Some slight bashing on Microsoft's smaller Mac products

First of all, this is not going to be a fierce criticism of Microsoft's products. I am sure their products are useful and I use two of them frequently on my Powerbook: Remote Desktop Connection and Microsoft Office.

Nonetheless, some of their products have really ugly user interfaces. For a while back, it was their latest Windows Media Player for Mac. I found the brushed metal theme to be extremely revolting. Windows Media Player for Windows XP looks much better. And the "but Windows XP has a different GUI system" excuse is not going to work. Developers need to realize that brushed metal is a very dangerous theme. You should only, ever use it if your user interface is going to be very simple. And your toolbar icons will have very very simple colors. Not those gaudy icons! For examples of brushed metal windows that does it quite right: Safari, Finder, iTunes, DVD player, Quicktime. Notice how the icons on the toolbars are simple black and white ones? These programs let you focus on the main contents of the window whereas other programs out there use the brushed metal theme and then to take your focus off the main contents. Really, really bad experience. I am glad they did not try to use it on their Office suit for Mac; then it would really feel solid, yup, solid enough to crash and sink.

Then now, it is their updated Microsoft Messenger for Mac. I am being a little biased here since I did not download it or tried it. But, from first impressions, this is not going to be something that I will use. Sure, most new people would use it but then again, most college kids have AIM accounts. So, I am really not sure who uses the MSN protocol. I know that it was pretty popular in my home country because you get an account every time you sign up with hotmail.

Hmmm.. it seems to support other network protocols. I use the word "seems" because it mentions something called Live Communications Server. Wonder what that is. If I try it, I will update this entry.

Top 10 questions about Microsoft Messenger for Mac: "If you are a member of an organization that uses Live Communications Server and the organization has enabled this feature, you can chat with people who use a variety of instant messaging services. For example, you can chat with friends who use AOL Instant Messenger (AIM),Yahoo Instant Messenger (YIM),and iChat, as well as those who use Messenger"

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