(Keeping in mind that I holed up in a remote area for a couple of years developing new products) Yesterday I got my first hands-on experience with Windows XP Media Center edition. I was at a major electronics dealer, and the flashy eye-candy
interface caught my eye and I watched another customer browse Meia Center on a brand-new HP widescreen laptop. "That's pretty cool", I thought to myself, "better have a go, then." As soon as the other fella was finished mucking around with Media Center, I stepped up to the laptop and started browsing. I navigated into the section called "My Videos", found a thumbnail for an Alanis Morisette video, and double clicked on it. The screen displayed a very impressive 'spinning progress icon', and I waited. And I waited. And I waited.
The application was obviously 'hung' or 'locked up'. A salesman walked by and asked me if I needed a hand. I told him what had happened. He used 'Ctrl-Alt-Del' (!!!) to 'reboot' Windows Media Center and reopened it. He then clicked on the music video and it opened immediately and started playing. He asked me if I needed anything else and I said no, thanks. So he walked away.
I clicked 'back' in the navigation and selected another movie clip to look at. I double clicked on it. Again, the spinning icon...
It just goes to show: no matter how much time you spend with Photoshop building fancy UI with alpha-blending and translucency, it's the foundation that counts.
Imagine taking home a brand new PC laptop preloaded with the latest version of Windows XP Media Center edition, getting it home, unpacking it, only to find that the most basic functionality simply doesn't work reliably.
Run, don't walk, to the nearest Apple store.