If you can believe Microsoft, they frequently put groups of users in little test rooms — or some sort of testing environment — and expose them to the new features in a product. By gauging their reactions, they decide whether those capabilities deserve to go into production.
Now if you look at Microsoft’s shipping products, it doesn’t seem they’re getting a terribly good sampling, or maybe they aren’t paying attention to the results. Some of the features that end up in their products appear to be just plain weird.
Take, for example, those constant warnings in Vista about whether the next thing you do is safe or not. It comes so frequently that you many uses give the OK on auto-pilot, not realizing that they might be subjecting their PCs to potential malware as a result of not paying attention. Or, in frustration, they just turn off the feature.
So what might have been a good feature, at least insofar as Microsoft’s intentions might be considered, ended up in the “Cons” list when reviewers got their hands on Vista. Supposedly you’ll have a friendlier version in Windows 7.
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