Hello, Foot? It's Microsoft. Shooting you is our idea.
Friday, Mar 19, 2010
[Deep in the heart of Redmond, WA] Hello, Foot? You're looking well today. I see you're wearing the nice new Windows Phone 7 Series shoe we designed for you. It looks very nice. I'm sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but we're going to have to shoot you. Don't sound so surprised, you knew we couldn't make a forward-thinking product without making it too forward thinking, right? We want to put our best foot forward, and that's you. You're a step ahead of Windows Mobile 6.5, and when you're forging into new territory you can't waste time dwelling on the past. We all understand that Windows Mobile had several chances to win more people over to it, but now that we've moved on we need to start with a clean slate. And yes, that means we're going to have to shoot ourselves in the foot. In you. You're all about fresh thinking, Foot. Your clean Segoe UI font says loud and clear: "I'm not a phone, I'm an experience." Where Windows Mobile 6.5 was hampered by information density and static screens, you're fluid. You're lush and colorful and everything these kids want nowadays. You can tweet and ping and 'book and Bing like nobody's business. Because you're not about business. You're about the fun. And what fun kids don't want is copying and pasting. That's what their parents did. Folks today think and write in 140 characters or less, Foot, and the closest they come to copying is hitting the re-tweet button. Copying is so unoriginal. So we're leaving it out of you. No, more than that. It's not like we're just skimping on ingredients. We're excising it, like decaffeinating coffee. We're carving copy and paste functionality right out of your being, foot. We're doing it with a bullet. The bullet we're going to shoot. In you. Foot. Seriously though, don't worry about it. You're designed for fun and style. You're the party phone to make iPhone people jealous because you're Tufte-er than thou. Don't worry if things like Word documents and spreadsheets feel as foreign to your style as Ashton Kutcher itemizing his deductions. He has people for that, and anyone boring enough to need to do stuff like quote an email or copy a URL has tools for that too. They can wait until they get to a desktop computer, or they can use the phone their work issued them. Heck, they've probably got our other foot running WinMo 6.5 in their other pocket, so we're all good. The idea that people need one device that will do everything hasn't played out. We tried stuffing everything into 6.5 and people told us they want less. They want iPhones and Prëi and we're listening, so forget about copying and pasting. Nobody really uses that stuff, and if they do, well, they should get a Windows Tablet. It does everything you don't, if people want that kind of thing. Oh, while we're on the subject, that iPhone App Store we hate? We don't hate it anymore. We love it. We think it's great. Except their app review process is too draconian and mercurial. So we're going to do that, but we're not going to be draconian or mercurial. We'll only reject bad apps, and if we do we'll tell you why, unless we find out that we're only helping bad app makers learn how to get bad apps through the approval process. But it's okay, there will be a committee to stop that from happening, if it starts to happen, which it won't. But seriously, foot, you look hot in that Windows Phone 7 Series shoe. Nobody's going to be copying you any time soon, because we're not going to let them. Oh, by the way, have you seen baby Pink around? I can't seem to find her after leaving her soaking in that bathwater...
WinPhone7 App Marketplace: Like Apple but, um, better!
Monday, Mar 15, 2010
Turns out that Windows Phone Series 7 users can only load apps via the Windows Phone Series 7 marketplace, where developers submit apps for approval and publication. This explains why last week Steve Ballmer did an about face and said "Apple's done a very nice job" with their App Store. Lest Microsoft be caught imitating or lauding Apple too much, they claim their store won't have any of Apple's approval ambiguity, with all approval/rejection decisions being very straightforward and transparent. Sounds easier than it is in practice, I suspect. Just a few months ago Microsoft was making videos poking fun at the Windows Marketplace approval process:
Seriously Rielle, what did you expect?
Monday, Mar 15, 2010
Edwards mistress Rielle Hunter conducted an interview and photo shoot with GQ magazine and wasn't happy with the result:
I cried for two hours after seeing those repulsive pictures.
Is that enough for a river?
Speculating (wildly) about just-in-time iPad provisioning
Monday, Mar 08, 2010
In the category of 'speculation': The three weeks between when iPad pre-orders start and the April 3rd delivery date sounds like just enough time for Apple to gauge what proportion of iPads to make in each of the 16/32/64GB configurations. In the category of 'wild speculation': It would be interesting, given a high enough proportion of buyers opting for the higher-margin 32 and 64GB models, if Apple were to decide to order the build with cameras included since, if they're not currently slated for inclusion there seems to be plenty of evidence that they were at one time, and may simply be a drop-in part at build time.
Is Apple punting on the iPad calculator and other small iPhone apps?
Monday, Mar 08, 2010
John Gruber seems to have it on good authority that the missing iPad apps are missing because Apple couldn't figure out how to keep them elegant in a large-screen environment, and that no 'Dashboard view' is in the works. I don't doubt his sources, but I'm frankly very surprised. Looking on the bright side, the absence of these core apps will pave the way for hundreds of developers to try innovating on their own to make a better version, knowing they'll be vying for the attention of an entire iPad user base with no built-in calculator, weather, finance or timer app. There should be a lot of interesting innovation in the space (and yes, a lot of nickel and dime crap). At the end of the day though, the problem persists: If Apple can't come up with a suitable usability model for small 'subtask' apps like peeking at stocks, responding to an instant message or performing a quick calculation then it's unlikely that third-party developers will be able to, because the difficulty is inherent in a large-screen, completely modal interface. Considering that Apple's been thinking about tablet devices for over a decade and has held beck because the prototypes didn't meet Steve's high bar, it's extremely surprising to me that they'd launch without a real answer for such simple tasks. April 3rd notwithstanding, this is a problem that Apple will absolutely solve at some point. The only question is when.
Why 3D pie charts are bad
Tuesday, Mar 02, 2010
I made a 3D pie chart that, while absolutely accurate, is an example of why 3D pie charts are bad:
I do, however, love the Stroop Effect Goes Down Hard. Both Remaining Users Pissed.
Friday, Feb 26, 2010
Yesterday I shut down the 9 year old url shortening service I pointed all traffic from to a penguin flash game with a banner ad at the bottom. Scandal! Uproar! Mea Culpa! The kind of scandal that lead a social media pundit to email me this morning asking me to explain the series of events that led me to turn a link shortening service into a profit vehicle. The kind of uproar that causes a person to make an anonymous Twitter account for the sole purpose of asking me to explain my path to the dark side. It all sounds pretty nefarious and nasty until you discover that the site was shut down because it had only two users: one a black-hat SEO driving traffic and pagerank to illegal pharma sites and a person who used the content-hosting features of Qwer to host Second Life patterns in a way that could be accessed in-game, and that his pages have been whitelisted for 4 weeks until I shut down stuff completely. Average number of daily visitors to 11. Average number coming from somewhere other than Second Life? 3. I hate being such a boring scandal.
The struggle of innovation
Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010
Ed Colligan, Palm CEO, asked about the prospects of an Apple phone in November of 2006 (two months before the iPhone unveiling):
"We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone," he said. "PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in.'"
'We've struggled for years' may not be the best phrase to convince people that you're going to stay the market leader. [side note: 'struggle' has now joined 'acquitted' on my list of words that probably shouldn't make their way on to your resume]
The iPad keyboard's 'blank key': More evidence of a dashboard?
Monday, Feb 22, 2010
9to5mac reports on the conspicuously blank function key at the iPad demo and speculates, quite reasonably, that it may be more evidence of the dashboard functionality I wrote about a few weeks ago. Given that the iPad doesn't have the concept of F#-style function keys, each key on that row has one and only one dedicated purpose. Other buttons in that row include 'search', 'home screen', 'photos', brightness and audio controls, and a lock button. The deliberate hiding of a button's functionality, in my mind, can only mean one of two things: A dashboard widget screen toggle or a Camera app button. Either one would point to a feature announcement coming in the next few weeks.
Jesse Schell's mindblowing talk on the future of games (DICE 2010)
Friday, Feb 19, 2010
Jesse Schell's talk about the future of game design as it invades the real world is just astounding. If you do experience design of any kind it'll be the most valuable (and entertaining) 20 minutes you'll spend all week.

Hi, I'm Kevin Fox.
I've been blogging at since 1998.
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I post most frequently on Twitter as @kfury and on Google Plus.


I've led design at Mozilla Labs, designed Gmail 1.0, Google Reader 2.0, FriendFeed, and a few special projects at Facebook.

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