15 ways to make Vista go away

‘Joel on Software’ ran an article about the plethora of ways to switch Vista off now available (Choices = Headaches)

Every time you want to leave your computer, you have to choose between nine, count them, nine options: two icons and seven menu items. The two icons, I think, are shortcuts to menu items. I’m guessing the lock icon does the same thing as the lock menu item, but I’m not sure which menu item the on/off icon corresponds to.

He points out that laptops have additional ways like buttons and shutting the lid – all of which may well leave casual computer users (or ‘normal people’) a teensy bit confused, which can’t be a good thing really.

Moishe Lettvin, an ex Microsoft developer who worked on this very area of Vista has written an excellent article about it which goes a long way to shedding light on how such a mess can be created: The Windows Shutdown crapfest. He provides a staggering insight into the behemoth that Microsoft has become in terms of engineering and management, with some scary observations about how long code updates in one area of Windows developments take to propagate to other teams and areas due to the nature of their code repository.

update

Arno Gourdol (ex OS X engineer) has posted about The Design of the Mac OS X Shutdown Feature in which he talks about his own experiences and how he wanted to slim the choices down even more – but was overruled by an unnamed ‘Senior VP’ (John Gruber speculates it was Scott Forstall). I agree with the VP (as do most of the commentors on Gourdol’s article) that the current options are sensible and that his intended culling wasn’t the best idea ever.

Written by , Tuesday 28th November 2006

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