It’s good to know that many of you are listening to The Chris Pirillo Show (either live on Thursday nights or in a regular ol’ download format). At CES, we had a rather “fun” interview with Chuck Cummins (a Microsoftie partially responsible for the UI in Windows Vista). Lockergnomie Stu Gazzo got a kick out of it:
Great job on the Cummins interview! Hard-hitting, passionate and brutally honest. One of my favorite moments is when you referred to XP’s lovely Olive Green theme as Hospital Puke green. But the best was when Chuck said, “There were a lot of different goals around the visuals in XP”. To which you replied, “Ya, let’s make it suck more!” I lost it in my vehicle when I heard that! Too funny.
I do disagree with you, however, that Windows users don’t care about beautiful design. We care. I care. You care. But WTF are we to do with a company that simply does not listen or, worse yet, simply doesn’t get “it”? They say they listen to their customers, but do they? Name me one Microsoft customer that asked for Product Activation? Anyone? Bueller, Ferris? It bears repeating: We’ve been waiting 5 bloody years for Vista! That’s insane. What the hell does MSFT do with all their manpower and money? They say they spend a tonne on R&D. Okay, maybe on the R but what about the D?
I honestly believe one man can make a difference – in anything. And the reason OS X is beautiful is because of Steve Jobs. Jobs will accept nothing less than the utmost in beauty – whether in the OS or hardware design. I mean, why did it take Apple to come up with an iPod? Isn’t Sony or Samsung supposed to be knocking us on our collective asses with cool shit like that? Bottom line: Microsoft has no sense of style and design because Bill doesn’t. Nor does Ballmer. Nor does Allen. And you know what? They don’t care either. Steve cares about being the most beautiful.
Well, if it’s any consolation, I’ve been having several conversations with influential members of Microsoft’s most frontward-facing teams in recent months. They’ve been listening to my direct feedback and taking it to heart (even though it’s been with a grain of salt). I can tell you that at least three specific features made it into Windows Vista based upon my suggestions. A little bit can go a long way, and I can assure you that there are folks inside of Microsoft who are listening to us. I may not know ’em all at this point, but I’ll get to know ’em eventually.