Laziness, Ignorance or WTF

How pretty are your 3rd party windows icons? Here is a screenshot of some of my desktop icons rendered in ‘large’ mode.

Bunch of icons on a purple backgroundCan you notice something? The Microsoft Icons (XPS File, Folder, Trash, IE and ZUNE) are all perfectly rendered. Most of the ‘upper class’ 3rd party icons like Firefox and Skype are perfectly rendered too. However the rest of the icons such as:

  • Dropbox
  • Flash Builder
  • Air Video Server
  • Putty
  • MagicDisk
  • MySQL Administrator
  • uTorrent

… are all puny. I can sympathize for the freeware software such as putty and uTorrent. Infact im not ranting against them. The other commercially backed software such as Dropbox, Adobe Flash Builder, MySQL Administrator (backed by Oracle) have no excuse. They are making my desktop along with billions of other peoples desktops ugly!

But, what is really happening here? Are there lazy developers that are not pushing for better icons? Are the majority of windows users ignorant of their icons so Project Managers of these applications just don’t consider spending time and money on the icon very important?

Digging a little deeper, Dropbox surely could have a high-resolution icon. After all, the Mac OSX version of Dropbox has a nice big 512×512 resolution icon. But why doesn’t windows? I think its a simple case of Dropbox not being able to give it a high resolution icon because they are using a old version of some framework (probably designed for XP). The applications that run on Java (or at-least i suspect they do) Adobe Flash Builder, Air Video Server and MySQL administrator all probably come under this category. For those 3 we can blame Oracle (shakes fist in air violently).

Last week, Apple launched the Mac AppStore. I suspect that the increased competition between similar apps on the AppStore will inevitable make OSX Applications prettier. After all, its the first impression that counts. Is this a problem that Microsoft hopes to fulfill with the rumored release of a ‘Application Marketplace’ in Windows 8? Only time will tell!

Why do you think my desktop is so ugly? Is it Laziness, Ignorance or WTF? Lets discuss this in the comments!

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