RIM Steals Microsoft's Stolen Apple Designer to Create "New Experience" -- VistaBerry Cometh?

No, we're not talking about Bono. Sigh. We're talking about Don Lindsay, who was, according to Apple Insider:

Design Director of the Mac OS User Experience Group, he led what was called the "Mac OS X interface concept project" and directed the design team responsible for the user experience of Mac OS X 10.0 "Cheetah" through Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther," which included the company's first-generation of iLife digital lifestyle applications.

From there he was hired away by Microsoft to create -- wait for it! -- Vista. More specifically, AERO Glass, Flip3D, and Windows Calendar. Redmond start your copiers, indeed.

So what do you get if you copy a copy? Aside from artifacts and banding galore, RIM's new VP of user experience, it seems. There's only one problem with this, of course, and it should be obvious to RIM or to anyone who's seen Vista or the Star Wars prequels.

Great artists need great editors. The best kindergarten teachers know when to pull the paper away from the kids. Steve Jobs is a great editor, a great kindergarten teacher. Word is he would scrutinize the UI down to the pixel level.

Hiring the guy who was already hired away by the other guy doesn't give you the iPhone. It gives you the Storm. And RIM already learned how that worked out. Vista on the Storm... Good luck with that.

If you'd like a better idea, instead of trying to get the guy Microsoft got from Apple, and trying to dupe the dupe that is Vista, find someone new. Find something new...

Think different!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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RIM Steals Microsoft's Stolen Apple Designer to Create "New Experience" -- VistaBerry Cometh?

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But everyone keeps saying apple will always be apple even if steve jobs stops being involved in the day to day of apple

Forget the artist-editor relationship for a second. Let's be realistic. With the iPhone and iPod UI this guy had to OSX to work off of. Going to RIM he's going to be using RIM's Blackberry OS. One is a proven, industrial strength OS based on UNIX and the other is capable and has legacy code going back to 1995. However, the difference is that with Apple he was creating new code and could do whatever he wanted and with RIM he'll have to add new and eliminate the old. The latter is not going to be simple because a lot of the old code is supporting something in the install base.
So at some point RIM is likely going to make a Pre-like jump to something new that one set of products will be using. Now the question is do they follow the Palm lead and have some products on the legacy OS at a lower price point and some on the new at a premium price point. Or do they even care because the cash cow is email and messaging?

The real challenge Don will face is not the legacy code. It will be the legacy culture. At Apple people get UX is important. Too bad most other companies won't let UX people do what needs to be done to create great products and services. Heck, most of them still don't get what UX is for that matter. They key here is focus and discipline not pixie dust or black turtle neck sweaters.