Maybe Microsoft should hire Forstall?

By , Oct 29, 2012

In the hope that this will have an instant meme value, I just came across this nice little clip of somebody demoing saving a document in Microsoft Word Preview on the Surface RT tablet. Go past the break to join the discussion in the comments…

Here we see Brent Ozar (via LoopInsight) attempting to save a Microsoft Word document when a bug strikes which just keeps popping up a Windows Live authentication dialog box.

Disclosure: he may have forgotten his password, per YouTube description:

Had lots of questions about the password – I changed my password for these videos, then changed it to something else. It wasn’t the password I was used to typing.

This doesn’t change the fact that software on this device can be convoluted and difficult to use. For starters, he’s repeatedly trying to tap an impossibly small arrow, adding up to his frustration. That’s poor software design in my book.

And as he justifiably points out at the end of the clip, the dialog box doesn’t have a Cancel button so there’s no way to dismiss it – another favorite geeky trick in Microsoft’s book.

“I sure hope you didn’t have anything back there in the background that you wanted to keep because you can’t get back to it”, this guy quips.

All in, that’s what happens when you release a brand spanking new mobile operating system that carries lots of baggage from the past.

Don’t read too much into this – I posted the clip here purely for entertainment purposes and for the sake of discussion. To be fair, saving a document directly to the SkyDrive online service from Word 2013 does work as advertised.

At any rate, Office experience on Microsoft’s tablet looks like it could use a little bit of Apple magic and simplification. So my advice to Microsoft should be to hire Apple’s outgoing iOS head Scott Forstall and charge him with leading their mobile efforts and operating system teams.

With one condition: have Steven Sinofsky oversee Forstall to make sure he doesn’t resort to skeuomorphism in UI work.

Old habits die hard.

Anyway, I’m curious to hear your thoughts on the top clip.

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  • http://twitter.com/snakesayan Raul Jr

    Cmon its just a glitch, pretty sure Microsoft will fix it soon. It was a glitch with skydrive. I have Windows 8 and havent had any trouble saving a file onto my computer the regular way.

    How many glitches and problems did the iphone have when it was first introduced? How about the iPad. How many glitches did iCloud have as well when it was launched, and iTunes match?

    • http://twitter.com/x_rus_x Vitaliy Anonymous

      Exactly. iOS6 has a wifi glitch. iPhone 4 had the antenna issue. The introduction of iPhone 4S and iOS5 had major battery drain. The iOS6 maps is a major fail too.

      It’s people like Christian Zibreg(the author of this article) comes up with short, not-totally news bashing on competing companies. A real [Insert company name] notices the good and bad of a specific company. Christian is a plain douche.

      • Guest

        Total faggot trolling, read your profile to see how many times you have bashed other companies, i know i have, but i dont use that as an argument against people.

      • http://twitter.com/x_rus_x Vitaliy Anonymous

        Actually, majority of the time, I bashed on people who bashed Microsoft or any other company, but defended Apple like it was their last day. At the same time, if I was not an Apple fan, I wouldn’t be commenting on iDownloadBlog for a good long time.

      • Kurt

        ignore him he writes gay stuff all the time on here about his bf and stuff

      • Hyr3m

        Bashing and being biased, close-minded and a complete douche is understandable in a comments section, not in an article. At least not if one expects to be a respected poster. In terms of credibility & respectability, on a scale of 0 to 10, I give Christian a solid -5.

      • Kurt

        negative 5? yeah, im with you on that one. he is one obnoxious writer. always spewing some crap

      • Hyr3m

        Yeah, minus five on a scale of 0 to 10, and maybe that’s still kind… Btw, I wouldn’t even go as far as calling him a writer! :D

      • Kurt

        the only time we are guaranteed to only get thumbs up and no thumbs down is when we say something negative about Ziberg haha

      • Hyr3m

        Oh I’ve seen anti-Zibreg posts get thumbs-downed more than a few times… Which is not really surprising as we can easily imagine some commenters to be more biased, hateful and full of it than Christian. ;D

      • Kurt

        iphone 4 wasn’t a glitch but a hardware flaw :)

    • Kurt

      you mean how many glitches DO the iphone/ipad/icloud have. there are still many. face it people, win8 will take over. it happens every 5-10 years a company is on top then another comes. and win 8 will be on so many computers the market will be huge and developers will flock over to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dietermarkus Markus Hudobnik

    I hope Microsoft becomes real competition for the iPhone/iPad. I really love Microsoft and I can’t wait to know what they have up their sleeve. Hopefully it pushes Apple too, it’s a win-win situation. But I do hope android tablets decline…..lol (and androids in general)

    • http://twitter.com/MrJemRoxas Jem Roxas

      Agree!

      • http://www.facebook.com/ledzeppelin96 Stanley Traub

        Nah Micro$oft can suck it…Apple FTW!

    • http://www.facebook.com/xxLIUZHENYUxx Liu Zhenyu

      I have always enjoyed competition among companies, but stealing of designs and patents are just unacceptable.(Remember the new Samsung laptop? How original! /end sarcasm)With real innovations which are big, something apple has been static for a while, it is then truly a win-win.

      • Hyr3m

        So what apple did, inspiring their designs and identity from Sony and illegally using patented technology off of numerous companies for years, is unacceptable ? Apple has had 0 innovation since circa 2008-09…

        Also, forgetting and/or mistyping your temporary demo password = instant negative meme for the device that was used for the demo ? Christian ? Seriously ? I guess haters gotta hate…

  • http://twitter.com/MrJemRoxas Jem Roxas

    It’s just a bug. Every brand new software comes with its own amount of bugs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000122595896 Vanditt Sama

    Steve once said in the iphone keynote that each new pointing device has given a successful product.
    What they are trying to do with windows 8 is they are trying to unify how a finger and a mouse works. OS looks the same on the pc and tablets/phones, so things like these bound to happen.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ryanjames.christensen Ryan James Christensen

    That’s so embarrassing! Microsoft releases a decent tablet but it doesn’t even work! I remember when it was first debuted it crashed during the presentation.

    • Kurt

      my ipad crashes constantly. my wife’s iphone turns black and wont turn on until she receives an sms or reboots, my phone crashes often too. it freezes where i need to shut it off also….i would love to have the problems this windows 8 has. ill trade all my problems i have with my iphone/ipad for that little problem you are laughing about. you twit

      • http://www.facebook.com/ryanjames.christensen Ryan James Christensen

        Well I’m sorry your devices are doing that. I wasn’t trying to make fun of it or anything. I’m just saying that they shouldn’t release a product with those problems. I’m sure the Surface is an amazing tablet.

  • ExRoot

    I hope to God this and the upcoming pro tablet are successful. I would drop my iPad like a hot potato. I want a functional tablet that I can really work on. An EXTENTION of my pc. I used to try to convince people that the iPad was a productive tablet. Well I’ve grown up. Great for emails, surfing and media consumption but that’s about it. Maybe sine basic word processing via pages. Never thought I’d say this but will not be investing in any for iPads. This is my second. I’m done.

    • Hyr3m

      Thank you !!! My hope in mankind has just been restored!

    • Kurt

      same here. i already decided i need a new phone and new os, so im not buying another crap iphone again. same thing every year. once you jailbreak it, it becomes sluggish/freezes,crashes often. i like the ipad but its not a computer. but if win8 gets the apps and it should since it will be the most popular OS (devs will come) then it will be successful and i wont buy an ipad again. ill be completely free from apple. Mac OS sucks. im sticking to this site since part of me wants to upgrade my ipad to the ipad 4 but it still feels like the same device.

  • macboy74

    They can dig up Steve Jobs, Albert EInstein, Sir Isaac Newton, Konrad Zuse and John Eckert and still not catch up to Google and Apple.

    • Hyr3m

      Because corpses in various states of decomposition have very limited mental capacity and communication skills… Thank you for stating the obvious. (/jk)

      Joking apart, Apple needs to catch up on computing in the 21st century… They are still fighting hard to impose fucked up 20th century corporate methods on a market that was getting more open, collaborative and free than ever. Apple is actually a plague for the computing industry as they are pushing other big names to become at least half as douchy as apple is. This is all bad for the consumer. I wish hell would exist if only for the people responsible for this… (and for religious fanatics, free-masons and other douchebags)

  • http://twitter.com/petilon Apu Petilon

    I am a huge fan of Apple products, and part of the attraction, for me, is skeuomorphism. Can you imagine Passbook without skeuomorphism? I can’t.

    Scott Forstall was the guy behind both Aqua and iOS. Both are extremely attractive, in part because of the skeuomorphism. Jony Ive, according to reports, is against skeuomorphism. For me, this is a sad day.

    • Hyr3m

      Very interesting point Apu… I guess it goes with the downhill path apple has taken since circa iP4.