Easy mode for XP

German Eee PC site Eee PC News has released Easy Mode XP, an application launcher designed for Eee PCs running Windows XP. The application looks nearly identical to the Easy Mode interface Asus designed for the Eee PC. But the Asus software runs on Xandros Linux and is kind of tricky to customize (unless you use some third party software). Easy Mode XP, on the other hand is incredibly easy to customize.

You'll need Microsoft's .net Framework 2.0 in order to run Easy Mode XP. The first time you run the application you'll be presented with a series of tabs, but each will be empty. You can add applications and icons by clicking on the icon editor. Just select the location of the file you want to run, give it a name, and choose an icon. The developers have been kind enough to create a group of icons for common Windows applications.

And it's also much easier to switch between Easy Mode and "full desktop mode" in XP, because Easy Mode is basically just an application running on top of Windows XP. Clicking the full desktop mode button just minimizes the interface.

Honestly, I'm not quite sure why anyone would want this utility. It's pretty cool that you can mimic the Eee PC's Linux interface in Windows. But if you're running Windows on your Eee PC right now, it's safe to assume you installed it yourself, which means you're probably pretty comfortable with a start menu, taskbar, and other Windows XP doohickeys. Easy Mode was really designed for people who didn't have a lot of experience with computers and people who didn't want to learn about Linux. Neither is true of the folks who are installing XP on the Eee PC.

Now, I did read something about Asus preparing their own Easy Mode for Windows XP that may be included with future Eee PC models that will ship with Windows preloaded. But again, I would assume the goal is to create an attractive interface for people who don't have a lot of experience with traditional computers.

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe the appeal of the easy mode is the large icons which are easy to read on a small screen. But as simple as Easy Mode XP is, I just don't see a reason to use it.


Macandron (Jonas Lindström) said...

I certainly see the potential of this application. If we don't limit ourselves to the Eee PC but consider newbie PC users worldwide; won't this help the elderly and other non-technically inclined people use their XP machines?

When a situation comes up that requires some function outside of the Easy Mode interface, you can just minimize the application and do it the "hard way". But really, this might help a lot of people in their daily computer use.

PsyKi said...

I don't know about this.

I have eeXubuntu, and the default Xandros on my EEE.
And well, I use the Easy mode more often, even though you could see me as an advanced user.

It's just ...
When you buy an EEE pc, it's either because you're a gadget freak, or because you want an easy pc to perform all of your daily tasks.

It's not meant to game, to do graphical design, video editing, nor for working on 8 hours a day.

Most users will use it just for browsing the web, checking their emails, ... and it's perfect for that.
I don't see why one would desperately need Windows XP on it. (note that I'm a Windows/Mac user, not some linux fanboy)
i just don't see the point in installing an OS on my EEE pc, that costs half of the pc itself, for doing basic tasks you can just as well do in easy mode, which is free.

Windows XP isn't designed for 7" screens, or battery performance, or for an SSD drive (less write times), Easy mode is.
If this would be a windows pc, I'd see why you'd like an easy mode there.
But well, as far as the easy mode goes, you can do all that stuff on Linux too, most users won't even see the difference (the default theme is even a copy of Windows XP Silver.)

While I'd prefer a Windows desktop over a linux desktop, the EEE pc is a whole different thing, and I really don't see the reason for an XP on it...

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