What Is A Browser

22 Giu/09

When I worked in tech support I really had to be careful about words. Things like web browsers, the operating system’s name or even keys on the keyboard might feel natural to experienced computer users but they did confuse the hell out of the average user. Many did not know what the web browser was, could not say the name or version of their operating system or find the enter key on their keyboard. It was highly frustrating but one gets used to “baby-talking” them into revealing the information needed to do the job.

It was a funny time back then especially considering that these inexperienced users where doing some highly sensitive stuff on the Internet including Internet banking.

Google, the makers of the Google Browser, went to Time Square, New York to find out the answer to the question “What is a browser”. They asked 50 random people on the street and the results reminded me of the time I worked in tech support.

Here are some top answers:

  • A search engine
  • A website that you can search on
  • A browser is when you know what you are looking for and a search engine is when you search something
  • A way to get on

Many tech users have a hard time adjusting to this. Not that they have to at all times as it depends on their audience. A room full of tech savvy users will use terms like browsers, network, internet all the time. Many non-tech savvy people just use. They do not care how it is called or what else you can do with it. They simply want to perform the two or three basic tasks that they want to do with a computer and that’s it.

What’s your experience?

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