In which I am Upgraded, whether I like it or not

On Jan 31, your account will be automatically upgraded to the more modern, secure and faster version of My Yahoo.

Words that strike terror into the heart of the user. Software development groups everywhere like to tinker and tinker and tinker until the user interface is so unrecognisable that everyone gives up and goes away.

I have whinged before about what Six Apart managed to do to their Vox blogging platform. And Microsoft has managed to do a real number on the laptop market by releasing Windows 8, a product that deviated too far from the perfectly serviceable Windows 7. Sure the Start menu was getting pretty cumbersome, but the radical redesign of the look and feel in Windows 8 represents the sort of baby with the bathwater solution that can really piss off users. I’m reluctantly using Windows 8 and I do not love it. If I’d wanted to enter the mobile, apps-based, touch screen world I would have bought a tablet. I can see that the operating system is tidier and cleaner, but the user interface is anything but. A splash screen full of useless things (it’s basically a giant ad for the apps store) sits between the user and the desktop, and once you get to the desktop all the useful things are hidden away in odd corners and require quite a bit of mucking around to track down.

I’ve used Yahoo as my home page for more than a decade and I would be a bit lost without it. I can only hope that it hasn’t fallen prey to the tinkering just because we can disease.

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