|post 0: 24 months to "Microsoft does not have majority market share"
||[Jun. 29th, 2009|07:31 pm]
Beth Lynn Eicher
SouthEastLinuxFest a few weeks ago, I made some bold claims.While I was at the first |
"Microsoft will no longer have the majority market share in 24 months" I said.
Even though I was among free and open source neighbors, I was greeted with "Sorry. Not going to happen!" each time except when I said it to Nicholas A. Schembri. Nick decided to hold me to this claim by making a wager.
If Microsoft has majority market share on June 30 2011, I will owe Nick twenty US dollars.
This blog will serve as a way to keep track of the progress over the next two years. During this time I will seek nothing but the truth. Bad things will be said about Microsoft, Apple, Linux, Open Source, and Free Software if it is a fact. I will also site evidence that Microsoft's current business practices are unstainable and evidence that people are favoring the ideals of the alternatives.
My claim is basically bug one but I need to clear up some things right away.
- I am not part of the Ubuntu community beyond a user. I also use Red Hat, Suse, PalmOS and Microsoft Windows. Once upon a time I ran Fedora, IRIX, MacOSX, DOS, *BSD and Solaris too but those days are mostly beyond me. Nor am I on the payroll of Cannonical.
- I consume massive amounts of technology therefore I could be outside the 80% that Nick is talking about. My career as a system administrator for the past 10 years has been mostly working in environments that are not effected by bug one. Therefore, I will have to look outside my comfort zone.
- Bug one discusses the desktop market, but computing is larger than that. Microsoft has a whole suite of products in many markets: the console video gaming market, mapping, embedded, home media, high performance computing... I can't finish this list tonight! This blog will be about finding out what markets Microsoft is a part of and how well they are doing.
- Despite the previous bullet, I assert that Microsoft lacks market share in all that it attempts except for two areas: 1. desktop (laptop and a PC on your desk) 2. office suites applications. If you can think of an area where Microsoft excells, respond and I'll look into it.
- If you don't want to read this discussion, you can unfriend me and I will understand. On the other hand, if you are a user of computing resources who wants to have an intelligent discussion, then you will be allowed to post a comment even if you are not a friend. I'm starting this by allowing all comments, even unauthenticated users. If that turns out to be too spammy I might reconsider.
You should define the market more carefully for your bet. New installs for US server OS? Existing installs, licensed and unlicensed, for office software? Sales of game consoles?
I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Windows lose majority market share to Apple. But it won't lose it to Linux.
But it's worse than that: based on the past few decades of history, open source's inability to deal with user interface issues stems from deep structural problems in the open source development model. Any time "shut up and show me the code" is not a valid way to address an issue, developers will split and implement both ways, and the project will either fork itself to death (gnome, kde, xfce, enlightenment, and a dozen others) or produce an unmanageable number of configuration options and delegate everything to the user (generally without sane defaults).
Maybe this will change someday, but every year since 1998 has been "the year of the Linux desktop". We've cried wolf so much nobody listens to us anymore. It's been over a decade with us still under 1% desktop market share. Dell's linux laptops still aren't linked from their main page. Over 90% of subnotebooks now ship with windows (because microsoft heavily subsidizes them so those come with better hardware, but the result's the same).
Meanwhile, Apple is over 10% market share and rising. Most of the Linux kernel developers I know now do their development on mac laptops, which either dual boot MacOS X or run Linux under parallels. (I know a few who don't even bother to do that, and ssh to a linux server to do Linux development.)
2009-07-08 02:55 pm (UTC)
KDE's board of directors includes a usability expert
Her name is Celeste Lyn Paul, and she was just elected (http://www.kdenews.org/2009/07/07/kde-ev-elects-new-board-directors). She's not really a programmer, but in the KDE world, if she tells you to change your UI, you do it. I've spent the last week hunting down cases of geeky wording and changing it to something normal folks understand.
According to a chart (from Microsoft) Bethlynn links in a later post, Linux & Apple are about equal in marketshare.
2009-07-06 02:59 pm (UTC)
Microsoft is Indeed Losing It
I am growing increasingly confident that Microsoft is losing their market dominance, but 24 months is bold. I think that you are absolutely correct however. Reading the Slashdot article on Microsoft's disaster with the London Stock Exchange (http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=09/07/03/1216250
) really drives home the problems with Microsoft reliability. Their vicious marketing will only lose them the loyalty of their user base. I am exhibit A. Every year I question why I renew my Microsoft Action Pack. I will probably do it again this year, but one of these time I will forget.
By the way, why on earth are you using this Microsoft platform? Aren't there oodles of Open Source blogging sites? Wordpress? I thought I needed to sign up to post. It was agony working through the stupid Microsoft sign-up form.
To add further insult and injury, this stupid form won't let me post! I am trying again as LiveJournal user. What a piece of crap!
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