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Technology CompaniesAppleShould the next version of Windows rethink its out of box experience?

Should the next version of Windows rethink its out of box experience?

I’m not a big fan of the current Windows 7 out of the box experience. Don’t get me wrong–Windows 7 is fine, it’s just that the first time you plug in Windows 7 I think too much is missing. Too much is not in the box.

What am I getting at? Well, there’s no Messenger. There’s no built in webcam app. There’s no video editing. There’s no great blogging tool or tool for posting to YouTube or Facebook or you name it.

It’s not that there aren’t terrific Microsoft versions of these tools available; it’s just that you have to get online and download them. And then wait. Turn off annoying “Would you like to install this or that toolbar” messages and the like. And then wait some more.

Now I know getting online and selecting download is no big deal, per se, but it is a pain. And for anyone that’s ever done it, courtesy of Microsoft’s Windows Live page, they’ll quickly realize that it’s not such a quick process. Put simply, the download and install process is close to a walk around the block.

I’m not posting this as an outright complaint, but I do think Microsoft is missing an opportunity here to be simpler. Yeah, yeah, there are lawyers that would probably balk at this, but come on, at least for the US you can’t tell me that it’s not possible to make a great out of the box experience.

Here’s the irony–at least for me. I can see where Microsoft can make a smartphone that does just all of this out of the box with no problem (or at least close to it) without any complaints, but place Windows Live Messenger, or a webcam app, or MovieMaker on the install image of a PC and you have the lawyers getting nervous or anxious depending on which side you’re on.

But think about it. That smartphone would essentially be running hardware that pretty much matches where the hardware was at the turn of the century for PCs. Yes, smartphones are essentially PCs of yesteryear, but in large part because they aren’t really considered PCs today, they can get away with having an out of the box experience that tops what PCs can do.

I can take my iPhone out of the box, snap a picture of myself or friends, create a video and post it to YouTube, use a built in GPS, use a built in browser, and on and on. Yes, I realize the numbers are different between smartphones and PCs, but with the gradual rush to mobility that’s underway right now and devices like tablets (lower case t), make there way into the market, which are between PCs and smartphones/PDAs, come on, who are we kidding? Where are we going to be categorizing these tablet devices? Handheld PDAs? PCs?

Or more to my concern: Will a company like Apple be able to load up a tablet device (if they ever release one) that’s more out of the box capable in terms of providing an iPhone or Mac-like than let’s say a mythical similar effort from Microsoft? I’m a bit concerned.

Loren Heiny (1961 - 2010) was a software developer and author of several computer language textbooks. He graduated from Arizona State University in computer science. His first love was robotics.

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14 years ago

#Read Should the next version of Windows rethink its out of box experience?: I’m not a big fan of the current Win… http://bit.ly/7KJWxq

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