Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sorry Microsoft, Can I Have The Old Hotmail Back?

Ok, I'm not impressed.

First, yes, it's brand spanking new and that shocks many people.  I'm used to change. Trust me, I'm looking at four computers turned on at the moment, three different operating systems.

It's just that it has that Metro look and feel.  I'm sorry but if I wanted my operating system and my email client to look like the mass transit system in King County, Washington State, I'd have configured things to look like that.

Email is a Text medium. 

Now that you've read that, read it again.  You are sending short messages back and forth in text.  You can add fonts and sparkly bits, but it really isn't necessary.   Strip all that away and you're back to the basics.

Yes, you needed to compete with Gmail.  I hate Gmail too for the whole Web As Software experience. 

I guess I'll have to go back and look to see if my old Hotmail account that I've used for well more than 20 years still works with a simple email client.  See the simplicity you wrote out of it with this new transit oriented look is why I kept using Hotmail.  

When I go into one of those web based email systems, the first thing I do is look to see if there is a simplified text interface.  Yes, Text.  No I'm not stuck in the past, you see there are some significant limitations to having all those boxes floating around the screen taking up real estate.  If you have a small screen, it is a big problem.   All the text now has extra blank space around it.  All the boxes are larger.

Ugh.  No thanks. 

Luckily I was able to click on the Outlook "thing" up in the upper left corner and return to the old Hotmail look and feel. . . for now.

You see the way I described things in the last statement?  "The Outlook Thing"?  That's a big problem.  You see, in the way things look in Windows 7 and before it was very clear that a button was a button, a list box was a list box.  Now with the interface changing to Metro, everything is more indistinct.  More like a paper document.   A Computer Screen is not a paper document.  It makes it more difficult to find where to click to make the action known.  

I just may hang onto my older machines longer until they get this whole Metro look out of their systems.   I'm sorry, that part of Windows, I'm just not a fan.  Having worked with a blind programmer before I saw what sort of challenges a graphical user interface presents to them.  I have to wonder how you're going to explain to your 90 year old aunt that that blue bar with the white text is actually a button and you have to find just the right spot to click to make it do things.

Really, Metro... not ready for prime time.  At least for me.  I never did like the whole look of construction paper squares cut up to represent things, and don't like it on my computer or my email.

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