before blog
windows 95 feedback

image: an image

I’ve tried to find a better mailbox for these comments, but I cannot do so—if possible, could your member of staff who actually reads this note forward it to the appropriate mailbox. Thanks.

I simply wish to submit feedback on the Windows 95 and NT 4 interface, which I have been using for a long time, in the hope that it may be considered when revising it.

My comments are:

  1. That the Windows 95 interface is one hell of a lot better than what it replaced;
  2. I get extremely annoyed by applications which jump to the front when I am working on something else. The worst case is the Start Menu—virtually every program removes that menu when I am using it. I often want to start a number of applications at the same time, especially if I’m dialling into my ISP, and I have to keep waiting before I can start the next for the previous one to settle down—a waste of time, and, worse, a waste of money if I’m already online. Other programs insist on going on top of dialogues which I am in the process of using them. I would suggest that Microsoft modify the user interface so that any component which has received active user input in the last, say, thirty seconds, cannot be put underneath something else. I suspect you can probably use this feature to break NT security;
  3. In Explorer, the absence of any mechanism of sorting files by their type is very annoying, especially since there is a “Sort by Type” option which, judging by its actions, should be correctly labelled “Sort by Comment”. Please fix this command so that it is correctly labelled, and add a “Sort by Type” option which actually sorts by type. R emember how to determine a file type? You examine those characters which appear after the dot in the file name.
  4. I know Microsoft are huge, but I do wish they wouldn’t insult their (British?) customers. In the UK, the concept of property is introduced to primary school children using that horrible “My…” word, and the emotional loading caused by this process lingers in the average Brit for the remainder of their life. So, by insisting of the use of “My computer”, Microsoft is implicitly telling the average Brit that they are really a five–year old, back in primary school—e.g. you are calling your customers emotionally retarded idiots. This is irritating. Perhaps you should extend your desktop themes to give “My computer”, and the other standard desktop icons, names which fit the themes.

, email