Note: The article at “AptiQuant” referred to for this story is probably a hoax. See this article at BBC News. Then compare the AptiQuant “team” with the team at Central Test based in France. A look at the domain record for the AptiQuant site shows an address that does not appear to exist. In my opinion, this was a pretty good hoax. But it does mean my conclusions below are now just based on my own observations and suspicions since we have to toss out the hoax. One comment to my article here did point out a different site with IQ results: http://www.iqleague.com/group/smartest-browser-and-os Thanks for that!
This is priceless. A recent article at Fox News (Internet Explorer Users Are Dumber, Study Shows) points out that a study by AptiQuant shows users of the web browsers Camino, Chrome, Chrome Frame, Firefox, Opera and Safari scored higher on IQ testing than most users of versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. A follow-up article at AptiQuant states that some Microsoft Internet Explorer users are threatening to sue AptiQuant. That latter fact just proved AptiQuant’s point I think.
I read the PDF from the AptiQuant site, you can get your own copy here, and noticed that the respondents to their study were self-selecting. People found the AptiQuant test while searching for IQ tests on the WWW and chose to take the test themselves. This of course leaves out the millions of people who were not looking for web sites to test their IQ. It is possible that those looking for an IQ test are on average more intellegent than those who are not. But that is just my personal suspicion. I have nothing I can use to back that suspicion. In any case a sample of 100,000+ people is a decent sample.
Part of the conclusion of this study states:
The study showed a substantial relationship between an individual’s cognitive ability and their choice of web browser. From the test results, it is a clear indication that individuals on the lower side of the IQ scale tend to resist a change/upgrade of their browsers. This hypothesis can be extended to any software in general, however more research is needed for that, which is a potential future work as an extension to this report.
This suggests to me that Microsoft users who refuse to move from a Microsoft operating system to something else may be in the less intelligent group. I think that is more than likely. My anecdotal evidence for this is I know several people who moved away from Microsoft to Linux in the past few years. As I know these people personally I can state with confidence that all of them are rather intelligent people. I did not test their IQ, but I have had extended conversations with these people on substantial subjects. Without exception each of these people I know personally have sharp minds and can “hold their own” in discussions on a number of subjects. Many of the people I know who refuse to leave Microsoft for something better tend to be those who also keep getting malware infections that my company is called upon to clean up. Does this scientifically prove that Microsoft users are statistically “dumber” than Linux users? Nope. But it does show to me that those people I know personally who have moved away from Microsoft to Linux are smarter in some respects than those I know who insist on using Microsoft systems and software.
That said, I do show three examples below where the users moved from Linux back to Microsoft. None of these people are “dumb”. Everyone else I know who switched to Linux as a user has been relatively content and, based on my anecdotal evidence, quite smart.
One of the people who moved from Linux back to Microsoft is a smart fellow who worked for NASA during the 1960′s and helped plan the first moon landing. He is not a “computer guy” and had long been a user of Microsoft based systems starting with IBM PC-DOS in the 1980′s. But he can do calculus in his head, which I cannot do, so he is not dumb by any stretch of the imagination. He just did not enjoy having to find and learn new software to do what he wanted on Linux. He does have a Linux VM running on top of his Microsoft OS so he still dabbles with Linux. But he is generally a Microsoft user again.
Another fellow that switched from Linux back to Microsoft has failing health and is on medication that impairs his ability to think and communicate. The change from Microsoft to Linux was therefore quite frustrating for him with the differences he encountered. He really needed familiarity to be able to do what he wanted with his PC, so he reverted back to Microsoft which was the right move for him.
The other people I know who moved from Linux to Microsoft did so because they run a small business that does much of its selling through eBay. We all know eBay is in the back pocket of Microsoft for some reason and has made it difficult to easily use some features of eBay with anything other than a Microsoft based system. Being on Linux made using these eBay features they needed either very difficult or impossible. So they moved back to Microsoft. However, these folk disliked having to use Microsoft so much they recently switched again and are now using Apple based systems for their business. I hope they are not similarly frustrated by eBay in their move to Apple. Time will tell.
In conclusion, I will be very interested to see a similar study done that takes into account the operating systems used. The quote above from the PDF document by AptiQuant states this may be done in the future. If that is done and released to the public, I suspect that we will find a similar pattern of IQ results based on the operating system used as well.
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