Fallout From Migrations of Office Suite

“…moving from Microsoft Office to open source alternatives like OpenOffice is normal, the expected, the non-newsworthy common occurrence.  It is “dog bites man”.  Moving in the opposite direction, from free software to proprietary is newsworthy because it is so rare.  It is “man bites dog”

via A Tale of Two Cities.

Isn’t it the truth? There was a wave of huge migrations to FLOSS in the period of 2003-2005 which made headlines but far larger migrations recently barely are noticed in the noise. We now have several governments of large nations moving to GNU/Linux and FLOSS, huge corporations like Google too and countless millions of individuals. It’s not news any longer but I still enjoy reading about it when it does break through.

M$ has some tenets about mindshare for technology. One of them is that you only win when the status quo becomes thinking the competing technology works is a mental defect. Conversely, M$ must know it is losing because no one now believes using FLOSS (GNU/Linux, Android/Linux, FLOSS applications…) is irrational. FLOSS works for everyone who tries it. The few exceptions I have read are quite unusual, involving some constraint other than price/performance, like inability to run application X. When people consider “doing task X” instead of some lock-in they suddenly find themselves doing IT the right way, the way that works for them.

Really, the time of early adopters was long ago. Mainstream use on servers happened since 2000. Mainstream use on small cheap computers is everywhere now and big expensive computers are nearly obsolete. M$’s attempts to run on small cheap computers by making its own hardware is dooming that other OS to a small share sooner or later. Current inventories of PCs running that other OS will meet the need to run “application X” for years to come. After that, everyone except very few will run web applications that work for any OS on the client PC. Mobile and thin client is the future of client computing.

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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