It has been something like six months since Microsoft’s “Get Windows 10” shenanigans angered me enough to go buy a Macbook. I still love it, but the honeymoon period has worn off a bit.
My logic was always, “if Microsoft wants to be Apple this desperately, why not just get a Mac?” And sure enough, everything Micsoroft has done to annoy me has turned out to be a hamfisted attempt to copy some Apple feature.
I didn’t expect Apple to be some magical fairyland of empowerment. OSX also has the feeling of not being “my” computer. “Apple will now graciously let you continue to use their appliance as long as you install these six updates at your earliest convenience.” At least you get to put it off until a time that is actually convenient. Where, in contrast, Windows 10 simply spends 15 minutes installing whenever it feels like. Great when you wanted to take 5 minutes to make that one final tweak to a project before the meeting or check your email.
Another difference is that Apple understands that user interfaces shouldn’t be surprising–you just want to get work done. Every time I open Win10’s start menu, the buttons work differently and I have to relearn it. I guess they’re justifying this because web pages constantly change? But web pages are a perfect demonstration of what happens when software designers don’t first study UI design principles. That looks like a menu, will it really be a menu, or a button? And if I hover my mouse over it, will it pop down magically, or do I need to click on it, and if I do click on it even if it magically pops down, will it collapse, stay down, or go to another page?
Amazon’s “Your Account” dropdown is a perfect example of the worst possible design for a menu dropdown, having the additional problem that it won’t magic-hover-drop-down until something has lazy-loaded in the background, so you think “ah this is a click-to-drop-down menu”, but no, clicking navigates. If you wait and hover again, it will drop down. It wastes your time *every* time you use it.
But back on track.
OSX is a great operating system, and the hardware is unmatched (if underpowered), but I can definitey feel Apple Corp hovering in the background when I use it. So, I don’t feel like I’ve got control of my OS with this move, but at least I have a better one.