__/ [ Rex Ballard ] on Monday 07 August 2006 21:35 \__
> I think Microsoft may be getting a huge rude awakening.
> On CNBC at 4:17 PM, they showed a clip in which Steve Jobs said that
> Apple has grown it's share of the laptop market from 5% to 12% of the
> laptop market. I would assume that this is based on number of units
> shipped during the most recent quarter.
I read about these figures over a week ago. While it's bad news for
Microsoft, it's primarily good news for Apple. And while it's not possible
to survey and quantify the number of Linux installations out there, many
laptops that I see are dual-boot. In fact, every new computer in our
Division is turned into a dual-boot XP/SUSE 9.3 when it is initially set up.
This turning point was reached last year. There isn't even a choice. It's
just the default! Every person gets GNU/Linux.
> This would concurr with what I've observed at several Starbucks
> locations, especially in NYC.
> The other interesting trend is the number of "Linux Ready" computers
> being shipped. HP, Dell, and Lennovo (formerly IBM), are all shipping
> "Linux Ready" computers almost exclusively. Only the "bargain basement
> fire-sale loss-leader" PCs are still "Linux Hostile". The machines
> sold with Intel Duo, AMD-64, and Dual-core AMD chips are all being sold
> ready, willing, and able to be turned into SUSE Linux based laptops and
> desktops in less than an hour.
I can recall the older days when, in order to set up Linux on a laptop, one
had to seek an HOWTO for given model and then be selective,
distribution-wise (linuxonthelaptop comes to mind, but the OpenSuSE Wiki
serves a similar function sometimes... they will/have become obsolete).
Nowadays it's rare to find unsuccessful installations. At worst of
circumstances, one has to load Wi-Fi drivers manually. Everything tends to
work perfectly out of the box. That's better than XP, which only benefits
from preinstallation and restoration CD's. Various reviews confirm this.
Linux-hostile hardware becomes a rarity and vendor realise that the laptop's
short-, medium-, or long-vocation is Linux. Maybe this won't happen
immediately after purchase time, but definitely this is bound to happen in
the future (Linux is, after all, free and it takes just half an hour to
Even the notorious Asus now provides Red Hat and SUSE drivers on CD's. It's
almost as though Satan donates to charity. Let's think about it. If you were
a vendor today and you sold a laptop that would serve the customer for 5
years, it would only be natural to assume that, months/years down the line,
the customer will have Linux installed. Anything Linux-hostile is a sure bet
for having the customer turn to other vendors the next time (the buying
'iteration'). There are many laptop vendors. Any wee inconvenience can take
you elsewhere (just as I gave up on Packard Bell and Compaq).
> Most of these vendors are also providing the installation media
> required to configure a VMWare, Xen, or BOCHS VM running under Linux.
> Most are upgradable to more memory than Windows XP can handle. Most
> are OpenGL based graphics cards, or OpenGL friendly. Most have FireGL
> or OpenGL optimized cards.
> We'll see lots of machines being "sold with Windows", but it's looking
> more and more like people are ready to go for Linux upgrades.
Well, sooner or later, OEM's will realise that they can push down their costs
by just preinstalling Linux. The reduced cost will give the OEM's
competitive advantage. Soon enough, OEM will also realise that they don't
have the assemble their laptops with the latest and greatest (and most
expensive) chips, either. After all, a better O/S than Windows Vista is
already out there. It's highly desirable to many prospective clients, it's
far more secure, it is cheaper, and it performs better.
> People now know that they can run Windows applications on Linux PCs,
> that the most popular programs, such as Office, IE, Outlook, and Media
> player have functional equivalents in both OSS AND commercial flavors,
> such as OpenOffice/Star Office, Kommander/FireFox, Thunderbird/..., and
> xmms/RealPlayer, are available under Linux.
> Given the choice of spending $150 for MS-Office, $100 for anti-virus
> and anti-spyware, and $100 for some core shareware applications (which
> may be virus infested), and ending up with viruses, spyware, malware,
> and other "nuisance" software and distractions, or spending an extra
> $60 for Linspire or SUSE Linux "in the box" and perhaps crossover or
> Xen or other VMs for running Windows, and installing Windows into that,
> Microsoft can look forward to "sharing" the Marketplace with Linux,
> whether they want to or not.
No need to share, either. Sure, less experienced Linux users will be tied to
some applications while they make the transition. They will require
dual-boot until they cease to ever boot into Windows. When Windows is rarely
used, booting into it leads to a patch onslaught and immediate risk of
infection. It is evident that the user is better without it at that stage.
> Microsoft has still not released a major upgrade to XP in the last 5
> years. Apple has released 4 major OS upgrades since then.
> Linux distributors have each put out 4-5 major upgrades.
Ubuntu has had even more. Releases are 6 months apart. And since Service Pack
II is merely a fix with some cruft, it does not count as an upgrade.
> Microsoft announced many major enchancements for Longhorn, which Mac
> and Linux delivered. Vista has become a Steer version of Longhorn, and
> even then the betas don't look all that encouraging.
Vista is nowhere near ready (it may take another year until the release) and
it is the result of just 6 months in development (September 2005-March
2006). It has been rewrapped though. Earlier on I looked at the following:
Finally they have an integrated virtual desktop capability (probably taking
the food out of the mouths of some developers, just as they did with Widgets
in Tiger). Where is Vista anyway? Perhaps it's true. Apple says "Hasta La
Vista, Vista" and delivers Vista 2.0. Linux is ahead of Apple in many
respects, too. But Apple and Microsoft do not want people to know that.
Roy S. Schestowitz | Free 3-D Othello: http://othellomaster.com
http://Schestowitz.com | GNU is Not UNIX | PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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