What is a browser? Shocking!!!

For the first 30 seconds of the video, I thought I was watching some farmers from a remote district in the remote Northern Region of Ghana. I actually had to look hard to see the really shiny buildings behind them to know this was the US. The video below was a random sampling of people by a Googler to find out what browsers they use. The answers were stunning.

Watching the video, questions began to creep in my mind as well as some fog getting cleared. I now know why Apple’s iPad was a hit on the day it went on sale. I also know why proprietary software is dominant across the technological spectrum. Then the question of how Open Source Software developers view their end users jumps to the fore of my imagination.

Generally speaking, the people in the video are those in the majority of end users of all applications, whether proprietary or otherwise. This then begs the question of how to imagine/view your end users. Should you view them as those in the video or assume they are people who are interested in the nitty-gritty of what you are developing? Do these people actually vindicate Ubuntu’s strategy of making Linux usable for such people even if it involves the use of some proprietary elements?

Alas, this short video raises more questions in my mind than answers. Questions that have no clear cut answers but would still need answering at some point in time in the Open Source community. For the time being, please do check out the video and have a hearty laugh. The video deserves it.

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