jueves, agosto 01, 2013

Take that, Google

Metro: welcome to a world full of opportunities.
Microsoft announced that they heard the demands of their users to return the Home button to the desktop of their new Windows 8.1, while users respond that, instead, they have returned to insult their intelligence.

Microsoft may die within a decade, but it will not without resistance.

Major computer companies are no more intended to provide technology to handle large amounts of information, nor to create needs we can no longer live without and for which we will end up paying, not even trying to sell advertising. Besides all the above, some try hard to hoard as much personal information as possible and then use it or sell it for something as innocent as designing an advertising campaign ... or as dark as massive spying for political purposes.

When Microsoft realized that the future battlefield was not in the living room but in the pocket —where people carry their phones ... and their wallets— they dropped Media Center and devoted themselves to design an interface where effectively mix all the goals from the beginning of the personal computer era.

First, a technical stable, efficient, safe and functional enough solution to deem reasonable to requiere the payment of a license, although not a solution in the level of GNU / Linux. On the other, something capable of creating addiction, a kind of feeling of being connected, of being alive, to interact, a feeling to which nobody could run away, like Apple. Also, you cannot miss a billion glances a day from captive users of Windows to sell advertising, Amazon-style. If everything worked well, Microsoft could get a major chunk from the life of billions of people and take it away from Facebook. Your contacts, your messages, your interests, all captured on hidden servers in remote places, thanks to a clever combination of incentives and baits, and where information and propaganda are indistinguishable.

So to this interface they called it Metro: a colorful canopy made of information bricks designed to be operated with a finger, from a train station or a sofa in which to locate one of those store-like shops —like the ones their competitors love to show— from where to try to strangle independent developers and to end up selling movies. All very interstitial, safe and modern.

And Microsoft saw that Metro was good, so they decided that it was also good for humanity, and embedded it into their brand new and ultrafast Windows 8 to make it absolutely ubiquitous in offices, living rooms, pockets and ... bathrooms.

Never mind that millions of people who spend more time at the computer screen than with their families and are only trying to perform their daily work faster may be forced to go through an interface designed for touch screens, no matter they have one or not, they want it or not: The future is small screens, and Microsoft is not going to budge. They have not even drop the obsolete Office ribbon with which they once tried to force the use of large screens and mouse —although now the classic desktop is nothing more than an annoying appendix hanging from Metro.

This kind of schizophrenia is the "user experience" that Microsoft has decided to impose on their captive customers, those who pay for a license to buy a computer or phone without not even being aware of it or have any choice at all.

Not even the angry demands of some activists claiming the return of the ability to boot directly to the desktop without going first through Market Square have served Microsoft to alter its strategy:

"I force you to buy outdated software, watch my imposed ads and pay me to do trivial things with your information, that I will later sell."

The old Redmond giant has not said his last word.

Take that, Google!

For the original Spanish version, click here.