who said it.pngWe’re playing a little game here. Who said Microsoft’s usability stinks? Read the quotes below and give us your best guess…


” I am quite disappointed at how Windows Usability has been going backwards…”

When talking about an experience downloading an application from Microsoft.com, they said:

“This site is so slow it is unusable” and once again “The site was pathetically slow but after 6 seconds of waiting up it came.”

Referring to trying to find a Microsoft download, this person said:

“It is more like a puzzle that you get to solve.”

Talking about after downloading an application and then installing it on Windows:

“So I did the download. That part was fast. Then it wanted to do an install. This took 6 minutes and the machine was so slow I couldn’t use it for anything else during this time. What the heck is going on during those 6 minutes? That is crazy.

When talking about Windows movie maker, they said:

“What an absolute mess. Moviemaker is just not there at all. So I give up on Moviemaker and decide to download the Digital Plus Package.”

Talking about trying to get the Digital Plus Package to work, this person said:

So after more than an hour of craziness and making my programs list garbage and being scared and seeing that Microsoft.com is a terrible website, I haven’t run Moviemaker and I haven’t got the plus package. The lack of attention to usability represented by these experiences blows my mind. I thought we had reached a low with Windows Network places…”

Who said it?

Any guesses on who made all of the comments listed above? It sounds like a consumer who is just fed-up with Microsoft, doesn’t it? That’s why you may be surprised to learn that it all came from the mouth of Bill Gates back in 2003 in an email that he sent to various people within Microsoft. The subject of the email? “Windows Usability Systematic degradation flame.”

If you read the whole email (which I recommend you do, it’s found here) you’ll see that Gates clearly wasn’t having a great experience trying to get Windows Moviemaker. He got frustrated, just like many of us do, when he couldn’t do what he wanted to.

Some people have criticized his rant saying he would have been better off telling the team working on the project that it needed to be fixed, and soon, instead of just complaining. We, on the other hand, think it’s great that Bill Gates took the time to outline the difficulties that he had because upon receiving the email, that team probably got their butt’s in gear to get the problems fixed. He was the voice of the consumers, except his voice gets heard much louder than that of the consumer.

Todd Bishop over at Seattle P-I recently interviewed Bill Gates and showed him a printout of the email from 2003. He asked Gates if he ever did get Movie Maker to work which Gates then pointed out how Movie Maker will be part of Windows Live, so improvements must have been made. Gates also commented about the nature of the email and said, “There’s not a day that I don’t send a piece of email… like that piece of email. That’s my job.”

Now that Bill Gates is leaving Microsoft at the end of the week, hopefully there will be others who take the time to do what Gates did and simply rant and complain about the usability and other various problems they have with products and services because that’s how Microsoft will be able to make the best products out there.