RE: Apple, Microsoft, big tech push UI changes: Whining is futile

Pushing change for change's sake doesn't win over users.

My colleage Larry Dignan just published a commentary titled Apple, Microsoft, big tech push UI changes: Whining is futile and I felt forced to comment. Larry, in his usual style, discussed the changes vendors have made to their operating systems that appear, from some vantage points, to be change for change's sake rather than changes that are designed to address customer requirements, add useful new features or enhance old features. The examples he cites are Microsoft's Windows 8, Google's Android, Apple's iOS 7, and RIM, err Blackberry's, Blackberry 10.

In each case, significant changes have been made to the user interface. Some of these changes have been well-received and others have not. It appears that the suppliers who listened to their customers and did their best to address their requirements have received positive comments and those who have pushed change over negative customer response have not.

The large installed base of Windows XP, the slow rate of uptake of Windows 8 and Microsoft's backtracking on the start button, demonstrate that the customer always has the option not to buy a product that he/she doesn't want.

Although Apple doesn't always address customer complaints, it appears that much of what's new in iOS 7 appears to be designed to learn from other competitors and to address commonly heard requests.

Although the commentary's title said that whining is futile, I think that customers, in the end, get to make the choice of whether or not to purchase a product. Change for change's sake that removes important features, makes features harder to find and use, or makes systems harder to use are seldom accepted by the market.