Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wait, What? Vista's Failure was Due to Security?

Everyone has a theory on why Vista was underwhelming. The most curious theory is that of Steve Balmer who said to the Telegraph:

"We got some uneven reception when [Vista] first launched in large part because we made some design decisions to improve security at the expense of compatibility. I don't think from a word-of-mouth perspective we ever recovered from that."

Hmm.  Something tells me that Steve is right about security being the problem, but it wasn't because of compatibility issues.  Security was improved at the expense of usability.  Remember this little Apple commercial that lampooned Window's security?

Vista's application security features were so annoying that it was laughable - and in the end poor security. Security expert Bruce Schneider has a  take on this as well:

"There was also the problem of Vista's endless security warnings. The problem is that they were almost always false alarms, and there were no adverse effects of ignoring them. So users did, which means they ended up being nothing but an annoyance."

So what's the takeaway?  Security doesn't work if users become conditioned to ignore your security features.

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Ding Dong the Witch (IE) is Dead

I've just been browsing through my client's Yahoo Analytics. Internet Explorer's fall from the dominant web browser has been stunning. A few months ago, here is what most websites would see (and Internet Explorer was Pac-Man):

Now, things are a lot different. Suddenly, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari and Opera have ganged up on Internet Explorer and stole it's lunch money. Here is a typical browser report for a client website from Yahoo Analytics (it's real time and Google isn't).

In short, Firefox and IE have near equal 38-42% market shares. Chrome, Opera and Safari are eating a big piece of the pie, too. This is good news for designers who have been complaining about Internet Explorer's major problems with W3C compliant code.

What is interesting is that smart phones and iPhones (if I don't say the word iPhones the Apple zealots will be at the door with torches and pitchforks) are not yet making their mark just yet in non-techie websites. The only places where I see little screens on this report is for websites that would be considered technology sites.

What are you seeing in you metrics this month?

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