Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Tuesday, September 20, 2011

  • Sep 20 / 2011
  • 11
technology

BRIC Countries A Huge Opportunity For FLOSS

Brazil, Russia, India and China all have governments that support use of FLOSS for many different reasons: cost, security, local economies and building IT infrastructure. They also contain 40% of the global market for PCs and have high rates of growth.

Taiwan is currently focussed on serving this market and expectations for Taiwan’s IT industries are huge:

  • Taiwan plans to ship 100 million handsets in 2011, 65% of global shipments.
  • 19 million smart phones will ship in Q4 alone, 66% growth p.a.
  • Taiwan plans to ship 86% of 61 million tablets shipped in 2011.
  • In 2010, Taiwan’s IT sector took in $229billion for PCs and handsets, $54.9billion for displays and $52.8billion for semiconductors.

The rapid changes in the IT industry favour emergence of GNU/Linux and FLOSS along with the emerging markets. These markets are cost-conscious and much less locked-in to the USA’s way of doing IT. The world is not planning to replace PCs on three-year cycles and stay with Wintel. The world wants small cheap computers and Taiwan and China are only too glad to produce them. If they run FLOSS, so much the better margins.

  • Sep 20 / 2011
  • 3
technology

Sigh. There Goes Apple’s Reputation for Security

Know anyone who runs in the administrative account of a PC? Lots. Well, if they are running MacOS X 10.7 they are as good as dead. A stranger can change their password, locking them out and gaining administrative access. No kidding. Amazing. Even if the user is not running with a high privilege a stranger can still get the hashed password and crack it or change it.

I wonder how long it will take Apple to patch that one? I am sure there is a story in there about not changing what works but Apple changed how authentication works and it’s all falling apart.

  • Sep 20 / 2011
  • 19
technology

Ascendancy of GNU/Linux on the Desktop

SJVN ticked me off today. He wrote, “I declare traditional Linux desktop to be dead.”, but then redeems himself at the end by declaring, “while I no longer hope for the old-style Linux desktop to gain popularity, I have no doubt at all that the new, light-weight, Internet-oriented Linux desktops are going to do just fine. After all, they already are, and here it’s Windows, not Linux, that’s been the non-starter.

I think he’s too soon written off GNU/Linux on the desktop. The diversity of GNU/Linux allows it to expand in every direction. Even now, Intel and Google are cooperating to put Android/Linux on x86. M$ is not only failing at mobility, it is also steadily losing share/solidarity on the desktop. There’s nothing at all on the horizon to stop that slide. “8″ on ARM won’t stop it like XP did on netbooks. Android/Linux is huge on retail shelves, much larger than GNU/Linux on netbooks ever was. ARM is becoming quite competitive with x86 and GNU/Linux already runs on ARM. Even today 40-50% of desktops use XP, much more similar to a GNU/Linux desktop than Vista, or “7″ or “8″. Those folks are going to end up using GNU/Linux thin clients and possibly even GNU/Linux desktops.

Sure, the expansion of the GNU/Linux desktop has slowed in North America over what it was a decade ago but in the rest of the world it is moving rapidly and OEMs know it. They are all producing GNU/Linux desktops. It’s a growth industry whereas that other OS is in decline or stagnating. In South America and the BRIC countries, GNU/Linux is huge and not going away. China, for instance, absorbs more PCs than USA. It is far too soon for the USA/M$ to pronounce GNU/Linux dead.

A recent survey of businesses in India found that businesses have high loyalty for RedHat Desktop Linux in small businesses and 100% loyalty in larger businesses. The most popular OS in Indian businesses is XP and RedHat Desktop Linux has 7% of XP’s share, ahead of “7″ in small businesses and 3% of XP’s share, also ahead of “7″ in larger businesses.

In 2009 the world’s largest GNU/Linux desktop deployment began in Brazilian schools. 26000 computer labs are not a testament to the death of the GNU/Linux desktop. The Russian schools have moved to GNU/Linux and the Russian Government plans to have complete a migration by 2015.

GNU/Linux on the desktop is happening. It may be slower than I want but it is inevitable. Will M$ disappear? I doubt it. They could compete on price and performance like everyone else or they could invest their ill-gotten gains and live off the interest…

Proof that SJVN is not broken may be found at ZDNET

“Gosh. Why does MSFT need Windows 8? Because its business model depends on you needing to buy a new operating system and copy of Office every five years or so. It’s that simple.

Now do we, who are not MSFT stockholders need to do that? I don’t think so. Look at all the people who are still running XP. If it’s not broke, you don’t need to fix it, never mind replace it.”

UPDATE Another take by Larry, the Free Software guy, is at Linux desktop: Not pining for the fjords.

“to those risking injury jumping on the Linux-desktop-is-dead bandwagon, my question is this: Does Linux’s skyrocketing use and popularity in the mobile and tablet realms necessarily mean the “death” of something else in Linux, like — oh, I don’t know — the desktop, as some sort of technological quid pro quo?

I’d say “no,” and I’m willing to bet history has my back.”

Amen.

  • Sep 20 / 2011
  • 13
technology

Death of XP

If you look at the rate of decay of XP on the web stats and compare it with the deadline for support in 2014, we can see that XP will not die…

In January 2010, XP was at 59.4% share in W3Schools.com. In August 2011, 19 months later, it was at 38% share. The expected share in June 2014 is .594 exp( N (log(.38 / .594)/19)) where N is 54 months. That’s .165, or 16.5%, folks, larger than illegal copies. XP just will not die. That’s a lot of unavailable revenue for M$. Meanwhile GNU/Linux and Android/Linux are growing exponentially with high rates on ARM and x86. Eventually those XP machines will die and may well be replaced by machines running Linux. Certainly GNU/Linux will be closer to familiar than that other OS in the form of “8″ or “9″, and M$ will have even more versions of the OS on the go, fragmenting its own market.

  • Sep 20 / 2011
  • 15
technology

Chuckle: What to do With A Brand New PC

I had a chuckle reading this article on PC world. The thesis is that one must do a few things before the PC is really ready to use. Of course TFA assumes that other OS and totally incongruous stuff is in there like removing crapware and installing applications. That is completely silly if you buy a PC with GNU/Linux installed. There is no crapware and you have all the applications most people need in the package. GNU/Linux distros often have a neat installer and package manager that makes maintaining the whole system and adding software simple, fast and easy.

see Linux Mint, one of the choices with ZaReason’g PCs.

  • Sep 20 / 2011
  • 0
technology

Apple v Android: MADness

Apple and Samsung are in the opening stages of a destructive global war where they are both attempting to ban the other’s products from importation into multiple countries. This shows the utter impracticality of software patents in modern IT. Devices are just too complex to honour software patents. Devices would be too expensive if every existing software patent gets its royalty payment.

see Ars Technica – Samsung looks to preemptively ban next iPhone from Korea

  • Sep 20 / 2011
  • 0
technology

Google Has Half the Enterprise Cloud E-mail Market

Gmail was in beta-testing for ages. It has matured to the point that large organizations are now using it in place of whatever M$ offers. At the moment Gmail has 1% of enterprise e-mail but half of enterprise e-mail in the cloud. Gartner predicts Gmail’s share of enterprise e-mail will reach 10% shortly.

see Gartner

  • Sep 20 / 2011
  • 0
technology

Oracle v Google: Oracle Asserts the Unpatentability of the ’702 Patent

In defending the ’702 patent against prior art, Oracle essentially argues that the prior art is about software running on a particular machine whereas Oracle’s patent is machine-independent. That is a slippery slope because software patents are supposed to be about software on a machine…
Is software designed to run only on a virtual machine really patentable???

see GROKLAW

  • Sep 20 / 2011
  • 0
technology

Pressure on Wintel to Cut Prices

Wintel has invented the “ultrabook” to upsell consumers but OEMs are pushing back. They find the CPU and OS are the major portion of the cost of production and want reductions to compete with Apple on price. Component makers have reduced prices. Stay tuned…

see Digitimes

  • Sep 20 / 2011
  • 3
technology

“8″ Bars Legacy Apps

The complexity of M$’s programming model has come back to bite them in “8″. They want to do the right thing for “8″ to make the platform secure. That means shutting down many APIs… and making porting legacy apps horrendous. This will delay the arrival of many legacy apps for a long time, perhaps years, while developers wait to see whether ARM is worth developing. All the while GNU/Linux and Android/Linux keep cranking out apps for ARM

see Microsoft’s high-risk Windows 8 .NET switch

Revenge of COM, or something like it

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