1. resle's Avatar
    Dear Microsoft,

    I have been a user of MS software since 1991. It's a long time.
    Back then, a PC user would walk to some computer store's shelves to buy software, and be presented with two choices:
    reach out for some cheap, flimsy one-trick pony product - or open up wide the wallet and reach out for a Microsoft box.

    Dear Microsoft I am still a user of MS software. I am, in particular, a Windows 10 and Windows Mobile user.
    In the last two years, insider preview or not, slow ring or fast ring, my OS has been in a constant "state of becoming".
    Every day I wake up to new UI effects, moving UI elements, name changes.
    Every day I have a sigh of relief for a bug that's gone, and one of discontent for a brand new one.

    I am a former developer - yet, I am confused.

    I have two control panels.
    I stumble on all sorts of visual styles and elements, all the way back to Win98 icons and dialogs.
    The interaction "metaphors" themselves are all mixed up.
    Something is mouse-centric, something is touch-centric, something fits both cases.
    Something is based on vertical scrolling, something is based on horizontal scrolling.
    Something is designed for clarity, something is designed to fit as much information as possible in one box/window/screen.
    Menus are on top, they're coming from an ellipsis, from an hamburger on the right, on the left. They're sliding in from left. From right.
    Windows are windows, windows are full screen, windows are split screens.
    I am logged with my MS account, but some apps require me to log in again. From a webpage. Sometimes within a frame. Sometimes launching Edge.
    Apps are built on Win32. They are built on Dot Net. They are built on WPF. They're Metro. They're Modern. They're Universal apps. Win32 apps are now "Desktop apps".

    My Lumia Icon.
    THE Windows Phone Flagship, at the time I bought it.
    Much thicker, way heavier than any other phone with similar specs.
    Way less performant than any other phone with similar specs.
    WP 8.1: crashes, inconsistencies, lack of features.
    Bing is a search engine, no it's a set of apps. No, the apps are now MSN apps.
    Searching in Internet Explorer actually launches a Bing app. The Bing App launches webpages in Internet Explorer.
    The clipboard content "expires".
    WP 10: crashes, inconsistencies, a slew of features... all incomplete.
    One month into using it, it's OS became an abandoned platform, with each system app update adding more bugs and crashes.



    Dear Microsoft.

    Windows itself was the biggest app store in the world, 10 years before any app store. The platform: Win32.
    Instead of developing an app store on top of Win32, you created new immature APIs to build an app store on top of those.
    Why?

    Windows had the most familiar UI out there.
    Instead of developing a touch "launcher" on top of it (Media Center?) you built an entirely new UI to replace the old one.
    Why?

    Windows had some of the most feature-rich programs out there.
    Instead of cleaning them up and freshening the UI, you started from scratch, offering featureless, bleak experiences like "groove".
    Why?

    Dear Microsoft, you used to offer a safe harbor, a slow lane for cautious drivers.
    Long development cycles, then service packs.
    With you a user, a developer, an enterprise - all knew what to expect at all times.

    Now, I know where you are heading. I am bombarded with news, blog posts, conferences about where you're heading.
    But now all I see are the inconsistencies, the crashes, the appearing and disappearing bits and pieces, the odd error codes.
    I know where you are heading.
    But I have absolutely no idea of where you are now.
    10-23-2015 04:14 AM
  2. fdalbor's Avatar
    Been a Microsoft user since DOS1, but I know how you and many others feel.
    Tom Snyder likes this.
    10-23-2015 05:24 AM
  3. CygnusOrion's Avatar
    Your rant about Groove is nonsensical. They needed to start from a new code base. They couldn't continue on the old Zune code.

    Also your rant about Win32 is also nonsensical. Microsoft had to build a new API on top of Win32 that allowed easier deployment and install/uninstall of apps without the MSI hell. Also with the new Client App-V tech, even Win32 applications can be deployed to the App Store. But I guess you haven't been paying attention.

    Regarding control panels, they are migrating the old stuff to the new GUI but it takes time. There must be thousands of settings and it will probably take until Redstone 2(October 2016) to complete the job.
    10-25-2015 09:31 PM
  4. resle's Avatar
    I never understand this kind of aggressiveness, like I am heavily criticizing a product of yours.
    Anyway:

    - I was thinking of Windows Media Player rather than Zune. My point being: if one wants to replace an old application with a new one, before releasing the one it could at least be on par with features. "Groove" is bleak. Cheering about gapless audio is awkward. Sounds to me like cheering about being able to change font in a new notepad app.

    - I know Win32 app can be now deployed to the app store. Years too late. It's the initial response to Apple's app store that wrong, they should have FIRST quickly made possible to package Win32 apps and deploy them through a centralized store and THEN move on to Universal Apps.

    - Regarding control panels, and every other similar scenario, a professional product shouldn't be released as something unfinished. They've put new food on the table before cleaning up the leftovers. It's ok, but it really, really, really looks bad.
    920Walker and noersetiawan like this.
    10-25-2015 09:50 PM
  5. CygnusOrion's Avatar
    I never understand this kind of aggressiveness, like I am heavily criticizing a product of yours.
    Anyway:

    - I was thinking of Windows Media Player rather than Zune. My point being: if one wants to replace an old application with a new one, before releasing the one it could at least be on par with features. "Groove" is bleak. Cheering about gapless audio is awkward. Sounds to me like cheering about being able to change font in a new notepad app.

    - I know Win32 app can be now deployed to the app store. Years too late. It's the initial response to Apple's app store that wrong, they should have FIRST quickly made possible to package Win32 apps and deploy them through a centralized store and THEN move on to Universal Apps.

    - Regarding control panels, and every other similar scenario, a professional product shouldn't be released as something unfinished. They've put new food on the table before cleaning up the leftovers. It's ok, but it really, really, really looks bad.
    If Microsoft did like you said and waited to release a fully polished OS it would have been released in late 2016, a full 7 years after Windows 7. That would have been an even greater disaster than what they did do.
    10-25-2015 09:54 PM
  6. resle's Avatar
    Also:

    I have a lock screen, with a background.
    It slides away.

    A login screen, with another background.
    It fades away.

    A desktop, with a third, different background.
    noersetiawan likes this.
    10-25-2015 09:54 PM
  7. CygnusOrion's Avatar
    Also:

    I have a lock screen, with a background.
    It slides away.

    A login screen, with another background.
    It fades away.

    A desktop, with a third, different background.
    I don't know which login screen you're referring to. Yes the desktop has a background, so?
    Tom Snyder likes this.
    10-25-2015 10:05 PM
  8. noersetiawan's Avatar
    I don't know which login screen you're referring to. Yes the desktop has a background, so?
    The screen where you input your password, has the profile picture, and the blue Windows logo, and it fades away, which is jarring.

    WP8.1 lock screen implementation is the best IMO, the lock screen and background slides up halfway, then the password box/keypad become available, you input the password, then the background slides all the way up, the keypad/password box slides all the way down, and the Start screen/desktop already available behind the lock screen. No out-of-style fading animation and there are only two backgrounds.
    10-25-2015 10:39 PM
  9. resle's Avatar
    Just for clarity, I am once again referring to the out of the box experience.

    After the boot, I am greeted by the lock screen, which shows me some random picture. Nice.

    I slide the lock screen away, and behind it there is another screen: the login screen. The one where you input your username and password.
    It has a different picture: that picture with a Windows Logo made with lasers and smoke.
    Which clashes horrendously with the flat circle of my user picture, but that's another story.
    Ok, I enter my username and password, and the screen fades away.

    Now I have a third screen, and a third background picture. Some other random scenery.

    Does it feel consistent and clean?
    It looks like a mess to me.
    Tom Snyder and noersetiawan like this.
    10-25-2015 10:42 PM
  10. resle's Avatar
    If Microsoft did like you said and waited to release a fully polished OS it would have been released in late 2016, a full 7 years after Windows 7. That would have been an even greater disaster than what they did do.
    This is the part which is highly open to personal opinions.
    My argument:

    A loyal customer is loyal. They will hold on to an old product waiting for the next iteration rather to go somewhere else, whether we're talking about operating systems, phones, or cars.

    Question: are MS customers loyal? From the hordes of people still using Windows XP, a 13 years old OS, I would say "yes".

    How do you screw up a loyal customer? We have ascertained that a loyal customer can wait. So you don't screw him by making him wait. You screw him by giving him an unfinished product. See also: Vista (Finished product = Windows 7). See also: Windows 8. But this, Windows 10, is a whole new level of unfinished. It's unfinished from any angle you look at it. Nothing about it seems to be stable and clear.

    What's worse, this Insider program is a lens that allows people to see what they shouldn't: the changes of course, the design mistakes, the hasty runs back to the drawing board. Sugar-coated with an illusion of being able to take part to the decisional process.
    Tom Snyder likes this.
    10-25-2015 10:50 PM
  11. jmshub's Avatar
    This is the part which is highly open to personal opinions.
    My argument:

    A loyal customer is loyal. They will hold on to an old product waiting for the next iteration rather to go somewhere else, whether we're talking about operating systems, phones, or cars.

    Question: are MS customers loyal? From the hordes of people still using Windows XP, a 13 years old OS, I would say "yes".

    How do you screw up a loyal customer? We have ascertained that a loyal customer can wait. So you don't screw him by making him wait. You screw him by giving him an unfinished product. See also: Vista (Finished product = Windows 7). See also: Windows 8. But this, Windows 10, is a whole new level of unfinished. It's unfinished from any angle you look at it. Nothing about it seems to be stable and clear.

    What's worse, this Insider program is a lens that allows people to see what they shouldn't: the changes of course, the design mistakes, the hasty runs back to the drawing board. Sugar-coated with an illusion of being able to take part to the decisional process.
    You have a vastly different understanding of loyal customer, compared to a business. For Microsoft, a customer who is using XP isn't loyal, they are a customer who hasn't paid them for a product in 15 years.

    But the central theme of the OP as I read it is, "why change thing when they are working?". Windows of old may have worked for you, but for a lot of people, it wasn't working anymore. Computing has changed vastly in the last 10 years. Computing is not being done on a desktop or laptop PC. Smartphones and tablets are the core of most people's computing world these days. Microsoft has been behind on this, but this new paradigm is here in Windows 10, and I think it was vital to the longevity of Windows, as a viable consumer brand, as Microsoft in general as a company with any awareness in the consumer space.
    10-26-2015 11:21 AM

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