Joshua Shapiro has an understanding of the horror which has become of the PC industry. M$ gets its stuff put on OEM PCs and applications may or may not be installed by the OEM or the end user. OEMs make very little profit because to compete they only control the price, not the mix of applications and the OS. M$ has not done anything to address this yet most OEMs depend on M$ for software.
“The problem in the market is commoditization. There is generally a lack of innovation on the part of the vendors, who have left it to Intel, Microsoft and the ODMs to advance the industry. Once upon a time this didn’t matter because computers were slower and users always looked to the latest models for more horsepower, more storage capacity and more pixels in the display. However, the traditional focus on increased speed or better hardware specifications is no longer vital for users, and without differentiation, vendors increasingly compete on price, leaving them to face diminishing returns over the past 10 years.”
Joshua Shapiro hopes to sell OEMs on a new way of installing software on PCs in the factory, by giving buyers a menu and tweaking an installation image during the installation of the software. Basically, a huge image would be created but only the chosen software would be installed. Unfortunately, this would encumber OEMs with having to make deals with many ISVs. M$ is not going to do that because they have a monopoly on the desktop OS and don’t give a damn whether OEMs make money. Essentially, OEMs’ margins are just the margin on M$’s OS and OEMs are doing all the work of designing, building and shipping PCs for $0. They are M$’s slaves, given just enough bread and water to keep them alive.
The real solution is not to prop up M$’s monopoly further but to use GNU/Linux which already has huge repositories of applications ready to go. An OEM can add an application to a PC in seconds or custom build an image in minutes with a package manager application, and OEMs would not need to pay Joshua Shapiro for his patented technology. It would cost OEMs much less to contribute a little to FLOSS than to pay M$ per-seat licensing fees and be just another manufacturer in the crowd of M$’s
Joshua Shapiro is right about one thing. OEMs have to make the effort to change. ASUS changed in 2007 when it brought out the fabulous GNU/Linux netbooks which sold out globally. When M$ forced OEMs to install that other OS, that innovation was killed. 2012 may see the last netbook made. What OEMs fail to realize is that they can sell PCs with GNU/Linux and package managers getting all the flexibility Shapiro advocates with none of the burdens M$ insists upon. OEMs should run their business independently of M$. It’s the only way they will thrive. Let M$ make its own PCs. The rest of us can cooperate and make great IT. There is no difficulty for OEMs to differentiate their products on price and performance with FLOSS. see Distrowatch