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Most people I know never called that a file-browser in the first place. It was just "my files", as if the files were things in their own right that just appeared on screen. OS vendors have played into that, with icon labels that say "My Documents" or "All my files". It's to their advantage to not let anyone know that there's a separate program that sits on top of the filesystem to show the contents of the filesystem. Most people don't care how things work as long as they work.

For that matter, I know a number of folks who don't know what a web browser is either. It's just "The Internet", thanks to Microsoft's marketing, or "the Googles", thanks to Google's. When I used to read Google user feedback, it was amazing how many people thought that anything that happened online or offline due to a Google Search was Google's fault - we'd get feedback like "The plumber came 2 hours late...I want my money back!"




Yeah, the idea of a "file browser" as an application separate from the OS is just not something most people have ever gotten. The file browser is just "Windows" or whatever, just part of the OS.

(You can install file browsers other than the default one on most OSes, true. But how many people actually do that? Even fewer than install Web browsers.)


in windows, to the last of my knowledge from XP, the file manager is integrated into the shell, all together called explorer


I agree. It is always important to remember that to most "normal people" this stuff - the Internet, the web, their smartphone apps - are a huge clumpy ball of undifferentiated "magic". And that's not because they're stupid people, but because this stuff really is quite complicated and most people already have plenty of other things to worry about.


I know a lot of people that use the phrase "I'll PFM that for you." (Pure Fucking Magic)


I actually say I am going to Google something when in reality I use DuckDuckGo...


I do this too... While I cringe internally. But usually I'm saying it to people that have never even heard of DuckDuckGo...




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