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Ray Ozzie Quit... What Took Him So Long?

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the paychecks-aren't-bad dept.

Microsoft 224

GMGruman writes "The mainstream press acts surprised that Microsoft's chief software architect is resigning, but InfoWorld's Woody Leonhard explains through a review of Ozzie's efforts at Microsoft how the Redmond giant has consistently ignored and squandered the design savvy that Ozzie has tried to bring to the table. If you ever wondered why Microsoft's products like Windows and Office are so bloated and underwhelming, while Apple's are almost always wonderful experiences, this analysis will solve that mystery. And you too will wonder how Ozzie could have lasted so long at a company that doesn't believe in design."

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Wow.... (5, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33948828)

If you ever wondered why Microsoft's products like Windows and Office are so bloated and underwhelming, while Apple's are almost always wonderful experiences, this analysis will solve that mystery.

No bias here..

Re:Wow.... (4, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#33948900)

Seriously, Windows 7 runs on old Pentium 4's nicely and Office 2007 and 2010 are not really bloated compared to their functionality. But iTunes on the other hand....

Re:Wow.... (5, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949014)

Yeah. the testing I've done on it shows that Win7 runs nicely on decently old hardware - actually runs better than Vista on the same hardware - provided you turn off the Aero interface. Do you lose visual perks? Sure. But it runs just fine.

I get the feeling the poster who submitted this just happened to be a brainwashed Apple fanboi. And I echo your complaints about the shitty quality of iTunes, which slows any system it gets on to a crawl.

Re:Wow.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949256)

Yeah. the testing I've done on it shows that Win7 runs nicely on decently old hardware - actually runs better than Vista on the same hardware - provided you turn off the Aero interface. Do you lose visual perks? Sure. But it runs just fine.

I get the feeling the poster who submitted this just happened to be a brainwashed Apple fanboi. And I echo your complaints about the shitty quality of iTunes, which slows any system it gets on to a crawl.

I started calling the apple fanboys: FUDbois. I find it a fitting term.

Re:Wow.... (3, Insightful)

numbski (515011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949282)

No - he's talking about UI consistency and overall layout, not performance on older hardware. Whether you meant to do it or not, you've set up a straw man here.

Granted, ESPECIALLY with iTunes, and ESPECIALLY with the latest version, Apple seriously violates it's own UI guidelines. As of right now, everything always looks greyed out, and the minimize/maximize/close buttons aren't located where they're supposed to be, and they're vertically oriented instead of horizontally.

Apple's no saint, but the original poster's point still stands. Overall, Apple still wins on this.

Re:Wow.... (2, Insightful)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949536)

I would grant that apple's UIs are more consistent and less bloated. Wonderful experience is a strange choice of words that reeks of bias. I expect microsoft products to put everything and the kitchen sink into the UI. I expect apple to carefully place only the items they think are most important in the UI. I think the wonderfulness of the experience is tied closely to how often you agree with apple's choice of included functionality.

Re:Wow.... (2, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949560)

No - he's talking about UI consistency and overall layout, not performance on older hardware. Whether you meant to do it or not, you've set up a straw man here.

Err, the quote was that Windows and Office were bloated(which directly translates to bad performance on older hardware), not about UI consistency of layout. You're the one setting up a straw man here.

Re:Wow.... (4, Informative)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949302)

Yeah. the testing I've done on it shows that Win7 runs nicely on decently old hardware - actually runs better than Vista on the same hardware - provided you turn off the Aero interface. Do you lose visual perks? Sure. But it runs just fine.

All due to a super huge effort to (i) reduce dependencies, and (ii) eliminate circular dependencies between kernel and user space. The effort started with Vista, and Win7 is a lot farther along. Win8 (whatever it will be) should do better yet. Though I believe that they already got to the point where dependencies only go one way with Win7 - that is, kernel space does not depend on anything in user space as of Win7. (If not Win7, certainly Win8 should be that way.)

Re:Wow.... (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949374)

Win7 runs nicely on decently old hardware - actually runs better than Vista on the same hardware

True, but there's not much that DOESN'T run better than Vista on the same hardware.

Re:Wow.... (4, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949504)

Actually, it often runs SLOWER if you turn off the aero interface. If your GPU can do your desktop rendering, let it. You did say 'older' hardware, and that can mean just about anything, but a lot of what I consider 'older hardware' is better with Aero on.

But I agree with the sentiments that the submission is an apple fanboi. I'm writing this on a macbook pro but itunes is anything but archtypical good design. Its a music library manager, and ipod/iphone sync tool ... already the two should be separate. Lets tack on a web browser type thing (iTMs) except its not really the web that it browses, its apples proprietary alternative. What a great idea! How can we make this less appealing? How about a social network!! Hello pointless bloat that makes office look lean and task-focused.

As if that's not enough, lets name it Ping! It rhymes with Bing! from Microsoft and also happens to be named the same as a standard network utility.

Oh, and one more thing, lets violate the user interface standard by making the window control widgets smaller than normal and arrange them vertically instead of horizontally too. Steve Job's would blow a gasket if someone else dared to violate his beloved UI standard.

If Microsoft wrote iTunes people would point at it as a symbol of everything that is wrong with Microsoft.

Re:Wow.... (-1, Troll)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949022)

...doesn't get viruses. Nice. What else do you prefer about itunes, other than it's price and the fact that you don't even need to buy things from Apple to fill up your local iTunes DB? Office is crap, and so are most Windows except for the dead XP. Don't make me say the Z word, or the K word, or the S word... (Zune, Kin, Slate). It's a troll to say MS products are not bloated hunks of shit that are force on you at work by ill-informed IT managers getting some freebies from Redmond. No, that can't be. ;)

Don't take me wrong. I can't stand the App Store closed bullshit, or the over-hyped iPhones, but for my $$ iTunes is a fair content catalog system that can be fed from places other than the iTunes store. So, don't play up MS and their proprietary crapware. It just looks foolish here in the real world.

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949078)

You do realize you can add any track to your Zune DB just as easily as you can with iTunes right? There is nothing forcing you to buy from MS (besides the HW if you want a Zune, I personally love my 30gb)

Re:Wow.... (2, Interesting)

zombieChan51 (1862028) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949200)

MS products are not bloated hunks of shit that are force on you at work by ill-informed IT managers

Not quite the case, the developers choose the tools at my place of work. We're using Microsoft products.

Re:Wow.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949328)

Um, the bloat he is talking about is not performance bloat, but design bloat. Apple products generally win on look and feel by a long shot. Without that design advantage, apple would not bring anything to the table. They focus on design to a fault, letting features and technical prowess slide as long as it looks good. Microsoft products look designed by comittee, with some good ideas, but a general lack of cohesiveness. Features are all over the place, and the steps to perform each kind of task are inconsistent. Their choice of what features to showcase and which to hide away is often baffling to me.

But if you disagree with Apple's design sense, it can be far more off-putting than the more mish-mash style of Microsoft, because the things you dislike about it permeate the entire product. In certain segments far more people agree with apple's design sense than with the competition, these are the segments where Apple wins. Generally these segments are artistic leaning - which makes sense. Ipod which caters to musical demographic, and design/art school for the OS. Other segments, such as office products, want something more utilitarian than strongly designed.

If microsoft wants to compete with apple in those segments, it needs to add some design, and it's a shame Ozzie has left. However, there are segments where Microsoft already dominates, which don't have a strong need for it. They may instead choose to focus on these areas where they are strong rather than try and compete in areas where they are weak.

Re:Wow.... (2, Insightful)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949122)

and Office 2007 and 2010 are not really bloated compared to their functionality

One word: Ribbons.

Re:Wow.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949552)

I agree; the ribbon was a very solid design choice. Kudos to Microsoft on that. What was your point again?

Re:Wow.... (3, Funny)

metamatic (202216) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949602)

Office 2007 and 2010 are not really bloated compared to their functionality. But iTunes on the other hand....
iTunes isn't bloated for its functionality either, it's just that not many people want a ringtone editing, movie playing, music playing, address book notepad and to-do list syncing, media serving, radio streaming, podcast managing, application installing, e-book installing online store for movies, music, applications, books and ringtones, with a social network glued on top, all in one application.

Re:Wow.... (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949918)

Thank you for this perfect example of an technical person who does not understand what design means.

Design does not mean that it runs on old hardware or that it has this obscure feature or that. Design is about human interaction and the way the user and the software interface. It has nothing at all to do with what OS or applications run on what hardware.

Re:Wow.... (2, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949058)

If you ever wondered why Microsoft's products like Windows and Office are so bloated and underwhelming, while Apple's are almost always wonderful experiences, this analysis will solve that mystery.

No bias here..

I thought that mystery was solved in this [google.com] video.

Re:Wow.... (3, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949124)

If ever a story needed to be modded flame bait. The summary just begs for reactionary keyboard banging.

Re:Wow.... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949706)

As I have said before, there is a reason my user CSS file appends all links to InfoWeek with a red [TROLL WARNING].

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949172)

Apple is always a wonderful experience? I'm sure you aren't talking about that convoluted piece of crap kludge that is iTunes. Nothing in there is really intuitive or where you expect it to be, and the syncing never seems work quite right. I always cringe when my wife or step son tries to update their iPod because they will inevitably come bug me to fix it. And Apple's Airport setup tools aren't much better.

Re:Wow.... (2, Interesting)

numbski (515011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949238)

Does it matter when it's true?

Re:Wow.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949526)

That's what your wife told me. And it is true. (see how it works?)

I bought an iMac and run MacOS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949280)

And spend most of my time in Windows 7 running on Virtual Box. I use Visual Studio and MS Office, two applications light years ahead of anything else in their spheres. Windows 7 is also better than MacOS in almost any way I can think but I am looking forward to the next release of MacOS to see if it catches up.

Nice computer, though.

PS: I think that MS decided to stop sucking, overall, in the years leading to Windows 7.

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949316)

" If you ever wondered why Microsoft's products like Windows and Office are so bloated and underwhelming, while Apple's are almost always wonderful experiences, this analysis will solve that mystery."

LOL!!!

          No, No, I can honestly say I have never, ever wondered that. I have wondered how Apple, who has become more Big Brother than IBM still manages to attract so many zealots into its cult of Apple. We support both and I can tell you that our Apple labs have far more quirks, work-a-rounds and bloat than our Microsoft labs do. On top of that Apple only has to develop its OS for an extremely limited hardware catalog. Whereas, Microsoft makes it's products run across hundreds of different vendors hardware. I am by no means a Microsoft Zealot, I prefer Linux but Apple's exclusionary model doesn't appeal to me in the least. For those who don't know, Apple is a Monopoly - on their iOS devices they are almost a vertically integrated Monopoly.

However, I have wondered why so many in the press are unduly biased towards Apple. Perhaps, they send out the most freebies or review units to the media.

Re:Wow.... (2, Informative)

weicco (645927) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949338)

The sentence starts with conditional "if" and it looks like a question but has no actual question mark so I'm not sure if that is a question that one should answer or a statement of opinion. But either way it is highly biased sentence. If it's a question then it's a leading one and would be objected if asked in court of law. If it's a statement of opinion then it's biased by definition.

And no, I have never wondered that exact thing ;)

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949442)

On my six-core computer iTunes was the first program to bring it to a crawl and one of the few that can manage to do it on a daily basis.

Re:Wow.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949684)

How can you say there's any bias? It's not like he used "Magical" to describe apple products.

Re:Wow.... (0, Troll)

bonch (38532) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949856)

You're actually arguing that Windows and Office aren't bloated and underwhelming and that Apple's interfaces aren't vastly superior? Have you never compared a Windows smartphone to an iPhone?

ok... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33948836)

while Apple's are almost always wonderful experiences
http://www.theonion.com/video/apple-introduces-revolutionary-new-laptop-with-no,14299/

Maybe Microsoft HR got confused... (2, Funny)

Da_Biz (267075) | more than 3 years ago | (#33948838)

...and thought his resignation letter was spoofed by spyware running on a Windows PC.

finally (5, Funny)

zill (1690130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33948848)

If you ever wondered why Microsoft's products like Windows and Office are so bloated and underwhelming, while Apple's are almost always wonderful experiences, this analysis will solve that mystery.

Finally the mystery has been solved! The suspense was killing me.

Re:finally (4, Insightful)

recoiledsnake (879048) | more than 3 years ago | (#33948966)

Now comes word that Microsoft's head designer Ray Ozzie -- officially Chief Software Architect, de facto the highest-level designer in the company, with a purview outside the tired Windows/Office megalith -- has decided to take a break.

Someone that gets confused between a designer and an architect has no right to write a tech article such as this one.

Re:finally (4, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949036)

Still, they probably snatched him up just so that he wouldn't bring his talent anywhere else.

Being top talent at Microsoft must be like being an environmental liazon for BP.

Re:finally (1)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949134)

I would have said that someone who thinks Lotus Notes was "Designed by geniuses" has no right to write period. If there was a god, he would break Woody Leonhard's thumbs for that.

Re:finally (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949194)

Ha! Good point. Though I don't know if Microsoft software is well-architected. Most software isn't, and sometimes Apple's software has poor underpinnings despite a nice facade. For example, I couldn't get the first generation of Aperture (version 1.5) to print a photo properly to save my life, it's far easier to export a photo to iPhoto and print from there, with no risk of wasting photo paper or ink. They fixed that in 3.0.

Design is more than just the look and feel of objects or software. Architecture and engineering are different kinds of design than what people typically understand as design.

It's for the best anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33948850)

Quite frankly, I think Ray Ozzy is insane. Have you noticed that he is frowning all the time?

Re:It's for the best anyway (3, Insightful)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 3 years ago | (#33948902)

I personally suspect that the people who are smiling all the time are the ones who are insane.

The ones who frown at least have a chance of being connected to reality.

Re:It's for the best anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949716)

WOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

Re:It's for the best anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949880)

WOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

I think the Crazy Train just went by.

Did they mean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33948860)

...while Apple's are almost always wonderful experiences of bloat and underwhelming

Ozzie is the Lotus Notes guy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33948870)

Thank god for steaming piles like Notes.

Gives the Office team someone to look down on.

I never wondered why Office was so bloated (3, Insightful)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33948872)

Inside every version of "Word" is every previous version of word, so you can open that Office '97 document just as easily as your 2010 document.

Bloat accrues in most software I reckon.

That said, it's sad to see when talent is trumped by management but I think we all know that's par for the course in IT.

Re:I never wondered why Office was so bloated (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33948994)

Inside every version of "Word" is every previous version of word, so you can open that Office '97 document just as easily as your 2010 document.

Oh really? Open any previous version in Word? The rest of us must be cursed then.

Re:I never wondered why Office was so bloated (3, Insightful)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949148)

I think there was a cutoff at some point (Office 2005?) where it only went back as far as 2003, but I've had some experience working with Office guts and there are some mind-bendingly old components still being used that only kick in with specific document versions.

Mind you, it's been about 4 years since I mucked about in there so who knows what changed, but the point I was trying to make still stands.

The longer a piece of software is around the more likely it is to bloat.

Re:I never wondered why Office was so bloated (3, Insightful)

numbski (515011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949298)

This is the precise reason that i use .rtf as much as possible. If I don't need any super-fancy formatting, I always save as .rtf. Cross platform (for the most part), opens in just about every version of everything that I'm aware, including Microsoft Works if I recall correctly.

Re:I never wondered why Office was so bloated (1)

decipher_saint (72686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949406)

Amen to that. I was happy with Clarisworks two decades ago, mind you I'm not writing much beyond code or the occasional estimate doc these days so I'm not exactly the core Office user type.

Re:I never wondered why Office was so bloated (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949028)

I've thought OpenOffice was much better at opening older versions of Word (especially 97 versions) than Office . It seemed something changed after Office 2003. But that's just my perception.

Re:I never wondered why Office was so bloated (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949052)

You are right, word does not contain every old version.

Re:I never wondered why Office was so bloated (2, Informative)

TemporalBeing (803363) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949340)

I've thought OpenOffice was much better at opening older versions of Word (especially 97 versions) than Office . It seemed something changed after Office 2003. But that's just my perception.

OpenOffice writes better Microsoft Office documents than Microsoft Office does. Whether they legacy binary formats, or the newer XML formats. I've taken to using OO Writer for most things, and then ensuring everything is still there when I make the Word version, though it's mostly just the cross-references that I have to redo for some reason.

Re:I never wondered why Office was so bloated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949032)

Inside every version of "Word" is every previous version of word, so you can open that Office '97 document just as easily as your 2010 document.

Why does the file format for a *word processor document* change to much with every version that you need a complete copy of the previous version just to open it, then?

What you say is probably true, but it's also misleading; the answer to my question is that this keeps you on the upgrade treadmill and makes you pay money to Microsoft again, and again, and again. So that is where this part of the bloat comes from, ultimately: greed. Certainly a far cry from "bloat accrues in most software I reckon" - you're giving Microsoft far too much credit.

Re:I never wondered why Office was so bloated (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949910)

Because people are using their word processors as typesetters. I actually have to keep two copies of TeXLive installed, because some time in the last two years someone tweaked one of the layout algorithms slightly and the result is that a small number of paragraphs have line breaks in different places. Unfortunately, this means that one of the chapters in my second book gets typeset differently with the '08 and '10 editions. If I want to produce changes for the second printing, I have to minimise the number of pages, and a reflow on chapter 4 with the new editions upsets all of the page numbers for subsequent pages, so I have to use the old version.

Word has a similar problem. They've been constantly tweaking the layout algorithms for a long time. Even if it can open an old version file, if it breaks the lines in different places then this is a problem for maintaining the same visual appearance.

Re:I never wondered why Office was so bloated (3, Insightful)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949092)

Word has lots of features yes. But it is not slow or more unresponsive when compared to other office suites. OpenOffice always loads much slower than MS Office for me on similar hardware. MS Word's speed is on par with Abiword, although the former has many more features. Excel on par with Gnumeric, OpenOffice Calc is the slowest one by a margin. The reason may be that Windows preloads the libraries MS Office uses and therefore gets a speed advantage. Never the less, the end result is a better user experience.

Re:I never wondered why Office was so bloated (1)

s73v3r (963317) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949472)

Another reason for the speed disparity between MS Office and OpenOffice is that OO loads the entire suite when you start it up, whereas MS Office only opens the one component. At least this was true a year or so ago.

Re:I never wondered why Office was so bloated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949422)

Say what? No, I'm sorry that is not how it works. It uses file import filters to import/export old documents into the new format. Just like OpenOffice.org does to open Office documents. Office 2010 is slower than Office XP on certain tasks but much faster than Office 2007 overall. It also uses an interface that is streamlined for Web access. Which makes the online version that looks just like the desktop version possible.

I'm a huge fan OpenOffice.org but I have to admit that on similar hardware it is slower than Microsoft Office.

Re:I never wondered why Office was so bloated (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949436)

MS Office is like Walmart. an average wal mart carries tens of thousands of products so you can find almost anything you need. MS Office has features that 100% of people need in an office suite. not everyone needs the same features, but everyone uses all of them

Apple is like 7-11. the stuff people use the most is in there, but missing most features competitors have. and it costs more than wal mart

Who said Microsoft doesn't believe in design? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33948876)

Yes, hard to swallow, but Microsoft believes in design, the really horrible kind.

That makes sense... (4, Funny)

Rombuu (22914) | more than 3 years ago | (#33948928)

...I mean look at the elegance and simplicity of Lotus Notes...

Re:That makes sense... (2, Insightful)

heidaro (1392977) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949104)

Clean and elegant applications never sell in corporate environments. They need bloat and features that are never used.

Re:That makes sense... (4, Interesting)

Belial6 (794905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949586)

You joke, but Microsoft has been trying to make their own version of Notes/Domino for as long as I have been working with it. I remember back in ~1996 I went to a MS event where they were telling us how Exchange was going to be the groupware product that surpassed Notes. It didn't take long before they gave up on creating a groupware environment via technical means, and just worked on redefining the word groupware.

Now in 2010, the closes they have is Sharepoint. I have been doing some research into it recently as I will soon be doing some work in it, and it appears to be somewhere between Notes/Domino 3 and 4. It appears to be a decade behind.

I am hoping to be pleasantly surprised because I will be working with it whether it is ahead of it's time or behind.

Troll article, remove that opinion sentence! (1, Insightful)

postmortem (906676) | more than 3 years ago | (#33948974)

If Apple is so good, why they use that 'bloated Office' by Microsoft?

Re:Troll article, remove that opinion sentence! (0, Troll)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949070)

Uh, because Microsoft abused their monopoly? Where have you been these last few decades?

Re:Troll article, remove that opinion sentence! (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949170)

Abused their monopoly... please elaborate. I don't remember any antitrust rulings regarding office.

Re:Troll article, remove that opinion sentence! (1, Troll)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949300)

Denial. In this context, Office was just as much a part of the abusive monopoly as the OS was. The two are inextricable.

Re:Troll article, remove that opinion sentence! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949720)

Yes that's right, how dare Microsoft create any programs for their OS.

It's a good thing Apple does not design any software for OSX and push their monopoly at anyone.........

Re:Troll article, remove that opinion sentence! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949294)

Have you heard of books? Read one sometime. Start with this one before making another unfounded incorrect statement - "Winners, Losers, & Microsoft"

Re:Troll article, remove that opinion sentence! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949270)

The better question is if Apple's so good why is their best known software release, iTunes, such a bloated clunky lump of crap?

Pedants, take note. (4, Informative)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949004)

This is the very definition of begging the question. They should put that headline in the dictionary as a perfect example of it. If you find someone using "begs the question" to mean "makes me want to ask a question", when you correct them you can point them to this article.

Re:Pedants, take note. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949516)

This is the very definition of begging the question. They should put that headline in the dictionary as a perfect example of it. If you find someone using "begs the question" to mean "makes me want to ask a question", when you correct them you can point them to this article.

It's hard to google for, so what if that someone would loose the URL in there bookmark's?

(just kidding)

Re:Pedants, take note. (1)

RightSaidFred99 (874576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949902)

I could care less if that were to happen. Irregardless, it would literally take 1 millionth of a second to write down.

(me too - though both literally and irregardless are losing their pedant-cred as the dictionary adapts to their misuse)

KISS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949010)

The moral is: don't try to do too much too fast. Get the basics right and get them into users' hands, then work on the details.

Apple's are almost always wonderful experiences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949020)

"Apple's are almost always wonderful experiences"

Is iTunes in the "wonderful" category? Or the "almost" category?

Ozzie at Apple? (1)

ScooterComputer (10306) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949082)

Hrm. Since Apple has admitted that OS X development went a bit off track (for at least the 2nd time) due to iOS development, perhaps Apple could use a guy like Ozzie to act as the yang to Steve's ying: working on and leading the "off cycle" OS development while Steve spearheads the next great thing.

Ding dong! (5, Insightful)

drlloyd11 (458569) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949090)

Seriously, this is the man behind Lotus notes and Groove. Two of the biggest piles of snot ever made. His existence at MS was a blight. Now if they can get Balmer to join him they may have something there.

Genius? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949096)

TFA lists a series of failed projects spearheaded by the guy, then claims - without any evidence - that the ideas were grand and it was MS which could not deliver - and concludes that Ray is an unappreciated genius of some kind. Yet it is clear even from a short glance that the ideas themselves were flawed or simply another also-ran. Come on, Groove? Azure? Live Mesh?

Microsoft and design (3, Insightful)

byteherder (722785) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949174)

"...company that doesn't believe in design."

It is not that Microsoft doesn't believe in design, it is that they suck at it. The best case in point is Windows security.

Re:Microsoft and design (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949390)

The problem is backwards compatibility. We're going through this here at work right now. People want Windows 7 because it's new and shiny. From a usability perspective, let's face it - it just doesn't bring anything new to the table that will compel us to upgrade. It also breaks stuff. A LOT of stuff. As in we might as well be going to Ubuntu - too many freaking web apps that require ActiveX, or IE's old broken JavaScript calls, or one-off win32's that were written poorly and require Administrator privileges, and that vendor is now gone gone gone - no chance of ever getting it updated, and no budget to have it re-written.

Whether we want to or not, we're paying for Windows 6.1 with every new PC lease. If Windows 6.1 (what Microsoft is currently choosing to market as Windows 7) had simply said "look, we know we're breaking XP. If you need all of this old and broken stuff, stay on XP. Get on 7 if you want to be right going forward", then maybe this would be a different story.

It's been a while since I looked, but I *think* the real Windows 7 is still being developed, and will probably be the OS that completely cuts off this backward compatibility nonsense that plagues all Windows users right now. If MS could ever get themselves on the type of cycle has, cutting off backwards support and regular, routine intervals, they'd be much better off. The fact that we're even *discussing* having to deal with Internet Explorer 5.5 quirks mode applications is just insanity.

Weird (1)

Tei (520358) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949224)

Corporations seems to have money to have a hand on all potential markets, so wen these markets develop, can claim FRIST, like a lowlife slashdot troll. Bause of his size, is not significat expensive to then for the most part, or becuase some side effect, can have a net positive (Xbox 360 lose a lot of money, but probably generate it by other side effects).

So I read this news as "Microsoft abandon the web".

Weird.

Slashdot = cutting-edge opinion clearinghouse? (4, Interesting)

eyenot (102141) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949230)

Is it just me or is slashdot being used as a battleground for geek opinion? Whenever there's news about some company, that same day, sometimes within a couple of hours, there's counter-news or propaganda that spin the situation or introduce some other closely related variable that seems intended to take advantage of the information the news dissipated. Is slashdot basically commercially compromised at this point?

Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949254)

Seriously, CumTaco? I realize that you didn't write the summary, but even you should recognize trolling as bad as this when you see it.

Doesn't believe in design? (2, Interesting)

CokoBWare (584686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949274)

The OP is full of sh*t. I worked in MS Hardware at one point, and the UX team there led the way in many aspects of UX in MS's hardware products at one point. This spilled over into their supporting software products too. The company as a whole has been pushing hard in the UX space for quite some time, and there just aren't enough UX specialists to go around... the industry has been in a deficit for quite some time. Apple learned early on the UX side and this has been a tenet for them for quite some time. This is blatant trolling to say MS doesn't believe in design... making broad statements without really knowing what they are talking about. Windows 7 and Office 2010 represent a new era of MS apps with a strong emphasis on UX. IMHO, I think they are great advances in making MS products better overall for the user.

Design Shmazign (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949320)

"And you too will wonder how Ozzie could have lasted so long at a company that doesn't believe in design."
One word: MONEY

Perhaps it's not enough? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949452)

"Designed by geniuses. Implemented by idiots." The Notes architecture complete revolutionized the way businesses communicated. But the Notes product had so many enormously frustrating gaps and gaffes that people in the trenches hated it."

Alright. I can buy that.

"A product called Azure has been released, but the feature set doesn't even begin to match the lofty initial design." ...err, alright...

"Ozzie's biggest contribution to Microsoft's future direction has to be the Oct. 28, 2006, memo titled "The Internet Services Disruption." An insightful blueprint for the future, Microsoft stood up, took notice, but hasn't followed through very well." ...ok, so I guess that means tha...

"Two weeks ago, Microsoft disbanded Live Labs, it moved the team over to the Bing group, and the leader of Live Labs left."

Look, guys. There is more to being a visionary and a leader than simply having amazing pie in the sky ideas. In this place called the real world you actually need to get stuff done, and it seems that Mr. Ozzy has trouble doing that. I love amazing architecture as much as the next guy, but if a design simply never actually sees success for all its genius...well, I’m not sure how great a design it really was.

At a certain point, the problem might not be that everyone around you is such an idiot, it may be you're not quite as good as you thought you were.

Let's grade on a curve (5, Informative)

paulsnx2 (453081) | more than 3 years ago | (#33949508)

When I was there, Microsoft graded every project on a curve, with compensation in the balance. The "lowest" performers got slammed, the peak performs got rich. I imagine nothing has changed, except fewer people get rich.

Their system of evaluating and compensating developers rewards "hot dogs", who by any standard are good developers, but penalizes cooperation and useful developer documentation. Anything you might do to help someone on your team be successful automatically and in a very measured way hurts your own compensation. Few developers can rise above this and work with others outside of what is necessary to get the appropriate check marks on the review. And when individuals do work closely with each other, they are very selective as to who they work with. You can't afford to make *everyone* on your team successful. Remember, the bell curve WILL be applied.

Other mechanisms are used at Microsoft are very good. They have a huge commitment to testing, and a huge commitment to process. They know within a few months into a project when they are going to deliver. They know well in advance when projects are going to be late. They research and know the competition.

However, at the end of the day, their culture does not allow for clean design. Clean design means working together and making it a priority to make all developers on a team as productive as possible. But even if the differences between developers are tiny, the bell curve will be applied. People will win, and people will lose. And don't think for a moment that subjective decisions do not come into play based on a developer's reputation and ties with other developers.

In the end, if you don't know how something works, don't expect the comments to be useful. Don't be surprised if two interfaces sit next to each other and both do nearly the same thing. Obviously one developer implemented something, and the next couldn't figure out how to use it.

Microsoft's bloat is mostly a result of their development culture. Sure, supporting ten years of file formats is a factor, but not as important as their development culture, IMHO.

What's the point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33949696)

Seriously, /. is approaching a level of Apple Shill that makes it pointless to read and a complete non factor in finding useful or interesting news in the tech space. It's gotten beyond just a poor choice in bias.

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