Yohannon (yohannon) wrote,

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Job Creation Through Crappy Design

WARNING: The following piece is a geek rant that has been building for over two weeks. Non-geeks might want to skip, especially if all they hear is clicks and buzzes. Just smile and nod at the deranged geek as you back away slowly...

So I was just reading the craziest article about how Apple's next OS, Leopard, wouldn't create a single job. The saavy reader will be going "Huh?!" right about now, so I'll explain.

Windows Vista is expected, by comparison, to create no fewer than 100,000 jobs... in the help desk and tech support industries. Over the positions that exist right now to support Windows.

In other words, the next iteration of Windows, more than 5 years in the making, is so complex and non-intuitive that it will take the population of a small city to handle the increase in support calls required to run it. Think of it as an MSCE employment guarantee. Only the MSCE's aren't taught anything useful -- getting that certification is an exercize in parroting back to Microsloth the way the company thinks it's OS should work, not the reality of driver conflicts, registry nightmares, DLL confusion, and overall design insanity that is Windows.

I've always complained that M$' issues could be directly attributed to the insular "See/Hear/Speak No Evil" mentality that can cripple a companies ability to produce a quality product. While Apple isn't immune to this same disease, they at least make the effort to correct issues as they arise -- when people complain that Apple isn't moving fast enough to deal with what is an obvious problem, they fail to consider the legal implications that a company has to consider before moving to correct problems. Apple isn't going to say or confirm anything until they know for a fact that it's a real issue that Apple can do something to correct. I can think of about 6 issues right off the top of my head that will get you a free repair, regardless of your computers warranty status, including at least two LCD issues that would normally run 800 bucks to address.

Microsoft, however, seems to be in denial about a lot of things lately. Like Zune. I mean, are they kidding?! First there's the name -- I can almost imagine the drug induced mass insanity that had a room full of cranked up marketing wonks agreeing that "Zune" could be the "last word" in music. Get it? Change the "T" in "tune" to "Z"...

Ugh. And even with this kick ass job those morons are STILL making twice as much as I am -- before the big bonuses for coming up with a marketing check-off list that thinks that auto-wrapping your music -- even if you CREATED it -- with DRM that keeps you from sharing tunes more than three times with any other users. And if you're going to add wireless networking to a product, why the HELL can't you sync using it?!

The final, biggest "feature" touted by this "Pays For Sure" piece of garbage is the "bigger" screen. The one with the same RESOLUTION as the iPod, so you can better make out all those compression artifacts and individual pixels.

Oh, and to REALLY drive the disconnect home: Zune doesn't work with Vista. You know, the OS that is already in the business environment, and is due to hit consumers (perhaps literally) by January '07... a mere three year's late and more than half of the new feature set stripped to get it out the door before the end of the decade?

At least I can smile at the number of people at work who have walked up to me asking about Mac models. A lot of the people who used to use Macs but were forced to use Windows because of work or other constraints (that ONE piece of software that wasn't ported to the Mac that they HAD to use) are now making the jump back. A few long time Windows users are making the jump because now they can satisfy their kids and/or spouses desires as well as their own -- you can dual boot Windows and the Mac OS on the new boxes for free, or drop a mere 80 bucks for virtual machine software like Paralells to run Linux, Windows, Solaris and the Mac OS side by side. Simultaneously, and at near native speeds.

Finally, there's the burgeoning hysteria over the new version of Office producing files that can't be read on the Mac. First, why the HELL does everyone think that people are going to run right out and upgrade an office suite that doesn't really DO anything new for them? As was pointed out about two years ago to me, more than 90% of the users of ANY office suite, especially Microsponge's, use less than 10% of the features. You can download a version of OpenOffice for almost any platform that lets you read, edit,  and create all the MS Office compatible docs you could want -- for free. Gratis. There's even a Mac native port, NeoOffice. Now if only GimpShop for the Mac could be cleaned up somewhat, I could dump PhotoShop and tell MS and Adobe to go marry one another.
Tags: funny, geek rant, mediavictim, nothingtosee, stupid, work
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