The Higher Insight
I've been thinking about a recent post by the Windows Engineering Team on upcoming design changes to Windows 8 Explorer. It's an interesting article, and makes for good reading. The backstory: Windows 8 developers blog about what they're doing for Windows 8, and you get really interesting insight into what's going on up in Redmond.
Though I liked the article, something about it bothered me. I'm very pro-Apple, and passionately for user-experience. I was bothered by something that went beyond my bias, it took me a while to be able to articulate it. Most Mac/Windows arguments are emotional. I'm going to put words to that emotion.
The justification for the new ribbon on Windows Explorer is scientific. They claim that "the commands that make up 84% of what [people] do in Explorer are now all available on this one tab."
Microsoft is missing the higher insight on this one, an insight that Apple gets.
The trends in mobile, begun with the iPhone/iOS, have led people to have an intimate relationship with their devices.
A more intimate relationship with technology. This is the higher insight. Intimacy, not which part of the window they're clicking in, guides the user experience.
With OS X Lion and upcoming iOS 5, we're seeing Apple merge these two environments and bring this intimacy to the desktop.
Microsoft is building a better Windows Explorer, no doubt. Most likely, way better than the frustrating Finder on the Mac. But, that's not what matters. Watch the way people relate to their iOS devices, and understand what we crave from technology. Not a better Windows Explorer. We crave a better technology experience so that we can get things done and forget that we're using a computer.
Apples vs. OrangesContinued on the next page