First of all, people's work is valuable
. If a program wastes someone's time (by actually or apparently losing their work), they will rightfully be unhappy. They will stop using the application, and they will tell other people to stop using the program.
Put yourself into the mindset of a new user. You're already struggling with Blender, because it's a new application. As simple as the task may appear to be to an experienced user, it's complex to a newbie, because they are in a whole new environment. It's three in the morning, and they've had enough for the evening. The choose Exit, expecting Blender to prompt them to save their work. Or they choose "New" from the menu bar.
Instead of prompting them to save - like every other program on every other operating system - it closes down/clears the scene. They immediately assume they have lost all their work. Choice four-letter words will be used.
If they knew about auto backups, they could recover their work. But they don't know that Blender does this, so they don't even know to look for that option. They just assume that it's all gone, that Blender threw away all their hard work. They'll decide that, as cool as Blender might be, it's just not worth the possibility of losing all their work in a keystroke or two because Blender is different.
It won't matter if they are right or not. They will think
the work is lost, and never touch Blender again. They'll decide (depending on who they are) that it's not appropriate for teaching in a classroom, using in a business, or something that could prove valuable to the Blender community. Despite all the great things they've seen and read about Blender, they'll just assume that Blender is still some half-baked open source application, and not make the effort to find out otherwise.
Depending on who
the newbie is, it can be very
critical what they think about Blender.
I'm not arguing that Blender should be completely "dumbed down", so newbies can figure out how to use it without reading a manual. I'm just saying that:
- This is a common and expected feature found on virtually all GUI applications;
- Not having it raises confusion in new user's minds about the reliability of Blender;
- It should be fairly cheap to implement;
- Experienced users will never see it (because they always save their work before closing )
I'm not convinced there's a compelling reason for not including it.