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Tag Archives: Microsoft Corporation

19 July 3

I’d prefer Google+ over Facebook!

Under - Media, My Musings, Technology

I just came across this article on PCWorld.com which confirmed what always annoyed me. It is Facebook’s usability. I used to think (a bit ridiculous though but anyway) may be it is Microsoft’s legacy passed on to Facebook to make things unnecessarily complex and useless, and to turn deaf on to users when they expect something and something intelligent until things start slipping out of hands.

I must accept that despite using Facebook for years I still don’t get it fully. Why simplest of things are buried deep down in confusing maze of pages, settings and menus? Why every one of my contacts is added as ‘Friend’? Why it is difficult to control what I share? Why there’s no direct link to pages that I created using the same account? Why navigation changes so drastically from one section to another? Why I’m not in control of my experience? … and the list goes on including privacy concerns.

Usability is science but not a rocket science. Users tend to react fairly quickly online and we have seen how some big online setups have been deserted by their users who were in millions. Google+ is built upon Facebook’s shortcomings to provide users with what they have been expecting for so long. It may not matter to some but for me it is what I wanted and I fully recommend it.

To Facebook, best of luck.

IE6 coming to a peaceful demise

Under - Media, My Musings, Technology

We have been hoping, wishing, praying and actually struggling to liberate Internet from IE6 for so long now. The ‘kill IE6’ movement has seen all kind of phases and made substantial gains over the time. From IE6 Death (counting time when it is buried alive!) to mock funeral, and from IE6 No More to Death to IE6, the Internet is full of uncontrollable emotions and moments around this browser.

The time is nearing though for IE6 as Microsoft itself, besides sending flowers to the mock funeral last year, has joined the move to put this monster to rest that is just not dying. Microsoft has put up a website ‘The Internet Explorer 6 Countdown’ that is dedicated to watching IE6 usage dropping to 1% worldwide. It states:

10 years ago a browser was born. Its name was Internet Explorer 6. Now that we’re in 2011, in an era of modern web standards, it’s time to say goodbye.

Internet Explorer’s overall performance and irreconcilable differences with web standards aside, IE6 tarnished Microsoft’s reputation as a lead in this domain. I’m not sure how many IE9 it would take to rebuild the user confidence in this browser which is only surviving because of the OS it is bundled with.

IE6 Funeral by Aten Design Group

IE6 funeral by Aten Design Group held back in March 2010

29 January 1

iPad – actually it is an e-book reader …

Under - Industrial Design, My Musings, Technology

… disguised as a netbook or may be a formidable hybrid of both! But, with iPad Apple has defined a new category of products that many going to follow in coming days. With the revelation of iBookstore, it is foreseeable where the whole game plan is leading to.

Apple iPad

iPad is an amplified version of iPhone but without a phone that is going to run all iPhone apps. It is an excellent alternate to netbooks and thin enough to be used as e-reader. As an e-reader, iPad is way advanced than what we are currently familiar with in the form of Amazon Kindle or Sony Reader. As mentioned earlier in a different context, this device has the potential of becoming an ultimate e-reader and PMP.

Apple iPad

Smartphones are excellent but still small enough to be used as practical devices for everyday use. With iPad, Apple has successfully combined several products in one. Many would struggle to fit this product into the current hierarchy of consumer electronics but I see it clearly replacing conventional laptops, tablets and netbooks.

What future holds from Amazon Kindle or Sony Reader – I don’t know but I’m sure for one thing that iPad, when wrapped in leather, is a clear invitation to Microsoft Courier to enter into the ring with caution.

27 January 9

20 this and 10 that … 5 best of this and top 100 of that!

Under - Design, Miscellaneous, My Musings, Resources

Sorry, didn’t have anything to write today so I thought of a cliché post title. I don’t know who exactly started this trend but I started noticing it on MSN few years back on their homepage and Yahoo followed soon after. This kind of articles appeared after logging out from email accounts such as Hotmail and Yahoo when you are automatically redirected to MSN or Yahoo homepages with some attention-grabbing top stories.

Those everyday articles used to be interesting, catchy and somewhat spicy. I bet they helped cutting down bounce rate and increased visitor retention on those sites but, the practice of such an approach within online creative community has now gone beyond acceptable. Smashing Magazine could be called trend setter within the creative industry and sort of sole responsible for the influx of such a nonsense that we have to deal with on everyday bases.

Just look at the article/post titles below that I accumulated from just one design resource:

  • 130+ Awesome Photoshop Tutorials
  • 7 Online Form Creation Solutions
  • 14 Great Posts on jQuery Plugins
  • 75+ Top jQuery Plugins to improve Your HTML Forms
  • 22 Stunning Free Download E-Commerce Icon Sets
  • 10 Amazing Avatar movie Photoshop Tutorials
  • 23 sites where to download free icons
  • Top 31 Most Creative and Interesting Movie Websites Designs
  • 20 Amazing Creature Illustrations by Imaginism
  • 35 Amazing Fantasy Art 3D Wallpapers
  • 10 Tips to Create a Motivating Working Environment at Home
  • 10 Beautiful Video Blogging WordPress Themes
  • 50+ Amazing Creatiive & Original Logos
  • 30 Cutting Edge Examples Of CSS Navigation
  • 60 Extremely Creative Movie Posters
  • 50+ Essential Techniques and Tools for Visualizing your Data
  • 40 Mind Blowing Surreal Photo Manipulations
  • 111 Best Online Web Design Tools
  • 27 hilarious stuff you wish, were Photoshopped
  • 27 Outstanding Car HDR Photos
  • 40 best photoshop tutorials for web layouts

Is there any number or combination of mind boggling words left? There were indeed hundreds of such posts/articles on that particular resource but I only picked a few to give an example here. The good thing about Smashing Magazine articles was that they were original, but the SEO orientated minds soon picked up the hidden benefit in such content and the rest is history now.

The type of material seen these days on lots of design/creative resources is meaningless. Although some of such posts provide valuable information (a tiny fraction may be) but most of the time their content is nowhere near to whatever claimed in their titles. Such posts are mostly used as fillers. It is also disrespectful and derogatory to senior designers, artists and creative people when their work is labelled and reviewed under 150 websites with beautiful background or something.

Having such content is supposedly one of the easiest ways to grab user attention and to generate content without much effort – and perhaps earning big plus from SEO point of view. I can generate at least five new articles, or may be more, out of the list above just by shuffling their content but is this what we really want to give to our audience or is this what people really want to see all the time?

Oh geez – it’s hurting!

Under - Media, Technology

The latest series of Microsoft’s ‘Laptop Hunters‘ ads are really hurting Apple!

Some are suggesting otherwise though.