This is a post I've been thinking about for nearly a week. It started about the same time I downloaded Safari for Windows. I've never used Mac OS X for any extended period of time but I've tried to study how they develop their features. Coming from the Windows camp, I can tell you that neither Tiger nor Leopard really does much of anything that Vista doesn't do. And I'm not the only one thinking this either. However, that really is not the point. It doesn't matter how advanced a piece of software is; it only matters that the software does what the user expects and be easy to use. Both the designers and developers at Microsoft need to reread that last sentence again. Want some examples?
1) Take a look at this post by Scott Hanselman. I dare you to find any dialog box in Mac OS X that looks like this.
2) Take a look at these option pages from Safari and IE7.
I realize that IE7 has more capabilities than Safari (add-ons, etc) and thus more options, however this first page of each browser's options dialog just shows the difference in thinking. The only thing I can do directly from this dialog in IE7 is set my home page. With Safari, I can do tons of things. I can set what browser is default, what search engine is default, what my home page is, where my downloads go, etc, etc. Microsoft shows a complete inability to try something radically new in user interface design.
It seems that Microsoft is just one letter away. Instead of Keep It Simple Stupid, they must think it stands for Keep It Simply Stupid. With that said, this post starts my 10 days of Microsoft UI stupidity.