Sabtu, 18 Desember 2010

User Familiarity != Software Superiority

Most anyone that has really used Linux, on the desktop, in the last few years knows that it is ready for the average user. The same is true for a number of other open source projects. Many FOSS projects are on-par with (or better than) their closed source counter parts when it comes to the number of features and functionality. Why is it then that FOS softwares are (typically) less commonly used by the general public? Simple:

User Familiarity

It is the sad fact that in our current society (mostly) only closed source softwares are used (and taught) in schools - at least in the US. This fact, combined with the resistance to change that is inherit to most people, means people are more inclined to click on that big blue E when going to surf the Internet as opposed to my favorite fox. Many users simply use the software that comes pre-installed on their computer or what is recommended by the sale's person. For example Microsoft Office.

In many FOSS vs Closed Source project comparisons I have seen to date this "user familiarity" is often referenced as a point of "software superiority". Not only is this a flawed form of logic, but it is really borderline FUD. The familiarity the users have with a given piece software is not something that they where born with (or was even developed over night). It is something they learned over an (often extended) period of time.

Do you think a time will ever come when users will realize that just because you know how to use a piece of software doesn't automatically make it the best software for completing the task at hand?

~Jeff Hoogland

Tidak ada komentar:

Posting Komentar