Six months after the release of Windows 8, Microsoft’s top Windows executives Julie Larson-Green and Tami Reller have been forced to explain some of the design decisions that went into it.
For instance, why did Microsoft kill the Start button from the “desktop mode,” when so many people were upset about the change? And is to coming back? (Answer: Microsoft is talking about it, but won’t commit to it.)
Remember, Larson-Green previously worked on Microsoft Office where she was involved in another design decision that baffled loyal Office users: replacing the classic menus with Ribbon menus, forcing users to relearn how to find all of the software’s commands and features.
Last week, speaking at the 2013 WIRED Business Conference in New York, Larson-Green explained how Microsoft thinks about product design:
‘We’re principled in the direction that we’re heading but we’re not going to be stubborn. It’s not to spite you.”
Today, Tami Reller, Windows marketing chief and CFO, speaking at the JP Morgan Technology conference, added:
“When you have 1.3 billion customers using your product … you need to have a vision … so that you have everyone working on Windows, including the eco-system, knows where you’re headed and can go there with you. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t listening consistently and constantly … to what customers are asking for.”
Reller said that the Windows team has already released 739 updates to Windows 8.
We’ll soon see how well the Windows team is really listening. Windows 8.1, code-named Windows Blue, will be previewed in June and everyone is hoping it fixes the design changes that have most annoyed users.