Saturday, July 14, 2012

Microsoft misuses psychology to make IE users apply its Microsoft-friendly "recommended" settings

In Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft has gone a step further in wickedly using human psychology in order to make more users choose the so-called recommended settings [which are in fact more Microsoft-friendly than user-friendly]. Two things come to my mind:
  1. "Don't use recommended settings": How alarming and unfriendly does this sentence sound? Quite a lot, at least to the average user. There you go. Instead of saying something like let me choose my own settings, when IE says something as alarming as it says in version 9, it's logical that most average users will not choose the second setting and instead feel safe in choosing the first one.
  2. Clubbing a Microsoft-friendly setting with a user-friendly setting: Instead of giving separate checkboxes for SmartScreen and Compatibility View, Microsoft has clubbed them into a single recommended settings banner. Obviously, when presented with only 2 radio buttons, out of which one sounds alarming and the other sounds nice and safe, most users will end up choosing the first one, and Microsoft's objective of harvesting users' URLs will be served! If a user wants to choose only Compatibility View [and not SmartScreen], he doesn't have any option here, and he'll most likely choose the first option.

1 comment:

  1. Today [25-Oct-14] I thought about the second point in the above blog post [about clubbing], and realized that this is what happens with bills in the US Congress - one is attached to the other to make them both pass.