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Re: Certain prognostications

__/ [ Geico Caveman ] on Monday 15 May 2006 16:36 \__

Since it's Microsoft-inclined, I thought I'd pass on this one. And yet, a few
points were too hard to get past without making a comment.

> Its dangerous to make any kind of predictions, however, the recent
> interminable procession of bad news coming out of Redmond has prompted even
> my cautious self to venture one or two.
> I think that Windows as an OS that is closed source and proprietary will be
> in very serious difficulty in another 5-8 years. 5 years ago, people used
> to laugh (with some justification regarding front-ends and the like) about
> Linux. Most of those people are no longer laughing or even smirking.

I am not at all sure about laughing or shirking. Skepticism, on the other
hand -- aye. One would argue that Linux users were once looked upon with
admiration whereas today, while laymen easily install and use Linux, it has
lost that stereotype for which people gain merit of uniqueness. That is
perfectly acceptable and it will not deter further migration. AAU contraire:
people will have fewer reasons to fear a migration.

"If my neighbour and his senior uncle have become proficient with Linux and
they take advantage of all these advanced features, why can't I?", is what
one might ponder.

> However, what has surprised me the most over the last 12-24 months has been
> the strides that desktop linux has made - not marketshare, but in
> capability. Even novices seem to be able to install and run the OS if they
> choose an easy enough distro to start with (Slackware is not for everyone).

Also Gentoo, among others that are no longer maintained nor extended.

> Now, Microsoft appears to be following the classic foil to that Gandhi
> saying ("First they laugh at you ..."). I think that due to sheer weight of
> dollars and due their existing market share (about 90%), Microsoft will
> stay around for a very long time, especially in the US and Europe. The
> problem for Microsoft is that it is beginning to lose the markets of the
> future - China and India. And even in Europe and the US, it is in serious
> legal difficulty on many fronts.

The drop below 90% is actually the tipping point. Once they lose that margin,
the domino effect takes over. I happened to write about it several days ago,
in case you're interested:

> I strongly disagree with those here that the end of Microsoft is nigh, but
> I think the groans of a dying dinosaur are becoming harder and harder to
> ignore. If Vista turns out to be even a fraction of the security nightmare
> that all the previous versions of Windows have been, I think Microsoft will
> not have the time to recover - it takes them a long time to create
> something new, and the closed source nature of the product makes it more
> likely that the complicated software will fail at multiple points. Maybe in
> 20-30 years, Microsoft will be held up as an example of why the closed
> source model does not work for extremely large piece of code with multiple
> points of failure.

They have Singularity, but on the face of it, it remains a miserable last
attempt to do some research. Here is a quote of interest:


,----[ Quote ]
| What's noteworthy about it is that Microsoft compared Singularity
| to FreeBSD and Linux as well as Windows/XP - and almost every result
| shows Windows losing to the two Unix variants. For example, they show
| the number of CPU cycles needed to "create and start a process"
| as 1,032,000 for FreeBSD, 719,000 for Linux, and 5,376,000 for Windows/XP."

To add:

,----[ Quote ]
| Companies shouldn't rush to upgrade to Microsoft Windows Vista,
| according to analysts at Gartner, who believe most firms could safely
| hold back until 2008.
| The majority of improvements in Vista will be security-related and
| most of this functionality "is available via third-party products
| today", Gartner claimed in a research note published on Friday. 


The end is actually sooner than you predict in your original post. The loss
of hosts is _not_ linear. Moreover, it cannot be estimated based on sales
and a large proportion of all computers are already dual-head, which is a
transitory phase that precedes a full migration and serves as preparation
before vendors and departments fully support the use of Linux and
compilation of Open Source code.

Companies never see business remaining idle. There is either a downward or
upward momentum. That momentum's pace can be exponential (SGI RIP).

Best wishes,


Roy S. Schestowitz      | Useful fact: close elevator button = Express Mode
http://Schestowitz.com  |  Open Prospects   ¦     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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