Monday, August 15, 2011

Has Microsoft defeated Linux?

Apparently, Microsoft thinks it has defeated Linux. At least, they deleted it from their list of competitors. 

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols declares that they are mistaken. Windows has the desktop, but Linux has the other markets. It is true that Microsoft doesn't have much market share outside the desktop. And if the desktop truly is declining, will Microsoft decline with it?

I won't repeat all the places that Linux holds large amounts of market share, but ,with regard to the desktop, I will say this: not winning is not the same as losing.

Sure Windows runs way more personal computers than Linux, but it's been that way for twenty years. Linux hasn't lost the desktop because it never had it.

In fact, just be refusing to disappear, it has shown much more resilience than other operating systems like Amiga. Even the great Apple, which came on the scene much earlier than Linux and had a GUI was reduced to a mere 7%.

Linux started with nothing. No hardware support, no apps, no user-friendly interface, no users. From that, it has made massive strides to become an OS that my parents can use. That's quite an improvement for a something that has no company to back it up and is given away for free.

Sure commercial applications are kind of scarce and it's hard to find a reasonably priced computer with Linux preinstalled, but that's not a reason to throw in the towel.

I'm not saying that Linux will be number one next year or anything. However, I am saying that Linux is just as capable of taking on Microsoft as it has ever been. Probably fifty times more capable, and I don't see it weakening one bit.


  1. Linux (The kernel) is in many portable devices and servers than Microsoft can ever dream. And with Ubuntu, Linux is making healthy gains in the business office environment.

    So given time, Linux will increase it's appearance on the personal desktop.

  2. I have been running GNU/Linux on my laptop, desktop since 5 years. The Linux desktop experience has improved a lot over the years. I am sure people are going to migrate to Linux desktop sooner and I hope they do. My mom and brother runs Ubuntu (both non-tech). In fact, they find it easy to type in Tamil with IBus and the entire native local language support, lack of viruses and worms. The recent development in the Linux Games community is promising as well.

  3. Well... linux has grown up in terms of installations on machines and is increasing every year on more and more machines however Microsoft's Windows 7 has really helped them stop people/companies moving away from Windows to Linux that we saw in Vista and XP era. Linux is nice but MS has gained back with Windows 7 market share and MS dont feel any more threat like earlier because Win 7 is a good OS unlike vista/XP.

  4. Linux was about to do well with Gnome 2 and Ubuntu. Unfortunately, Ubuntu was, IMHO, not very user friendly like Mandriva has been. With Gnome 2 being ditched and Ubuntu going crazy, and the rest like Fedora not being too user friendly, I see little hope to break into the Desktop market. There is a very genuine need for a good Desktop from Linux that is easy to use and maintain. It won't be enough to be as good or even better than MS, but it requires Desktop to be a lot better for people to take trouble in shifting to a new OS.

  5. Ubuntu used Gnome2 on the desktop version until this April when 11.04 came out. Has there been a significant drop in usage since then?

  6. Atarivandio-

    If you noticed it's like I stated in a previous post. If google could be awakened... This would come to pass. Microsoft will be taken down the same way that brothels in San Fransisco are. They can't get rid of the prostitution, but they can make sure the spas and massage parlors are code compliant. They never are (due to what comes with the biz) so they suck the money out of financial institutions. People who don't understand free as in pure free are always going to have money involved. What Google is doing now to fight is Linux's voodoo mind control that makes companies with money financially devour each other. If there be a threat they turn on each other as there can be no money making giant in the center EVER. It is only a matter of time. Microsoft never realized that they would lose share of the desktop by it becoming obsolete tech by itself. Lo Xenix will fall by the hands of Linux or Apple Linux. But the funniest twist is they are all Unix. The single type of thought that is needed to run a computer. Strange... What turns the world upside down isn't the old men yelling, it's usually that quiet shy guy that most of the time never speaks. Linux pure does not speak itself heard in the crowd, yet money people are afraid. If computers through open hardware and open software were brought to the floor. Wouldn't you think that would be enough to offset the entire economy in a good way. I wonder how hard it is to see when you are being overcharged when everyday people know how much the production tech costs. Hmmmmm. Te future is strange.... Long time coming. Good thing I had a head for knowing that clouds bring rain. Maybe you all should 'look up.'

  7. A strange sign-of-times is that my boycott of Microsoft bothers me less than ten odd years ago. More and more people are using the formats and/or applications as I use or are willing to install them along with MS. E.g. PDF is much more accepted now. SVG is a nice way to exchange vector based graphics. Pics, sounds and movies are OS agnostic anyway. Linux offers more applications as well, e.g. ten years ago there was no such thing as MPlayer. Most USB devices work out of the box (visual stuff like scanners and webcams excepted). "Bring your own device" becomes more and more common. Some users are trading their PC's for non-Windows pads. I think MS is dead, strangely enough not yet in the office. But it will come to that and MS better know it.

  8. I live in Japan, where most people either ran Windows on their PCs or used their proprietary phone system to access the net. Now, you have people using Mac laptops, Android (Linux) and IOS on their phones and tablets, and many government departments are shifting to running OSS and not Windows. Linux is also running on all sorts of appliances and servers. I think Win7 isn't a bad OS, but Microsoft's overall desktop/laptop/phone/tablet/sever/embedded share has got to be shrinking compared to some years ago in their golden years.

  9. I am amused by the comment of Ubuntu ditching Gnome2... Gnome ditched Gnome2! Not saying Gnome3/Unity are better - but Ubuntu is far from the only one that was looking for a change (for better or worse)

  10. Maybe some people dislike Genome 3 or Unity but anyway there is KDE in Mandriva or Kubuntu. KDE 4.x is pretty and quite easy to use and very, really very productive. I think that Linux the only think that need is more hardware vendor support for desktop stuff like cameras audio and other "exotic" hardware. I wonder why the hardware manufacturers don't do drivers for Linux but for Mac when Mac is very closed?

  11. Something that never gets a mention is Lotus Notes this runs on Ubuntu, SuSe and Redhat. I am talking about Clients not server, yes runs on Servers as well.

    Despite anything that Microsoft says Notes runs on 100's of millions of desktops. I happen to know that quite a lot of those are Linux. Including 1 major british bank. I use Ubuntu on my desktops in perference to Windows as its a much better enviroment and requires much less horse power. I did an experiment a while ago.

    I setup 2 machien and install Notes on each, also firefox and chrome as well as a couple of other applications that are available under both enviroments.

    In Notes I had my mail file open as well as 10 other applications. In the browsers I had open around 12 tabs in each. OPlus I was playing a music player and had a couple of file manager windows open.

    Then I check the amount of memory used in each machine. Windows 7 64 bit, was using 3.9 Gb out of a total of 8 Gb. Ubuntu 10.10 32 bit PAE was using 1.8 Gb out of 4.

    Windows is so wastefull of resources. By the way the Windows machine is using a quad core CPU running at 3.2 Ghz whilst the Ubuntu machine is running an i3 at 2.0 Ghz

  12. Those crazy sales guys from Redmond are at it again? Microsoft always says, "We've already won," but I'm not sure what's changed to increase their confidence lately. We know from the Halloween documents that what Microsoft tells investors, employees and customers are quite different things but no one is clever enough to be a successful liar and the truth usually outs itself. A few years ago, Steve Ballmer told developers that more people use gnu/linux than use Apple. Then again, he would probably still tell you that Vista is the most secure OS ever. Back here on Earth, we see that were people have a real choice they chose Linux. Android, a form of Linux, has just about captured the mobile market, which proves once and for all that there's nothing difficult, anti-commerce, or inferior about free software. Microsoft can gloat about their temporary defeat of gnu/linux desktops at places like Walmart and on netbooks but the market tide has flowed around their little anti-competitive games. OEM and users want their freedom and they will have it but Microsoft will never change their tune.

    I hardly pay attention to Microsoft these days. Windows 7 is failing just as badly as Vista failed. The company is running out of money and will go under in the next couple of years. Listening to them is sort of like watching Downfall on Christmas day. Why pay attention to such dreadful nonsense while there's this big free software party going on?

  13. @Twitter

    Win7 is failing? I find that hard to believe. I heard all kinds of complaints about Vista, and I don't hear hardly any about 7, even though I can't see any differences.

    This article seems to say that it is doing okay. Although it does suggest that the company will go down hill after that.

  14. Watch out for market share studies, Microsoft owns a significant piece of Gartner and other firms that produce the numbers. They are heavily biased towards US populations and are often full of beans. Tricks include double dipping XP as Vista/Windows 7 sales, counting inventory as sales, monitoring sites for old people and Windows lovers as reflective of all web use, not publishing raw data for independent verification, and so on and so forth.

    Despite that, we can see that Windows 7 is failing in the only way that matters, leadership use and sales. Despite all of the hype, has not even selling as well as Vista did. Microsoft has juggled their divisions to conceal declining Windows revenue, but it still shows through on the bottom line. If you follow Pogson, you will see that Windows is consistently falling behind as a total share of PCs produced. Big business, government and other important customers have not been drinking the Vista koolaid and won't do so with Windows 7, Windows 8 or whatever they want to call it next.

    Ordinary people are flocking to Android because they want another Windows computer about as much as they want a root canal. Any sales and "market share" that exist for Windows 7 is driven when ordinary users are hit by the planned obsolescence of XP and a few real hardware issues that is what Windows is all about. User aversion to Windows will start to show up in a serious way as Android laptop and tablet production ramps up.

    Randal Kennedy panned Windows 7 as Vista with a thin coat of paint and there's been plenty to back that up since he said it. I've collected news in the Windows 7 Failure log, linked above. I also made a Windows 7 Hype Log and a Windows 7 sucks YouTube video collection that resemble those made for Vista because Windows 7 is Vista. Techrights has a more up to date "Vista 7 Reality Log" that charts failure. Reporting the same things over and over gets little old after four years. Windows 7 same user hostile, paranoid DRM baked into the software and hardware that Vista did. The results can be seen first hand at any big box store by playing with netbooks. Bring a thumb drive to see better performance with gnu/linux over Windows 7 for yourself.

  15. @Twitter

    I haven't done the research. I've just never been near that optimistic. It seems too good to be true. If the MS monopoly really does fall through, I'll be very glad.

    The question is, will another monopoly take it's place? Apple has a large slice of mobile market share as well as a desktop. Google distributes Android Linux but there have been a lot of questions about how open it is, as well as a ton of lawsuits. MS is collecting royalties from Android vendors by the way.

    As I said in my very first post: the most important thing is to keep computing open, not crush MS, (although that would help quite a bit).

  16. PR is PR and all PR operatives are lazy Salesmen. And from Life Experience I learned that all Salesmen lie. I run some flavor of Linux on all of my ´puters including the ones I build for school kids.

    In short... Ignore MS´s PR Team.

  17. I'd hate to spoil the party but with all the noise following it's release, I do not know of a single programmer or even a simple person that is working with Linux better than with windows 7. Correct me if I'm mistaking.

  18. Excellent pieces. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog. I really impressed by your blog.

  19. I love using Ubuntu and Windows 7. Each OS has its own advantages and disadvantages. MS has probably removed Linux in the gaming scene, but security-wise Linux rocks any day.