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May 28, 2008

Xenocode Postbuild: Bad UI or Intentional Deception?

I've been looking at application virtualization products recently and I just keep getting more and more. Seriously, I'm just not `getting` this new business model of `Give us thousands of dollars for the tool AND give us a cut ( tens of dollars ) for every single client you deploy your application to. Seriously, there must be some real discounts out there somewhere if they really think and ISVs will spend boat loads of money just to virtualize their package instead of spending fractions of that to hire quality setup developers to create properly behaving MSI's.

But anyways, my real annoyance came when I was playing with Xenocode Postbuild. I downloaded the eval and went to virtualize a simple winforms app. I got a dialog saying I needed to activate ( which my firewall at work said HELL NO to ) but look at the color scheme:

I loaded this screenshot as 24bit uncompressed so you could see exactly what I see. Look at that cyan looking small point text. What the hell is that? I had to flood fill it to be able to read it:

This just seems sleazy to me and reinforces my perception that something just doesn't quite smell right in the virtualization market.


Dan said...

I don't know that I would call it sleazy, but they missed something in the QA process. Do you run your system with a custom desktop color configuration? If you are using a standard color configuration then that is their BAD.

In any case, I did not see anything in the text that indicates any type of sleazy subversive type of behavior. What I did see was poor UI and QA for their configuration UI.

Christopher Painter said...

Nope, just running XP with the default of... Blue :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris,

This is Kenji with Xenocode.

I promise there is nothing sleazy going on here -- just a bad color palette on XP. The secret text just lets you know that a couple fields are optional and that we don't sell your email address.

Also, for clarification, Postbuild does *not* have any per-end-user royalties.

Andy "What?" M-S said...

Never ascribe to malice what can be better explained by incompetence. I think I agree with Dan. And even if you could see the lettering, it seems sloppy to decorate the blanks with that info; wouldn't some kind of flyover tip be better?

Christopher Painter said...

Sleazy is probably the wrong word. I will say that I did have an instant feeling of `someones trying to get something by me` though since I couldn't ascertain what the text said.

I'm running standard XP themes so I don't know how this could have been ignored.

And yes, there are no per-seat royalties with Postbuild which is exactly why I was playing with this particular application instead of others.

Unknown said...

Whoa! I didn't have a clue! I am running 2 monitors in 32-bit color and didn't even notice those labels.

Anonymous said...

:O subliminal messages !!