“Windows 7, after five months of public availability, had captured 10.5% of the market. Even the much-maligned Windows Vista did better than Windows 8 at release — and in fact, to this day, still has a larger share of the market than Windows 8 (5%). Manufacturers aren’t celebratorily cutting the price of Windows RT tablets; they’re discounting the devices in a desperate attempt to shift unwanted stock.”
see Five months in: Windows 8′s market share finally surpasses desktop Linux
In previous waves of good and bad products, the Wintel monopoly has gotten by with severe lock-in. People were forced to buy the bad and ugly stuff because they did not know they had a choice, FLOSS and GNU/Linux. Today, everyone knows they have choices: Android/Linux, GNU/Linux and even Apple’s stuff. Thus, “8″ is plugging the channels and OEMs and retailers are mad as Hell. They don’t blame the economy, the weather, politicians… They blame M$ and rightly so.
OEMs and retailers have been willing slaves of M$ for decades because of that lock-in. Now that it’s gone, it doesn’t pay to be a slave. New OEMs are emerging with no shackles and trouncing the old guard. The OEMs are having to adapt by shipping what the world wants, small cheap computers, not what M$ wants, bloated stuff which hides their “tax”. Retailers have always taken the risk and the flack from users who wanted to buy a PC but not M$’s OS. Now they can’t even move the stuff except into the dumpster. They can’t even convert the machines to GNU/Linux due to “secure boot”…
Governments have tolerated Wintel because it seemed to be necessary for industry/the economy. Now that */Linux is widely known to be a good alternative, governments are questioning their relationship to Wintel and many are adopting FLOSS themselves. Many are finally able to see the anti-competitive features of Wintel are harming their economies and providing a genuine disadvantage with respect to economies which do not cater to M$.
End users have tolerated Wintel because they took what was on retail shelves and were not computer-literate. Now they have friends running small cheap computers often with nothing from Intel or M$ and they have a choice. Why put up with constant re-re-reboots, slowing down, higher prices, and restrictions on what they can do with PCs when the small cheap computers free them forever from that?
Sand is made of hard particles, harder than the gears. As time passes those gears will wear themselves down until the teeth are gone or the axles wobble. There’s just no repairing Wintel without destroying the monopoly. Even Intel has had to adapt by tweaking Atom at the cutting edge of Moore’s Law and still they can’t compete on price/performance with ARM.
Good riddance to monopoly in IT. It was never a good idea and will eventually be seen as a crime against humanity. Information should be free. Information processing should be a commodity available at a fair price and under fair terms. M$’s EULA was not fair. Locking in consumers, retailers and OEMs was not fair. Governments and courts blinking at the obvious damage to the consumers and the economy was wrong.
He who lives by the sword will die by it and Wintel has locked itself into a high-cost mode of operation that is the ultimate cause of its decline. M$ and Wintel may survive but they will never be monopolists again. The world will not allow them to buy out ARM and they cannot buy out FLOSS for any money. Good-bye, monopoly.