Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Daily Archives / Thursday, January 10, 2013

  • Jan 10 / 2013
  • 3
technology

M$’s Monopoly Softens

“Worldwide PC shipments totaled 89.8 million units in the fourth quarter of 2012 (4Q12), down 6.4% compared to the same quarter in 2011 and worse than the forecasted decline of 4.4%, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker. Although the quarter marked the beginning of a new stage in the PC industry with the launch of Windows 8, its impact did not quickly change recently sluggish PC demand, and the PC market continued to take a back seat to competing devices and sustained economic woes. As a result, the fourth quarter of 2012 marked the first time in more than five years that the PC market has seen a year-on-year decline during the holiday season.

see Soft PC Shipments in Fourth Quarter Lead to Annual Decline as HP Holds Onto Top Spot, According to IDC.

So, tablets and smartphones are not a flash in the pan. M$’s OEM revenues will take a hit unless M$ raises prices, making their stuff even less competitive. Further, USA, M$-lover supreme, was down to less than 19% of PCs shipped. In 2011 USA was near 22%. M$ and friends are losing their grip on IT.

Morgan Stanley downgraded MSFT to hold:
“This weak PC market will not only hurt Windows 8 sales, they wrote, but also the new version of the Office suite — Office 2013 — which is due to ship this quarter.

In addition, the Morgan Stanley analysts have been unimpressed by the first sales wave of Windows 8, which began shipping in late October.”

  • Jan 10 / 2013
  • 0
technology

US Veterans’ Administration Almost Gets FLOSS

“The US Department of Veterans Affairs is looking to upgrade the 25-year-old software that powers its nationwide health care system, and it’s betting real money that open source is the way to do it.

To that end, the agency is sponsoring a contest in which three entrants will be awarded prizes of up to $3m each, provided they can demonstrate software based on open source code and open APIs (application programming interfaces) that can successfully replace components of the VA’s current systems.”

see Help a US gov't agency switch to open source, win $3 million • The Register.

While asking for open standards and actually offering to pay for results, the VA wants ASL 2.0, not GPL. That may be to allow modification of current ASL code but it cuts down on the existing software resources that are available. In the extreme case, if there existed a solution in GPL that met all their requirements except ASL 2.0, they could not accept it… That’s just plain silly.

If you really get FLOSS, you have to share and re-use source-code not just the latest build of some project. Still, it’s a start to getting the whole US government doing IT the right way, sharing it instead of paying a bunch of suppliers of similar software repeatedly for the use of it. The VA sees their source code as FLOSS and they don’t seem to care that it remains FLOSS after distribution. That’s short-sighted. Nevertheless this will help VA balance a budget. Obtain the software at the minimum cost, not what the market will bear.