Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Opportunities Lost

  • Jan 26 / 2012
  • 34
technology

Opportunities Lost

One of the things I read about M$ is that M$ facilitated wide use of PCs and so has been a blessing over the years. While it is true that other OS was cheaper than UNIX licences back in the day (~$1000), the licences still cost too much to bridge the Digital Divide.

We can see this clearly now that Android/Linux on ARM is allowing other technologies into the market. Costs per unit can be under $100, several times less than Wintel. The number of people using IT could thus double within a few years, far greater growth in numbers than is typical using only that other OS in IT.

M$ of course mostly cares about its total revenue, and not about units shipped, but imagine M$ had adopted GNU/Linux a decade or more ago and encouraged ARM. They could have cut their licensing/support fees in half, reduced expenses and had a decade with treble rate of growth, giving them even larger revenue than they have now. They locked themselves in to lower profits at the same time that they locked in users to M$’s way of doing things. They now have to raise licensing fees to maintain profits on a decreasing share of the market which will hasten their demise.

At the same time, a billion people, more or less, were denied IT by M$’s short-sighted behaviour.

The score: In a decade of error,

  • 10 billion person-years of computing was lost,
  • $100 billion in profits was lost by M$ alone,
  • billions were kept in poverty years longer than they should have,
  • Earth was polluted/raped by the material wasted/used in PCs replaced every few years, and
  • the world spent $billions more fighting the malware and bloat and re-re-reboots of that other OS.

So, rather than congratulating Bill G and Co. for their success, we should pity them for their failures and regret having given them any business at all. This is essentially what will happen in 2012 as M$ loses more market share, comes late to market with that other OS on ARM, and */Linux and ARM bring IT to the next billion people.

In 2012, the installed base of that other OS on x86 PCs could well fall to 70% or less and units shipped with that other OS could fall to less than 50% at the same time that Android/Linux smartphones ship 300 million units and tablets ship 200 million units and GNU/Linux ends up on 100 million more desktops/notebooks.

34 Comments

  1. oiaohm

    Dr Loser
    “Well, that would be absolutely disastrous if you were a third-party programmer who doinks around with the NT kernel internals.

    Oh wait … not a single person ever needs to do that, do they?”

    Normally only viruses and anti cheat system developers dig into those. This is why installing some very old xp games on vista and 7 that happen to have some horrid kernel diving drivers equal system death. Asian region stuff only. So yes you do have developers playing in there who are nuts. Nuts would be a nice call for what I really think of them.

    Linux world issue is simple. Internal kernel api can be seen. Windows driver makers normally get to see only the kernel driver ABI. So are happy just messing with that because they never get to see the kernel internal abi because it hidden in a black box.

    Every time Linux has provide a stable kernel driver abi. Driver makers have decided to go straight past it and use the raw internal kernel abi. Because its faster. The reason why its faster is that it does not have the warping to make it agnostic between versions yes NT has kernel wrapping. Yes even in the time of 2.0.x you could build all the open source drivers and use them on what ever 2.0.x kernel but due to closed source drivers going kernel internal abi diving there drivers did not work between kernel versions.

    Who does most of the fault for no stable kernel driver ABI for Linux land with. Of all people closed source driver makers. They have made a bed now they have to lay in it.

    The idea of lack of stable kernel driver abi is false just no closed source maker ever wanted to use it. So what is the point basically. Linux world tried the built it they will come. They did not come so stiff briskets. Stop asking for it now basically.

    Linux world went on to develop a stack of systems to develop user mode drivers. Using the usermode ABI wrapping. People are using that. So if we go by users. No one wants a Kernel driver ABI because the all prefer the internal kernel abi that is unstable then complain about it. So status normal.

    There are parties that will use the usermode ABI for driver production. So that one has the proof of people matching with there feet. Is it possible to run those drivers in kernel space yes.

    Right so if having a stable wrapped kernel mode driver abi is so critical simplest and least code work required people wanting binary only drivers in kernel space should be pushing for http://www.yl.is.s.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~tosh/kml/ to be included.

    No votes no action basically. All the tech is in place to grant it.

    NT equal solution is basically KML for drivers.

    Yes shock horror after all this time Linux is still making interfaces for binary closed source drivers to exist.

  2. Dr Loser

    @nt_jerkface:

    “If Linus had built Linux with a stable abi then 9.28281 billion man hours would have been saved.”

    Utterly stupid.

    Using my handy Pog-o-Matic exponential calculator, I come up with more hours than the Universe has Higgs Bosons.

    Besides which, your floating-point unit fails miserably. Even on your terms, the answer is 9.28278.

    Massive win for Linux!

  3. Dr Loser

    @Robert:

    “There’s just no benefit to having more cores idling.”

    Make up your mind, O Sage of the Wilderness.

    Either you object to processes running around consuming power for no good reason, or you accept that switching them off is a good idea. Either way. I don’t care. The logical conclusion would be that you use a core when you need to, but otherwise you let it idle.

    I’m sorry to have to point this out to you, but the immediate future of computer hardware is multi-core and parallel processing. This immediate future practically demands multi-core chips that do nothing for 95% of the time and spend the other 5% of the time doing massively parallel computations featuring continuation passing, amongst other techniques that modern hardware allows.

    In other words, Robert, you are a dinosaur. If, indeed, you were ever able to compete with the other dinosaurs; which I doubt.

  4. Dr Loser

    @Koz:

    ““On the contrary, the phrase ‘this will be the year of the Linux desktop’ was bandied about by a lot of FOSS advocates until very recently”

    “The Cult of Microsoft love to discuss the desktop for obvious reasons. The phrase was invented by them and is in continuous use by them. I cannot recall the last time I heard it seriously considered from a FLOSS advocate including SJVN.”

    Do you regard Jim Zemlin as serious? Try this, then.

    I’ve picked one of hundreds of alternatives. Just to ram it into your thick skull, here is the quote:

    “In a moment of self-effacing humor, Zemlin acknowledged that the illusory “year of the Linux desktop” hasn’t come yet—despite his annual predictions of its imminent arrival. Ever the optimist, he seemed to be only half-joking when he declared that 2012 will finally be the year when his prediction comes true. References to the ‘year of the Linux desktop’ became a running joke in presentations for the rest of the day.”

    In a sense, it doesn’t really matter who dug into the scrabble bag and picked out the phrase. The key point here is that lunatics like Zemlin actually claim to believe it.

    In 2012. And despite Robert’s increasingly desperate attempts to move the discussion sideways.

    Linux on the Desktop is dead.

  5. Dr Loser

    @oiaohm:

    “Now in this time for secure embedded systems closed source is forbin.”

    As always, from left field. Thus Spake Zarathustra. Unfortunately, nobody in the embedded field listens to Zarathustra.

    “NT internal kernel abi is not the same between windows versions either.”

    Well, that would be absolutely disastrous if you were a third-party programmer who doinks around with the NT kernel internals.

    Oh wait … not a single person ever needs to do that, do they?

  6. oiaohm

    nt_jerkface
    “If Linus had built Linux with a stable abi then 9.28281 billion man hours would have been saved.”

    Linux kernel 2.0.x did have a stable kernel driver ABI. Modules and Kernel shipped split those versions. And nobody made third party drivers.

    2.2.x shiped with Modules and Kernel merge but still had Unix unified driver framework that no one made drivers for it instead third parties demard to use internal kernel abi instead of the stable driver abi??? Ok what are they thinking.

    2.4.x Also still shiped with the Unix Unified driver framework again no one made drivers??? Ok they must not really want a stable driver ABI.

    2.6.0 basically said stuff it. Everyone wants to use the internal Kernel abi so stiff briskets. No point maintaining stable kernel driver abi any more because no one is using it. Yep driver maker caused termination.

    NT internal kernel abi is not the same between windows versions either.

    This is the time line nt_jerface so you complete idea is a f up idea. Does not match reality. The closed source drivers have told the open source what they wanted by what they choose to support. Yes open source vote casting.

    So even today Linux contains closed source parts.

    Sorry nt_jerkface some of the worst performance hits to Linux came from the stable kernel abi.

    Now in this time for secure embedded systems closed source is forbin.

  7. nt_jerkface

    The Cult of Microsoft love to discuss the desktop for obvious reasons. The phrase was invented by them and is in continuous use by them.

    Reflection sure is popular here. Linux magazine has been using the term for ages.
    http://www.linux-mag.com/id/1351/

    If Linus had built Linux with a stable abi then 9.28281 billion man hours would have been saved.

  8. oldman

    “There’s just no benefit to having more cores idling.”

    Sure there is if you actually USE your computer.

    When I am generating music in real time from a large orchestral score, all 8 cores light up. and I might peak at 20% utilization.

    WHen I am processing 1000000+ records as part oa an analysis.

    Interesting enough windows 7 x64 dispatches across all available cores and even threads. Depending on the application I can open task manager select the performance tab and watch as many as between 4 and 8 cpu’s (4 cores 4 threads) executing.

    THose extra cores allow me to have things like a windows XP Red Hat enterprise Linix and Fedora VM’s active performing tasks WHILE a virus scan is executing and my system still has reasonable performance even when pushed to 40% utilization.

    I am sure you will dismiss this a overkill. and say that the “average” user does not do these types of tasks on their computer.

    As far as ARM is concerned, it is well known that the most powerful arm processor barely comes to the power of a mid range core2duo class system. There is a reason why ARM is very cautions when talking about use of their designs outside the current core markets.

    The horsepower isnt there.

  9. Robert Pogson

    ch was in error when he wrote, ““a decade or so ago” there wasn’t – to the best of my knowledge – an ARM offering that could have run a Linux or Windows desktop.”

    http://www.debian.org/doc/manuals/project-history/ch-releases.en.html
    “Debian 2.2 Potato (15 August 2000): Named for “Mr Potato Head” in the Toy Story movies. This release added support for the PowerPC and ARM architectures. With Wichert still serving as Project Leader, this release consisted of more than 3900 binary packages derived from over 2600 source packages maintained by more than 450 Debian developers.”

    see Packages

    There were ARMed PCs in 2001.

    see also Wikipedia

  10. Robert Pogson

    ch wrote, “AFAIK today’s ARM CPUs are rather slower than Intel Atoms, and I know from my netbook that an Atom doesn’t give “perfectly adequate performance”.”

    I have several Atoms running in my house and they idle even when I get perfectly adequate performance. Of course, I run GNU/Linux on them…

    The fastest ARMed CPUs are much faster than the run of the mill Atom. The latest has 5 cores with one dedicated to video, so video puts no load at all on the other cores for browsing. I doubt we will ever see a hex-cored ARM device in a smartphone. There’s just no benefit to having more cores idling.

  11. ch

    “perfectly adequate performance”

    AFAIK today’s ARM CPUs are rather slower than Intel Atoms, and I know from my netbook that an Atom doesn’t give “perfectly adequate performance”.

  12. ch

    “ARM was powering PCs in the 1980s”

    I know, but “a decade or so ago” there wasn’t – to the best of my knowledge – an ARM offering that could have run a Linux or Windows desktop.

  13. Robert Pogson

    ch wrote, “A decade ago, ARM just wasn’t remotely fast enough to power a PC”.

    Nope. ARM was powering PCs in the 1980s.

    Ten years ago, x86 PCs were powered by ~1gHz single core machines with 32bit motherboards and DDR RAM. Then, as now, ARM could do more with less and gave perfectly adequate performance. An idling CPU is not doing anything. In 2001, Pentium Is were still in service in schools.

  14. ch

    “imagine M$ had adopted GNU/Linux a decade or more ago and encouraged ARM.”

    Sorry, but “cruel and unusual” punishment is banned by the US constitution. Seriously: A decade ago, ARM just wasn’t remotely fast enough to power a PC.

    “They could have cut their licensing/support fees in half, reduced expenses and had a decade with treble rate of growth, giving them even larger revenue than they have now.”

    MS could have cut their prices by a third, but why should they ? Compared to the price of a new PC a decade ago, the cost for the bundled Windows license simply wasn’t an issue. (And you of all people whining that MS could have become even bigger if they had listened to you looks somewhat silly, sorry.)

    “At the same time, a billion people, more or less, were denied IT by M$’s short-sighted behaviour.”

    Do you mean the billion people who can afford a PC but not the $3-Windows-DVD sold next to it ? Or the billion people who can’t even afford a PC because, you know, they have more important things to do, like starving to death ?

    “we should pity them for their failures”

    If making billions of $$$ every year is failure, then I hope I get better at failing ;-)

  15. ch

    “Netscape’s success of failure had nothing to do with incompetence.”

    Wrong. They did release their browser for Win95, and it was hugely successful, while almost nobody used IE 1.0. (And, of course, IE 1.0 was _not_ included with Win95, you had to buy the separate “Plus” package that contained it.) They released the next versions, and they were hugely successful, while almost nobody used IE 2.0. IE 3.0 was the first useable version of IE, and some people started using it. Then came IE 4.0, and it was a huge success even before it was bundled with any version of Windows:
    http://penguinday.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/the-ancient-past/
    Meanwhile NS4.0 was inferior, and then Netscape made “the single worst strategic mistake that any software company can make”:
    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html
    So Netscape only had a so-so 4.0 and couldn’t deliver anything better while IE 5.0, 5.5 and 6.0 grabbed the market – they were simply better. (“Better” doesn’t necessarily mean “Good” – looked at from today’s standards, those early browsers were all crap but IE was the best crap to be had.) That’s how NS lost the Browser War. While that RNA stuff you dug out didn’t prevent NS from becoming King of the Hill before.

  16. Kozmcrae

    “On the contrary, the phrase “this will be the year of the Linux desktop” was bandied about by a lot of FOSS advocates until very recently”

    The Cult of Microsoft love to discuss the desktop for obvious reasons. The phrase was invented by them and is in continuous use by them. I cannot recall the last time I heard it seriously considered from a FLOSS advocate including SJVN.

    Now, why all this talk about something that is becoming more irrelevant by the day? Oh yes, Microsoft’s biggest moneymaker is not its biggest moneymaker anymore. Good thing they have a backup plan to take the mobile phone market by storm… More opportunities lost.

  17. Clarence Moon

    “The plain facts…”

    The facts you cite as evidence of “M$’s illegal practices” are just the “finding of fact” by the judge who was later kicked off the case for being biased, Mr. Pogson. There was nothing at all implied to be illegal in anything there. His “findings of law”, which did conclude that there were illegal activities were almost entirely thrown out by the upper court that removed him from the case. All of this is just the leavings of a legal sort of “blue screen” that caused the DOJ to “reboot” the case and eventually settle for court costs.

    Even at that, the citation is about Netscape and Netscape never, ever provided a PC OS to the world. At the time of the alleged malevolence, namely dragging their feet on Win95 info, Microsoft was in the process of coming out with IE 1.0 to the jeers and hoots of just about everyone who had ever used the internet. Netscape was not a Microsoft competitor in any way, shape, or form. Microsoft wanted to partner with Netscape originally and was willing to cede the world of browsers to them, including it as part of the deliverable for Windows, but Netscape refused.

    It is hard to cast this bit of idiocy on the part of Netscape as some terrible act by Microsoft. Had Netscape accepted, it would have gone down in history as the dumbest thing that Microsoft ever done, but they were saved by the overbearing arrogance of the Netscape managers.

  18. Dr Loser

    @Robert:

    My point was that you mangle a long-ago court case (which I admit was entirely justified) into backup for anything you are currently babbling about.

    I don’t suppose I can persuade you to stop doing that, if only on the grounds that it is tedious and tendentious, so let’s address m’learned friend’s other accusations:

    “No shortage at all:

    “OOXML”

    And the OO stands for, what?

    “malware”

    The DoJ would have a field day on that. If Microsoft produced any.

    “file formats”

    Microsoft aren’t the only company to produce a proprietary file format, you know. Nor does this strike me as an obvious case for the DoJ to strike down a “monopoly.”

    “re-re-reboots”

    If you’re talking about catastrophic failure, then it doesn’t happen. Buy newer (even second hand!) hardware.

    If you’re talking about Patch Tuesday, then you’re free to turn the security updates off and have a proper Linux desktop experience, where you don’t ever reboot.

    If you have a magic mechanism that can implement security updates without the need to reboot every now and again, then I’d patent it if I were you.

    “promotional fees”

    What? Paid, or received? And whatever they might be, is this some sort of unique Microsoft evil that has yet to be explained to the world? Or does every other large company do it?

    “coercion of whole countries/governments that showed any independence from M$”

    Whole countries/governments?

    Beam me up, Scotty!

    “cold calls from the BSA, EDGI, Get the FUD”

    (I think these three are related, but I can only vaguely recognise the last one. Are we heavily into banning cold calls, now? I’d agree with you, Pog. It’ll put a lot of poor people on the other end of a telephone out of business, but in the long run it’s worth it.

    Could we do it across the board, please? Not just picking on one company?)

    “astroturfing here”

    By “here” do you actually mean here?

    I sure hope not, Robert. Because, if you do, then you are completely irrational and should lie down with a wet towel over your forehead.

    “Vista-incapable”

    This one is so obscure that I expect oiaohm to explain it in his Junior Year thesis any time soon.

    “netbooks”

    I really don’t think you can blame Microsoft for that one, Pog.

    “ultrabooks”

    I really don’t think you can blame Microsoft for that one, Pog. Probably Intel, I would think. Besides, in this or the previous case, why bother blaming anybody? Let the market decide.

    “vapourware”

    Actually, Microsoft has had a pretty good record on this since around 1999 or so. I’m open to suggestions, but I can’t think of a single instance.

    Well, to be fair, there was that silly metadata indexing every file thing proposed for Vista, but I’m not entirely sure it had much effect.

    ———

    Robert, this appears to be the list of a desperate and senseless man. Absolutely none of it is illegal behaviour, very little of it is strictly immoral even on your terms, and none of it is anything that could conceivably differentiate Microsoft from their corporate competitors.

    So where’s the beef?

  19. Robert Pogson

    oldman wrote, ““astroturfing here”

    You know better Pog…”

    While I believe I am below M$’s radar and they don’t actually pay people to Astroturf here they are effectively getting free Astroturfing by the blathering idiots who come here and deny reality day after day claiming M$ is the best and is here to stay in spite of readily available data giving evidence to the contrary. We’ve had all kinds of people spend hours here daily denying that US DOJ v M$ has any meaning or holding that M$ is as innocent as a Mom and Pop grocery store selling fruit and that malware is no problem at all or that GNU/Linux is not professional/commercially viable software … Stuff that is false on the face of it.

  20. Robert Pogson

    Dr Loser wrote, “No repeat performance from M$, then? It’s rather pitiful.”

    No shortage at all: OOXML, malware, file formats, re-re-reboots, “promotional fees”, coercion of whole countries/governments that showed any independence from M$, cold calls from the BSA, EDGI, Get the FUD, astroturfing here, Vista-incapable, netbooks, ultrabooks, vapourware, …

  21. Robert Pogson

    I am just a 5 year old boy from the bush who loves things that work. I love rifles, PCs, cameras, networks, servers, databases,… I detest stuff that doesn’t work like monopolies that only exist to make money. They tend to drive up prices and send performance to Hell.

  22. Hanson

    And what’s in it for you, Pog?

    Incidentally, I have recently seen a video from a German Ubuntu conference. The presenter was an ex-physicist turned theologian turned Ubuntu missionary. There seems to be some hidden religious appeal I don’t quite understand. And to think that you once were men of science!

  23. Dr Loser

    @Robert:

    And the other characteristic of a FOSS apologist is to Party Like It’s 1999:

    “The plain facts are that M$’s competitors had their hands tied by M$’s illegal practices. e.g. in US DOJ v M$.”

    Is this really all you have? After thirteen years? No repeat performance from M$, then? It’s rather pitiful.

    And as usual you fail to notice that the entire case centred entirely on the Browser Wars (rather quaint, I think, but then I thought that at the time).

    It has absolutely nothing to do with Microsoft being dragged up before the beak to defend their ability to crowd out other operating systems. To think otherwise is pure fantasy and, as Clarence Moon points out, doing a Canute and calling the water back from under the bridge.

  24. oldman

    “Linux kernel is everywhere running everything from routers”

    Nope. Most of the routers on the internet run Propetary OS’s

  25. Dr Loser

    @Koz:

    On the contrary, the phrase “this will be the year of the Linux desktop” was bandied about by a lot of FOSS advocates until very recently: it’s not something made up by this nonexistent cult of yours. (Incidentally, have you talked to a medical professional about that? It might do you good.)

    I believe it was a favourite of Steven Vaughan-Nichols for several years.

    As an alternative, but equivalent, claim, you might like to consider the Five Year Plan, which also has some sort of traction in the LoonSphere.

    “People are embracing FLOSS without even knowing it. What does it matter? It doesn’t. The year of what? Linux? Never heard of it.”

    A bit of a let-down on the philosophical side, I would have thought. (And I would suggest that you sound less like a Cult member if you use phrases like “taking up” or “adopting,” rather than the slightly worrying “embracing.”)

    Now then, you’re a logical sort of chap. So, tell me: from an outsider or (if you prefer) sworn enemy perspective, what is the difference between the claim:

    “Year of the Linux Desktop”

    and

    “Year of I’ve never heard of it, but I have an irrational desire to cuddle it?”

  26. Robert Pogson

    “The year of the Linux desktop” is quite limiting. It looks more like the 21st century will be The Century of GNU/Linux. FLOSS is in it for the long run. Look at the symptoms/indicators:

    1. Linux kernel is everywhere running everything from routers to super computers and smart thingies.
    2. Android and GNU systems are everywhere with huge rates of growth, double digits.
    3. Emerging markets are taking up */Linux in a big way and numbers of users of IT are set to increase several-fold.
    4. Almost every OEM now ships GNU/Linux desktop/notebook/tablet systems.
    5. Many retailers now have abundant shelf-space for */Linux systems.
    6. Only Apple has anywhere near the growth of */Linux but Apple is rapidly losing the lead in share of units shipped/sold.
    7. All the indicators of future growth of */Linux are positive. It seems it could be nearly a decade before emerging markets are satiated and by then M$ and Apple will just be normal competitors, not monopolists.
  27. Robert Pogson

    Hanson wrote of Bill Gates.

    As it turns out, I just heard him on TV whining about USA losing its leadership in innovation. My first gut reaction was that he was a large part of the cause. Stifling competition stifles innovation. Fat and lazy M$ never did much after it bought DOS. In fact, M$ repeatedly did things the hard way just to mess with competition, producing a worse product year after year to make it impossible to have compatibility with any of their products. Innovators don’t do that.

    M$ is investing heavily in the rest of the world by not repatriating profits… The rest of the world is where innovation is happening.

  28. Kozmcrae

    “So 2012 is the year of the linux desktop?”

    You do realize the only people who talk that up are the Cult of Microsoft. “The year of the Linux desktop” was not brought into being by the advocates of FLOSS. It’s one of the many imaginary failures perpetrated by the CoM to promote uncertainty about FLOSS.

    It’s too late. People are embracing FLOSS without even knowing it. What does it matter? It doesn’t. The year of what? Linux? Never heard of it.

  29. Robert Pogson

    Clarence Moon wrote, “The plain facts are that the competitors of Microsoft were just plain incompetent in the overall competition.”

    Nope. The plain facts are that M$’s competitors had their hands tied by M$’s illegal practices. e.g. in US DOJ v M$:

    “Withholding Crucial Technical Information
    90. Microsoft knew that Netscape needed certain critical technical information and assistance in order to complete its Windows 95 version of Navigator in time for the retail release of Windows 95. Indeed, Netscape executives had made a point of requesting this information, especially the so-called Remote Network Access (“RNA”) API, at the June 21 meeting. As was discussed above, the Microsoft representatives at the meeting had responded that the haste with which Netscape received the desired technical information would depend on whether Netscape entered the so-called “special relationship” with Microsoft. Specifically, Microsoft representative J. Allard had told Barksdale that the way in which the two companies concluded the meeting would determine whether Netscape received the RNA API immediately or in three months.

    91. Although Netscape declined the special relationship with Microsoft, its executives continued, over the weeks following the June 21 meeting, to plead for the RNA API. Despite Netscape’s persistence, Microsoft did not release the API to Netscape until late October, i.e., as Allard had warned, more than three months later. The delay in turn forced Netscape to postpone the release of its Windows 95 browser until substantially after the release of Windows 95 (and Internet Explorer) in August 1995. As a result, Netscape was excluded from most of the holiday selling season.”

    So, M$ messed with the competition instead of doing what a business intent on selling licences for operating systems would normally do, promote use of the OS by giving ISVs what they needed. That’s one example of a thousand things M$ did to mess with competition rather than competing on price/performance. Netscape’s success of failure had nothing to do with incompetence. They were prevented from shipping a browser for Lose ’95 because they could not have network access until M$ provided the API late.

  30. Hanson

    Pogson, you’ve outdone yourself with this post. I didn’t believe it to be possible, but you are truly earth’s last Universalgelehrter. If you continue like that, you will discover the meaning of life and the reason behind everything. If you read the Bible carefully, you’d find out that Bill Gates was there and seduced Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge. Yes, he was the snake.

  31. Clarence Moon

    “Coulda”, “woulda”, “shoulda”, Mr. Pogson, it is all water under the bridge today. Quite a few people did do what they could do to affect the course of personal computers and the result is what happened.

    If there were some Linux or other OS advocates who sat idly by on the sidelines because they were too bummed out to compete, then that is not what they should have done. If they had a better mousetrap, they should have told the world in some effective way rather than by complaining with hindsight.

    The plain facts are that the competitors of Microsoft were just plain incompetent in the overall competition. They lost and will forever be known as losers unless they start complaining, too, and can then be labled as whiners.

    One of those losers was IBM whose attempt to re-proprietize the PC with OS/2, PS/2, and MCA failed to win the day. Imagine what the landscape might have been had IBM managed to make OS/2 the winner and refused to allow, as Apple has done with their OS, other companies to use it with competing products.

    For better or worse, Microsoft is the winner and remains the winner in the PC world. Maybe phones or tablets will take over that world or big parts of it, but that has not happened yet. Then, too, maybe Google will change their tactics and proprietize Android as has been suggested:

    http://money.msn.com/top-stocks/post.aspx?post=cd9ca6be-ba1f-4304-8b44-5fcc71e1c70f

  32. Ivan

    So 2012 is the year of the linux desktop? I’m convinced even though your bullet points are clearly nonsense.

    “10 billion person-years of computing was lost,”

    Nice made up measure but I’m sure over fifteen trillion person-decades were saved by paying for software that does what it’s supposed to so it’s kind of meaningless.

    “$100 billion in profits was lost by M$ alone,”

    But $100 billion was made by paying people to comment on blogs, so it all evens out.

    “billions were kept in poverty years longer than they should have,”

    And linux lifts people out of poverty how, exactly?

    “Earth was polluted/raped by the material wasted/used in PCs replaced every few years, and”

    And linux on arm stops this, how?

    “the world spent $billions more fighting the malware and bloat and re-re-reboots of that other OS.”

    Verses the billion$ lost on patching privilege escalation exploits and then *gasp* rebooting…

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