For decades, the USA was the trend-setter in all things IT. In the last few years that has changed dramatically:
It follows that USA no longer calls the tune in IT. What is happening is that Governments, businesses and individuals are now getting choice in IT instead of the default options chosen by US companies.
Android/Linux is a global product made from the Linux kernel globally and Android developed by Google. It mostly runs on ARM (UK) but is invading the x86 space as well. Retail shelves around the world usually display Android/Linux devices prominently and in many regions, consumers and businesses can buy GNU/Linux PCs sometimes locally produced but also supplied by global OEMs.
The governments of BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), Malaysia, much of Europe, Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, and Peru all use GNU/Linux and actively promote GNU/Linux in their countries. Brazil, Russia and India all have huge projects to promote GNU/Linux in schools. Only a few years ago, use of that other OS in government and business was a given but now many governments prefer FLOSS in their purchases.
USA has a lot of FLOSS development but is one of the lowest countries on Earth in usage of GNU/Linux on the desktop in business.
NetApplications: (USA, excluding Designated Market Area of San Francisco)
That other OS 85.08%
NetApplications does overcount that other OS but even by its measures, USA is an outlier (Cuba 3.9%, Finland 3%, France 1.7%,…) . You have to go to places like Viet Nam to find lower numbers for GNU/Linux.
This makes USA businesses less competitive and is part of the malaise felt in the economy of the USA. Rather than fattening M$’s coffers, USA should be investing in education and technology that will make the economy flourish. It is very strange that hatred of taxes is widespread yet many residents pay “the tax” for that other OS and are not aware it is optional…
2012 is a year of decision. Is the USA going to continue going down the drain of IT with M$ or will the USA wake up and give FLOSS a chance in education, government, business and retail spaces? The dependence on M$ is entirely artificial and once the dependence on desktops from M$ declines, so can IT be free from malware and get the best price/performance for IT. It’s not just about licences. It’s about IT designed to work for the users, not M$.
Munich’s migration to GNU/Linux desktops receives much derision in the USA, but has saved the city $millions in hardware and licensing expenditures while giving Munich first-rate IT and promoting local business. While Munich could have migrated more rapidly, they placed a premium on no downtime and cost was not the prime motivation. Independence from M$ was.
The whole world is becoming independent from M$ and so should the USA. The idea that the world cannot do without M$ is nonsense, a fable. The sooner USA grows up and realizes that the better off it will be.