Microsoft.com goes AJAXed

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This is perhaps the first time I have seen a big corporation choose to revamp their entire Corporate Website into an AJAX-enabled rich experience.

Microsoft.com now uses rich-client webtricks.

Does that actually help make your experience better? I need your vote in the comments?

My two cents?

  1. Like all MS products, the website has bugs. Maybe they are trying to highlight that fact in their corporate website brand.
  2. It is way too slow — ironically slower than without the AJAX. That could be another metaphor for how poor architecture results in bloated apps from the company, but I wont pin that on them.
  3. I find it more difficult to find things. The previous main page was well structured to find information — the new “rich popup menu interface” is just slow and confusing.
  4. They have mimiced the MS Office “Ribbon” interface… not sure if that improves my experience much.

So all this ends up requiring me to do is (1) tolerate bugs on what was previously a perfectly runnign solution and (2) go through the entire learning curve of a more complex interface, if not as complex.

If they had shifted from the previous one to a much simpler interface, I wouldn’t complain so much. The same rule applies to product design — you product should be much simpler than the existing pain.

I had just expected the Father of PC Software company (MS) to be a better leading example of the importance of doing that.

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  • For windows live mail , more work has been done on the apperance, few days back one of my coleague stucked in it as the reading pane become maximized and there was no option available to bringit bakc to normal…
    same is the case with new yahoo beta
    they also have ajaxed and interface has become soo much irritating although there are lots of new features but it rather difficult to use that , thats why i swiched back to the nold yahoo..

  • MSN had one of the first examples of AJAX enabled interfaces.

    In fact, from LiveScript of Netscape to Javascript, it was IE5 which first added XMLHttpRequest! OF course this was long before things like gmail made ajax popular. Even before this, I believe Microsoft had Microsoft remote scripting as early as 99s..

    In my opinion, the website is actually better from navigation point of view. I like how they’ve used right-side menu and then instead of expanding them like regular tree-like menu, they have a dhtml dialog opening with sub-options.

    Just my opinion though – like all design matters this is quite subjective (I have seen studies where right hand menus turn out to be better than left hand or top menus, and similarly for other things i think MS went through an extensive user experience study before designing this interface).

    Also this is Microsoft’s corporate page with their numerous products and they have to cater for everyone from investors to visitors searching for different things like products, support etc.

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