I recently bought a new laptop, a Lenovo T61, at work. At home, I use HP Pavilion zv5000. Thanks to software supremacy, starting to work on a new laptop is normally a pretty smooth and easy process with a negligible learning curve. But it just happened that Lenovo and HP for some reason decided to switch the places of control key and function key on their laptops, i.e. where HP decided to out the control key, Lenovo decided to put the function key and vice versa. Along with that, the two keyboards have different placement of almost all keys other than the letters and numbers on the QWERTY keyboard. These different placement of keys on the keyboard has made working on these two laptops considerably frustrating.
There must be some really good reason for these companies to design their laptop keyboards and key placements as they did. Each one of them must have spent in millions to research and develop the best possible key placement. The important thing to notice is, normally we never buy a laptop because we like the key placement on the keyboard of the laptop. There are half a dozen other differentiating factors we consider before buying a laptop like price, battery life, size, weight and so on. So why not standardize this relatively unnoticed thing and make the end user’s life easier?
Interestingly, the same thing happened with me when I switched my cell phone from HTC Dash to MOTO Q. Though the frustration here was considerably less because I don’t use the keyboard that often and I made a switch rather than trying to use both everyday, but the same argument makes sense here as well (till we are not on all touch phones), why not standardize?