Tim O'Reilly writes:
What I especially liked about vi was precisely that I didn't have to have all these nifty customizations to make it really usable. What really distinguished vi from emacs in my mind was that it was just there on any system I sat down at--tremendously portable. I didn't have to copy my emacs profile around to sit down and do useful work on someone else's machine.
Tim O'Reilly, Response to "Editor: vi or emacs?" in column "Ask Tim" for June, 1999. Accessed at https://oreilly.com/pub/a/oreilly/ask_tim/1999/unix_editor.html, 20111111.