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Customer culture

Tech Industry639 words3 minutes to read

I recently sold my MacBook Pro “Core Duo” to my mom for $900 (valued at $900–$1100). My dad just about blew milk through his nose when my mom told him about the price. “I could get two computers for that!”, he exclaimed. No, dad. Not two computers like this.

An Explanation

Marco Arment, writing about customer culture:

This culture of compromise has been cultivated by Apple’s relentless pace of forcing progress and killing legacy support. Apple’s implicit message is simple: “We know what’s best. If you do things our way, everything will work very well and you’ll be happy. If you don’t like it, that’s fine with us.”

People who aren’t willing or able to compromise on their needs regularly are much more likely to be Windows customers. The Windows message is much more palatable to corporate buyers, committees, middlemen, and people who don’t like to be told what’s best for them: “You can do whatever you want, and we’ll attempt to glue it together. It won’t always work very well, and you might not like the results, but we will do exactly what you asked for.”

I (being someone who tends to fall squarely into the Apple camp) have observed this before, but was never able to put my finger on what it was. I think that this description of The Windows Culture hits the nail on the head.

Windows 8’s “Ribbon UI” in Explorer

I’m also quite fascinated with the responses to Improvements in Windows Explorer. While I felt that the Ribbon UI was a huge improvement for Microsoft Office 2007, I find the new Explorer UI in Windows 8 to be both appalling and downright backwards-minded. I was quite surprised to read how many positive comments there were.

WOW! this looks great!

Recently I moved to a TabletPC (Acer Iconia Tab W500). I normally use a FAR Manager for my file operations, but this is because I am a keyboard guy. However on a tablet I immediately moved back to explorer (I user WIndows 7 now). What I notice is a lack of things you can do by clicking your finger:) - this includes lack of Up button and other things. I think what you doing here is great! […]

Thank you! I hope windows 8 will fit into 2 GB of ram and 30 gb of HDD and I can install it on my Iconia at some time.

No plugins in Metro IE

Conversely, Microsoft recently discussed Metro style browsing and plug-in free HTML5. I think that this will be a fantastic improvement for users of Windows 8 Metro on upcoming tablets. They’ll be more secure, they’ll have better battery life, and browsing will be much faster. This is an excellent move on Microsoft’s part. However, in the comments… [emphasis mine]

Wow…. you know one of the defense of Windows is the fact that it’s a full OS, not a mobile one. Doing this makes IE10 essentially a mobile browser. Sure these plugins are security risks and do drain battery more, but it’s ultimately up to the user to install the plugins. How about Microsoft regulates the plugins with the app store to make sure they aren’t security liabilities and what not. Killing off Flash effectively kills off millions of cross platform applications that run through web browsers. I think being able to run Flash the best out of the bunch has been a highlight of why these Mobile browsers are behind. This article just uses video for its argument, but not web design or application/game development.

The arguments being made in this comment are so completely foreign to me that I don’t even know where to begin dissecting it, but this is common thinking among those who have embraced The Windows Culture.

The next few years of the mobile space will be very interesting.

Ryan Parman

is an engineering manager with over 20 years of experience across software development, site reliability engineering, and security. He is the creator of SimplePie and AWS SDK for PHP, patented multifactor-authentication-as-a-service at WePay, defined much of the CI/CD and SRE disciplines at McGraw-Hill Education, and came up with the idea of “serverless, event-driven, responsive functions in the cloud” while at Amazon Web Services in 2010. Ryan's aptly-named blog, , is where he writes about ideas longer than . Ambivert. Curious. Not a coffee drinker.