A friend from Seattle stopped by this morning for breakfast. He developed a software product that layers some new user interface on top of Windows XP/Vista and we talked about how to get people to use it. I noted that the original Macintosh OS spawned some successful UI extensions/plugins, notably Boomerang (put your recently accessed files and folders on a pull-down menu in every application), but that since the early 1990s nobody except Microsoft or Apple had been able to foist new user interface off on anyone (and Microsoft’s TabletPC hasn’t worked well at all, achieving an even smaller market share than Mac OS).
So… how come nobody can get anyone to use a user interface plugin that addresses the woeful shortcomings of Windows, notably navigating up and down the hierarchical folders and among all the simultaneously running apps?
The second question that came to mind was what the Apple guys have been doing with their $billions. Bill Gates and the Microsoft crowd have been very prominent in charitable circles, saving Africans from disease, etc. By contrast, a Google search for “Steve Jobs charity” or “Steve Jobs donation” turns up nothing except an article on how Apple bought him a $90 million Gulfstream bizjet.
So… if Steve Jobs doesn’t give money to charity and doesn’t pay for his own jet, is he doing something interesting with his $billions? And what about the rest of the Apple and Pixar crowd? Are they funding a secret desert project somewhere?