A recent post on Tim Anderson’s ITWriting, concerning the unbelievably bad computer experience a user had with a ‘free’ Samsung netbook piqued my interest.
The user got the netbook with a contract from Vodafone, and had such a bad experience they actually returned it under the 14 day returns policy.
Now, I’m not dissing Windows 7 here – I’ve never used it, and for all I know it may be a good system. I’m hard-wired to prefer the Mac, but let’s just say it’s not for me.
Microsoft have put a lot of effort into Windows 7, some would say (and I’m amongst them) that this is because of the lead that Apple take – Microsoft cannot simply ignore it, they have to respond.
It’s all the more sad then, that Microsoft still don’t fundamentally understand the user experience, and even if they did understand it, I’m not sure that their business model allows them to do anything about it.
What I mean by the ‘user experience’ from Apple’s perspective, is something that transcends the OS on the screen. It transcends the physical plastic & metal that surrounds it, it even transcends the beautiful packaging that the computer comes in.
It even transcends the Apple Store you bought it in and the well-trained and informative staff who gave you advice on which model suited your needs.
Although every single one of those is vital, there’s one thing that keeps Apple ahead every time – it’s their business model.
Apple do AND CONTROL everything, it’s a case of the end result being greater than the sum of its parts.
Coming back to the article in question, the thing that made the user return the Samsung, wasn’t Windows 7 – they couldn’t even get to the position of having an opinion – it was the added ‘extras’ that every single OEM adds after Microsoft hands over their admittedly well crafted, and beloved Windows 7 OS.
The fundamental way in which the Windows experience works, with Microsoft spending an awful long time in perfecting their OS, but then having to rely on OEM’s to actually deliver the computer to the user makes for the experience outlined in this article.
A blurred, uncontrolled useless computing experience, designed to make every company in the selling chain as much money as possible – user experience be damned.
Now, a lot of Windows users accept this. A lot of Windows use simply take off all this crap and reinstall Windows. And good luck to them if they’re willing to do that, somebody in the comments to the article mentioned just that.
But to your average computer user, and the user that just expects better, why should they have to do that?
They shouldn’t have to. Apple’s computers aren’t like that because Apple want YOU to benefit from using the computer – not anyone else.