application. How sucky is *that*?!

Re:Mac isn't boring and uninteresting?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975389)

This rant about comformity is a bit backwards. Consistancy in the OS X UI is precisely why it's easy to use. One of the issues that the windows desktop suffers from is applications that use everywhich way to represent navigation as well as look and feel.

I've worked in the UI development for a number of years and conformity is exactly why OS X works so well. When users can instantly recognize an interface and each and every one of them behaves in the manner they expect it to, productivity and usability go up. Many many hours have been spent by myself and others studying what users expect an application to do or a web interface to be laid out in a certain manner. We do this so that an interface is intuitive. Mac's brushed aluminum and UI is remarkably consistant as well as uses motion cues in an excellent manner to improve usability.

Also, all the time I heard about mac's lack of configurability when in fact it's scriptability and Mach/BSD base make it inredibly configurable. All of the configuration is stored in easy to read XML files as well as a bevy of custom command line apps that really give you access to the inner workings of the OS. I have managed to run Gnome on my machine and with the click of a key switch back to Aqua.

With the switch to x86, games will easily be ported to the mac and I think that gaming is just about the only reason I boot my windows machine. I suspect library calls or an application that simulates active X function calls on OSX isn't far off. When that happens my windows boxes will become linux raid servers, never to be used with a screen again.

It's a tool, not a piece of art (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975228)

Does it work? Does it make me more productive? That's what I want to know. Everything else is secondary, especially how "inspired" and "exciting" it is.

Re:It's a tool, not a piece of art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975286)

Yes, you're more productive. You will be able to spew out a greater quantity of insipid ideas that people will ignore.

"Greater productivity" does not apply to original, creative thought. It only applies to the repetative pushing of 'paper' upstream to one's superiors. A prettier GUI cannot protect or save you from such a mindless career activity. And because it can't, its prettiness is lost, even though it might be, in some weird objective sense (a la Windows vs. OS X), actually prettier.

You're better off getting drunk on Fonseca and throwing yourself in the river. Be done with it.

Re:It's a tool, not a piece of art (3, Insightful)

Decaff (42676) | about 9 years ago | (#12975287)

Does it work? Does it make me more productive? That's what I want to know. Everything else is secondary, especially how "inspired" and "exciting" it is.

Inspired and exciting design makes people more productive.

Re:It's a tool, not a piece of art (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975299)

Yes, which explains why Flash has made the web more useful... Oh wait, it hasn't.

Re:It's a tool, not a piece of art (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 9 years ago | (#12975306)

So you're saying that Flash is inspired and exciting?!

WTF is wrong with you, sir?!

Re:It's a tool, not a piece of art (1)

Decaff (42676) | about 9 years ago | (#12975340)

Yes, which explains why Flash has made the web more useful... Oh wait, it hasn't.

Flash is not a design. It is a tool for creating designs. You can get very good and truly awful Flash presentations.

Re:It's a tool, not a piece of art (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975404)

Got any empirical evidence to back up that (patently absurd) claim?

Re:It's a tool, not a piece of art (1)

dawnread (851254) | about 9 years ago | (#12975383)

Excitement is created by 'newness' No-one wants 'newness' in user interface controls which keep them from the functionality of the software!

Give Microsoft a Chance! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975229)

They'll be creative and innovative any day now; as soon as they find a creative, innovative company to buy...

Windows... (4, Insightful)

sapgau (413511) | about 9 years ago | (#12975230)

Would not change until strong economic incentives force microsoft to innovate.

Monopolies are strange that way.

Re:Windows... (1)

Tim C (15259) | about 9 years ago | (#12975243)

That's not even true (look at the changes between NT, 2k and XP), but ignoring that, what does it have to do with third-party software being boring?

Re:Windows... (3, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | about 9 years ago | (#12975297)

look at the changes between NT, 2k and XP

Am I the only one who is completely unclear on what was intended by this comparison? I read it in the light of "look at the differences between vanilla, french vanilla and home made vanilla"...

Re:Windows... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975346)

As apposed to OSX, which is simply vanilla with some aqua food coloring put into it. Oh the difference it makes. Well actually if you remember back to when Heinz started making green and blue ketchup you might recall people not liking the green and blue stuff so much even though it was just a different color. That might explain why a lot of window uses don't like OSX and vice versa.

What does he mean? (2, Interesting)

Jugalator (259273) | about 9 years ago | (#12975233)

Not sure I can see any examples of what he's talking about?

Yes, a lot of programs are ugly, but that's usually because developers aren't educated in human/computer interaction etc, but just in e.g. C++. This applies to Windows applications as well as Linux applications that I've seen. Can't speak of Apple developers' apps because I have no experience of that platform.

As for his other claims -- boring and uninspired. What is he asking for? Is he asking for more bells & whistles? What makes a software "boring"? More innovation? What is he looking for a Windows software to do but can't find?

Re:What does he mean? (2, Interesting)

daniil (775990) | about 9 years ago | (#12975319)

It's also because most of the metaphors used (file, directory/folder, copy-paste, desktop, etc) originate from business environments (accounting and archives). The software written today still uses the same old (old enough to have grown a long grey beard) concepts -- and is, as a result, ugly and boring. More importantly, it can sometimes be a pain to use, as these metaphors used do not apply to all situations the software is used in.

Re:What does he mean? (3, Interesting)

Decaff (42676) | about 9 years ago | (#12975327)

As for his other claims -- boring and uninspired. What is he asking for? Is he asking for more bells & whistles? What makes a software "boring"? More innovation? What is he looking for a Windows software to do but can't find?

It is about design skills. The Mac has always employed good designers, both for the user interface and the computer design. Maybe it is just me, but after nearly 30 years of using computers, there is something about sitting down in front of the latest Mac computers and operating systems that makes me want to use them. They look good - they are attractive. I have never felt this about any version of Windows (and I have used them all).

yes, so boring and uninspiring. (1)

JVert (578547) | about 9 years ago | (#12975234)

I swear. The windows software just feels so standard. Its like this boring old car that I take to work every day. I can't even soup it up like my camero. Which is in the proccess of beings souped up, when its ready its gonna be sweet!

All I got for XMAS is... (0, Offtopic)

Dark Coder (66759) | about 9 years ago | (#12975236)

A lump of coal in my stocking...

I wish I had gotten something else...ANYTHING else would do.

Re:All I got for XMAS is... (1)

kfg (145172) | about 9 years ago | (#12975288)

Save it, treasure it, love it.

Next Xmas you're getting a brazier. We'll be sure to color it "Blueberry" to inusure that it's the most up to date technology available.

KFG

Just an idea, but (5, Insightful)

wcitech (798381) | about 9 years ago | (#12975247)

This is just an idea, but has anybody considered that maybe our computers are designed around our personalities?

Think about it, who do you think of when you think of a mac user? Granted, there are many out there, but when I think of a hardcore mac user I think of somebody who is into designing music, movies, graphics editing, etc. They are designed to cater to a group of people who are more creative and right brained.

How about your average PC user? Picture an office cubicle. You'r accountant, lawyer, and doctor all use a PC.

Let us never forget that pretty software does not automatically mean functional software, and please God let us never make well structured code and functionality less of a priority than UI "prettyness".

Re:Just an idea, but (5, Interesting)

packetbasher (136771) | about 9 years ago | (#12975311)

Actually when I think of the hardcore mac user I think of people attending XML conferences, Next hackers, people at the MIT doing OS research, etc.

A friend of my once said that OSX is the 21st century Sun workstation.

Maybe I just think that because I dig having a unix box that can also run microsoft word at the same time.

Re:Just an idea, but (5, Interesting)

Seumas (6865) | about 9 years ago | (#12975344)

Think about it, who do you think of when you think of a mac user? Granted, there are many out there, but when I think of a hardcore mac user I think of somebody who is into designing music, movies, graphics editing, etc. They are designed to cater to a group of people who are more creative and right brained.

Really? I work for a huge company known for its big iron and most popular unix operating system and a silly coffee-related programming language and a CEO that has been ranked at the bottom of several CEO lists in terms of performance the last few years.

And do you know what most of the developers and engineers I know around here have with them? Their PowerBook.

Re:Just an idea, but (1)

Chiisu (462604) | about 9 years ago | (#12975349)

Let us never forget that pretty software does not automatically mean functional software, and please God let us never make well structured code and functionality less of a priority than UI "prettyness".

I think for alot of software companies/publishers, esp. for games, this has been the case for a long time..... (EA anyone?)

Re:Just an idea, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975353)

Exibit A: somone who swallowed Apple marketing whole, probably suffers from RDF exposure.

Re:Just an idea, but (1)

zxnos (813588) | about 9 years ago | (#12975363)

you have bought into the sales pitch. a mac does all of those things you mentioned, on average, better than a pc, that is why 'right-brainers' use them more. it is also a countculture cool thing to do simply becuase the pc has greater market share. if a professional is using a mac becuase it 'looks cool' and not because it gets the job done. they have a problem.

in my office we use a pc for autocad - right tool for the job - and a mac for all of our presentation graphics.

Re:Just an idea, but (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | about 9 years ago | (#12975406)

They are designed to cater to a group of people who are more creative and right brained.

You got that almost right. A lot of Apple's marketing dollars are aimed at people who think they are creative, or really want to be. It's amazing how many people seem to think that if they buy a Mac, suddenly they'll be all creative and stuff.

Being creative comes from within. Not from the computer you use. After all, 99.99% of the real 'creative types' are using Word and Photoshop, etc. anyway. For most of their day, they might as well be using Windows.

Somebody else summed it up much better than I can here [douglasadams.com] - read the part about the graphics tablet.

(Aside: I have no particular hatred for Macs in general, it's just that my brain explodes out of my ears whenever I hear someone say "Yeah, and of course these guys will need Macs because they're creative...")

Some people just dont get it (1)

Timesprout (579035) | about 9 years ago | (#12975248)

Yes there are nice widgets out there and some look quite cool, unfortunately after staring at them for 2 weeks at work they have become so tacky your eyes are starting to bleed and a nice dull functional gray scheme seems very appealing.

Windows users don't need this crap (-1, Flamebait)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | about 9 years ago | (#12975252)

Oh boo hoo, I was using Windows the other day and I suddenly felt saddened by the "lack of community". I mean, why by a computer if there's "no user community rallying around the platform"?

While this idiot is writing crap articles Windows users are GETTING WORK DONE! NOW GO GET YOUR FVCKING SHINEBOX Chris Pirillo!!!

Re:Windows users don't need this crap (0, Offtopic)

DrSkwid (118965) | about 9 years ago | (#12975386)

hey Dr. Kool

You can say fuck if you like, no-one minds.

Cunt, balls, arse, wanker, shit, piss and bastard are also availble to you.

Bad optical design? (2, Insightful)

GeekDork (194851) | about 9 years ago | (#12975254)

If something looks bland, that probably means that it's finally being used for something other than just being decorative? I mean, it's not like the average can opener had variable transparency and a shitload of useless LEDs stuck to it... One of the best applications I use in Windows (other than games) is Daemon Tools which is basically a system tray icon, a standard MFC load widget and some configuration scerens. Best. Interface. Ever.

I can appreciate a certain blandness, it allows me to actually see what I'm doing. Damn, my pencil is playing Amazing Grace again.

Re:Bad optical design? (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | about 9 years ago | (#12975412)

Best. Interface. Ever.

but the system tray is retarded

Personally I prefer to type :

9660srv -f image.iso image && mount /srv/image /n/image

best interface ever

damn, my machine played a fucking tune when I switch it on. Damn, and off.

Just wait, it'll come to Linux too. (4, Insightful)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | about 9 years ago | (#12975260)

With rapid development environments like Visual Basic around for the Windows OS, it's not surprising that there is a lot more crap out there for Windows, verses other OS that don't have these easy to pick up IDEs. It simply takes a more developed skill set to write apps for MAC and *nix. I think that when (not if) a high quality and easy to learn development platform for Linux comes along, we'll start to see mountains of shit for it, too. Indeed, think about all the crappy web apps and dynamic web sites, written in your scripting language de Jour, this is what we have to look forward to.

No surprise (1)

ratta (760424) | about 9 years ago | (#12975265)

as windows is (still) where it is only for compatibility.

Stardock (1)

Killean (25381) | about 9 years ago | (#12975269)

Perhaps the author, being an elitist know-it-all about lovely user interfaces should look around a bit.. there's plenty of examples, such as Window Blinds from Stardock.

But the answer truely is that software doesn't need to be pretty to be functional. Most of the time all the eye-candy crap just gets in the way or slows it down.

Re:Stardock (1)

Killean (25381) | about 9 years ago | (#12975298)

Of course, it would help if I went and read the entire article.. :) oopsey poopsey..

Re:Stardock (1)

Decaff (42676) | about 9 years ago | (#12975382)

But the answer truely is that software doesn't need to be pretty to be functional. Most of the time all the eye-candy crap just gets in the way or slows it down.

These days eye-candy certainly won't slow things down. A PC that can play Doom III can certainly display a few icons.

Design is part of functionality. Attractive and well-designed software can make people more productive.

It's true (1)

Suave Nigger (894815) | about 9 years ago | (#12975270)

The same could be said for Linux software too. You have to admin, the clean, slick UI of Mac OS X is something every suave mofo could enjoy.

Yes but.... (1)

danielk1982 (868580) | about 9 years ago | (#12975278)

What are the odds that any extra functionality MS adds to Windows will result in another $500 million fine and a plethora of Slashdot comments decrying it as another example of MS leveraging their 'monopoly' to drive out competition?

I say.. pretty good.

Obligatory... (1)

Draconix (653959) | about 9 years ago | (#12975280)

In Soviet Russia, computer uses YOU!

Re:Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975343)

this shit is seriously getting old

Re:Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975370)

this shit is seriously getting old

In Soviet Russia, shit seriously olds... aw fuck it.

s/windows/linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975281)

It's all the same

In other news (0, Offtopic)

Approaching.sanity (889047) | about 9 years ago | (#12975282)

Slashdot boring, repetitive, and Linux centric

/sarcasm

Re:In other news (0, Redundant)

arose (644256) | about 9 years ago | (#12975391)

Slashdot: boring, repetitive, Linux centric and sarcastic.

Corporate (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975283)

The problem is Microsoft got big with Corporations, where most of their attention was focused since their rise to power. The biggest demand and greatest source of business and income has come from large corporations, and it only makes since Microsoft focus more of their attention on them.
Besides, Macs are luxury machines.

hmm (1)

Abstract_Me (799786) | about 9 years ago | (#12975284)

I wish I could be posted on slashdot every time i went on an unfocused rant...

1. unfocused rant
2. anything else (its unfocused..it works)
3.... well you all knwo the deal.

seriously though. isn't looks the same thing that basically killed innovation in the gaming industry? sure its nice that they have started to focus on giving OS's a bit of style and community but thats not really whats important to me... but maybe thats just me.

Standard GUIs have their advantages (1)

Aminion (896851) | about 9 years ago | (#12975289)

The problem with fancy GUIs is that they often use more of the system's resources, i.e. RAM and CPU. Personally, I rather use a boring but fast app than a applesque peice of software...

Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975290)

This screenshot [kde.org] looks innovative.

Computers use us? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975293)

We use the computer, certainly, or is the computer using us?

Depends on where you live. Take a wild guess where computers use us.

Re:Computers use us? (2, Funny)

arose (644256) | about 9 years ago | (#12975413)

In the Matrix?

The Biggest Problem (2, Insightful)

The Lowly Overlord (897083) | about 9 years ago | (#12975307)

The biggest problem with Windows is there are all kinds of inconsistencies. For example, last night I wanted to try the shortcut for creating a new Excel Spreadsheet. When I use the File menu, it shows me the "equivalent" shortcut is control-N, and it allows me to select a template on the right-hand side of the screen. When I use control-N, however, I can't select a template!

Another issue is that I can't find control panels and wizards that I've somehow wandered into earlier. For example, how do I roll back to a restore point? I know I've done it before, but yesterday I couldn't find a way to get there! I brought up the System control panel, and it only let me configure how much disk space to use for the system restore feature, not configure which restore point to roll back to! Argh!

Re:The Biggest Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975347)

start | All Programs | Accessories | System Tools | System Restore then follow the wizard

Control panel (category view) | performance and maintenance, click System restore in the side panel.

you couldn't remember that? are you a goldfish?

Re:The Biggest Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975361)

as i recall you could somehow find it through Help section. Scary, i know ive done it too but cant seem to recall where...

Innovation: CUE sheet support (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975309)

Some software still innovates. For example, some audio players have CUE sheet support [kde.org] now.

Marketshare, Quality, and Economic Viability (4, Interesting)

G4from128k (686170) | about 9 years ago | (#12975313)

I sure some of this is due to market-share issues. A developer targeting Windows knows there's 200 million new PC shipped each year (and probably a billion PCs installed). They figure that their software only needs to be good enough to snag only 1% of users to sell 2,000,000 copies a year and gain a 5 million user install base. In contrast, the Mac developer looks at Apple's 3% market-share (say 6 million Macs/year) and thinks that they need to attract 33% of the user base to reach the same target sales figure.

The result is that only the most dedicated and talented Mac developers survive whereas any idiot with a C-compiler can create a PC software title and be assured of some sales (just convince 1-in-10,000 PC users to spend $29 and you gross $600k per year). Given the huge market-share disparity, Mac software must be 30X as good as PC software to survive in its small marketplace. (OK, its a bit more complicated due to dilution by competing vendors, but I'm sure its much harder on the Mac side to attract an economically viable user-base for software package.)

Picassa (3, Insightful)

David Horn (772985) | about 9 years ago | (#12975315)

Google's Picassa is the first piece of really inspired interface design I've seen in a long time. If only Windows / Mac / Linux was this easy to use and looked as good.

STOP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975323)

Yes, eye candy can suck and take away from productivity, but in the case of OS X, it's not just eye candy that makes a good UI, it's the USABILITY!

I have see too many shitty programs on Windows that try so hard to look pretty but truly suck when it come to actual usage.

Rubbish. (1)

Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) | about 9 years ago | (#12975325)

and very few rise to the level of ubiquity

Sounds like somebody needs to enrol on Economics 101.

Re:Rubbish. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975371)

Sounds like someone needs to "enroll" in spelling 101.

Its not the OS, it's the users (1)

scenestar (828656) | about 9 years ago | (#12975328)

Mac has allways been the main platform for artists, musicians and graphical designers.

Windows however was mostly used by the cube masses.

(go figure why windoze apps are more boring)

I get paid just to make Windows even more boring (1)

vision33r (829872) | about 9 years ago | (#12975334)

Most Mac fans just won't understand the *business* in today's IT. Big businesses pay top dollars to IT professionals to lock down and make Windows even uglier, less creative, and even more boring. The goal is for uniformity, easier support, and better security for the corporate desktops. Apple make their OSes too colorful, too much fancy stuff, it confuses the bosses because OS X look like a kid's desktop OS, rather than a business desktop OS. That's where the money is Steve Jobs!!

This is stupid (1)

PocketPick (798123) | about 9 years ago | (#12975339)

First off, I didn't read the article, but I will comment on the notion that users must feel like they 'belong'. Simply put, they don't care. As long as they can check thier email, surf the internet and write a few documents, spreadsheets or presentations , thier happy.

Doubt me? Look at Mac users. They feel like thier part of something, but where has that gotten Apple in the PC market?

Re:This is stupid (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | about 9 years ago | (#12975407)

First off, I didn't read the article, but I will comment

Yep, that's stupid, all right.

-jcr

Shell Integration (4, Insightful)

DanielMarkham (765899) | about 9 years ago | (#12975341)

One of the things that few companies do is integrated into the Windows Shell. Windows provides ample opportunities for an application to just dissapear and become part of the operating system. For instance, in a chat program, your chat buddies could appear as icons in a folder right alongside your other files --- dragging and dropping a file onto your friend's icon would start transferring the file. There are a lot of other examples, but part of the problem I think is pride (and not just in windows development) Everybody wants to do something a little differently. If you have a standardized skinnable shell and plug in your apps around that it would do a lot for the appeal of the product.
And don't even get started on annoying popups and those freaking MS Office icons like the paperclip guy. [whattofix.com]
To me, a big part of design is noticability: if I take my time to notice it, it's getting in the way of the work I want to do.

Windows apps are bad? (1)

Henry V .009 (518000) | about 9 years ago | (#12975351)

If that's what they say about Windows applications, I'd hate to see what they think of Linux applications.

"Menu hierarchy like an Escher illustration."
"The fonts are making my eyes bleed."
"Spall checker leaves a little to be desired."

Just because I can't resist... (1)

AbraCadaver (312271) | about 9 years ago | (#12975352)

Yes, slightly OT, but bare with me -

In general, coal, though not "pretty" can be used for: Generating electricity, making coke for use in steel blast furnaces, the manufacture of synfuels, carbolic acids, amonia, paint pigments, TNT explosives, linoleum, sugar substitues, batteries, disinfectants, varnish, insulation... Oh, and it's cheap and relatively easy to get...

Diamonds ARE pretty...and they're expensive... oh, and they can cut things...

Personally, I think I'd rather have the "coal" software over the "diamond" software, but maybe that's just me.

If Windows is so ugly... (1)

optiknerv (254848) | about 9 years ago | (#12975359)

then why do people like KDE so much?

Re:If Windows is so ugly... (1)

yotto (590067) | about 9 years ago | (#12975394)

As someone who likes KDE, let me just say that I don't think Windows is ugly. Windows XP default is ugly, but the look of Windows from Win95/NT4 on (Up to XP) is nice, clean, and functional.

Maybe, just maybe, the people who don't like Windows aren't the same people who do like KDE?

Interfaces should look the same (1)

AC-x (735297) | about 9 years ago | (#12975364)

There's a good reason for interfaces to look the same and follow the system interface guidelines, it makes them easier to use.

Take for example the DVD software I have. They've made the interface look exactly like a DVD player! Brilliant! ... Oh wait it's a complete pain to use. All the buttons are rendered tiny and instead of text labels they have little pictures, most of which are unrecognisable. (Where's the "Open file" menu option??). The volume control is even a knob you have to "rotate" by moving the mouse in little circles. WHATS WRONG WITH A SLIDER???

Using the system default style means that an interface is instantly recognisable with familiar controls (buttons, sliders, scroll bars). Of course it's still easy to design a bad interface even using system controls, but at least it puts you off to a better start.

I'm sure if this guy got his way all program's interfaces would look like Kai's Power Goo, but rather then just being able to install a new program and get on with it you'd need to learn a completely new interface first.

Finally strangely large amount of praise for Comic Life. "Be forewarned: It's likely to drive even the most die-hard Windows user to switch to OS X." Right, so a program that simply provides some Photoshop filters, speech bubble clipart and word art is so revolutionary that people will throw away their computers and buy a mac just to use it?? (Well until OS X86 is released I guess).

News Day Boring and Uninspired (1)

yotto (590067) | about 9 years ago | (#12975368)

Slowest. News day. EVAR!

Uninspired? (1)

VeganBob (888165) | about 9 years ago | (#12975372)

I thought a lot of Microsoft products are inspired by other companies' products.

...It must be true, I read it in Slashdot comments.

User communities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#12975373)

there's no user community rallying around the platform
This is the biggest reason for me to never switch back to windows again. Support from other users part of the user friendlyness of macintosh. Take for example MacOSXHints . Or VersionTracker.com , it's just a software directory, but it's crawling with often useful user feedback. And then there is of course MSJ. For the same reason Linux is my second platform.

Is 'innovation' needed at this point? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 9 years ago | (#12975377)

The 'computer experience' has advanced enough over the years to the point it does the job we ask of it.

Perhaps there isn't a whole lot left, except slow *evolution*. All the *revolutionary* concepts have come and gone. ( Much as its happened in life. you dont see much revolution now, its all about slow evolution of nature )

Furthermore, 'pretty' doesnt really matter in the business world ( the main PC market ). Functionality does.
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