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Microsoft's New Mantra - It Just Works 985

bonch writes "Fortune has a story about Microsoft's new philosophy--'It just works.' Jim Allchin details various planned Longhorn features to meet this goal, such as auto-defragmenting in the background, the ability to have files in more than one folder simultaneously, and the new ad campaign Microsoft is running to get people excited about Windows. Mentions are also made of the competition from Linux, OS X Tiger, and Google."
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Microsoft's New Mantra - It Just Works

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  • Unbelievable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:48PM (#12316628) Homepage Journal
    Wow. Cannot Microsoft even come up with their own mantras rather than copy [] others? Come on now guys, this is pathetic, but I guess nothing is new under the sun. Seriously though, even now, I still own a bit of stock in Microsoft and I've been to the campus a number of times, so from the annual reports I get, along with friends who work there, I know Microsoft can/should be able to do better than this. (Or can they?)

    There are absolutely some capable folks there, so what is the problem? Why must you (almost) always use Apple as a source for inspiration? There is a reason that I moved my investments in Microsoft stock to Apple stock three years ago, and you are doing nothing to make me want to reinvest in Microsoft. Is marketing that out of control up there? Jim, come on now, I've met you and you are one smart guy. Finding the above link to Apple took me all of two seconds in Google and this statement from the article: "Jim Allchin, Microsoft's group vice president for platforms, looked at my Apple PowerBook and smugly pointed out that the number of copies of Windows sold this year will be more than all the Macintosh computers used worldwide." really worries me. It shows an arrogance that is not going to serve you or Microsoft well.

    • by TripMaster Monkey ( 862126 ) * on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:54PM (#12316740)

      Microsoft: proudly stealing from Apple since 1983.
    • Re:Unbelievable (Score:3, Insightful)

      "Wow. Cannot Microsoft even come up with their own mantras rather than copy others?"

      Because, as we know "It Just Works" was invented by Apple.

      It's not like the phrase returns 150,000 hits on Google or anything. And Linux distros like Ubuntu certainly haven't used that phrase to describe their OS.
    • Why? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Senjutsu ( 614542 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:58PM (#12316807)
      Because stealing from Apple just works.
    • Re:Unbelievable (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 0x461FAB0BD7D2 ( 812236 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @03:00PM (#12316849) Journal
      Copying and assimilating software and companies has worked for them so far. Why should they start innovating?

      Every marketing dept knows that innovation means risk. Risk could mean loss, and at a time that Linux and Mac OS X are on the rise, it's a risk they can't afford to take. So they're going with what's tried and tested.

      They have a strangle-hold on the desktop market. They just need to make sure people don't switch to other OSes by offering them just enough.

      Interestingly, their motto might as well have been "It's just enough". At least it's original.
      • fastest way to extinction in a changing environment is to stand still.
      • Re:Unbelievable (Score:5, Interesting)

        by pangel83 ( 598985 ) * on Friday April 22, 2005 @05:47PM (#12318600) Homepage
        We continuousely see people complaining that linux apps copy windows-land GUI features (look at OpenOffice, and firefox that has copied almost all the innovative features introduced by Opera).

        But the attitude in Slashdot is that if it's Open Source, we accept it in the name of attracting more users. On the contrary, when Microsoft does it, we always have 600-comment discussions of people whining!

        Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely no Microsoft zealot. But I am getting fed up with the same story repeated here. Additionally, the Gates-Borg image reminds me that Simpsons episode with the Fox News spoof and the devil horns on the democrat candidate.
    • Re:Unbelievable (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Golias ( 176380 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @03:04PM (#12316915)
      Microsoft does indeed have some very, very smart people working for them.

      They tend to hire the very best and brightest, right out of the top IT programs in the country, and train them from the beginning of their careers into "the Microsoft Way."

      I've seen some of the questions they ask new hires in the interview. They love to throw MENSA-type logic puzzles at candidates to really separate the wheat from the chaff and get top-notch problem solvers on board.

      Apple, on the other hand, has a reputation for a long hippie-dippy history (at least during the times it has been under Jobs's watch) of recruiting programmers with education and experience background completely outside the computer sciences, especially people with artistic backgrounds.

      I strongly suspect this is the key difference as to why Apple, with a much smaller staff and having much less money, keeps cranking out fantastic ideas (with a few duds in the mix), and spotting the truly great garage innovations worth buying (for example, the decision to hire the SoundJam programmer to build iTunes for them)... while Microsoft seems to be completely incabable of ever bringing anything new to the table, or even recognizing something as worth buying/stealing before it's already a success.
      • Re:Unbelievable (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Tim Browse ( 9263 )
        spotting the truly great garage innovations worth buying (for example, the decision to hire the SoundJam programmer to build iTunes for them)

        People's fluid definitions of 'innovation' (which change depending on which company they're talking about) annoy me at the best of times, but are you really saying that a me-too mp3 player is really a 'truly great innovation'?

      • Re:Unbelievable (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22, 2005 @03:36PM (#12317300)

        I've seen some of the questions they ask new hires in the interview. They love to throw MENSA-type logic puzzles at candidates to really separate the wheat from the chaff and get top-notch problem solvers on board.

        This is somewhat of a myth. I went through the MSFT interview process a number of years ago. (I ended turning the position down because when it came right down to it, I didn't want to move to Redmond ... but I digress)

        In any case, the only person who through a logic puzzle at me was this really junior guy who was obviously just learning to interview. The morning interviews were all cake, but after lunch they switched me to the serious interview track.

        No mensa logic puzzles there. Just: Here's a pen, there's the whiteboard, Here's a problem, start pseudocoding. OK, now, I feed your pseudocode this kind of bad input, what does it do?

        It was the most gloves-off, code-or-die interview I've ever had.
    • Re:Unbelievable (Score:3, Interesting)

      by katorga ( 623930 )
      Arrogance or fact, the numbers are important and the numbers represent why Mac's always seem to be used by "lone wolves", folks whose jobs don't require massive integration with thousands of other folks at an application and data level. The numbers are why Apple has less market share than Linux and is rapidly shifting to a consumer electronics business plan.

      Its sad too, because no other PC manufacturer designs better looking, more ergonomic hardware or has a better operating system. All of which is destine
      • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @04:20PM (#12317816) Journal
        I have to disagree. I, too, own a Powerbook, as well as a dual 2Ghz G5 tower, a Mac Mini, and an Athlon 64 based PC tower. I use PCs and Windows every day for work, so I'm not one of these stereotypical "graphics arts" Mac using guys or anything....

        Microsoft loves to tout "the numbers" because that's really all they have going for them. Quantity does not equate to quality, however. There's something to be said for any company that strives to produce a top-tier product, even when that means not being capable of producing large numbers of it to "dominate the marketplace".

        Many of the best musical instruments aren't cranked out by the millions by a manufacturer. Rather, they're painstakingly assembled by hand, in small numbers. If they weren't "niche" products, they wouldn't be worthwhile products at all.

        The gaming market, right now, is all about quantity too - so it goes without saying that they're all over the Windows platform. Still, one can argue that many of the best/most entertaining games are only available for game consoles - not for Mac *or* PC. And it's beginning to look like this trend is only going to gain more momentum. (Again, when you're shooting for maximum sales numbers above all else, you start thinking in terms of "Why not write this for one specific hardware configuration we KNOW is in a given console, rather than trying to support all these potential PC software conflicts and gaming peripherals, etc.?")

        Meanwhile, game consoles seem to be headed towards using the same processor that's in the Mac, not the PC ... so maybe porting to OS X will become easier than porting to Windows in the future?

        I use my PC pretty much only for gaming these days, and my Mac for everything else. If I invest a couple hundred bucks or so in a new generation console (XBox 2 or something), I could probably ditch the Windows PC completely and not really miss it.
    • wow. progress. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nexus987 ( 683456 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @03:56PM (#12317565)
      Wow, files can be in more than one folder. Kind of like, uh, symbolic links? And now I don't have to defrag. Great. I hate all that time I have to spend defragging my linux and solaris disks. Oh, wait...
    • by Thu25245 ( 801369 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @04:02PM (#12317629)
      "Plug and play" used to be a phrase used by Mac users to describe the installation of new hardware.

      With Windows 95, Microsoft created a "standard" called Plug And Play. Of course, the Microsoft version involved the Add Hardware Wizard, which, in the opinion of many Macintosh users then and now, is entirely contrary to the idea of plug and play. (To be fair, the classic Mac OS wasn't always literally plug and play, either, but OS X almost always is.)

      I can only wonder what the It Just Works philosophy will give us.
  • by s1283134 ( 660354 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:48PM (#12316636)
    If there was truth in advertising.
    • Worse, they're now "featuring" an problem from way back in the DOS days - cross-linked files in corrupt directories:
      he ability to have files in more than one folder simultaneously
      If you can't fix it, feature it.

      Seriously, is it THAT hard to get people to understand symlinks?

  • by ivan256 ( 17499 ) * on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:48PM (#12316639)
    If you put in a DVD, the volume will automatically adjust and the video will just start playing full screen. "You shouldn't have to spend a lot of time struggling with things," Allchin said

    How long will I have to struggle with it to figure out how to turn that off?
    • by Teddy Beartuzzi ( 727169 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:51PM (#12316687) Journal
      No kidding. I hate automatic stuff. Don't move my frickin' icons, I put them there for a reason. Don't hide those menu commands, I like to know what my options are. Don't hide the programs that are running...
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22, 2005 @03:05PM (#12316928)
      Exactly. The difference between Microsoft and Apple's interface philosophy (I think):

      1. Apple makes it easy for the user to do complicated things.

      2. Microsoft tries to automatically do complicated things for the user.

      Approach #1 might be somewhat restrictive but gives the user some credit.

      Approach #2 is rife with problems, notably ActiveX, email attachments that run themselves, autoscanning HDDs, and myriad other annoyances/outright hazards.

      I'll take approach #1. It just works.
      • Not even that (Score:5, Insightful)

        by itistoday ( 602304 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @04:14PM (#12317752) Homepage
        2. Microsoft tries to automatically do complicated things for the user.
        Actually, Microsoft doesn't even do this. As an example, we can compare network sharing between the two operating systems:

        Mac OS X:
        To turn on sharing, open up System Preferences > Sharing > Turn On File Sharing. Done. If anyone connects to the shared computer, they have to either login with the user name and pass, or access it as a Guest. Guest's only have access to each user's Public folder (which also has a dropbox inside).

        Right-click a folder > Sharing Tab > Share this folder. Now by default anyone can access this folder. To moderate access you have to open up Windows Explorer > Tools Menu > Folder Options > *View* (wtf??) > scroll down and check a box that says something along the lines of:
        Show advanced sharing options (NOT RECOMMENDED!)
        Then you've got to go back and right click the shared folder, go the sharing tab, and configure the new confusing options. The options make you manually type in the name of the users (or groups) that are allowed to have access to the folder. Finally, you're done setting up sharing on Windows.
    • by guitaristx ( 791223 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @03:13PM (#12317034) Journal
      It just works...

      <zoom in on fine print...>

      The "It just works" slogan is representative that Microsoft products will work for something. Microsoft guarantees that all hardware running Microsoft software will always "Just work" as:
      Boat anchors
      Target practice
      Paper weights
      Furniture, including bookends, footstools, and coffee tables

      "It just works" may or may not apply to:
      File storage
      Application development
      Application platform
      Use of the Internet

      depending on the availability of service packs, updates, and copious bandwidth, as well as other factors (not exclusively including) ambient temperature, the phase of the moon, the average body mass index of Microsoft programmers, and the parity of your score when you reach the flagpole.
    • by i1984 ( 530580 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @08:13PM (#12319662)
      Microsoft cannot succeed with a strategy built around the idea of "it just works" because, fundamentally, Microsoft doesn't know what it means for something to "just work." Microsoft has, time and again, failed to produce highly usuable software for the same reason: it doesn't understand how the system should behave*.

      To make up for this lack of understanding (I doubt MS even realizes it doesn't understand how systems should behave) the company builds scripted interactions (unlovingly known to all of us as those irritating "wizards" that keep you from successfully creating the graph you want in Excel, etc...). In short, MS papers over bad behavior with bad interfaces that obstruct, obfuscate, and harass the poor souls who have to suffer through them. Microsoft has even named this philosophy: recall "Task Based Interfaces."

      And may the Lord have mercy if you don't want to perform a task Microsoft hasn't already thought up.

      Apple, on the other hand, approaches the problem differently. Rather than asking "how can we make it easy for someone to do XYZ," Apple asks "what should the tool XYZ do," and then if necessary builds an interface that allows people to modify that behavior through understandable, easy-to-find, commands/menus/buttons, etc.**

      Apple's strategy, starkly 180 degrees from Microsoft's "task based" strategy, is a human based system. Apple doesn't guess what you're trying to do, but instead makes tools that do what you expect. Thus people, not magical condescending wizards, can apply the tools to whatever variety of tasks may be at hand. So things "just work" because the tools do what we expect from them. Then the computer becomes transparent to the task, rather than the focus of the task itself.

      You probably won't encounter a single "wizard" included by Apple in OS X, aside from the intial setup assistant that isn't so much a "wizard" -- there's nothing "guiding" you through the setup screens -- as just a few screens full of fields of information the computer collects to get OS X configured appropriately.

      As long as Microsoft doesn't understand that for something to "just work," a tool needs to do what people expect, and that people should be able to directly interact with the tool's interface in a manner that allows even a relatively uninformed person to make the tool do what they want, then Microsoft won't succeed in building highly usable human interfaces.

      Since I'm confident that Microsoft hasn't turned a new leaf in this respect, I'm also confident the "it just works" campaign will amount to nothing more than saturation marketing and a lot of grumbling*** about cute animated puppy dogs pissing on our files.


      * You could probably make a pretty good case for this problem being a fundamental problem in other aspects of Microsoft's design philosophy: bloat, poor security, inconsistency, and generally quirky, hard to predict behavior, could all spring from the same fertile root.

      ** This is a recursive strategy. It's not enough to make aprogram that does what a person expects, but every sub-piece of that program also needs to also do what a functionally experienced, but non-expert, user interacting with the tool for the first time might think it should do. Each button should be intuitively named. Menu items should be logically organized. The interface should be sufficiently uncluttered that interface elements are readily seen. It's OK for a system to have an unfamiliar way of interacting with the user (for example, drag-and-drop) if that method of interaction is widely applicable across the entire system so that once someone is familiar with the technique they can use it elsewhere. And so on.

      *** Here's an amusing, and very telling, anecdote about MS human interfaces: I was once talking to a Microsoft programmer about user interface issues, and brought up Clippy as one of the most glaring examples of Microsoft's human interface failures...but the programmer refused to believe me that most people actual
  • sorta (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:48PM (#12316640)
    "It mostly kinda sorta works."


    "Eventually, when Longhorn ships, it may actually work."

    So yeah, don't buy anything else until then, cuz that wouldn't make sense!
  • Nothing new really (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Synli ( 781075 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:49PM (#12316643)
    such as auto-defragmenting in the background

    Windows XP auto-defragment as well (if enabled).
  • by paranode ( 671698 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:49PM (#12316644)
    That's definitely a step up from the Linux mantra: "RTFM noob".


    • Thats why I like Linux, seriously.

      The reason why I am able to work in the computer field that I do is because of that mentality. The hours, days, and weeks that I spent reading HOWTO's and man pages were all well spent. I didn't have to pay to learn how to configure, maintain and program a computer.

      While there are allegorical sources of knowledge for Apple and Microsoft products, I have not been able to learn new technologies from these companies as I have with Open Source.

      What I love so much about Linux
  • Typos (Score:4, Funny)

    by dauthur ( 828910 ) <> on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:49PM (#12316653)
    Oops. I think someone had on Dvorak or something when typing "crashes".
  • Advertising (Score:3, Informative)

    by thegamerformelyknown ( 868463 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:49PM (#12316655) Homepage
    From what I understand, the advertising campaign Microsoft is launching (it's quite large too) has absolutly nothing to do with Longhorn. They are simply addressing XP.
  • wtf?? (Score:4, Funny)

    by macaulay805 ( 823467 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:49PM (#12316657) Homepage Journal
    the ability to have files in more than one folder simultaneously

    Finally, a windows eq to ln -sf!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:50PM (#12316663)
    'It works, just' - any others? :D
  • It Just Works (Score:5, Interesting)

    by grahamlee ( 522375 ) <> on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:50PM (#12316664) Homepage Journal

    Or, It Already Works For Someone Else So We'll Pinch It:

    auto-defragmenting in the background HFS+

    ability to have files in more than one folder simultaneously symlinks, Smart Folders

    the new ad campaign Microsoft is running to get people excited about Windows Maybe that does indeed Just Work. No-one ever got fired for choosing a Microsoft (although there are places where that's beginning to change).

  • by lilmouse ( 310335 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:50PM (#12316670)
    and if you can figure out what the h*ll it's done, then you're ahead of the game! If you can undo it, then you'll be ...a god.

  • by Upaut ( 670171 ) * on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:50PM (#12316672) Homepage Journal
    Reading this article, it does have its moments to consider: Allchin, a wiry-built 54-year-old who has been in charge of Windows for almost a decade, is admirably blunt about his own frustrations using the current operating system. It annoys him, for example, that the adjustments necessary to move a laptop from a work to a home network aren't obvious. Longhorn, he said, will make that process easy, along with many other common tasks. If you want a Longhorn machine to automatically configure itself so you can work in a coffee shop, it will. If you put in a DVD, the volume will automatically adjust and the video will just start playing full screen. "You shouldn't have to spend a lot of time struggling with things," Allchin said, adding that the number one design goal for Longhorn has been: "It just works."

    Funny, my Powerbook G4 has been doing this for years. I guess Microsoft will be downplaying that a bit further down...

    Much has been made in the computer press recently of the surprising similarities between Longhorn and Apple's upcoming new Macintosh operating system, Tiger. (See Peter Lewis's recent column, Apple's 'Tiger' to Stalk Rivals April 29.) The bottom line is that both will make finding items in our ever-increasing digital stores of information and entertainment much easier. Longhorn doesn't just show you an icon for a document, for example, but rather an itsy-bitsy picture of the first page. If you have a really good monitor--and eyesight--you could even read the numbers in that spreadsheet. You also will be able to put files simultaneously in different folders, and find the one you want with much more ease than you can today. Microsoft's research shows that the average corporate employee spends about 20% of her time on the PC simply looking for items. "We're trying to go beyond search into what we call 'visualization and organization,'" said Allchin

    Right. I got Panther to do this with a little tweaking, and from what I read, Tiger may be doing something similar. Talk about innovation...

    For all the advances that Microsoft and other computer companies have made in recent years, and despite the fact that PCs are central to many of our lives, it's still hard to use them. So it was reassuring to hear the main guy responsible for making their software predict that the situation will improve soon. I hope that he's right when he says that future systems will "just work."

    Great. Fantastic. *Applause* But I don't trust it. I've heard this before. Until I see some increased security before they attempt to make their UI as beautiful as Mac OS X, I'm not even going to bother giving them the time of day.
  • by Spankophile ( 78098 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:50PM (#12316675) Homepage
    Or maybe:

    I Just Works.
  • It Just Reboots (Score:3, Informative)

    by millermj ( 762822 ) * on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:50PM (#12316680) Homepage
    ...or if you prefer, it just crashes.

    I've got too much experience with Windows to consider it for an enterprise environment.
  • So far we have
    Free as in costs money
    Advantage as in same later
    and open as in closed

    We have a new entry
    It just works as in windows.
    Quite inkeeping with the rest of the publicity statments i belive
  • Rephrasing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by biryokumaru ( 822262 ) * <> on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:51PM (#12316690)
    Longhorn doesn't just show you an icon for a document, for example, but rather an itsy-bitsy picture of the first page.

    konqueror has done this for a while... I'm not terribly versed in GUI file managers for X, but I'd presume that other programs do it as well... I guess their new mantra is just a reincarnation of their old mantra "Steal other people's ideas and then charge for it!"

    Rather than running just on computers that process 32 bits of data at a time, the new version will run on chips that process 64 bits.

    To rephrase: "Windows will finally catch up to the rest of the world and be compatible with emerging technology, a practice that Microsoft is loathe to indulge in (see Internet Explorer)."

    "If it's got arithmetic logic on it, then I think our software should be targeting it"

    Another rephrasing: "We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own. Resistance is futile." - Jim Allchin, addressing my TI-86.

    • Re:Rephrasing (Score:4, Interesting)

      by TCM ( 130219 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @03:00PM (#12316860)
      Longhorn doesn't just show you an icon for a document, for example, but rather an itsy-bitsy picture of the first page.

      Is it just me or does anyone else see a whole new can of worms (heh) open up here? So by default all files are processed by some code even if you just want to see what files are there? Great.
  • >ln /foo/bar/say_it_aint_so ~/say_it_aint_so
  • by yagu ( 721525 ) <> on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:54PM (#12316734) Journal

    For those who don't read beyond the end of TFA... a great quote (with attribution): First, from TFA a quote from Allchin re the current state of affairs in XP vs. what Longhorn "will" deliver: Allchin: Microsoft's research shows that the average corporate employee spends about 20% of her time on the PC simply looking for items. Then, the comment from a reader: Rod Shuffler 04/22 10:55 An interesting article. Does that 20% non-productivity figure that Allchin quotes get factored into TCO arguments?

    • Then I guess the average corporate employee is either dim-witted, computer illiterate, or a poor organizer.

      Dim-witted: I just don't remember where I put that file. I guess I'll have to look in every folder for it.

      Computer Illiterate: When I click File>Save I just click OK when the dialog pops up. I don't bother renaming it or putting it somewhere that is accessible. Now it's really hard to determine where I save that Really Important Document, and if it is Untitled-1.doc or Untitled-72.doc.

      Poor Org
      • Dim-witted: I just don't remember where I put that file. I guess I'll have to look in every folder for it.

        Not every file being looked for was created by the person looking for it. I've found myself frustrated by this many times, and have been left with no option BUT to search every folder.

        ...Computer Illiterate: When I click File>Save I just click OK when the dialog pops up. ...

        I do this.... I've gotten so used to having applications configured myself sometimes I use an application that I either for

  • by minotaurcomputing ( 775084 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:54PM (#12316736) Homepage Journal
    "the ability to have files in more than one folder simultaneously"

    Is it just me.. or do all OSes do this? I have thousands of files, all in different places, all at the same time... right now.

  • spyware (Score:4, Funny)

    by Electric Eye ( 5518 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:55PM (#12316755)
    *raises hand*

    Gates: "Yes. You there with your hand up."

    Me: "Mr. Ballmer? Mr. Gates? What about spyware and virii on the Longhorn platform?"

    Bill: "As our slogan says, 'It just works!'"

    Me: "Oh."
  • by advocate_one ( 662832 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:55PM (#12316760)
    how about having a filesystem that doesn't suffer from fragmentation in the first place so you don't have to waste processor cycles defragging it!!!!!!!
  • by EnronHaliburton2004 ( 815366 ) * on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:55PM (#12316771) Homepage Journal
    If it will 'just work' in the future, we would see some of the 'just working' in Windows XP.

    But noo....

    But sometime you need to scroll down a list, no... the other list. Yeah, that one. Select 'properties'-- what? No, right click on the icon, and select 'properties'. And then... no wait it's not here. Click 'cancel'. Ok, now click 'cancel' again. Now, hit the 'x' in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

    Now go to "start: settings: Control Panel", click on "Users Accounts", click on "change account", click on your username. What? No, I don't know why they have a .NET password in here. Yeah, it has something to do with that "Windows Messenger" that keeps poping up in then system tray. Now click on 'Change my name", and then change your name.

    Sometimes it just works.
  • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:56PM (#12316781)
    Doesn't this imply that "it" doesn't yet work? That's the same thing as saying it's broken, right?
  • by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @02:58PM (#12316813) Homepage
    From just reading the register a few minutes ago, the slogan, "70 Percent Fewer Reboots" sounded pretty good to me.

  • by geomon ( 78680 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @03:01PM (#12316868) Homepage Journal
    For Apple.

    They have done more to market for Apple in the last few weeks than they realize (or maybe they do realized).

    Every comparison of features is with something already released under the current OS X, or is a feature that will be in the next release of OS X (slated soon?).

    I guess I don't get what Microsoft's strategy is for this campaign. Is this the Microsoft "Me Too" campaign?

    I would love to see the sales numbers for the next OS X release. We could see some increase in sales due to Microsoft owners realizing that there is another OS in the market that works at least as well, if not better, than XP.

    Maybe Gates owns a bunch of Apple stock and is hedging his bets.
  • by RobRancho ( 569680 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @03:01PM (#12316876) Homepage

    In reality, as cute as it may be to point out the 'imitation' going on here, it might be better to look at the renewed (finally!) competition taking place. For years, Microsoft has been relatively reluctant to do any serious innovation in OS development, instead focusing on the issues that were generating the most complaints. Think about it, from Windows 95 through Windows XP, what major innovations have been introduced?

    Now, however, that Mac OS has been making big strides and an ever increasing number of people have started to look at it as a viable alternative (even in my small-business workplace!), Microsoft has seemingly started to take the competition seriously. This is a Good Thing!

    Competition always benefits the consumer, and prior to the last couple years, there *was no competition* in the desktop OS category.

  • by Shag ( 3737 ) * on Friday April 22, 2005 @03:31PM (#12317244)
    Two reasons:

    1. Catchy slogans ending in -ks strangely tend to already be in use by other people. And no, I'm not talking about Apple here. How about Autodesk []?

    2. Words ending in -ks can easily be altered on billboards []. "It just sucks" is going to be just as easy as this one was...

    Apparently Microsoft is suppressing its memory of these past events.

  • by Piquan ( 49943 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @03:50PM (#12317474)
    They say, "It just works".
    I sit with skepticism.
    Microsoft go home.
  • by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @03:55PM (#12317544) Homepage Journal
    I seem to recall that Ballmer had used that exact line ("It Just Works") to describe Windows ME. I can't find the exact reference, but this one [] might be close.

    I remember this because at the time, one of my colleagues kept mocking Ballmer by deliberately misquoting it as "It just broke." To which I usually responded, "...again."
  • In MS's defense. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bombadillo ( 706765 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @04:07PM (#12317688)
    From the Article.... "You shouldn't have to spend a lot of time struggling with things," Allchin said, adding that the number one design goal for Longhorn has been: "It just works."

    This looks like it is being taken out of context. Notice they split his sentence into two parts. I don't see MS using this term anywhere else in the article or stumping on the "It just works" slogan.

    I am a Linux and Mac fan. I also think LongHorn is playing catch up to apple as far as UI goes. However, this article is a little unfair. Definitely anti-MS propoganda. Which is good :)
    • Re:In MS's defense. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bani ( 467531 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @07:40PM (#12319438)
      I am a Linux and Mac fan. I also think LongHorn is playing catch up to apple as far as UI goes."

      You obviously don't have a mac.

      I have one, and OSX/Aqua is no end of illogical ui frustrations. Apple completely abandoned most of their original macos UI design guidelines in favor of eye candy.
  • by hankaholic ( 32239 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @04:49PM (#12318108)
    Revised EULA text follows:

    16. DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES. The Limited Warranty that appears above is the only express warranty made to you and is provided in lieu of any other express warranties or similar obligations (if any) created by any advertising, documentation, packaging, or other communications. Specifically, marketing materials containing the phrase "It Just Works" specifically define "works" as the standard operation of the software, information and related content AS AND WITH ALL FAULTS, and does not warrant that the behavior of the software will meet expectations of function or operation. Except for the Limited Warranty and to the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, Microsoft and its suppliers provide the Software and support services (if any) AS IS AND WITH ALL FAULTS, and hereby disclaim all other warranties and conditions, whether express, implied or statutory, including, but not limited to, any (if any) implied warranties, duties or conditions of merchantability, of fitness for a particular purpose, of reliability or availability, of accuracy or completeness of responses, of results, of workmanlike effort, of lack of viruses, and of lack of negligence, all with regard to the Software, and the provision of or failure to provide support or other services, information, software, and related content through the Software or otherwise arising out of the use of the Software. ALSO, THERE IS NO WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF TITLE, QUIET ENJOYMENT, QUIET POSSESSION, CORRESPONDENCE TO DESCRIPTION OR NON-INFRINGEMENT WITH REGARD TO THE SOFTWARE.
  • by gandalphthegreen ( 751209 ) <> on Friday April 22, 2005 @04:59PM (#12318191)
    Longhorn: Insanely Great
  • by argoff ( 142580 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @05:08PM (#12318276)
    Isn't this going to be the version with DRM and all the other copy "protection" crap.

    I'm sure it won't work like linux, eg you can copy it, maniuplate it, move it arround from pc to pc, store it on your local servers for quick downloads and access, without a license, with out a phonecall to microsoft.

    Linux will work wether I have a CD, DVD, USB, network access, or even bootstrap floppy without much effort.

    Linux will work as a terminal or a server right out of the box.

    Linux will work on 32mb ram with a 400 mb disk and
    a tty text console.

    Linux will work on a 2048 node supercomputer parallel cluster.

    Linux will work on x86, x86-64, dec, sparc, mips, power-pc, and even ARM.

    GNU/Linux will work for editing, spread sheets, graphics, office productivity, mail servers, database servers, web servers, dns servers, smb servers, and development in over 10 different languages right out if the box.

    So how is microsift claming "it just works" again?

  • by trudyscousin ( 258684 ) on Friday April 22, 2005 @05:13PM (#12318317)
    Up in Ottawa and down in Texas, they're fond of saying "all hat and no cattle."

    Our British cousins are fond of saying "all mouth and no trousers."

    Of Microsoft's group vice president for platforms, I'm fond of saying "Allchin and no dick."

    Smug, annoying and delusional - he's the archetypal marketmonkey.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang