Bill Gates, mastermind behind the not-so-easy to use Microsoft Windows, sent an email to some honchos at his company regarding a software download. Unfortunately, all Gates was able to do was download a tantrum. Seriously, if there is any proof that Windows needs to be reconfigured to be consumer/idiot friendly it is this email.
I am quite disappointed at how Windows Usability has been going backwards and the program management groups don’t drive usability issues.
Let me give you my experience from yesterday.
I decided to download (Moviemaker) and buy the Digital Plus pack … so I went to Microsoft.com. They have a download place so I went there.
The first 5 times I used the site it timed out while trying to bring up the download page. Then after an 8 second delay I got it to come up.
This site is so slow it is unusable.
It wasn’t in the top 5 so I expanded the other 45.
These 45 names are totally confusing. These names make stuff like: C:\Documents and Settings\billg\My Documents\My Pictures seem clear.
They are not filtered by the system … and so many of the things are strange.
I tried scoping to Media stuff. Still no moviemaker. I typed in movie. Nothing. I typed in movie maker. Nothing.
So I gave up and sent mail to Amir saying – where is this Moviemaker download? Does it exist?
So they told me that using the download page to download something was not something they anticipated.
They told me to go to the main page search button and type movie maker (not moviemaker!).
I tried that. The site was pathetically slow but after 6 seconds of waiting up it came.
I thought for sure now I would see a button to just go do the download.
In fact it is more like a puzzle that you get to solve.
Anyway, the email goes on for a bit and it’s really funny to read Gates’s frustrations spilled across the page. Also, this was written five years ago. Have things with Windows gotten easier to use? I doubt it. It’s enough to make one want to switch to a Mac. The best part is at the end of the article, where the reporter did a follow up interview with Gates regarding the email.
Gates chuckled and admitted that, “There’s not a day that I don’t send a piece of e-mail … like that piece of e-mail. That’s my job.”
No sir, your job is to make an operating system that doesn’t suck. [via]