And you wonder why Microsoft gets on people’s nerves…
So I’m perusing the various blog posts that have streamed out of the MIX 08 conference and some interesting talks are available online. So I head on over to the MIX 08 site to view some sessions and I run into this:
Yep, I need to download
Real Player, I mean Silverlight to watch these videos. Silverlight, for the less enlightened, is Microsoft’s foray into streaming video, rich media and rich apps on the Web (aka Microsoft’s Flash).
Putting aside general observations about industry trends and such, the move is just downright selfish. Here’s why: Flash video works well and Flash is installed. I can respect Microsoft’s desire to compete, but don’t do it at the expense of end users. Silverlight is bringing nothing new to the table here except distraction, disruption and what amounts to a dead end on a web page.
In the spirit of constructive criticism, I’d offer this to the Silverlight team: sit in a room with a whiteboard and think up some actual things that will compel users to install Silverlight with a fevered passion. In other words: invent something we don’t already have. We all know what user-centered design is all about. This is Microsoft-centered design. The users? They’re taken by the ear and forced to follow along. We’re force-fed Microsoft’s strategy.
I for one, am convinced that if Microsoft re-channeled their energy to delivering new and creative inventions that we don’t already have, we’d be pleasantly surprised.
This post shouldn’t be read as a wholesale condemnation of Microsoft. Microsoft’s sphere of influence is vast, and many good things have come from them. Office 2007/2008 is a beautifully designed experience in my opinion, and the features in the new Internet Explorer 8 show some out-of-the-box thinking. Such examples further emphasize my point.
C’mon Redmond, you can do better than this.