Skip to main content

Vista Hurt By User Feedback?

Well things are quite quiet on the tech news front which gives me the opportunity to look at the Windows 7 debate again. I read Ed Bott's artcle on Windows 7 here. He makes a two points regarding beta cycles and feedback that I don't agree with.

[Update: After re-reading the post it appears that I misread it. I agree with what's being said in these points. Suppose that's what happens when I post after a late night]

Long beta cycles make better products. Oh really? If you count the infamous “Longhorn reset,” Windows Vista had arguably the longest beta cycle in the history of software development, with tens of thousands of outside testers. And look how well that worked out. Getting advance access to new Windows releases might make some outsiders feel like insiders, but it doesn’t make for a better product.

.......

Users need time to give feedback about design decisions. Microsoft is getting plenty of feedback about the design decisions it made with Windows Vista. I don’t think there’s been any shortage of suggestions on what needs to be fixed in Vista, do you? Presumably, that feedback is being incorporated into components and features of Windows 7, including User Account Control, Windows Explorer, the Network and Sharing Center, and Internet Explorer. But there’s a cold, hard reality with all those design decisions: You can’t please everyone. One of the weaknesses of the Vista beta cycle was that the UI designers kept changing things up until the very last minute. For Windows 7, they need to get the design right (or nearly so) the first time.

I suppose this comes down to how much of a failure you believe Vista is but for those who do believe Vista failed to deliver I ask them to remember that the features you saw in the final release is only a small subset of the features that were supposed to be in it. It was the large amount of public [Update: Not public, private testing] testing that told Microsoft that the new features were too complicated and too far from what the users understood and Microsoft had to remove them. The Vista that would've been released if it hadn't been for the comprehensive testing and feedback might've been a little more complicated but it certainly would've been feature rich and different enough from XP to make it a must have. Microsoft seemed to be saying at the time that the features that were removed would be slowly added over the next few OS versions to make the transition easier on the end user. I don't think added user feedback would help Windows 7, actually the opposite.

2 comments

Popular posts from this blog

iOS 8.4 Is Here!

iOS8.4 is here and available to download so head over and grab it from Software Update.

Radon in Newry, Mourne and Down - Action & Education Needed

Council budgets have been and continue to be slashed and perhaps that's the reason why more is not being done to educate people on the risk Radon gas is posing to their health in the area of Newry, Mourne and Down. A recently published Government report includes the below map which starkly highlights the huge areas of the district that are potentially exposed to high levels of this naturally occurring radioactive gas.



While the UK Government recognises and highlights the role this gas plays in causing lung cancer the EPA in the U.S. goes further adding numbers and additional facts such as : 1. 21,000 deaths a year are linked to Radon gas in the U.S.  2. It's the second biggest cause of lung cancer after smoking 3. Radon can enter the home through the water supply as well as the soil 4. There is a risk of stomach cancer from ingesting water containing Radon and lung cancer from inhaling the gas carried in the water.
To help protect and educate the population it's time the c…

A Little Time Travel Thought Experiment

During the Back to the Future (BTTF) anniversary celebrations there was a lot of talk about how accurately they represented time travel. The consensus seemed to be that travelling back and appearing at the same physical location but in a different time was how time travel would likely work. This is where I got thinking. The universe is an ever moving beast. Nothing sits still and this leads to some pretty big problems. To start with the Earth rotates on its axis every ~24 hours, so our traveller would need to arrive at approximately the same time of day in the past. He’s worked out time travel so that’s not going to be hard to do. Next, the Earth orbits the sun every ~365.25 days. This one is a little more of a problem. If our traveller is in the heat of June and has decided to travel back because he wants to see an Xmas in the past he’s got a problem. The Earth will be on the other side of the Sun. So Marty needs to travel back to roughly the same day each year? Fair enough I suppos…