Why the Luxury Web idea wasn’t destined to work, and more questions than answers.
There’s nothing like a good talking to by Zeldman to make you reconsider your ideas in a real hurry.
Right on the money as always, he draws parallels to the Apple ‘Switch’ campaign. If they’re not having luck, given their marketing budget and that they cater to an audience who responds enthusiastically, then a loosely gathered group of volunteers trying to lure people away from their current browsers won’t make much of a dent.
It’s tempting to call this particular comparison apples and oranges. Switching or upgrading an Operating System requires a hell of a lot more commitment and money to upgrade apps, not to mention the difficulty in rollbacks if things go awry. In reality, the scope is different but the underlying mindset is the same. “This is what I use. It’s what I’m comfortable with. Leave me alone.”
I believe he’s dead on about browsers: the end user really can’t care less about which browser they run. Which is why the Luxury Web concept focused on selling features, rather than selling browsers. But since, as Zeldman points out, this is precisely what others have tried and failed, then even that rudimentary thinking on the subject must be flawed.
My original thought was a reaction. It was a ‘well we can’t just sit here and take it, we have to do something!’ The percentage of the population that fails to vote each election have no right to complain about their elected leaders if they don’t speak up when they have the chance; it was my attempt at voting.
So what do we do now? No one but Microsoft is going to be content with letting the situation stand. Rapid evolution and occasional revolution have been a given in the computer industry for decades. When they slow down, we react. It happened last time; it will happen again. The question is: how?
And just for the sake of having it out there one more time, I don’t, in fact, think we’re in that bad of a spot right now. “…be thankful we’re even this far. Being stuck with IE6 for the next 7 years is way better than being stuck with NN4.” It could always be worse.