I'm am more sympathetic to *some* situations than to others

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/09/24 13:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/09/24/768773.aspx

You wouldn't think that being involved in software development would mean that one was involved in politics.

But then of course it turns out one would often be wrong, in that case. :-)

So let me see, situation #1 has to do with the way Windows Activation works if you have no Internet connectivity. You are given the opportunity to dial a call center that will walk you through the activation. By default the choices you are given will be for nearby call centers based on information you may have given about where you are.

Looks good so far, right?

Ok, now think about whether it may occur to you if there are any areas in world where a call center, even if nearby, may not be where you really wish to call. Like, whether or not you are okay with a place being there, you just wouldn't want to have to call such a place.

I'll give you a hint: if one is in Jerusalem, one may not necessarily want to call into the West Bank, or vice versa. Or at least not see it as the first choice.

Correcting such a situation seems very reasonable (in practice it can sometimes be more complicated than other times); even as people work to make such changes in this area, hopefully if any minor issues that manage to pop up here over time people will recognize that they don't have to call such a number, and forgive it. And this would be true in both directions, I would hope. There does not need to be limits on reasonable behavior on either side. If you know what I mean.

Of course one may also be able to imagine people not liking particular entries in the location list of the user interface like this one:

or this one:

or any of the other various entries, any one of which may contain one or more large or small groups of people who would like to see it removed from the list.

But to be honest I am a bit less sympathetic to this point of view, for really any country, region, location, or other on this list. I mean given Windows is a worldwide product, as long as someone, somewhere may be interested in choosing one of the 261 entries in the list that has its own GEOID in Vista, then it is allowed to be there.

With that said, Microsoft did learn the lesson about borders on the time zone map. But we had to draw the line at generic lists like this one....


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Charles Bocock on 25 Sep 2006 6:51 AM:

The timezone borders feature was excellent, it's such a shame politics got in the way.

I notice someone has linked back to that borders article with the headline "One feature Windows 95 had that Vista won't"!

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