That Other OS Becomes More Like the Bazaar

“8” beta shows evidence of using “the ribbon” more widely. That should not go well with the folks using XP who think they love that other OS. According to some sources, as many as 54% of PCs still run XP. Others show as few as 42% run XP. Either way that is hundreds of millions of PCs and their users will have something to bitch about or make an adjustment to how they use their PC. On the other hand many millions love Android/Linux already and might like to see that interface on their PCs.

This shows that the world of that other OS is becoming more like GNU/Linux and FLOSS in that suppliers sometimes produce a product that users don’t love like doing away with desktops, icons or whatever in the interests of “efficiency”. Re-learning a UI for the sake of change is not efficient for users and there are many thousands of users for every developer. That’s a lot of inefficiency. It does provoke making real choices by customers and that’s good. The monopoly continues to weaken.

Here’s hoping the users of XP grow out of love with that other OS which is changing on them forever. It was obsolete when introduced. “Vista”, “7” and “8” may be technically superior in some ways but are not loved. Otherwise “7” would outnumber XP by now and that isn’t happening. Using W3School’s numbers, at its peak, Vista was at 18.6% share. At that time XP was at 63% and “7” was at 4.4%. Since then “7” has grown to 34.1%, +29.3% but XP has only fallen 63.3 – 42.9 = 20.4% share. Major share of “7” machines have been new purchases and replacements of the hated Vista. Growth of “7” is going to throttle when Vista is gone later this year. Decay of XP’s share is much slower.

With the continuing grasp of XP, the late entry into ARM, and the imminent death of Vista, that other OS is in for a rapid shift in share. While all this is happening ARM + Linux is moving into the long-term domain of that other OS, the personal computer. 2011 sees huge growth in thin clients, portables and soon desktops. The growth of Linux this year will dwarf the growth of the preceding decade and no corner of IT will escape it. While that other OS stares at weakening uptake, Linux is exploding on smart phones, tablets, and all manner of new IT.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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4 Responses to That Other OS Becomes More Like the Bazaar

  1. In the past 4 years I have not met anyone who liked the ribbon. When I moved people to GNU/Linux several expressed a familiarity they liked in that they did not see in Office 2007.

  2. John Bilderback says:

    I love the new ribbon, it’s such an intelligent use of screen real estate. Also, thanks for the link to the new login screen. So artsy! Mac types are going to be jealous.

  3. A lot of businesses have licences for XP that do not expire and are portable. That is, they can buy a new machine when the old one dies and keep using XP. That is happening. Businesses are seriously locked-in to XP thanks to M$’s file-format and protocol tricks and applications that will not run on “7”. The share of XP outside North America/Europe is even higher.

    “7” did not have RTM until October 2009 so the numbers back to 2009 may not be relevant. XP was still growing until October.

  4. Mats Hagglund says:

    If we check the Windows OS-versions marketshare we don’t see much difference between Vista and XP. I checked the numbers of Wikipedia.

    Here are April 2009:

    Windows XP – 62,56%
    Windows Vista – 23,96%
    Windows 2000 – 1,36%
    Windows 2003 – 0,69%
    Windows 7 – 0,28%

    And here Feb 2011:

    Windows XP – 39,66%
    Windows Vista – 15,37%
    Windows 2000 – 0,34%
    Windows 2003 -0,47%
    Windows 7 – 25,90%

    As we see XP lost -22,90%-unit and Vista 8,59%-unit. Relatively XP lost 36,6% (22,9/62,56×100) and Vista 35,8%(8,59/23,96×100). Actually Vista lost little bit less than Xp but not much. And Wikipedia is too much focused to North America/english speaking countries and reality might be that there are more XP users and less Windows 7 users than those Wikipedia statistics are telling.

    I agree that Microsoft hoped XP-users moving to “7”. Not Vista-users much. Windows 7 has eaten both XP and Vista. XP coz those computers are too old, Vista coz it’s a lousy OS even in Microsoft standard.

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