Category: Microsoft

Eat your own dog food

At Microsoft we used an expression ‘eating your own dog food’ the basic idea is that you’re supposed to use your own products. By using your own products you can better see the real world scenarios and problems that customers will experience. It’s a great way to run a real-world usability test on yourself.  When […]

Read More

Things to Love & Hate about Vista

Love New start menu – In general the new start menu is easier to navigate. By typing a few letters you can quickly find an application. Alternativly you can navigate the menu structure without filling the screen with cascading menus. Better system searching. Finally. – You get relatively fast results without too much pain. It […]

Read More

Personal PC Server

I was having dinner with a friend and we started talking about the idea of a home server. Imagine a box that sits in your basement, right next to your boiler. This home server stores your photos and music your home movies and files. It stores your email, your settings and all your other PC […]

Read More

Fitts law of mental clicking

Fitts law is a basic UI principal that predicts how easy it is to click on something. Larger things that are close to the mouse are easier to click and smaller things that are far away are harder to click. This principal guides a lot of UI design and helps ensure the proper placement of […]

Read More

I miss you Active Desktop

So around 1998 Microsoft released Windows 98 the successor to Windows 95. This release of windows was geared much more around the internet. Web enabled widgets showed up in the File Manager, in the help sub-system, in screen-savers and right on your desktop. The novelty of placing stock-tickers, weather, calculators and other do-dads was too […]

Read More

Why IE isn’t standards compliant

I recently read a post that whines about the fact that Internet Explorer isn’t standards compliant. Boo hoo. Of course it isn’t standards compliant and if people understood how business works we could get IE to be strict on standards in 8 months. To understand why IE isn’t standards compliant you need to understand how […]

Read More

Rebranding XP

One of the projects I worked on while at Microsoft was re-branding Windows XP with the new logo and flag. It’s amazing how many different versions of the Windows flag there are. It’s in icons, dialogs, help screens, keyboard applications, fonts, printer test pages, setup files, boot screens, welcome screens, shutdown screens, start buttons and […]

Read More

Testing IE6 on Vista Using Virtual PC

If you’re a web developer you may need to test on IE6, Firefox and IE7 while running Vista. The last two are easy the first one is a little trickier. Here are the steps needed: Download Virtual PC 2004 Download the Internet Explorer 6 Testing VPC Image Unzip and setup everything and launch Virtual PC. […]

Read More

Never Reboot my computer

Software should never reboot a computer. I don’t care what files are copied or what DLL’s are moved. I don’t care what registry keys you changed or what drivers are installed. I don’t want software to ever reboot my computer. It drives me crazy when a program thinks it’s so important that I should stop […]

Read More

Google Chrome Browser Review

Google surprised everyone when it recently released a web-browser named Chrome. The surprise was primarily due to the fact that Firefox seemed to be the Google darling for many years. As Google has grown, the dependency on browser technology has also grown. As a search engine Google primarily displays HTML with some minimal JavaScript. But […]

Read More