Ending Up with Windows: The Default

Microsoft has gained a lot of traction by aggressively making sure that itis easy to just accept Windows as the default. Why and when one should do that is a very good question, asked by The Register.

"Itis amazing how many people who have Microsoft Windows everywhere look flummoxed when asked whether Windows is their "standard" for desktop computing," Dale Vile wrote.

The reason is that the person asked never really thought about proactively selecting Windows as their "standard." They just fell into it by default.

Various vendors have discovered this when trying to compete with Microsoft. Once Windows got a lead on every other competitor, Windows became the pervasive default action. Even IBM recognizes this, according to the author, "IBMis latest Sametime unified communications solution is designed to integrate seamlessly into a Microsoft as well as Lotus environment on the basis that it isnit likely to convert the world from Exchange and Outlook to Domino and Notes any time soon."

The tricky part for a business is knowing when it makes sense to stop and think about change. If they can.

Unfortunately, businesses are often deluged with legal requirements, competition, and new internal systems and seldom have the time to think about proactive change from Windows, even if theyid like to. So they accept the default.

TMO notes that scientists, on the other hand, have a mentality that the obvious answer isnit always the right answer. As a group, they are paid to stop and think about alternatives -- which may be why Macs are so popular with scientists.