Why are we passionate about Windows? (UPDATED)
After reading the surprisingly large amount of comments I'm a little disappointed that this post didn't start the kind of discussion I was hoping for. I don't want this thread to be a place to talk about whether and why Windows and Microsoft are great or not that great. I want this thread to be about a very specific question, which is basically a psychological one and more about consumers than about Microsoft:
What is it about Windows products that appeals to some people on a subconscious level, beyond just practical or intellectual interest? My theory is that the simplicity of the product feels satisfying to people (like me) who feel overwhelmed with the complexity of life.
This is kind of a meta topic, but it’s specifically Windows-related, so I’m posting it here.
In this thread I want to discuss a question that must be obvious to outsiders, and that I think we (I’m talking to my fellow Tribers and Windows lovers here) should reflect upon, because it might give us insight into our desires beyond just liking good software.
I generally believe that whenever we enjoy and feel passionate about products, it’s because we subconsciously associate the experience with things we deeply and strongly desire in our lives. Good rock music, for example, has the power to make you feel the kind of freedom and energy that most of us can only dream of. A lot of TV shows give you an idea of what it might be like and feel like to spend your everyday life in a king-size apartment having fun with your overly attractive friends. Everybody wants to be free, strong, independent and be with attractive people.
So what is the feeling that Windows and Windows Phone give us, that we deeply desire?
Please tell us in the comment section what you think it is! Here are my thoughts:
Microsoft’s new OS experiences are designed around certain principles, which are most clearly implemented in the Modern UI design. Those principles are mostly about clarity, simplicity and comfort. It’s about eliminating any obstacles between you and what you’re doing – obstacles such as lag, visual clutter, redundant information and menus. Compared to traditional Oss, the experience of today’s Windows is much more about you and what you’re doing than about the computer and its system and its programs. Just doing what you care about, without having to deal with any practical annoyances that come with it – that’s what a lot of people consciously or subconsciously desire. The cleanness and simplicity of Windows OSs kind of feels like an apartment that magically stays clean and tidy by itself – no dish washing, no putting away clothes. The easiness of swiping in an app from the edge of the screen feels like teleporting to your office by snapping your fingers – no getting up early, no missing the bus.
So, to sum up my theory: Despite being far from perfect, Windows OSs feel sexy because they give us an experience that is (or at least tries to be) as clean, simple and easy as we would like our lives to be. The relevance of this theory lies in the conclusion that we really need to simplify our lives - or even better, learn how to enjoy life despite its minor (and major) obstacles and troubles.