I am greatly honored that Eric Mac’s recent Notes On Productivity Blog featured my tirade against Microsoft Office Kurt DelBene’s shoddy task implementation in OWA 2013. Coming to terms with bad interface design or 80/20 rule gone awry in software design is something Microsoft needs to take into account. Despite negative user feedback, poor Windows 8 reception, and Android Mobile device domination, they continue to release beta quality products and course correct along the way.
If you do not believe me, look at the Windows 8 lack of start menu debacle and the whole start menu cottage industry of third party developers that has cropped up around it. I am currently running a trial copy of Stardock’s Start8 Start Menu tool as a work around because my Video Production Software AVID Media Composer and Adobe Creative Suite 6 runs faster on Windows 8. I found this out after multiple re installations of Windows 7 and Windows 8. Windows 8, frankly, is a brilliant operating system with regards to speed, lightness and overall integration—and Windows 8.1 update could be a huge boon for Microsoft. However, my question is why did we have to wait for Windows 8 Blue?
Microsoft does get it. Steve Ballmer just promoted the head of Windows product development at Microsoft, Julie Larson-Green to the Executive Vice-President of the Devices and Studios group at Microsoft which means that thanks to Steve Ballmer’s reorganization you can expect Larson-Green to do more stupid maneuvers many of which will now include Microsoft’s beloved Xbox platform.
What blows my mind is that Larson-Green holds a degree in Business Administration from Western Washington University which means she should be vaguely familiar with Peter Drucker’s The Effective Executive, a corner stone of Modern Management theory. Peter Drucker defines one of the core realties that an Effective Executive must wrestle with as being that “they must make conscious efforts to perceive the outside, the inside may blind them true reality.” How could Larson-Green allow Redmond Amnesia to blind her so brutally to the basic idea of testing your software with a typical end-user before releasing it for mass public consumption? Why does not Microsoft follow its own advice to programmers? Does their team really live in that much of a Redmond Bubble?