Dialogs That Inspire Confidence

If you've got your font sizes set larger than normal (in this case, because your 17 inch screen has 2304000 pixels), and you accept Microsoft's strong recommendation that you install IE7 (yes, Firefox is the default browser), the why-you-should-install dialog will not look the way Microsoft intended it to.

It will look like this.

Mangled dialog

I think the mangulation is in a particularly apposite spot. I don't know about you, but I've always thought IE had a very Overstruck text look.

5 Responses to “Dialogs That Inspire Confidence”

  1. Marco Says:

    "Features to make everyday tasks such as printing and searching the web"



    Microsoft used to be the entire software industry's role model for proper accessibility, internationalization, and localization processes. Despite their other faults, we could always count on them to make sure that their software would provide consistent mediocrity no matter what country you were in, what font size you used, which direction your text flowed, which alphabet and language you used, what awful color scheme and icon packs you configured for Windows, or what cheap buggy hardware you were running it on.

  2. RichVR Says:

    Does IE7 have a way of opening a page fullscreen by default yet?

  3. evilspoons Says:

    This is why I have so much trouble convincing people to increase their font DPI instead of lowering their resolution, even in spite of the fact that LCDs look abysmal at any resolution other than their native one. You'd figure that Microsoft of all people would have figured this out by now.

  4. Daniel Rutter Says:

    To be fair, of course, this is just an installation dialog, which clearly didn't get properly tested, possibly on account of the fact that dialogs are Priority Z, since most users see only the OK button.

    IE7 itself is probably not fuXX0r3D in such a transparent way, but I wouldn't know, since I didn't actually run the cursed thing (so, RichVR, I have no idea whether the God-awful no-fullscreen-windows thing has been fixed). All I did was accept MS's invitation to install it on my sister's computer while I was visiting, to mind the cat while she was away, and read.

    I have, in case you're all wondering, mellowed considerably in my attitude to Microsoft software. I used to tend towards the standard Slashdot OMG M$ R teh 5uck end of the scale (although, of course, I still used Windows, just like all of the most vehement Slashdot commenters). I still take a dim view of Microsoft's corporate practices, but it's not as if they're a proper evil corporation. And, importantly, a significant portion of the things that piss off geeks day-to-day about Microsoft software are, I now know largely thanks to Raymond Chen, not really Microsoft's fault.

    To oversimplify to a positively cosmic degree: Apple chose to be strict and ended up with a clean, sensible, unpopular system; Microsoft chose to be lax and made a messy, contradictory, popular system. The mess and contradictions are to a considerable extent the result of developers who did not do what Microsoft clearly requested.

    (I recommend Raymond's old posts to anybody who's interested in the unpleasant details of the sausage that is Windows.)

    Back when I had a news.com.au e-mail address and so appeared to be important, I chatted with Rick (I think) at the excellent Radsoft about Microsoft, and Windows, and suchlike.

    I don't think any of Rick's statements about anything quantifiable to do with Windows was incorrect, but he was, at the end of it all, perfectly convinced that Microsoft was doomed, based on the unquestionable disastrousness of... Windows 2000.

    He's similarly convinced, now, that Vista is a bad idea. Which it is. And so was XP. But everybody's going to use it anyway, and we'll keep muddling along. The current botnet-spam crap is profoundly annoying, but I don't think it takes unreasoning faith to assume that something will be done.

    If you buy Vista now, though - or even if you rip it off - then I think you're something of a goose.

  5. reyalp Says:

    Honestly, I don't think Apple has done that well as a "clean, sensible" system. It is modestly better than the previous "Slap a GUI on Unix" systems, but the UI still has plenty of inconsistencies and bling that adds no real functionality. Put a truly new computer user in front of XP or OSX, and they will be equally confused. OS9, as horrible as it was from a technical point of view, was limited and consistent enough that it was actually easier for newbies.

    IMO, the relative position of Windows and OSX has a lot more to do with history and inertia than the systems themselves. If you could go back in time and put Apple or NeXT or Amiga in the dominant position, chances are they'd still be there today.

    As far as XP to Vista goes, I'll let John Carmack say it http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=22161
    It's not a bad thing, but the reasons to upgrade are essentially manufactured by Microsoft to pad their wallet (which of course is their primary purpose). If they just continued to issue service packs for XP, users would be equally well served.

Leave a Reply