The upcoming final releases of Windows Vista and Internet Explorer 7 make one thing exceedingly clear: Microsoft has abandoned the power user, allowing fewer and fewer customizations and tweaks. By doing this, they’re leaving behind a very loyal audience.
Internally, Microsoft has created a mythical typical user it calls “Abby” who knows very little about computers. It now targets the operating system and browser at this imaginary Abby, potentially leaving the rest of us out in the cold.
Let me give you a few examples. In Windows XP, you could easily customize how file associations works with applications. You could have one application open a file, another edit a file — and you could add many commands and switches as well. It was a power-user’s paradise.
Don’t look for that feature in Windows Vista. It’s not there any more.
In Internet Explorer 6, you are able to customize your toolbar by adding buttons, removing buttons, changing their appearance, and so on.
Don’t look for that feature in Internet Explorer 7. It’s not there any more.
I could give you more examples, but you get the idea. Microsoft seems bent on dumbing down its products. Now, there’s nothing wrong with making them easy to use. But you should at least let people use browsers and operating systems the way that they want, not just the way approved by Microsoft.
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling abandoned these days, as Windows Vista and Internet Explorer are increasingly closed off.
How about you — do you see any evidence of this disturbing trend?