Tuesday, February 01, 2022

I'm pretty sure this is how it happened...

SCENE: The Microsoft Development Team's bullpen, one year ago.



TEAM LEADER: Okay, team, Windows Eleven is about to release, and we need to find a way to really, really piss off our long-standing customers. What's a feature extremely common to Windows that behaves in a way all users expect that we can change for no reason? Something to say, "This isn't your boomer's Windows anymore!"

NORMAN: Isn't that ageism? And inaccurate? Our core users' ages range from-

TL: Shut up, Norm. Anyone?

BOB: We could require mouse swiping to open the Start Menu again, like we did in 8.0.

TL: Sorry, Bob. I know that was your baby, and by God, did it piss our loyal customers off! You did a great job, there - it was absolutely frustrating, pointless, and annoying. Too bad the complete and utter wusses upstairs made us change it back to normal. Sigh. Come on, people, something along those lines.

RITA: We could require them to enter their credit card information every time they log in?

TL: Oooh, hang on one second! (Wipes drool from chin.) Great Jesus's Gonads, that's tantalizing! But legal might have an issue. We may have to save that for Windows Twelve.

B: Wait, I've got a great idea. What if we changed the Start Menu in a ridiculous and annoying way.

R: More mouse gestures?

B: No, just small annoying things. Like, we'll put it in the center of the screen, even though for twenty-seven years it's been on the left. But here's the real pisser: we'll only show "pinned" and possibly "recently used" apps. Users will have to click a button to see all their apps, a convenience they've happily enjoyed since Windows 95. It's only one little extra click, but it would still be meaningless, annoying, and frustrating.

R: Will there be a setting to return it back to "classic" mode that users have become accustomed to for almost thirty years?

TL: Of course not. That's the point.

B: Wait - what if we add a Start Menu customization option in settings - but without that one "return to classic mode" option that customers will actually want?

R: But what would be the point, then? That would just be taunting and frustrating... (blushes.) Oooh, I get it now.

TL: (Whispering in awe) That's genius! That will just piss off our long-term customers even more! It's just one extra, unnecessary click, but it's just so subtle, pointless, meaningless, and annoying!

B: What's more, it will drive our loyal users crazy, because there's no conceivable benefit, either to them, or to Microsoft. (Everyone blesses themselves in the sign of the Windows logo.) It's just meaningless frustration for its own sake.

R: (Unbuttons top button of her blouse.) Say, Bob, what are you doing tonight?

N: But wait, I have to ask... why are we doing this?

TL: What?

N: I mean, WHY do we want to piss off loyal customers who have been with us for decades? Sure, we could change it, but why not with a setting to put it back the way it was, if users are happier that way? Why do operating system "upgrades" have to remove options and features users want instead of adding more? How is that progress?

B: Well, to be honest, I just got the idea of removing features without adding more from the Android Twelve "upgrade." They're doing great things over there.

N: But that's my point! Historically, Windows and Android users have chosen us over Apple's "walled garden" because they want choices and customization. They want to be able to do whatever they want with their devices and computers, not less. Why are we not only taking choices and features away, but deliberately trying to frustrate and anger them - especially over something as necessary as the Start Menu? It's petty, and makes no sense!

TL: Hmm. Those are... great points, Norm, just... great. Can you come into my office for a second?

(TL and NL walk offstage.)

N: (Off camera) Hey, WHAT? GET OFF ME! STOP IT! (Sounds of scuffle.)


(Pan across R and B's gleeful faces as the loud, echoing TWANG of a catapult is heard, followed by N screaming - fading into the distance - ending with a distant SPLAT.

TL walks back onstage, to R and B's applause.)

TL: Right in the center of the Apple Store logo. Okay... So that's a go with the Start Menu. Now, let's talk about ways we can make Edge more invasive, and unnecessarily required for the simplest tasks.

TL, R, and B proceede to laugh and chortle with evil mirth.