February 9, 2008

Why do people put up with Windows?

Honestly, why do people put up with all the crap? It amazes me that anyone, especially laypersons, tolerate the headache that is Windows (or Vista, at least). 

This NYT article describes how a self-employed person working out of his home purchased a new Dell laptop for about $1500 and 72 hours later had to send it off to a local repair shop (because Dell customer service couldn't resolve his problem). The repair shop took an entire week to fix it (a software problem, not a hardware problem) and charged him $800--and the guy doesn't feel ripped off! He was quoted as saying, "I didn't begrudge paying the tab."

Is that how little people expect of technology today? It seems that nearly two decades of Windows dominance has actually conditioned people to have very low expectations for technology. Worse, I think it has actually taught most people to be afraid of their technology for fear they might break it!  Is that correctable? Or do we just let today's users be and focus rather on inspiring young learners to maintain their fearlessness?

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