The Dvorak keyboard layout has been slow to catch on due to lack of scientifically conclusive evidence that it is superior to the QWERTY sequence. The majority of positive test results seem to come from Dvorak himself, who had a financial and intellectual investment in his patent. Ergonomic studies did not support his superior claim for the layout. Tests done by the Department of the Navy were positive, but considering that Dvorak was also a Naval Officer, it is no wonder that endorsement was provided by the U.S. Navy. Businesses are slow to accept a change in an accepted standard due to the risks of rejection by competitors. The comparison of the two is very similar to the videotape format issue except that technically proved superiority is very questionable. Change to a historically accepted standard has always been a slow process. Supply and demand is still the cornerstone of marketing and demand for the Dvorak layout is small. It is even more so if the layout conversion is neglected by the community that it is suppose to benefit: the professional typists. Early studies done by the U.S. General Services Administration in 1953 appear to give a more objective conclusion than that of Dvorak’s work on his layout. It found that good typist are fast, regardless of the keyboard used. Looking at the future in keyboarding, it seems as though the skill itself will become somewhat of a historical remedy if voice recognition software ever becomes a standard for computer users. Even now, word processors increase the speed of most typists to a degree that such a change in a keyboard configuration would make little difference. As long as expert typists can average about 100 words a minute with QWERTY keyboards, the future for an alternative standard is bleak in the business world. The benefit does not outweigh the cost of change at this moment in time. …
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