Friday, July 9, 2010

Tech Inertia

I've composed a theory that I like to call "tech inertia", and it's that people usually don't move to other forms of tech unless their is a force acting on them to do so. Prime example? Operating systems. A ton of people move to Mac because they're "tired of viruses and crashing," or people update to the latest Windows version because Microsoft practically makes them by shipping it out on every new machine.

That's really why I haven't moved to Windows 7. People say "Why are you still using XP?" I haven't found a compelling reason to upgrade. Right now I have XP set up exactly the way I like it with all my favorite programs installed and everything runs almost exactly the way I want it. I know XP pretty well, and I've spent years using it so I feel comfortable. If I were to switch to 7, I have an impossible time believing that all of my programs would still work exactly as they do now, and I would be on a foreign system. Well not foreign, but different. Basically, I just see no benefit to switching, especially when 7 requires higher specs, leading me to believe it won't run as fast as my XP. Now right after my whole virus incident, I mentioned possibly switching to 7, since if my XP install was toasted, then there would be less inclination for me to stay on XP. But I did stay on XP, the whole scare just gave my tech inertia a little push in the subject of an alternative shell (bbLean).

The same goes with Linux. I've used Linux, I am ok with Linux, but I really have no reason to move to it as my primary OS. All of my programs work on Windows and if something breaks on XP, 9 times out of 10, I can fix it, even if it takes several hours or days. I'd say at least 50% of the problems I've had on Linux I've never been able to solve, often times because no one has been able to solve them. Some Linux people brag about the lack of viruses and such, but I'd actually rather have a Windows system on which I can fix all of the day-to-day bugs that might get a virus than a Linux system that can never get a virus but I'm always having problems with.
(All that is true, but the biggest reason I haven't switched to Linux is because I haven't found the "holy grail" of Linux distros, which I've been talking about alot recently.)

So anyway: tech inertia. It's the reason people (myself included) stick with the same web browser, mp3 player, and Operating System, because unless they have an outside force like money or instability of their current product, they won't change. It's not the most inspired original thought, but it does kind of put things in a tad bit of perspective. It's helpful to remember that if you're talking to someone who stubbornly uses IE instead of the other wonderful choices available, it's just tech inertia.

Not Bill Nye,

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