“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.