I am a depressed designer
Miz Becky's delightful sister stayed with us for Thanksgiving last week, and brought along her shiny new Apple Powerbook. I'd seen it a couple of times before, but this was the first time I'd spent much time around it.
One night as I was heading to the kitchen to get a drink of water, I noticed she had left the Powerbook on the dining room table, recharging.
As I walked by, a small white light near the rear center of the closed case caught my eye. I stopped to try to get a better look at it and noticed that it was pulsing. Gently. Slightly faster than, say, a breathing human. Whooooosh... Whoooooosh... Whoooooosh...
I guessed, and she later confirmed, that it was the indicator that the laptop was asleep (as opposed to off). You know. It's breathing.
That one, tiny, stupid little thing is more beautiful and elegant and intuitive and charming than anything, anything at all that we make here at Microsoft. And that's why, though people may use our products, they'll never love our products.
Uncle Vinny, on Wednesday, December 3, 2003 at 5:39 PM:
I'm skeptical whenever people start talking about Apple as though their computers are little angel friends that are a picnic to learn to use. My experiences with Apple Powerbooks and iPods lately were hardly the sort of moonbeam pixieland adventure I'd been led to expect. Mac window controls are very strict and unintuitively labeled, and I noticed that April (who has owned the machine for more than a year) still hasn't figured out how to minimize them. Instead she just drags them all to the side, and is clearly frustrated by how hard it is to find her way among them. The iPod was fun to fondle, but the UI was too minimalist to be useful.
One widely held assumption is that beautiful ideas are somehow able to emerge unscathed from within the immense corporate behemoth that is Apple Computer Corp, but that such a thing could never happen at Microsoft.. I can see that they have a much more effective PR department than we do, but I wonder how that would change if the relative market shares of the companies were reversed? People like to stand up for a little guy, no matter how poor or ugly a fighter he is. Apple has been able to fight off the perception of being "the establishment", and seeing such a huge company get away with that makes me a little cynical.