“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.