Smart Users Don't Want "Smart" Software sign now

It can be understood that there are many out there who are still new to the concept of personal computers, and even more who are less than experienced at using them. There seems to be a trend in recent operating systems and programs, namely Windows 98 to XP, Microsoft Office, and others of the like, in which the application seems to assume that the user is completely inept. They hold the user's hand, attempting to walk them step-by-step through whatever the application's often misled programming assumes the user wants to do.
This is fine, assuming the user is a complete novice and needs it. However, many users are actually learning how to use computers, often reaching levels that can be described as experienced, advanced, or expert. These users are subjected to the same hand-holding walkthroughs and tips, even if this impedes them. Users may often find a program feels that it knows what the user wants more than he or she does. This kind of user will be frequently annoyed that their "Control Panel" in Windows has been reduced to a series of pretty pictures and wizards, or be disgusted when a warning pops up every time they wish to view or change a system file. Sometimes built-in functions hinder security, such as allowing files to be "hidden" or write-protected by Windows, which malicious software may exploit. Productivity is often hindered when a user is attempting to format a document, and sees ugly formatting being applied outside their control right before their eyes. Having to stop and correct the "corrections" a program makes is in no way helpful.

We, the undersigned request that software developers, especially Microsoft and other OS developers, recognize that not all users want their software to think for them, and that "smart" software can often be a hindrance. We request that an option be added that allows a user to choose an option that tells the OS or application "Yes, I'm an expert, I know what I'm doing. No, really, I do." We would like to select this option and see the following:

- Less "Wizards" used as a first resort.
But let them be available.

- No more hidden options and features.

- No more hidden files.

- More advanced settings.
Give more control to the user.

- The ability to view and edit critical data easily.
Hosts files, BHO's, etc.

- The ability to disable functions and applications the user may deem unnecessary.

- Less focus-stealing by trivial applications.
Displaying a message is fine, as long as it doesn't kill the current application, override control, or steal one's cursor, and as long as it can be disabled and prevented from displaying again. Permanently.

- Warnings ONLY for critical information.
Low physical memory, OS Kernel errors.

- "Critical" problems NOT bringing the entire system to a full halt.
A temporary pause and prompt instead of a BSOD or instantaneous restart.

- No more cute "assistants" such as The Office Paperclip, Windows XP Search Puppy, etc.

- More customization.
Allow the user to edit the interface, context menus, etc.

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Charity McculloughBy:
Entertainment and MediaIn:
Petition target:
Software Developers

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