by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/08/03 09:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/08/03/687472.aspx
It does not always pay to be clear and unambiguous. Sometimes, the lack of clarity can be helpful....
Here is an example of this.
If you have not installed Vista, you can probably see many of the screen shots of the installation process in the various betas. One of the early dialogs looks something like this (you can find this and various permutations on the internet):
Basically you get a choice of installation language, formats, and keyboard layout.
It causes an interesting problem, truth be told -- because previously the actual keyboard layout name was hidden from everyone other than the few people who opened up the Language Bar settings dialog (shown here on XP):
So previously, most people (starting in XP) would only ever see the language and would never see the layout. Because the act of setting the user locale would add a keyboard layout. And the Language Bar would usually only show the language.
For example if you changed your system locale to Dutch, you would have a keyboard added that looked like Dutch according to the Language Bar. But secretly, it was installing something very different (which you can see if you look at that settings dialog):
US International? Huh?
It's true. The fact is that few people like the "Dutch" keyboard. The differences get pretty substantial in short order if you look at them side by side:
Anyway, if you look at various sites on the web like this one, you'll see what I mean. Of course as far as I can tell, the "United States (International)" keyboard is not that well thought of either, but it is in most cases considered better than the Dutch one.
But think back to the XP situation -- most people don't realize it.
So what happens in this new setup UI in Vista? Suddenly they see "United States (International)" for the keyboard, and assume that this is some kind of US Imperialism feature added to Vista, and a clear regression since the keyboard always used to claim to be Dutch.
You can see it here, with a sort of pseudo locale sort of thing going on as well:
And the obvious question that the person is asking -- why is this keyboard my default all of the sudden? Even if they simply never realized it was their default all along....
So the new and arguably clearer UI in setup is hoist by its own petard -- the very attempt to provide clarity has revealed an issue that was previously well-served by the obfuscation of the platform!
Ah well, it will be knowledge, which is power. And people throughout the Netherlands (and other places) will learn this lesson, within zero to one calls to product support.
And this is (in my humble opinion) a bug, or at least a small design flaw in the new, clearer UI.
I'd argue that we should tell people about this to avoid paying for the support call, but of course if we tell them then they don't need to call.
Maybe someone in PSS could put in a Vista KB article that calls it a bug? :-)
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# Ruben on 3 Aug 2006 3:47 PM:
# Mike Dimmick on 4 Aug 2006 8:52 AM:
# dmanchester on 4 Aug 2006 4:09 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on 4 Aug 2006 4:18 PM:
# dmanchester on 4 Aug 2006 4:43 PM:
# Michael S. Kaplan on 4 Aug 2006 4:44 PM:
2006/08/16 Walking off the end of the eighth bit
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