From the BBC by Bill Thompson
By trying to sell computers as intuitive and obvious, as requiring no special skill to pick up or use, we are giving every new user a model of IT that cannot sustain their long-term use.
It is as if we told sixteen year olds that once they can drive a dodgem car at the fair they are safe to go out on the roads, because they can pick things up as they go along.
The disaster of Windows security is certainly Microsoft's fault, as for too many years they concentrated on usability at the expense of user safety.
But it is also our fault too, for not being willing to engage with our computers as complex environments that require constant attention, where our skills must be developed over time and where learning never really stops.
Sending out e-mails with everyone on the To: list is embarrassing, but it also reveals a much deeper malaise and one that we all need to address.
Yes, make computers easier to use, experiment with new interfaces like the radical approach taken on the XO model from the One Laptop Per Child project, and offer simpler and more intuitive interfaces where they are useful.
Strangely enough Apple, who focus more than most on ease of use in their advertising, also do a very good job of offering one-to-one hand-holding for new Mac users.
It is time to stop pretending that ordinary users will not need to apply themselves carefully to learn how to use these powerful systems effectively. We need to make sure that the necessary training and advice is provided when and where it is needed.