Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Wednesday, January 4, 2012

  • Jan 04 / 2012
  • 7

M$ and One of its Partners are at War

This is great fun for me. One of the last barriers to the desktop space for GNU/Linux is the retail shelf space GNU/Linux gets. Now, M$ is actually suing one of its partners, Comet, a retailer of electronics. I don’t have details but according to Ars Technica, Comet sold recovery CDs to customers against M$’s wishes.

Let’s get this right. A consumer can produce a backup/restoration CD by running the software on the PC but M$ thinks it’s illegal for Comet to provide that as a service to consumers? I don’t think so. I expect the courts will laugh M$ out the front door. I expect other retailers will finally understand that M$ is a liability, not their friend. I expect more retailers will give shelf-space to GNU/Linux. It’s just the right way to do IT-retailing. I recommend they use Debian GNU/Linux. The huge repository of software and the package managing system, APT, make it easy for the end user to support his system.

“Statement in respect of Microsoft litigation
Wednesday 4th January 2012

We note that proceedings have been issued by Microsoft Corporation against Comet relating to the creation of recovery discs by Comet on behalf of its customers.

Comet has sought and received legal advice from leading counsel to support its view that the production of recovery discs did not infringe Microsoft’s intellectual property.

Comet firmly believes that it acted in the very best interests of its customers. It believes its customers had been adversely affected by the decision to stop supplying recovery discs with each new Microsoft Operating System based computer.

Accordingly Comet is satisfied that it has a good defence to the claim and will defend its position vigorously.”

Ask yourself, “Would Comet dare to go to court over this without a strong legal opinion from their lawyer?”. The traditional obsequious behaviour of M$’s clients is to fold promptly and send money, lots of it.

Thank you, M$, for promoting GNU/Linux. I appreciate it. ;-)

The Register has more. 94K Vista and XP restoration CDs were involved. This could be as much about killing XP as protecting “IP”… I imagine discovery will be a hoot. Brits always enjoy it when the “Yanks” get their comeuppance.

  • Jan 04 / 2012
  • 3

OMG! Tablets Are Here

Earlier predictions were that tablet PCs would ship 45, then 55, then 60 million in 2011. Display Search claims that 73 million was the bottom line in 2011.

That’s huge, nearly 1/4 of all notebooks+netbooks+tablets. That means a lot of Wintel PCs were not built/sold/shipped last year. That’s a huge bite out of the monopoly. If 2012 is anything like 2011, the monopoly will be gone/finished/less than 50% of personal computers shipped. It is gone now if you count smart phones as personal computers which many do.

I have no knowledge, but if people were predicting about 60 million tablets before Christmas and the result was 73 million, I expect most of the difference were sales of tablets near Christmas, 12 million tablets. If every one displaced a Wintel PC, that’s $600 million or so off M$’s bottom line, a lump of coal in the stocking. Their next filing with the SEC will be in January in about two weeks. With NetApplications showing great growth for GNU/Linux and Android/Linux, that could be a very interesting event.

The trend is growing and within that Android/Linux continues to have more apps and more units per day sold. Remember the dead netbook? They are up 20% to 25 million as well. People are loving small cheap computers. Guess how many want to send $100 to M$ every time they buy one. ;-)

The Register has a story that suggests 2% of UK adults got a tablet near Christmas. More than a million Kindles were bought in UK. Fewer iPads were sold, too, meaning Android/Linux cleaned up.

  • Jan 04 / 2012
  • 3

Boneheaded Stunts

Don Reisinger has a list of M$’s mistakes in 2011:

  1. Where were the tablets?
  2. Let Google cement its lead online
  3. Failing to acquire a handset maker
  4. Let Android get away
  5. An odd Nokia partnership
  6. Failing to wrap up the living room
  7. Retaining Steve Ballmer as CEO
  8. Let Google cement its lead online
  9. Overpaid for Skype
  10. Tipped its Windows 8 hand too early
  11. Failing to make the mobile space about security

Those are fair and reasonable observations but they all stem from the same root. By concentrating on stifling competition rather than innovating for decades, M$ has made itself unresponsive to the changing IT market. When they might have been making a great search engine they were busy telling the world how foolish and lacking a business plan was Google. When they might have been doing something in mobile they were telling the world to buy bigger and better and more expensive power-hungry boxes from “partners”. When GNU/Linux was knocking on the desktop, they wasted years spreading FUD instead of toughening their stuff against malware. Now their reputation is that of an unreliable/over-priced supplier in many segments and Google, and Android/Linux and GNU/Linux are taking huge shares away from M$. Now, while the world of IT is shipping product that does not depend on M$, M$ is falling back on lawsuits they won’t win.

The bonehead plays weren’t made in 2011 but in 1991 and onward. They won’t end until the money dries up and/or they fire their top management. That’ll be in about five years, when the monopoly is history and M$ has to compete on price/performance in every sector of IT. At the moment, they have desktop, productivity and server cash-cows still giving milk but they are old and soon to run dry. Even if their FUD, lawsuits, marketing and lawsuits manage to keep some share of the market the heady days of huge growth and unlimited potential are over. It took notebooks only a few years to overtake desktops and now ARMed smartthingies are doing the same for notebooks. There’s no monopoly in ARM for M$ and without that they are just another fish in the pond.

  • Jan 04 / 2012
  • 1

Crazy Weather

I am an old man and have lived many winters in Canada. This is the mildest winter of my life probably. Is it global warming? Is it Nature playing tricks on us? Are we due for a shock?

I was just talking to the little woman about heating costs. We are heating our house mostly on sunshine coming in the windows temperatures are so mild: Continue Reading