Musings on Design, Entrepreneurship, and the Creative Economy

microsoft

The coming revolt against Apple

08/11/2009

Over the last few years, Apple has solidified itself as the cool kid’s legitimate alternative to the Microsoft mainstream. They have excelled at packaging hardware and software together in sexy ways with usability that has put all the first-movers on defense, scrambling to catch up. The iPhone has been a smash hit and helped them expand their Mac market share substantially. broken-iphoneBut when you’re at the top of the cool mountain, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep your footing. There are storm clouds on the horizon, and there’s a revolution brewing.

The torches are being lit over in iPhone land. The iPhone has been a cult success in spite of itself in many ways. Other phones had better hardware and more features, and the iPhone was missing long standard features like MMS. But nothing matched the allure of the all touch screen form factor and the brilliant iPhone OS. When the App store was released, that made up for many of the (still persistent) feature deficiencies. But now that App Store is becoming a real problem for users and developers alike.

Tips and Best Practices for HTML Emails in Outlook 2007, 2010.

07/27/2009

While Microsoft has been making great improvements on the web standards front in IE, they’ve been seemingly rolling backwards with HTML support in Outlook. For the 2007 version they switched from the IE rendering engine to the Word engine (apparently for security reasons), which is completely crippled compared to IE. For anyone who does email marketing and designs and codes attractive HTML emails, this decision has no doubt had you shaking your fist and cursing Bill Gates’ mother.

We were all hoping that for the upcoming Outlook 2010 release Microsoft would go back to IE, but they have announced that they are sticking with Word. The pitchforks and torches are waving, but it looks like we’ll be dealing with the Word engine for emails for many years. Even if they switch to IE for 2012, we’ll have clients using 2007 and 2010 for years. So if you haven’t yet learned the ins and outs of designing emails for Outlook, now’s the time to learn!

Why IE6 isn’t dead yet, and how you can twist the knife.

07/18/2009

The web is abuzz lately with mounting campaigns against IE6. Web designers and producers have been moaning about it for years, but the reality has been that 20%+ of internet users have still used the old browser, avoiding the upgrade to 7 for whatever reason. There’s a reason it’s stuck around so long, even now, 8 years later, and a twitter campaign is not going to kill it. I do have a suggestion for easing development pain, though, and ultimately ending the bane of IE6.

Is Microsoft kinda cool now?

07/17/2009

Windows 7 pre-orders are flying off virtual shelves. Sony’s PlayStation 3 has lost the market to the Xbox 360. Some Microsoft commercials are being pulled because they’re too racy, and Apple is demanding they pull others. The ZuneHD actually looks cool. Natal is hailed as revolutionary. What the hell is going on? Is Microsoft cool Read More