Just another weblog

Windows 8 UI

I am getting tired of hearing people complain about the Windows 8 UI. Despite Windows dominance over the last 15 – 20 years, historically there has always been a ton of different UIs. Think back to the 80’s, 90’s – Mac, Atari ST500 TOS, Amiga OS, TopView, OS/2 Presentation Manager, NextStep, Silicon Graphics IRIX – there were a plethora of UIs. Really different. All Window based, all with mouse and keyboard, but different ways of launching programs, different ways of exiting them, different ways of managing the menus and windows. And before that Unix, VAX, Dos, Cpm.


We didn’t see it outside the company, but internally Microsoft continued to innovate. Few ideas got released – call it Innovator’s Dilemma if you must, but it’s tough to replace what is successful with something unproven. So you make small improvements. But I saw some crazy stuff internally at Microsoft – stuff that makes Windows 8 look pedestrian.
But things are different now. There’s the iPad, there’s the Kindle Fire, there was WebOS. Innovation is picking up again with these devices. Microsoft, thanks to it’s internal experimentation, is not as clueless as one might think and I think that’s why it was able to come up with the Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 UI so quickly.
People, however, seem unprepared for this. For most people, all there have seen their entire life is the Windows 3.1 – Windows XP UI. Many have not even really experienced the Mac UI or Windows 7.
Get over it people. The whole magic of the computer is it’s infinitely reconfigurable. UI innovation is not over. I’m not saying Windows 8 is perfect – I am saying it improves upon Classic Windows in many ways (resizing and moving Windows is not as productive as fullscreen switching or split-screening between 2 windows). And where it falls short of Windows 7’s UI, I’m confident it will improve over time.
It maybe a shock, you may hate it – but Mac and Windows are not going to go back. They have a lot to improve and they need to improve. And improvement means change – the faster the better, because then it’s easier to course correct. So jump in feet first – but if you don’t like Windows 8, don’t think you’ll get to stay on Windows XP forever. Your choices will be iOS, OS X, or a dozen different Linux variations which will be imitating OS X and Windows 8+.


Mormon vs Mormon

Harry Reid’s comments recently about Mitt Romney and his tax history really bothers me. Not because I am for or against Romney, but for a much deeper reason. It means to me that one of those 2 men isn’t really living their religion.
I had hoped up until that point that Latter-Day Saints in politics could have differences in opinion about how best to run government and manage resources, but did so with pure intent and abiding by fundamentally the same morals.
But this call out by Reid is either some form of politically motivated mud slinging, or Romney isn’t being forthright with his past history. Neither is how a Latter-Day Saint should behave. I fear it is a sign that despite teachings to the contrary, Latter-Day Saints can be just as political as any other religion or non-religion. Of course my religion never taught that we were better than others, but it did teach that we should try to become our best selves. We have a long ways to go.

Choose your own adventures

I was reading Dave’s post on interactive movies in which he mentioned an elaborate scheme to allow audience participation.

If you ignore the technology and just think about the people involved I don’t think a theater room fully of people would make a very interesting choice. And just look at the trouble we have voting on politicians!

But I do think he’s on to something. Clue the movie was a flop, but the game was a ton of fun. What about a hybrid game/movie? Many games now require experts to play them. What if you had a game made for four or so novices to play together in front of one big entertainment system? A kind of group choose your own adventure. Maybe combined with kinect or wii like simple activities? Like some of the obstacles or puzzles from Indiana Jones and the temple of doom?

Where Work Goes To Die

Imagine holding a meeting that people actually wanted to attend, because it was … useful. Or interesting. Or entertaining.

Loved this!

“Writing is thinking”
– Steven Sinofsky

Me and Facebook are over


Focusing on Jesus Christ

Really enjoyed this site with ideas for focusing Jesus Christ at Christmas

By focusing on your loved ones, enjoying or building holiday traditions, and following the Savior’s example of service, you can give yourself and your family true, lasting Christmas gifts.