Ultimatum for M$ and “8”

It appears that M$’s only hope for success with “8” is to take on Apple’s fans head-to-head in price/performance at the high-end of PCs. That puts M$ into fighting over a 10% niche rather than mainstream PCs. That puts M$ out of the game for small cheap computers.

“PCs based on Windows 8 are not expected to adopt entry-level pricing so the initial target markets will be developed economies where purchasing power is strong and users appreciate product innovation. Wang pointed to North America as being the key market, stating that Windows 8 needs to be as successful as Apple in the higher-end of the PC market.”

“needs to be” sounds like an ultimatum from OEMs. “Lead, follow, or get out of the way, M$” is what I hear. Good luck to M$, then. Those “developed economies” are grabbing */Linux at a great rate and consumers know they have a choice. I regularly read/hear how consumers are shopping around for the best deals in IT. They aren’t trying to buy the most expensive kit to keep up with the Jonses who are also shopping at Walmart.

It’s not only the OEMs who are pressing M$. “Partner” Intel is doing a lot on its own these days because M$ is not usually doing what’s best for Intel.

see Digitimes – Windows 8 success will initially depend on demand from North America, says JT Wang.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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31 Responses to Ultimatum for M$ and “8”

  1. oiaohm, wrote, “figures and actions do suggest a possible tipping point soon”.

    The tipping point was reached last year when hundreds of millions of people figured out that computers could run other software than M$’s on smart phones, tablets etc. They see a personal computer that boots faster and does more for them than retail PCs burdened with that other OS. They see a huge market of free/non-free software available for a few clicks with no paperwork, EULAs, WGdisAdvantage, threats from the BSA, and Google, an heroic corporation delivering valuable services to the world including software. The emperor is not wearing clothes. Everyone knows it, including M$. That’s what that other OS on ARM is all about. The world has found a way around the Wintel log-jam and M$ is trying to stem the flow.

  2. Viktor wrote, “Have they run out of Linux to put on their machines?”

    Nope. The product sold out. They cannot keep the shelves stocked.

  3. Mats Hagglund says:

    In my home town there is one small shop installing lots of ex-business used fine pc’s dualbooting with Windows XP SP2 or Windows 7 with Ubuntu /Linux Mint LTS. They have sold hundreds of these secondhand pc’s but with above average hardware. In some forums i’ve heard several these shops doing the same all over my country. This habit is likely to becoming more common in future.

    This action is fine move by shops. People learn to use Linux and when the found how stabile and secure it is majority of people tend to use it. My son (student) has one of these secondhand pc’s and he mostly use Ubuntu and XP SP3 only with those Windows applications.

  4. Viktor says:


    Here’s Walmart, in Brazil, advertising GNU/Linux desktops.


    LOL. Have they run out of Linux to put on their machines?


    They are forced to buy it.

    Utter crap. You can buy computers without Windows. Now. Here. Even in Canada. If people wanted to buy computers without Windows they’d just do it. Because they are free to do it. And the supply is there. Just no overwhelming demand.

    I bought a computer sans OS myself recently (because I had a spare Windows 7 license lying around). In Germany of all places. Should’ve been impossible.

  5. oiaohm says:

    Mats Hagglund exactly google is working on chromeos so yes there is a push from google to get at desktop.

    China still has internal push to be not dependant on any other country for the computer OS and hardware.

    Yes overall figures and actions do suggest a possible tipping point soon.

  6. Clarence Moon wrote, “in Canada, there are no such shelves”.

    Certainly there are. My favourite supplier in Canada, NCIX, stocks a nice compact PC with GNU/Linux: http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=60976&vpn=EB1007-B0410&manufacture=ASUS It’s selling like hot cakes. They are temporarily out of stock and they do have bricks-and-mortar stores in Vancouver

    In Winnipeg, there are small shops that will sell you whatever you want. They custom-build. There are medium-sized shops that stock GNU/Linux PCs. e.g. http://www.cbit.ca/promotions/pdfs/399system.pdf

    They have a store in Winnipeg on St. James Street.

  7. Mats Hagglund says:

    People don’t buy Windows because “they like it”. They are forced to buy it. Just see what’s happening with smartphones and tablets. People buy iPhone, iPads, Androids, Blackberries without hesitation and “waiting for new Windows phones”.

    Linux has about 4% of non-mobile markets (desktops, laptops, notebooks) now. Without big players like Google or China Linux will never take, let’s say 10% slice of markets. But if China or Google or both made a big move to push Linux on non-mobiles people will buy these machines with no doubt.

    I checked the latest figures of sold non-mobiles and mobiles. The rate is near 1:2 to mobiles. And this is the real pain in ass for Microsoft. They have already lost smartphones and might lost majority of tablets too.

    Figures for 2012 might look like this:

    Linux:~ 400-420 million devices
    Windows:390-400 million devices
    Apple : 240-250 million devices
    Others: 140-150 million devices

    Total: some 400 million non-mobiles (pc shipments), 130 million tablets and some 650 million smartphones.

    Linux: 34-35%
    Windows: 33-34%
    Apple: ~20 %


    “”More worrisome for the long term is that Generation Y has an altogether different view of client devices than older generations and are not buying PCs as their first, or necessarily main, device,” Mr. Atwal said. “For older buyers, today’s PCs are not a particularly compelling product, so they continue to extend lifetimes, as PC shops and IT departments repair rather than replace these systems.” ”

    Smartphone sales:


  8. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon can you buy a Motorola xoom near you? Its duel android and gnu/linux.

    There is a lot of work http://www.linaro.org/ to have both Android and GNU/Linux working with each other.

    So yes GNU/Linux at this stage is on the shelf all over the the USA. Not in your face yet. This hidden growth will go on over the next few years in the USA.

    So yes GNU/Linux is on the shelf world wide in some form. This is different to a few years back.

    Things are happening you are not noticing Clarence Moon.

  9. Clarence Moon says:

    Always your “proof” comes from some unverifiable, far off land, Mr. Pogson. Not down the street, in Canada, there are no such shelves. Not around me, in the USA, there are no such shelves. Always in Timbuktu or Shanghai or rumored in the rain forests of South America via internet pages. When they show up in the real world on real shelves, let us know.

  10. GNU/Linux is sold on many retail shelves, just not all of them. Dell has hundreds of stores in China selling GNU/Linux PCs. Many countries have retailers, OEMs and distributors flogging GNU/Linux: India, Brazil, and Russia come to mind. Many countries in Europe also do not fear GNU/Linux.

    Here’s Walmart, in Brazil, advertising GNU/Linux desktops.

    Walmart has 369 models for sale, netbooks, notebooks and desktops.

  11. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon so you don’t look at Samsung right when you look a SEC reports.

    Samsung is one of the few remaining companies that do basically everything including Linux based OS’s.

    Also GNU/Linux has been in most areas hidden in Motorola tablets or other things. Ubuntu current move to hi-bred with Android could see this a lot more common. So I would not claim with absolute sue that I have not walked past a GNU/Linux device hiding in a stack of Android. This is the problem Linux has the big bad habit of hiding in plan view.

    iLia of course you miss that Google just aquired QuickOffice. So in tablets giving office suite away for free might be required.

    The battle in the server room will start soon. Oldman you need to pay attention to what I say next.
    Samba 4 has just entered BETA. This alone does not sound a problem. Then you go over to openchange that is 1.0 or borg so allowing outlook mapi clients to connect to a few different group-ware servers but operational requirement is samba 4. z-push already provides active sync to mobile devices.

    So the release samba 4 will set off a domino effect. Windows ADS servers with just Exchange could possibly be dropped for full Linux solutions without end users noticing. Its not like sharepoint lacks a competitor as well. Yep a server with just sharepoint exchange and ads could be sent by by.

    What is the major difference here. No CAL in licensing. So less headaches when businesses want to add a desktop.

    So I would not be surprised if the drop in windows server acquirements does not happen soon after samba 4 gets out. We are going to see a return to samba back pre 2000. Where for large installs samba was used instead of NT.

    This is why timing is bad to release a poor desktop OS. There is just about to be a server assault. There is every change windows 8 release and the Linux Server room assault will be at the same time.

    For your stationary machines there is another threat. systemd is integrating multi-seat support. Worse multi-seat with zero clients over network. Ok not a problem right because thin clients are limtied right? Next dma-buf that has gone mainline in 2.5 Linux kernel. This allows rendering on one video card displaying on another. The another could a zero client. So for a lot of businesses one client server per 20+ people will be possible. Even better zero client protocol supports auto fall over. Yes dma-buf replace virtualgl that was a user-space hack to make this work that was glitchy replaced by dma-buf that will work perfectly. So that remote client with perfect 3d rendering has been coming for years and its just about here.

    Final big problem is Linux kernel is getting to the point that all above could be providing android to business desktops along side gnu/linux with windows in virtualisation.

    This is the problem domino effects are about to start.

    Ultimatum for MS is not just on the desktop with 8. The Ultimatum is also going to be in the server room. The ultimatum in there is going to reduce the number of desktop machines that businesses needs. So reduce the number of licenses businesses need.

  12. Clarence Moon says:
  13. Clarence Moon says:

    GNU/Linux is widely used globally, but you don’t find it on some retail shelves.

    I think you mistyped “any retail shelves”, Mr. Pogson. In any case, you will know that you are right only when such things actually appear on a real retail shelf in your own locale. They do not appear in mine, either, but until you see something beyond a singular anecdote in some Chinese grocery blog, you are just indulging in wishful whimsy.

    You might also consider the wisdom of using stats that you frequently discredit from NetApplications to prove such a bizarre theory that Linux use in California is at such a high level. You can claim NA to be reliable or not reliable, but not both and only when it is leaning your way.

    I think that just looking on the shelf for Linux or looking at SEC reports to see if Microsoft is moving ahead or backward is much more reliable than the NA statistics even after applying your voodoo treatments.

  14. lpbbear says:

    “So what? there is Windows 7, many people are happy with it.

    And many people are still using Windows XP and happy with it.”

    Only one problem there. After Windows 8 is released M$FT will purposely and artificially dry up copies of Windows 7 just like they did with WinXP after Vista was released in an attempt to force people to Windows 8.

  15. oldman wrote, “those businesses and individuals who can afford it choose windows just like the developed world does.”

    Google can afford anything, yet chooses GNU/Linux (Sunnyvale, CA, 95% GNU/Linux). Same with Peugeot, IBM, and other serious businesses.

  16. oldman says:

    “Emerging markets are where things are happening. They are not locked in and will pick systems and software they can afford.”

    And those businesses and individuals who can afford it choose windows just like the developed world does.

  17. Clarence Moon wrote of desktop GNU/Linux, “a mere footnote in the PC client world”.

    Not even close. GNU/Linux is widely used globally, but you don’t find it on some retail shelves. That’s changing. The huge success of Android/Linux and Canonical’s persistence make GNU/Linux too visible to keep off retail shelves now. Think California, a larger population than Canada, with 10% GNU/Linux rather than that ~1% nonsense. GNU/Linux is spreading and growing everywhere. You cannot wish it away. So what if many businesses remain locked in. Consumers are not. They browse and play AV media largely. GNU/Linux lacks nothing in those departments. People want small cheap computers and GNU/Linux can help OEMs, retailers and consumers get what they want.

    Emerging markets are where things are happening. They are not locked in and will pick systems and software they can afford.

  18. iLia says:

    Win8 is going to be the biggest turd Microsoft has ever squeezed out.

    Windows 8 is a turd just like Vista was a turd and WinME was a turd.

    So what? there is Windows 7, many people are happy with it. Even if Windows 8 will be a turd, Microsoft will still make a lot of money selling Windows 7, MS Office, Visual Studio and many other great software, they are going to make money even with Linux.

    And many people are still using Windows XP and happy with it.

    It is a Microsoft’s tradition every second version of Windows is a turd, and every other second version is a huge success. They learn on their errors, desktop Linux never does. Admit it.

  19. Clarence Moon says:

    pompously opined

    Not pompousness, Mr. Pogson, I feel, but rather simple awareness of how things work. With all the advantages that you claim for Linux, why do you suppose that it is still such a mere footnote in the PC client world?

    Postulate whatever mechanism to be at work that you will, but do you think that anything has changed to make it stop operating? Certainly not. Whether it is the guiding hand of market dynamics of which I propose or some evil amalgam of Microsoft and OEMs acting illegally, there is nothing to suggest that it will be no different tomorrow.

    Other than your odd belief that phones and tablets are somehow the same as PCs, that is.

  20. Viktor says:

    “The ‘8’ Ultimatum” — is this the successor to “The Bourne Ultimatum”? I expect a good action romp, with Ballmer playing the lead. Has Koz McRae been casted as the bad guy? Ballmer will smack him up.

  21. lpbbear says:

    “Not very likely, Mr. Kozbear,”

    Dipsh*t, I have no relation to “Mr. Kozbear” whoever that may be. RIF

    “you can do no more than indulge in such wishful thinking!”

    Its not “wishful thinking” or even any Linux bias on my part that is coloring my opinion of the upcoming Windows 8 version. The GUI simply looks like crap and there is no bias talking there. It just looks like someones bad joke for an interface. The funniest comparison I have seen of it was an article that showed a picture of an ancient AOL interface and the “new” (cough cough) Windows 8 Metro interface. They looked basically the same.

    “Notice how ASUS and Acer are both jumping on the Windows 8 bandwagon with their high profile announcements.”

    Who cares? The fact that they are jumping on board the “Titanic” makes no difference in where that iceberg sits dead ahead.

    “You need to learn this life’s lesson.”

    You’re the last person on this planet to teach anyone a lesson. I trust my eyes and my own common sense. I know a turd when I smell a turd. Windows 8 is a turd just like Vista was a turd and WinME was a turd. Sure, M$FT may sail right on past the iceberg but it will certainly take on some water as a result of Windows 8, Metro, and UEFI. BTW, just to show you I have zero bias in this area I believe Ubuntu’s “Unity” is also a turd, but ……by comparison to Metro’s pitifully bad design…….it smells like a rose.

  22. Clarence Moon pompously opined, “Things will stay the same because it is in the best interests of those who control things to have them remain the same with the controllers still in control. You need to learn this life’s lesson.”

    You may not have noticed that computing is no longer the sole domain of the “top five” OEMs of PCs who are all M$’s “partners”. More computers were sold with ARM in 2011 than with x86 and anyone and his uncle is making computers with ARM and establishing retail shelf-space for Android/Linux and GNU/Linux. Wintel is no longer in control. “8” on ARM will be a late-comer and not having a lock on retail shelf-space. A few OEMs have announced products but it’s still vapourware until RTM some months from now. This month, */Linux on ARM will ship on more devices than M$ will ship in Q4. There’s nothing to get excited about with “8”. It’s just “7+1” with a little experiment in the ARM aisle.

  23. Clarence Moon says:

    Not very likely, Mr. Kozbear, you can do no more than indulge in such wishful thinking! Notice how ASUS and Acer are both jumping on the Windows 8 bandwagon with their high profile announcements. That is money at work and you smurfs can only watch, eh?

    At the end of the day, the market will have resettled at its traditional equilibrium and you grumps will be left to complain of tilted playing fields and malevolent deals and other such nonsense. Things will stay the same because it is in the best interests of those who control things to have them remain the same with the controllers still in control. You need to learn this life’s lesson.

  24. lpbbear says:

    “Windows 8 for phones and tablets and ARM notebooks is the only news in the market, Mr. Pogson.”

    Microsoft may have a ton of money to throw at marketing Win8 for phones, PCs, and tablets but……..

    the only problem is that Win8 looks like……hell…..and even the least sophisticated consumer can plainly see that.

    Once users get a taste of reaching across their desk to “swipe” their screen I am betting the novelty of big stupid looking squares and touch screens wears off quickly and they will be dragging out their older systems for some sense of common sense.

    Win8 is going to be the biggest turd Microsoft has ever squeezed out.

  25. Clarence Moon says:

    I think that you are both ignoring the technicalities of product marketing and are both right and both wrong here. The fortunes of HTC, Sony, Samsung, LG, and even Motorola are tied to many things other than cell phone or tablet OS. Or cell phones and tablets in general, except for Motorola Mobile division of Google.

    The Android phone, actually the “non-iPhone phone”, market is a contentious arena wherein the players are all beating one another up on price and no one is able to truly differentiate themselves on feature, function, and benefit characteristics of their product. They all strive to be the low price producer and all succeed and all fail at the same time. An even bigger loser is RIM with its Blackberry that has dropped precipitously in the past year.

    That was the problem, BTW, with the PC market, too. Everyone supplied Windows except Apple and everyone is evaluated the same, more or less. There is really only Apple left as an upscale choice. Windows is the alternative, but it is an established segment. I really doubt that Linux could ever make it in such an environment, particularly as mature as it is, product marketing wise.

    Windows 8 for phones and tablets and ARM notebooks is the only news in the market, Mr. Pogson. It may not be such earth-shattering news, but it seems to me that it is the only viable candidate. Sort of like the Mitt Romney of new wave device OS. If enough people become disillusioned by Apple, it could win out in the long run. Microsoft, at least, has the money, like Mitt, to stay the course.

  26. Phenom wrote, “I work with objective data:”, when comparing apples and oranges:

    • profitability of businesses, and
    • market share of businesses.

    Does anyone care if Samsung lost a bit of market share when the market is growing by huge percentages annually globally? Nope. Phenom is just looking for decreases in the rate of increase of revenue. Real businesses with real products using FLOSS can and do compete very well. M$ and that other OS are the ones requiring monopoly in order to remain relevant, not Android/Linux phone makers…

  27. Phenom says:

    I can’t comment on your nephews and nieces, Mr. Pogson. I work with objective data:


  28. Phenom wrote, “The financial results for 2011 demonstrated that all manufacturers of Android devices lost money, except for Samsung and HTC, but HTC’s profit is shrinking fast.”

    Facts not in evidence…

    If that’s losing money, I am a monkey’s uncle. For hardware manufacturers, these are amazing profit margins. Compare that with makers of PCs like Dell: 5.8% Operating income on revenue. I doubt any OEM would stay in the business of small cheap computers for long if they weren’t making money. “Others” often supply the low end and still make money by using end of the line parts and cheap labour. It’s all good.

    That’s the problem Wintel faces. The OEMs are hungry for profits and Wintel has been raking in the big money for decades. Small cheap computers work for consumers and OEMs, just not for Wintel.

  29. Phenom says:

    And spam filter failed again.

  30. Phenom says:

    I see no piece of news here, Pogson. Smart businesses follow the money, you know. The financial results for 2011 demonstrated that all manufacturers of Android devices lost money, except for Samsung and HTC, but HTC’s profit is shrinking fast. MS must be idiots to want to compete on the arena of cheap devices, which bring profit to no-one.

    Good, admirable Android products are expensive. iPads are expensive. Any attempt to develop a tablet on par with iPad leads to a price on par with iPad. Same goes for 8. You want good experience? Then pay the price and get good hardware.

    The only cheap viable offering is Kindle Fire, which is heavily subsidized from Amazon’s huge coffers. At least, with it you get some services – books, music, video.

    The rest is only cheap. Crappy cheap.

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