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Kam Vedbrat - How flexible will Longhorn's user experience be?

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Kam, and his team, are building the new user interface for the next version of Windows, code-named Longhorn. One of the complaints we hear from people is that the computer is too controlling. In other words, Microsoft's programmers, in the past, have chosen defaults that made the experience inflexible.

So, we wondered how flexible would the new user experience in Longhorn be?

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  • Zhou Yongfootballism Another Paradigm Shift!

    I have seen some longhorn demos,ya know,the avalon is pretty good in my fist impression.and the APIs avalon provides to developers is a little bit like those in asp.net,I mean avalon programming model is a little bit like ASP.NET programming model,ya know editing the XAML files is quite similar to editing the html files.and ya can do all your logic things by codebehinding,that's pretty amazing.but unfortunately I don't have any in-person experience with avalon(I'm not the guy in MS,and I'm not a MSDN subscriber also)
    and longhorn will be released in 2006, I can't wait that long actually......

  • Interesting stuff.

    A few comments:

    1) XP already has the feature of being able to put exactly what you want in the start menu and it is as easy and drag and drop.

    2) what people probably don't like about commonly used programs popping-up automatically is that they want to hide what they've been doing. Examples: solitaire showing-up as #1 at work or some adult app showing-up on home computer shared with kids.

    So, I think that this is actually a matter of privacy more than efficiency.

    One important thing to realize about talking to users about what they want is that they will lie if they think they'll be embarassed somehow in most cases. Seems obvious on the one hand, but if you are used to asking the customers what they want and acting on it, it can be hard to see this sometimes.

    There are areas of want that won't be asked for, and they usually involve some element of shame.
  • So... I'm still of the mind that the new style Start Menu wasn't thought out well enough and should be completely reworked.  Of course, I'm also of the mind that "personalized menus" are about the worst thing to ever happen.

    The way I see it, the quick launch (if people use it) does the function of the recently used programs, because if it's frequently used, people of the sort who care about that sort of thing will already have it on their quicklaunch.  So it also takes the place of personalized menus.  Except it really is personalized, and not based on whether you've used the program lately.

    The reason the Classic start menu style is great is because it has broad categories as its only items, and then perhaps some really important thing like Windows Update.  And the reason broad categories first is good is because anything elseis just too cluttered, takes up way too much space, is ugly.

    My only problem, which I'm sure will be fixed in Longhorn, is that the Search should not be a menu, but an item, because when I'm looking for something I'm not going to care where it is or whether it's a computer or a folder on another computer...

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