One of my visitors accused me of irrational belief that M$ is dying. Of course, we all know, M$ makes $billions every quarter directly from sales of licences for that other OS but it’s
- not making much on search,
- not making much on ARM (Lose CE excepted),
- had a drop in revenue while almost everyone else in IT had serious growth, and
- Android/Linux on ARM could well be shipped on 200 million+ smart phones and tablets and a few other smart thingies this year.
So, something is dying, the monopoly. This year or next, that other OS produced by M$ will ship on fewer personal computing devices than Linux will. We saw how a few million netbooks dented M$’s monopoly. They lost a $billion promoting XP for netbooks keeping XP alive just for that purpose. What will hundreds of millions of smart thingies running Android/Linux do???
Not only has the monopoly lost any sign of growth, Linux in various forms continues to invade the traditional areas of the Wintel monpoly both on clients and servers. So, “the cancer” has metastasized. It’s stage 4, almost certainly fatal to something. M$’s response, to produce “8″ for ARM as well as x86/amd64, will be too little and too late. The monopoly dies this year one way or another. We see serious products competitive with client and server that Wintel does not control. With the rates of growth involved and the ability for competitive prices to seriously undermine M$’s prices, even if M$ cuts prices to try to preserve the monopoly, all it will do is take a huge bite out of revenue. As things go, to hold off disaster, revenues might have to halve or be further reduced just to stay relevant on the x86/amd64 hardware.
The monopoly has relied on retail lock-in for decades. It’s gone. It’s dead. These small, not-so-cheap computers are flying off retail shelves as fast as they can be stocked and there is increasing growth rate…
M$ probably will not die. It can diversify and live forever on its investments or sell refrigerators or something, but it has already lost any chance of monopoly on mobile devices and that will spread to notebooks, desktops and servers. Of course M$’s main business with servers was to support its client OS. WIth its sharp decline the server end of M$’s business will also take a hit. The future of M$ is greatly reduced margins, and sharing IT with others on commonly agreed terms, not dictates.