Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Monday, April 18, 2011

  • Apr 18 / 2011
  • 7

Bit Player

Allastair Otter is of the opinion that
“No matter what store you put in these various statistics the truth is that Linux is just a bit player in the desktop operating system market.”

That’s crap, pure and simple. The stats he quotes are bogus. They don’t get MacOS share close and we know them precisely because Apple states unit shipments in it filings with the SEC. 4.143 million Mac shipments per quarter. The world is shipping 90 million personal computers in a quarter. That comes to 4.6% while NetApplications claims 5.25%. Similarly Forbes claims M$ has only a 72% attach rate these days. That leaves 13% for GNU/Linux. If the desktop war is over why is M$ losing share?

I expect that by the end of the year, some of the “mobile” technology will be widely used in desktops. There is no reason not to do that and M$ has no play so their share will fall even faster. Everything Otter wrote is out to lunch when that happens. The world is also switching to thin clients many of which already are running GNU/Linux.


UPDATE I was asked to defend the share number for that other OS. I found it by searching on Forbes’ site, If you click on the “full version” and then share and “competition” you find most predict lower shares into the future.

  • Apr 18 / 2011
  • 12

Scaly Bodies

One place on the web where my comments on things IT are published is Katherine Noyes, “Linux Blog Safari“. One of the contributors is a troll named “hairyfeet”. I suspect that’s just a cover for his scaly body. Only reptiles could be as cold in his comment about GROKLAW winding up:
“Good riddance, I say,” Slashdot blogger hairyfeet opined. “Groklaw frankly became ‘Boycott Novell (Nasdaq: NOVL)’ in that EVERYTHING had to be an evil plot from Redmond.”

There is a tiny element of truth under there somewhere but it underlies the larger truth that M$ leaves nothing to chance in every release of every product to ensure success in the market and dirty tricks are one of a dozen “check-boxes” on their list of things to do in the year or so before a product is released. As we have seen in Comes v M$ or US DOJ v M$, dirty tricks are business as usual for M$. It is not paranoid for PJ at GROKLAW to look for bugs under every rock because M$ is out to get everyone. That is there prime objective. It is not paranoid behaviour if they are out to get you.

Even in the browser wars, M$ made exclusive deals with ISPs and OEMs to exclude Netscape, and bought up stocks of Netscape’s product to keep it out of the hands of consumers. In the days preparing for Lose ’98, M$ went on a campaign to put down the “net PC” for fear of losing market share. Now M$ sells software to run thin clients, essentially net PCs, the same technology they told the world would never work. A couple of years later they published many deceptive studies putting down GNU/Linux even though GNU/Linux was often superior to that other OS given equal treatment. Then they funded SCOG v World by buying a “licence” which they did not need to the tune of many $millions. They actually paid people to use their server OS to drive up numbers of hosted sites using it. M$ has invested $billions in making sure the world largely believes only M$ knows how to make an OS and all their faults are really features.

Go back to you tunnel, hairyfeet.

  • Apr 18 / 2011
  • 0

Google’s Blunder?

SJVN writes that Google is making a blunder by withholding source code for Android Honeycomb. He has a point. Google is not making best use of the FLOSS idea by keeping the source closed. It is a trap that creative people fall into, assuming they “know best”. Google is no different. Google has gone far out of its way to choose ASL instead of GPL for the licence and now wants to withhold the code for commercial advantage… or something. Google is big and like M$ can take too much upon itself resulting in a product with artificial limitations and too many bugs.

Google, WAKE UP! What commercial advantage might be obtained by standardizing the product and tweaking it in-house will be lost if Google allows M$ to steam-roll “8″ all over the ARMed ecosystem. You will have all the commercial advantage you want by getting the product as is into the hands of a few hundred million people before M$ has a release. That takes a year, Google. Make good use of the time. Don’t risk it all by assuming you can beat M$ and all its partners in a standing start. Maybe you can. Maybe you cannot. If you expand into a vacuum and secure the high ground first, the chances of success are many times higher.

  • Apr 18 / 2011
  • 0

The Folly of Business Use of Non-Free Software

There is a recent report that in the USA alone $12billion is spent annualy by business for software licences not used.
“The vendor 1E polled IT managers in an attempt to answer this question, and the number produced is a big one: $15.3 billion in the United States and United Kingdom, including $12.3 billion in the United States alone. That number is the amount of money spent annually on maintenance for unused software and shelfware.”

see How much money are you wasting in unused software licenses? Continue Reading

  • Apr 18 / 2011
  • 0

SCOTUS Looks at Patents, Again

M$, strangely, is arguing in favour of making invalidation of patents easier. Go M$! I am all in favour of disallowing all software-patents so a finding in favour of M$ is good for me here. The particular case is a feature of Word involving HTML that is rarely used by consumers of M$’s product yet M$ was ordered to pay $millions to i4i. SCOTUS is to hear the arguments today.

see GROKLAW – Why FOSS Cares

The particular issue relevant to FLOSS is that FLOSS development and documentation may not be sufficient to serve as “prior art” in challenges to patents. Mere testimony that something existed is insufficient with the current rules from the Federal Cirtuit. They want current and widely used software, not some history. Even lost e-mails may prevent physical evidence being presented that sways a court about the state of IT. FLOSS evolves faster than the USPTO and the courts can keep up apparently…

see also ivi v M$

  • Apr 18 / 2011
  • 11

Giant Hole in M$ Security Shield

Again, researchers have found a way to bypass all M$’s efforts to close the holes in that other OS. A sequence of FTP commands opens a door large enough to drive a truck through and run it around the IIS-encrusted OS.

see TheRegister

Isn’t it about time you quit using that other OS and tried Debian GNU/Linux, an OS that works for you?