Network World has a piece on endangered careers in IT. They hit upon various dinosaurs like the UNIX-only type but they could mention the M$-only type both on client and server. One used to see ads than mentioned that other OS only but now one can find ads that mention GNU/Linux only. That’s where the growth is. People and organizations have found that M$’s thick client is a dead weight and there are lighter more flexible ways to do IT:
- web applications,
- cloud services and applications,
- thin clients,
- embedded systems as clients, and
- mobile clients
FLOSS is a huge part of all of these better ways to do IT. GNU/Linux can do the job just as well if not better than that other OS. M$ admits this. That is why M$ now pushes thin clients and mobile devices running their OS but it’s too little too late. For a decade or longer, M$ spread the FUD that “dumb terminals” and mobile devices could not do the job but people found out those were lies and moved on. Now M$ is trying to compete on price/performance but it cannot while still supporting its own bloat with monopoly prices.
M$ is the real endangered species. None of the shifts contemplated by Network World tolerate a monopoly any longer. M$ competing on price/performance will become just another competitor with a fraction of its present share of the IT pie. For instance, with the move to mobile clients, M$ has dropped rapidly from 95% share in early 200X to about 50% of personal computers today. Sure, it has a lock on some retail shelves and lots of businesses but today there are retail shelves full of smart thingies and OEMs are shipping millions of x86 PCs with GNU/Linux. The thing is small cheap computers are out-selling the ones M$ has monopolized for decades.
For example, Walmart in Brazil lists the best-selling desktop (ATX box) PCs. The top 7 run GNU/Linux. 8th is that other OS.
Unfortunately for some, fewer people are going to be hired to support that other OS and its “partners” and better IT needs fewer people. Still, the lowered prices mean many more machines running */Linux for the next decade so FLOSS and */Linux is a growth industry making a much easier environment in which to find work for those able/willing to switch.