Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cost of switching

I am certainly not the first to make this observation, nor will I be the last. Switching from something that works OK to something that works a bit better probably won't happen. Huge generalization, yes. But we are mostly lazy and if switching requires lots of effort, we won't do it.
What brought this home? I was given an iPad by my employer (well loaned actually). I already have a Motorola Xoom whose quirks I am finally used to.
The iPad is gorgeous. The screen is crystal clear, the rendering spot on, the speed of response to user actions is great, the battery life seems to be wonderful. So why haven't I switched?
There could be several reasons:
  • Switching makes me admit I bought the wrong device
  • Switching requires me to relearn the User Experience
  • Switching means giving up some features in return for others
  • Switching means giving yet another big brother some basic information about me
  • Switching is work!
There isn't a single compelling reason to switch. Sure if I had not bought the Xoom, and was just starting the tablet journey, I might well buy the iPad. But having a device already means that I have to overcome some inertia. How much inertia? In this case a lot. The Xoom does pretty much what I want, so I am getting little more valuable functionality in response to the cost (of my time) that I put into the switching. While the iPad is an emotional purchase, it hasn't stimulated my emotions enough to want to part with the Xoom.

That and while I thought the Xoom soft keyboard was poor, the iPad one is hideous by comparison. Shift keys for each number? And we are told to have letters and numbers in passwords. It's too bloody difficult

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