Friday, August 24, 2007


Microsoft's New Product Boxes

I've spent the past half-hour trying to figure out how to open the box that Office 2007 came in.

Apparently I'm not the first person to have trouble with this. So if you're in the same boat as me, don't feel bad, in fact, tell the person laughing at you that a Math and EECS student at MIT just broke the packaging with a swift stomp of the foot (and yes they're laughing at me here).

The Vista Team over at Microsoft is apparently proud of this achievement. I found a "patent pending" written on the box too---microsoft probably loves printing that on their boxes. What isn't printed on the box is directions on how to open it though (apart from a sticker with the word "peel" and some useless graphic).

From the Vista blog: "Designed to be user-friendly, the new packaging is a small, hard, plastic container that’s designed to protect the software inside for life-long use." The only accurate statement in this quote is "hard, plastic container" since it's definitely not user-friendly, much larger than the a simple Jewel case, and Microsoft almost certainly isn't expecting users to receive life-long use out of any piece of their software. Life-long use cuts down on upgrade revenue when Microsoft Vista XP with Office 2011 comes out.

Once upon a time I wrote my college admission essay about my experience working at Trader Joe's watching customer after customer, day after day screw up the self-swiped credit card machines. Unlike the MS Office 2007 box, that thing actually had instructions written on the screen to explain how to use it. Though the engineer who designed it could have left it at "hello world" and it would have been equivalent.

Of course a three-year-old can use an iPhone.

I'm sure the dudes at MS probably worked hard to get this out the door, but you really need to take down your blog page praising the user-friendliness of the packaging--you're practically making Mac commercials for them. Good job on the new texture sets in Word!

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