Jeff Sandquist is making fun of me in email. Turns out that the user experience team here did a survey of Windows users and found that only 2% run their screens at a resolution of 1600×1200 or higher. That's the res I work at.
People come over to my screen and ask “how do you get anything done?” They think that small icons and small words are hard to read. I, on the other hand, can't understand how they get any work done. I want more things on the screen at the same time.
By the way, the older you are, the more likely you'll use low resolutions (and at 39 I grok that most people don't like high resolutions cause Windows really doesn't make it easy to adjust font and icon sizes on super high resolution screens). Eye strain probably plays a part here. But I think it's also cultural. I watch how kids work. They have 15 windows on the screen at one time. Some kids that Microsoft Research has studied have dozens of IM conversations going on at the same time. The best way to do that kind of thing is with a high-resolution screen (or multiple monitors).
When Jeff interviewed Pat Helland, he admitted not being able to keep up with his grandchildren's IM's. This isn't cause Pat isn't smart. It's not cause he doesn't understand computers. It isn't because he can't afford a high-resolution monitor. It's cultural and he admits it. He grew up in a time when people didn't have IM.
Anyway, they are making fun of me as an “edge case.” Yes, I am an edge case. But I've learned that today's edge case is tomorrow's mainstream user. Just ask the kids.
Or, ask Bill Hill, head of the typography division at Microsoft. He uses a 3500xsomething IBM monitor on his desk. I'm so jealous. [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]