So, it wasn't so surprising that when I saw Last.fm app offering on my XBox I clicked, installed, and immediately had all my beloved stations - Ya Habibi - on my Xbox. And from this simple experience, I have gathered several interesting insights.
First, that game consoles are becoming like the iPad (hey, it's Pad, not Fad) devices, and vice versa. The process of getting a Last.fm station was strikingly familiar to iPhone app installations. Select -> Install -> Run -> That's it. Hmm, and where is the keyboard? yes, the lack of a real one is also a surprising similarity. Oh, and what about the one-app-at-a-time concept? Wait a minute! there's something here. What's going on?
What has been going on is the second interesting fact. The Back To Basics movement has been with us for some time now. Operating systems, applications, and more than all, programming teams around the industry have started to focus again on Computer Science 101 - improving performance - and, God Forbid, on dropping features. Here, we see even a stronger tread backward: back to single-tasking operating system, back to primitive input devices, back to focus.
But this is only natural. And natural is the keyword here. Some of the user-facing people understood, finally, that computers has become too complicated. If not for us, then for our mothers. And it is our mothers, our girlfriends, and our kids, that they want to get a new market slice from. And for them, focus is one. They know, that they cannot drink and drive: they cannot multi-task. They can only do one thing at a time. They don't need 102 keys on the keyboard, if they only want to listen to some cool music. Just like when they flocked to google.com, it relaxes them - and me too - to see a single user interface control on screen. Simpler is super.
All of this is just another chapter in the inevitable journey of the PC from the home office into the living room. You have to make it friendly. Like the charm of the bourgeoisie, it is simply -- convenient. Simply friendly. As Nagat sings: Shabna, Shababna. Our friends, our youth. Friends must come easy -- and simple.