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Everyone has spent so much time trying to cater to new users that they seem to have forgotten that eventually some of those users stop being new. 

I think the whole blogging scene is starting to change that, especially where Microsoft is concerned.  Many of us are seeing that Microsoft’s developers are a lot more like us than we ever knew before.  They too like to embrace new technologies (like RSS) and new ideas (like podcasting), and continuing where my last post left off - I bet more of them use Outlook than use the MSN client. 

I saw a post today on blogs.msdn.com where someone mentioned how you can add a registry key to a Media Center PC that enables different video formats to be played in the MCE application – and how this person used that in their own setup.  That’s the kind of information (and functionality) that enthusiasts want.  So I guess what I’m saying to Microsoft and the MSN guys is pretty simple.  “We’ve covered what the new users want.  Now, what could you do with this product/service/idea to make YOU use it?”

I think this is part of why open source and things like Linux appeal to enthusiasts.  Not necessarily because they want to code up the application of their dreams.  I know there are countless Linux users out there who have no interest in coding.  But the general open source community inspires developers to write programs and services that they themselves want to use.  And since these enthusiasts are closer in the “user spectrum” to developers than newbies, the resulting products appeal to them a great deal.   

I think Microsoft is starting to see this, too.  The Monad project, for instance, is plainly a gift to enthusiasts/admins/tinker’ers and the like...  And a brilliant one at that.  We need MORE of this.

This is important for Microsoft.  The best way to beat Linux is to be cooler than it. 

Posted on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 2:37 PM | Back to top

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