Being the computing enthusiast that I am, I’ve always loved trying different operating systems. I think it’s essential to not “bury” yourself in a single ecosystem. I’ve owned and/or used computers running Apple II OS, AmigaOS, DOS, BeOS, MacOS, OSX, Windows (3.11 through 8) and various flavors of Linux. And while it’s easy to hate Windows, I find it to be quite stable nowadays, and certainly not the worst OS out there. What is incredibly bad about Microsoft’s offering though is its out-of-the-box experience.
More Windows’ biggest problem may be its out-of-the-box experience
When Ubuntu moved from the Gnome desktop environment to Unity with version 11.04, I wasn’t one of the many people who thought it was a bad move. Gnome was starting to feel old, and I like many of Unity’s interface choices. But there’s one thing that makes no sense to me, and it’s driving me crazy.
The launcher bar in Unity is always positioned on the left side of the screen. You can choose to have it “autohide”, set its sensitivity, its icon size, but not it’s position on the screen. And Canonical has made it very clear that they’re not willing to reconsider this. Here’s why I think they should.
More Unity’s fixed launcher position is terrible for multi-monitor setups
That’s assuming “Sputnik8” is a guy. A couple of days ago, he (or she) posted a series of Windows UI concept designs on The Verge. They’re chock-full of elegant new interface ideas, yet they clearly build on existing Microsoft design conventions, most notably “Metro“. Despite (possibly unintentionally) using Ubuntu’s default color scheme, they show a possible direction for Windows. And I love it.
More Dear Microsoft, please hire this guy!
Just look at the image below. The left version is the bottom right corner of my Chrome browser window (version 8.0). This logo appears on every new empty tab, and I can’t help but wonder why Google didn’t spend 15 seconds making it look nicer. The version to the right literally took that long to make. I added a little padding, made it more subtle and changed the way the text aligns with the logo.
Looks much better, doesn’t it? I think it went from “Hey, there’s room for a logo there” to “all this awesomeness os powered by Chrome”. If I were a company trying to promote a new browser, I’d try to get these things right. And it’s not like they can’t afford it, right?
Google’s Adroid mobile operating system is in a bit of a tough spot here in The Netherlands. The first phones running it were released exclusively on T-Mobile, who at the same time were offering the iPhone. Besides the fact that the G1 (HTC Dream) and G2 (HTC Magic) weren’t very appealing by comparison, T-Mobile seemed to not market them much. And then there’s the fact that Nokia had a firm grip on the smartphone market in Europe. I too have been using an E71. But not anymore. My HTC Desire arrived last friday, and I’ve spent some time with Android. What I was wondering most was how it would compare to the iPhone OS.
More Comparing apples and robots