Microsoft: no Walls, just Windows

This Microsoft’s billboard stands in San Francisco downtown, right at the entrance of Bay Bridge (Hwy 80 East):

Life without Walls

Life without Walls

Actually I personally have issues with living “without walls”: I do not want my naked ass to be exposed to the entire neighborhood when I am in the shower. I like my privacy, I need my walls.

IMO, Apple definitely should respond with something like this:

The rest of the story is here

Yahoo: Before and After Microsoft’s Bid

Before and After the Bid

Yahoo: Before and After the Bid (click to enlarge)

Yahoo! -> Yahoo!!! -> Yahoo. -> Yahoo? -> Yahoo..ops!

But lets wait until Oct, 21 to hear Jerry’s side of the story about $11.75 vs $31 per share.

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Trademark fail.

Suppose I want to find out which versions of .Net support IPv6. Type “.net ipv6” in google and…

Hmm, just what I was looking for!

Hmm, just what I was looking for!

Not very helpful result, is it? To an extent, it’s google’s fault as it seems insisting on dropping the . in .net, even if I search for “.net” (i.e. .net in quotes), but was it so hard to anticipate this problem when choosing the name for the new technology and, you know, choose something unique!

I work for a company whose name is a generic dictionary word, which looked rather nice in pre-Internet days, but these days it is certainly more preferable to have a name that isn’t a common word. And while the company I work for had its name chosen long before the Internet came around, .Net appeared in 2002!

Couldn’t they have just picked up some obscure island, too – like, I dunno, Sumatra? ASP.Sumatra – sounds kinda nice, doesn’t it?

It’s just getting worse.

Some time ago we’ve complained about Internet Explorer’s start page being not very user-friendly. Later, the situation improved somewhat for IE7, but looks like it got much worse for IE6:

So you didn't like our old page, huh?

So you didn't like our old page, huh?

UI design is supposed to improve with time.

No “design fail” type blog would be complete without some good old Vista bashing. So here’s some:

Two clicks instead of one.

Two clicks instead of one.

If you try to copy several files over some existing files, all previous Windows versions would ask you whether you want to overwrite file1 and would provide you with choices: “yes”, “yes to all”, “no”, “cancel”, so if I want to overwrite all files (which is the most common situation), I’d just click “yes to all” and be done with it. In Vista I have to first go to the very bottom of the huge dialog and check “do this for the next N conflicts” and then click “Copy and Replace”.

Clearly, this “do this for the next N conflicts” thing provides an extra useful feature – that is, rename files instead of overwriting. Cramming the same thing into the previous style dialogs would be unrealistic: the dialogs would have to have 6 buttons: “yes”, “yes to all”, “rename this”, “rename all”, “no”, “cancel”. Too much, I agree, but then again, how often do I have to rename the files, especially in the stupid default manner, like “file1(2)”? If I want to keep the files I’d rather move them to another folder, so the copy dialog could have had this new feature accessible through extra clicks, keeping the most common functionality in 1 click. For example, they could just have a “show advanced options” button and add their renaming schtick there. Moreover, that would give an opportunity to provide fancier renaming options, not just append a (2) to the file name, but something brutally powerful, based on regular-expressions.

Or I guess that’s too much to ask 😐

Sorting by type: extension vs application name.

Suppose I need to open a .zip file in my downloads folder. I don’t remember the exact file name, so it won’t be easy to locate it within the pile of shit my downloads folder is, but I do remember it was a .zip file, so I can at least narrow the search by sorting by type. But not so fast:

OK, where's my zip file?

OK, where's my zip file?

Apparently, Windows doesn’t consider a .zip file to be just a .zip file, but a compressed file, hence it goes under the letter C in by type sort. And .doc goes under “Microsoft Word Document”, thus under the letter M, while, say, .msi is a “Windows Installer Package” – under W. Kind of makes the whole “sort by type” thing rather useless as I very likely would have to go through the whole list guessing where on Earth is my .mp3 file… Ah, here it is, under “WinAmp media file”.

Now, I realize that by default the extensions are hidden, but since I specifically enable them, it would be nice if sort by type took that choice of mine into consideration. And it isn’t hard to do: just stick the extension in front of the description and whatever the registered name in parenthesis, like “mp3 (Winamp Media File)” or “doc (Microsoft Word Document)”.

OMG we’re so influential!

Less than a month ago we’ve complained about how unfriendly the Internet Explorer start page was. And behold:

Much better, but still no cigar.

Much better, but still no cigar.

This one is somewhat better, at least it give me an obvious direction what to do. It doesn’t address the most important problem, however: why on Earth I even have to think about a choice. Just gimme the search box, dammit!