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Publisher / Editor @ CloudAve and Enterprise Irregulars. Industry Observer, Blogger, Startup Advisor, Program Chair @ SVASE (Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs). In his "prior life" spent 15 years immersed in the business of Enterprise Software, at management positions with SAP, IBM, Deloitte, KPMG and the like.

3 responses to “In Case You Missed the Memo: Windows is Not an Application”

  1. Michael Dunham

    Vista Victims – heh – Sounds like something like Homeland Security should investigate for Federal Disaster Assistance.

    On second thought, NO. We’ve got enough problems right now…

    You’re absolutely right though, the OS is blurred too often with applications. Like blaming poor fuel economy on bad tires, the argument will only get you so far…

  2. BobWarfield

    Zoli, I couldn’t disagree more. Windows is very much an application because it’s supposed to be used by end users, not command line Uber Geeks. Many of the complaints I hear and have about it boil down to its application-ness. It can’t get out of your way until Microsoft treats it properly as such.

    I am reminded of the one time I was interviewed at Microsoft by Allchin. He says, “I hear you’re a UI guy. What’s the biggest UI problem with Windows?”

    My response was configuration of programs. At that time (Win 3.1), you had to run around to a whole bunch of Config files, understand which one had control when, and edit arcane shell syntax to figure it out.

    His response? “That’s not part of the Windows UI, your answer doesn’t make sense.”

    Boy did he have it wrong! It was a major pain point for almost every user, and hence part of the user experience.

    There’s a lot more to the OS than just performance. Sorry, but so long as Windows has a UI, it is an application and should be judged as such.



  3. Zoli Erdos


    I think we somewhat agree while disagree:-)

    I’m not denying the importance of the UI – if you notice I even side with Ed Bott in the current debate, who finds the Vista style combined Search / Run box an improvement over XP. And talk abut command prompts, the fact that Vista now has a regular cmd prompt and an “elevated” one is utter crap exactly because it’s not done inside the UI in an obvious manner. So yes, user-friendliness matters.

    But I do think this whole UI discussion hides the real issue, which is that the OS should work, i.e. let me use OTHER APPS (the ones I turn on the PC for) smoothly, it should not freeze, restart drivers, send users on a wild chase for solutions to mysterious problems (why does Google find better solutions than MS KB articles?). This was the Mojave approach, of course the people in the panel liked Vista, after all it does look better than XP.

    People revert to XP because it works with less flaws, despite a poorer UI. First give me an OS that does not prevent me from working, from using my own PC and I will be satisfied; a nicer UI will just be the icing on the cake.