Frustration. That’s the word to describe what it can be like to be a Windows Insider.
Awesome! Another word to describe what it is like to be a Windows Insider.
The two words are, generally, not used at the same time to describe the experience.
Recently, however, that was, in fact, the case.
As an Insider, when Microsoft introduces new features or changes to Windows and asks the Insiders to bang away, we trust that the feature we are asked to go test is, you know, actually there. Such was the case, very recently, when new features were added to the Photos app in Windows 10. Microsoft made a huge deal out of the new features: ability to create a sharp video out of video clips and photos. It could pair it the right music and will have the ability to inject 3D objects that could interact with the objects in the video. It looked spectacular. But, as it was to be an early release, not all features would be immediately available. As it turned out, many insiders didn’t get the new features at all. See, what Microsoft failed to reveal was that a subset of Insiders were prevented-so the story goes-from getting the new stuff, on purpose, to serve as a ‘control’. Now, why they needed this ‘A/B’ test is beyond me. I could see it for, say, different file systems–see who it worked on better, compared to a control population, but not for a feature so prominently featured in the BUILD 2017 conference. It was covered by all of the tech press and non-tech press. One would think they would want maximum coverage. It is a cool feature. But, no. Microsoft saw fit to hold it back from many, including myself. For reasons I don’t yet understand. We were able to get the new bits, after emailing a request, signing a eula and waiting. A really nice, and patient, young lady helped through the ridiculous exercise. I finally got the features almost a week later. I was beginning to think it was bogus and only a few journalists had received it. This is yet another example of Microsoft’s inability to capitalize on anything. While the features are pretty good, the experience is sub par because of what I had to go through.
So, that was the frustration part.
The more I use the new features, though, the second word comes into play. Simply put, the new features are awesome with the best still to come. The slickness of the resulting video is striking and the ability for the application to pull out snippets of video is just cool. So, once I did get the new bits, the awesomness took over.
While the resulting goodness of the new Photos app is clear, and I appreciate the help the young lady provided while trying to get the new bits, it does not excuse the bait and switch that Microsoft subjected us to, nor does the lame excuse they gave. Seriously? An ‘a/b’ test on a PHOTOS app? Really?