MSFT Is Still The One Who Needs To Catch Up

MG Siegler talked about Siri yesterday and, summary, he says that everyone and their brother is going to jump around saying how they had speech first and their speech is just as good, but it is not and the proof is that nobody is using theirs, and everyone is using Siri.

I completely agree with him.

It's exactly what I wrote about last week - the difference between technology and the implementation that actually touches the consumer makes all the difference in the world. For example, F1 cars are THE MOST technologically advanced motor cars in the world, but if you handed it to the average citizen, they would not even be able to turn the thing on. You have to strip down the technology and put it in a package that someone can actually use before it means something.

As if to draw out in stark contrast, my brother-in-law's computer broke down this weekend - he got infected by a virus, and asked me to de-gunk it. In fact, it was too hard to de-gunk, I ended up wiping and restoring from the partition. I worked at MS for 6+ years, and really like the company, but doing such a simple task was INSANELY hard, I refuse to believe a single PM ever went through that process. I had to:

  • boot up
  • hold down a function key which was on-screen for literally 1 second
  • identify the correct partition and restore plan (full restore, wipe out all contents, etc)
  • do the full restore
  • reboot
  • connect to the wifi and go through 15 registration steps
  • go through at least 6 different visits and reboots to Windows Update
  • go through and remove at least 10 different pre-installed pieces of software and/or trial-ware

And by the end, I was left with a function netbook that took at least 1 second to respond when I touched the track pad (they should respond in under 0.2 seconds). This was a totally clean out of the box PC, and it was still miserable to use.

This is what MS will suffer with for a long time. Because they allow other people to stand in between their products and the final user experience, the user experience will always suffer. I love my Windows Phone, but you can just feel that the hardware is not optimal. Maybe they'll get there some day - The Windows Phone Hardware Requirements are a decent start - but not until they have hard core USER EXPERIENCE requirements. You don't pass, you don't get to ship Windows.