Monday, April 27, 2009

Windows 7 could change our perception of PCs

Windows 7 changes the usability of PC's ...

"In a recent study from Forrester Research, analysts found that Dell and Hewlett-Packard provided customer experiences that were well below par, while Apple came out on top.

According to the study, which asked 4,500 U.S. consumers to rate the usefulness and enjoyability of products, Dell received a "poor" rating in overall customer experience. The company mustered a "very poor" when it came to the customer's enjoyment using Dell products. HP's experience was rated as "poor," while Apple led the way for computer manufacturers with an overall "good" experience.

Bruce Temkin, the study's author, wrote that while PC manufacturers have some work to do to enhance the consumer's experience, Windows also contributed to the low marks.

"I do think Microsoft's software has a bit to do with it," Temkin wrote. "Consumers don't distinguish problems with the operating system from problems with the PC manufacturer. Bottom line, the Windows ecosystem needs an extreme customer experience makeover."

I agree with Temkin. But I also believe that Windows 7 is the single Windows OS that can improve the consumer's experience.

Aside from compatibility issues, one of my biggest complaints with Windows Vista was its design. Microsoft tried to be too fancy with the look and feel of the OS instead of focusing more on its ease of use. It wasn't an improvement over XP and it ruined my experience.

But Windows 7 is different.

The Windows 7 experience

Windows 7's taskbar is a game-changer. When you roll your mouse over an icon in the taskbar, thumbnails of every open instance of the application will be displayed. If you're unsure which window you want to open, you can hover your mouse over a specific thumbnail and it will be brought to the front in full size. It's a simple addition, but it makes finding open windows much easier. More importantly, it enhances the consumer experience.

Whenever you perform a clean install of an operating system, it's fast. Windows XP was snappy when I installed it on my machine and so was Vista. But after using Windows 7 and comparing it to a clean install of Vista, I found that Windows 7 booted faster than Vista. It also opened applications quicker than its predecessor. The difference wasn't major, but it was noticeable. So noticeable, in fact, that I think consumers will be happy with what they find."    (Continued via CNET News, Usability News, Don Reisinger)   [Usability Resources]


Anonymous tyssejc said...

Fancy taskbars do not a good customer experience make.

Why is Apple continuing to steal market share from PC and continuing to report stellar earnings in this, perhaps the most dismal economic situation we have confronted as a generation? It is not because of the taskbar.

I am not trying to be cynical, and I love being surprised, especially by Windows, but all I garnered from Vista after five years of waiting was some purely un-usable eye candy and co-opting of OS X's Spotlight feature. Let's face it—Microsoft is not going to change the way we think about customer experience. It is, however, going to mainstream bastardized versions of good features from other operating systems.

Can we be honest and agree on that?

10:00 AM  

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