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Where balloons come from

You may be one of the people who, like me, wonders why more and more crap from Microsoft makes use of the face-stabbingly-irritating tan balloons that pop up from the Windows XP system tray in the lower right corner of the screen. These balloons inform you of critical information like:

  • You haven't participated in the survey yet!

  • A new piece of hardware was found! Nothing can be done about this fact!

  • Your wireless networking alert level for the next 30 seconds is: Orange

  • Your caps lock is not on!

  • Your computer is constantly out of date! Throw it away!
And so on. Well, it turns out that THIS is where they come from. My favorite part is where the author (who is apparently part of MSDN) unironically refers to the text that you would choose to put into the necessarily transient little balloons as "your important message."

Heartening footnote: Since this is a blog entry, the comments following it are filled with vitriolic spew about how stupid the little bubbles are. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who thinks they're awful.

Less heartening footnote: There are Microsoft employees who post vitriolic replies of their own defending the balloon, and saying that it isn't distracting. You can't more literally not listen to your users than that.

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The views expressed on this site are mine personally, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.