It’s nothing new, of course. I’m sure most of you readers have been following this since last June when Microsoft decided they should blog about things in an effort to seem more open.
And I could write entire essays about the various things, from the recent logo debate to the timing of the recent beta release, but I really want to prod about the superficiality of the whole thing.
I don’t like it.
They wanted to make things youthful and fun and I feel like it’s tripped over itself on it’s way there. The tiles idea, from a cross-device cross-media platform view is brilliant. The OS is fundamentally similar between the desktop and phone versions because the tile underpinnings are so fluid and scalable. I like that problem solving. There are other, even better ways for the power user, but I think it’s a good thing what they’ve done trying out this format. I’m also glad that they seem to be running with this. I watched the first look demo from last summer and wondered how much of this would be taken out for the final production, much like concept cars get boring-ized before actually available. Okay, so these are nice things.
But the aesthetics. The raw, easy to change bits like tile colour. Where did they come from? I wanted to compare it to a local kids amusement place thing that we had growing up but it seems like they never had a web presence. Shame. It was garish. I remember thinking that even as a kid when we went there.
I was really excited to see screenshots like these:
Where there is unity and boldness and youth and vibrancy and that useful starkness that works so well for phones. Icons that has to be powerful to minimize language usage. But then they took that and stirred everything all together and made this soup of mismatched colour and style and I feel like the desktop OS end result is worse off for it. It’s just muddled.
The good news is that it should be very customizable (at least, we’ll find a way to force it, if not native) and the changes needed to streamline it aren’t that big of a deal. Icons. That’s easy, given everything else that went into the system.
I hate to say it, but the Vista Ultimate style would actually work perfect here. A nice unobtrusive background with those famous blues and greens popping as tiles? That’d be fun and elegant, bold and restrained. It’d be fresh and young without being childish.
Did I just write all of that to say that they should think about changing a few colours? So it seems. Twitter’s taught brevity might be a valuable thing to learn after all.
TL;DR Just wait and change the tile colours in the options because the default ones are rubbish.