Microsoft "regrets" Mac-to-PC ad. The software giant's "Confessions of a Mac to PC convert" was a short-lived conversion. The ad, which took a cue from Apple, is already dead. [CNET News.com]
Microsoft pulls Ad after Web Flap. An employee at a public relations company hired by Microsoft, Valerie G. Mallinson of Shoreline, Wash.,later acknowledged she was Microsoft's mysterious convert. [Yahoo! News]
THE DEVILS IN THE DETAILS
I tell ya...it's the little stuff like this that's going to kill us. I was mentioning this on a conference call recently with some friends. It's the DETAILS. It's all about the thoughtful details...if you lose concentration or dedication for a moment, you'll be pounced upon.
The trick is remembering that these details extend from the tiniest of icons, to the most innocuous of device drivers, to the marketing literature. With users, systems and the net all working as fast as Google, little details like sourcing highly visible ad campaigns from Stock Photography will never hold up. The Internet is decreasing patience and attention-spans and increasing users' attention to details and cynicism.
Microsoft is a fantastic company that I respect greatly, but when one is such a large target the bar is raised just that much higher. They are highly visible and I hope they rise to the occasion at all levels, including externally facing marketing for an increasingly savvy audience.
GUIS AS AN AGENT OF CHANGE
Personally, I really enjoy Windows XP, but if ever there were an OS to get me to switch (at least for home email, photos, etc), it'd be OS X. I used removable hard drives and have given other OSes a try forever. I've always loved GUIs...I've run GEOS on a C64 and GeoWorks on a PC, I've run GEM. I've even run the shell that dare not speak its name. I've been a Windows User "officially" since the Executive (remember Windows 1.01?) But I've always tried other OSes...kind of like keeping your finger on a chess piece as you visualize moving to other squares. I've run OS/2 very seriously in the very early 90s, I've run Desqview as well as all flavors of X-Windows shells.
But it ALWAYS comes down to: The Details. I mean, right now, Explorer is eating up 8-15% of my CPU. I have NO IDEA what that process is doing. Sometimes I just blow it away randomly because it's pissing me off. I hope Lornhorn changes the Shell architecture, because my system is getting "Windows Arthritis."
There's nothing like a fresh GUI. I'll always have a Windows system around, it's a great platform to design and architect around and .NET and COM+ just makes it better. Plus, I've run it for years. As a server, it really runs great. Runs forever. Even now the server next to me has Explorer.exe completely hung and the keyboard is locked, but IIS and my app continues to run. Little details. Like a truly reliable shell to match our reliable kernal and reliable component container.
Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. I am a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.