The big end fell off my computer last week – actually the cooling system fell off with a fatal clunk, but ‘big end’ comes pretty close – and realising it would call for a new motherboard I decided it was time to buy a new one. I’ve been setting it up, and in the process I’ve been discovering the perils of Microsoft. Much of the system isn’t compatible with older programmes, and so far I’ve lost my best presenting package, my scanner and the programme I use to make graphs.
And from there I can segué back to social security issues, because it seems that the government’s attempts to get claimants to do things online are suffering from similar problems. I learned about this from The Inquirer, but I’ve checked out the link and they seem to be right. The DWP explains that they expect people to be using operating systems up to XP and browsers up to IE6. They write:
The service does not work properly with Macs or other Unix-based systems even though you may be able to input information.
You are likely to have problems if you use Internet Explorer 7, 8, 9 and 10, Windows Vista or a smartphone. Clearing temporary internet files may help but you may wish to claim in another way.
There is also a high risk that if you use browsers not listed below, including Chrome, Safari or Firefox, the service will not display all the questions you need to answer. This is likely to prevent you from successfully completing or submitting the form. You may wish to claim in another way.
That means, more or less, than anyone who invests in a computer in the hope of being able to communicate with the DWP may be in for a shock.