Sunday, October 08, 2006

MSN Video "Simplicity": Install 3 applications and we'll let you right in

It's no secret that online Microsoft websites often have problem with non IE browsers. But I was really surprised to see MSN Video Israel demanding so much from me when I first entered the site to watch a flick.

The Israeli MSN Video version requires the user to: (free translation from Hebrew) "verify" that his computer "complies with the requirements" and then click the "activate MSN Video link. The problem is, in my opinion, that if the user actually installs those applications, he'll be forced to reboot his computer and won't be able to click this link. Not to mention the fact that the video he originally came to see will be forgotten, surely it's URL will be lost.

MSN Video in English has a different screen, but I'm not sure which is worse. This version suggest 3 simple steps. If this is Microsoft's idea for simplicity, someone clearly has a problem. The site even goes further by suggesting a tour! they're trying to convince me it just might be worth it to download and install this stuff.

The whole point of services like YouTube is leveraging software users already have installed and making it dead-easy to share media on the web. MSN Video clearly demands too much from new users.

This is clearly not the way to compete in the online video space.

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