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Part Four: Introducing User Experiences

In sharp contrast to competitors such as Apple Computer and the various open source groups working on Linux, Microsoft has worked for years to really think through the whole user experience in Windows, a phrase many people confuse with the more simplistic user interface. But the Windows user experience goes well beyond the controls, windows and other onscreen elements with which you interact and encompasses, literally, your entire experience with the system. That is, the user experience includes such abstract concepts as how you feel about the system, how you react to actions onscreen, and how the system reacts to you. It's more than technology, in other words. It's about the relationship you have with the PC.

And let's face it: Most people today don't have very positive experiences with computers. How many times have you been in a store or bank and been told "the computers are going slow today," and accepted that excuse with an air of resignation? How many times has your Windows 9x-based PC frozen up on you and forced you to hard reset the machine to get it back? How many times has something inexplicably gone wrong with a computer, even though that action was just working perfectly a moment before? The utter unreliability of computers has been a problem Microsoft certainly has contributed to, but much of it also has to do with the wide and impossibly complex range of PCs out there, each with its own unique hardware set up and buggy drivers. As the OS vendor of choice, of course, Microsoft has a bit more responsibility and need to fix these issues than any other company as well. Fortunately, they're working on it.

News source: Paul Thurrott

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