IMO, standard's can be good. For instance, it would be good if windows and unix had the same filesystem organization, so as i could use linux as well as i use windows.
By now, the linux supporters reading this, must have already came to the same conclusion i came by reading the post before this one:
standards CAN be good. But the problem is how to define the standards! In my example, i guess unix's filesystem is supposed to be far superior, and so, it should be the right choice.
But imagine the browsers situation. Many of you use firefox, i use opera, and my mother or my sister, use ie. But the question is that some days ago, i tried firefox, and hated it (as happens with all opera users, IMO), and firefox users can't use anything else, and my mother, doesn't even know that there are other browsers, and once i tried to persuade my sister to use opera, and she couldn't use it.
What i mean is that enforcing standards for everyone might not be the right way.
I think exactly the opposite that mouser thinks about standards in windows' explorer. I use another shell because i don't think explorer is flexible enough for me, and what happens is that i do everything about 2 to 3 times faster using bblean than i did when i used explorer for the sole reason that it works exactly as i configured it to work, and so, it's configured to work the way that is perfect for me, but might not be perfect for anyone else.
That is my perspective as user.
As a programmer, i can understand the absolute need for standards, the more people use the standards, the more people can use the product, is as simple as that.