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What Ballmer meant to chant

Desktops, Desktops, Desktops.

Desktop is the shiny new thing that lures otherwise smart CIO's into a Windows environment.  MMMM shiny.  Longhorn  shiny.  If we make it pretty they will use it. 

Client server and fat client computing is long overdue to exit the corporate environment.  Microsoft knows this and is clawing to hang on with fancy desktops. 

I can't wait
Friday, November 07, 2003

I dunno, sure will miss my fat clients unless something really good comes up.

Li-fan Chen
Saturday, November 08, 2003

What would you rather see in its place?

Philo

Philo
Saturday, November 08, 2003

This brings up a mild annoyance I have whenever there is a new Windows OS release in progress.

Typically, there are tons of improvements to the OS kernel and base services: stability improvements, API enhancements, new underlying technologies, etc.

Yet many of the reviews focus exclusively on the UI changes, because they are in your face and obvious.

It's lame when there are tons of things going on under the hood, yet sites that discuss the OS progression invariably complain that there don't seem to be a lot of changes since previous builds (for example, when comparing a previous beta build to the latest one), just because the UI has not been significantly updated.

A similar argument is the one above that says "Longhorn shiny" in a disparaging way, just because there are a lot of slick UI updates. Just because the UI is pretty and eye-catching does not mean that there are not also major changes and improvements going on under the hood. Go read the PDC SDK material for Longhorn, which covers many of the fundamental changes being made to to underlying OS APIs and services, before complaining that it's all about the eye candy. It's not.

Mike Treit
Saturday, November 08, 2003

We've had the thin client for years; it's called the web browser :-(

Beyond that, there's not enough money in it to make anyone interested in selling a good one.  Also, I'm not sure it's worthwhile: network latency's going to stay terrible for a while, and as long as we have that, nobody's going to want to do their work on a network-mounted disk*.



* Unless CODA's better than I expect it to be.

H. Lally Singh
Saturday, November 08, 2003

"If we make it pretty they will use it."

Apple seems to have made a pretty good living out of this concept. Aesthetics is a common way of choosing one good over another.

m
Saturday, November 08, 2003

You're right Mike, but quite wrong to blame the reviewers. It's the MS PR machine that draws attention to the shiny bits, which are normally the very things you hate about the change.

It often takes weeks or months of use to find out the small improvements under the hood.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, November 08, 2003

Stephen - here's the "what's new in Office 2003" page:
http://www.microsoft.com/office/editions/prodinfo/compare.mspx

I just skimmed it, but I don't really see any "looks prettier" features - they're all pretty functional. Yet every Office 2003 review I read starts with a commentary on "the facelift"

IMHO, MS doesn't push the look and feel changes because they don't have to - they're obvious when you open the app. The reason we read about the chrome more than the engine is that a LOT of tech reviewers aren't techs - they still think "oooo, pretty" is a significant change.

Philo

Philo
Saturday, November 08, 2003

Besides, if the UI didn't change between releases, users wouldn't understand why they need to upgrade.

Frederic Faure
Saturday, November 08, 2003

Shiny things?

Owwww! I'm lookin'nice!
Monday, November 10, 2003

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