Microsoft having difficulties matching Apple Mac’s user experience and emotional attachment

“For the last 20 years Apple has been leading the charge in making computing easier for mere mortals. Microsoft has always strived to attain the kind of elevated status Apple has for its user experience and emotional attachment, but has consistently fallen short. Some of the compelling user interface features found in Mac OS X, such as the underlying graphics foundation, won’t be available in Windows until Longhorn ships in the second half of this decade,” Dan Farber writes for ZDNet.

“Nonetheless, Microsoft’s lagging behind Apple in some areas of user interface design and experience hasn’t adversely impacted Windows dominance. You can conclude that the Windows user experience is ‘good enough’ for 90 percent of computer users,” Farber writes. “But, the stakes are getting higher as digital convergence becomes more of a reality. The gap between personal and professional technology is closing, and the difference between a PC and a TV, set-top box, and phone is narrowing.”

Farber writes, “Microsoft aspires to become more emotionally connected to users. [Like the way] Starbucks makes coffee drinking a compelling experience and has a brand allegiance that garners premium pricing. The coffee chain is growing at about three and half new stores opening per day… You can imagine Microsoft boardroom discussions about what the company needs to create a brand and a user experience that elicits positive feelings and emotion. Microsoft has the time, talent and money to push Windows into those environments, but becoming relevant to people on a personal level that evokes emotion will continue to challenge the company’s brain trust. Right now, Microsoft is branded as the company that has virus- and worm-infected code. Until that problem is resolved, Microsoft will have a hard time convincing the masses that it has mastered the fundamentals.”

Full article here.

46 Comments

  1. Microsoft tries too hard to please everyone. Software that does everything almost never does anything really well. Does anyone use all the features of Office? I think you could even call MS software schizophrenic.

    I believe Apple’s software is aimed at a fairly specific goal. Each Apple program has one goal. That goal is to make the program do its purpose with the best usability possible. If that means cutting the multipage word processor from Final Cut Pro, so be it.

  2. I have an emotional connection with Microsoft. It’s probably not the emotion they want however. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. Gates and his boys can talk all they want…but it’s just talk, they have never gotten IT and never will. And they don’t even copy well.
    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Yeah, they’re tryin’ hard alright. Read what happened to Longhorn today when they were demoing it at the Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WINHEC):

    “In a side-by-side demonstration comparing an early version of Longhorn and Windows XP, Allchin showed two PCs with the current and newer operating system displaying memory-intensive graphics.
    The Longhorn machine, although slightly better than the Windows XP at displaying graphics-heavy Windows, failed to respond when Allchin also tried to bring up another graphics-intensive application, the popular first person shooter game Quake. Allchin said that the computer, which had worked earlier, was unusually slow to respond.”

    “It Worked Earlier” — Is this the new MS Longhorn catch phrase?

    Full article here: http://money.cnn.com/2004/05/04/technology/microsoft.reut/index.htm

    Enjoy,

    Chris

  5. This is like a bunch of computer geeks sitting in a room trying to reproduce art. They have all the brains and (computing) resources in the world, but it just doesn’t click.

    Microsoft does well at what it does well; offering software that clears the hurdle for the unwashed. Unfortunately, the unwashed seem to represent 95% of those who buy computers (including mass corporate purchases).

    Face it, while the Mac is great at things MS will never match, in many cases it just doesn’t matter. God help us all if MS ever figures it out. But they can’t because they are facing certain systemic problems:

    1. Their market share makes them “non-nimble” to the point that they cannot dump the legacy code that makes Windows the garbage heap that it is;
    2. A monolithic organization cannot obtain the culture that is necessary to sustain the creativity that Apple does;
    3. Since their hardware is such an open mess of loose standards, they cannot control the user experience like Apple can (and because of #1, they cannot change this).

    Apple makes great products but they will never have a significant market share until they make some junk boxes that will appeal to the WalMart crowd. Here’s hoping Steve is not aspiring to such lows.

    Dude

  6. I live in Seattle I’ll go over to bill gates’ house and egg it. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” /> Anyone else want to join?

  7. Its 2050 & my granddaughter walks in proudly displaying the latest must-have cool thing from Microsoft. She asks “how come you hate the cool stuff from Microsoft Grandma.”
    i wake-up in a cold sweat shuddering OMG NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!

  8. One of the fundamental differences in the ideology of Microsoft and Apple is the following. Microsoft is having a bunch of geeks and are trying to achieve elegance. Apple has people who are musicians, artists, etc. who also happen to be good in programming! There’s a huge difference in these two ideologies.

    In my opinion, Programming can be learnt, elegance/artistic are qualities that you must be born with.

  9. There’s another major difference between Apple and MS. Apple actually cares about making the world a better place while MS only cares about controlling EVERYTHING and making sure they suck up ALL the money.

  10. Comment to: beg

    “disgusting monopolistic practices that hurt the consumer”

    Ah, you must be talking about Apple, right? How many Apple clones have you seen lately? Oh, right. None. You can have MY Apple, if you want it. It’s a nice shiny APple II+. Too bad Apple just dropped the whole line one day.

    Did it hurt? Well, if losing a $4000 investment hurts, then I guess I was hurt.

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