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The time-tested and the trusted

By Jean-Claude Elias - Mar 05,2020 - Last updated at Mar 05,2020

While technology keeps moving on and up at increasingly high speed, and most of us, most of the time, try to follow the change, the time-tested, well-trusted products prove they are extremely popular and are still very much put to good use. Some people hold on to them until the very last breath of the products, that is until they are withdrawn from the market or they stop receiving technical support from their maker.

The market share that these “old” — all things being relative — items represent is far from being negligible. Just look at Microsoft Windows 7 system for example.

The company’s current version of its ruling operating system for small computers is Windows 10. It was introduced in 2015 and therefore is now in its sixth year of operation. One would think that by now its previous version, Windows 7, would be gone for good. Surprisingly (or maybe not), Win7 is still used by 29 per cent of the Windows base, according to Gregg Keizer from Computerworld.

The reason is simple: Win7 is fast, well tested, reliable and runs on a reasonable amount of resources when it comes to memory and processor. Most importantly, it is now in its 11th year! It is almost like a dear friend after such a long time. Those who have been satisfied with the system do not understand why they should dump it and move up to Win10. This is particularly true in businesses where large numbers of computers are running and where a change would represent a major financial investment and a time-consuming, exhausting re-learning process, sometimes without any justification.

The password is another “time-tested and trusted” tech item. There are countless reasons against using passwords, but perhaps as many in favour of using them, after all these years. The newer, smarter identification ways, mainly biometrics such as iris scan, fingerprints, face or voice recognition, are making significant progress and a large number of people have adopted them, but the good old password has not yet said its last word (no pun intended).

In a certain way passwords are like Win7 —people feel comfortable using them and they work all right in the end, despite imperfections and shortcomings.

And what to say when it comes to smartphones? Just think of the number of those whose device is more than three years old, despite better newer cameras and similar innovations. These are the majority of users. It is not only money that is preventing them from getting a newer handset, but also and perhaps mainly the fact that they have come to trust the equipment they have and that it has made its positive, strong impact on the market.

On the other hand, there are technology products that are different from everything else, that have an instant appeal from the very start, and that are therefore quickly adopted by the public. WhatsApp is a striking example and a perfect illustration of such products. With them there is no looking back, sticking to the old way, hesitating or waiting till they are well-tested.

For the vast majority of us WhatsApp was a case of love at first sight. To think that we’ve had it for almost ten years now! Statistics dating to seven months ago estimate that a mind-blowing 65 billion messages are exchanged on the celebrated mobile messenger application every day (cnet.com). Certainly nothing could be more “time-tested and trusted”.

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