Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Tagged / market share

  • Apr 16 / 2014
  • 0

Wintel Sinks Further

As expected, Intel has raised prices in an attempt to maintain profits as long as possible rather than trusting the market to yield them a reasonable living.“PC Client Group revenue of $7.9 billion, down 8 percent sequentially and down 1 percent year-over-year.” This will hasten the demise of Wintel as consumers see greater advantages to switching to */Linux on ARM. Without the monopoly on retail shelves for legacy PCs there’s no way Intel would raise prices at all and consumers should vote with their wallets. Expect 2014 to be the greatest year yet for FLOSS on ARM.

See Intel News Release.

See also, CFO Commentary on First-Quarter 2014 Results

  • Apr 15 / 2014
  • 0

GNU/Linux in India

For many years, GNU/Linux on the desktop has been progressing well in government and education. Now that Dell and Canonical have teamed up to sell GNU/Linux widely to consumers, we can really see progress in the web stats. In the last two years, according to StatCounter, GNU/Linux has progressed from ~1.1% to nearly 1.65%. While unit-sales of “PCs” have increased over the past year and consumer-sales of “PCs” have actually declined, this is quite a feat. It does pay to have salesmen.

Top 7 Desktop OSs in India from W15 2012 to W15 2014.

  • Apr 13 / 2014
  • 9

Good Money After Bad

The US Internal Revenue Service is spending good money after bad on that other OS. “According to the IRS, it has approximately 110,000 Windows-powered desktops and notebooks. Of those, 52,000, or about 47%, have been upgraded to Windows 7. The remainder continue to run the aged, now retired, XP.” If it ever was a good idea to have used XP in the first place (BSODS, re-re-reboots, waves of malware…) it certainly isn’t in the best interests of the taxpayers of USA to take another step on the Wintel treadmill ensuring an infinite future sum of payments far above market cost (GNU/Linux: $0 per copy and $0 to upgrade each copy, forever). What are they thinking? That no one was ever fired for choosing M$? That M$ is essential to get PCs to do what PCs are capable of doing? Wrong on all counts.

Get with it, IRS. Brazil, Russia, China and India are way ahead of you in choosing Free Software to get the job done.

See IRS Misses XP Deadline Pays Microsoft millions for patches.

To find multiple sources of better and cheaper software, check out the more popular distributions of Free Software on I recommend Debian GNU/Linux for general desktop and server computing.

  • Apr 12 / 2014
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GNU/Linux Breaks Out In The Czech Republic

Drifting for years around 1.75% share of page-views on StatCounter, GNU/Linux has broken out to 2.5% in a few months in the Czech Republic. You guessed it, the most popular distributions: Mint, Fedora, Debian GNU/Linux and Ubuntu GNU/Linux are growing like Topsy.

Chuckle. Either geeks are reproducing rapidly or GNU/Linux is no longer just for geeks… ;-) The same thing is happening everywhere, just not quite so explosively.

  • Apr 11 / 2014
  • 15

Wintel Balloon Deflates

One of the most fun things in life is the site of a buoyant balloon taking flight, reaching unimaginable heights gracefully and easily. That was the old Wintel monopoly when neither Intel nor M$ had to do anything to dominate all of IT. When the leak started in the middle of XP’s reign, no one was fired for buying Intel and M$’s stuff. Many folks were run out of business simply for providing good products at reasonable price. Not so now. M$ has had to actually build decent products over the last decade but it wasn’t enough to keep the balloon up. Wintel was too expensive, too bulky, and too rigid to do what users wanted done.

“executive VP in charge of operating systems Terry Myerson, told ZDNet’s Mary Jo Foley that he was OK with a services model. Specifically, when she asked about the Nokia X line of phones–those new low-priced Android phones running Microsoft services announced at Mobile World Congress. He was cool with a phone running Android, precisely because he was happy to see Microsoft services running on as many devices as possible, regardless of the operating system”It took a lot of work but ARM and the FLOSS community have bypassed both companies. To remain relevant, Intel is diversifying into ARM and making x86 as efficient as they can with Moore’s Law and every other trick they can find. Still Intel’s processors are more expensive than ARM even if energy consumption is not as much disadvantage. There’s just too much silicon involved. Meanwhile, 8-core CPUs and great graphics modules abound in the ARMed world and ARMed CPUs are outselling Intel by a wide margin. Android/Linux has done a similar number on M$’s stuff, so much that M$ now seeks to leverage its PC and server platform into services to sell, just like Google which Ballmer accused of having no business-plan…

See Turning The Ship: Microsoft Might Have Begun A Subtle Shift From Windows To Services.

  • Apr 11 / 2014
  • 0

GNU/Linux For Everyone

The New York Times is at it again, suggesting GNU/Linux as a worthwhile alternative to M$ and Apple’s stuff.“Linux did revolutionize computing. If you own an Android phone or a Kindle e-reader, you are a Linux user. Linux is at the core of those popular devices and is found in a variety of other places, from the world’s most powerful supercomputers down to the tiny Raspberry Pi device that is a favorite among electronics hobbyists.” Good for them. They are helping their 2 million readers escape slavery.

This is a great day. Even my marigold seedlings broke into bloom, ready to face the bright future.

See The Many Alternative Computing Worlds of Linux.

  • Apr 10 / 2014
  • 10

Good News And Bad News Depending On Whether Or Not You Enslave People To Wintel

Well, the good news for me is that shipments of PCs, mostly Wintel desktops and notebooks is down 4.4% compared to last year.“Worldwide PC shipments have now declined for eight consecutive quarters as a result of shifting technology usage and competition (notably with tablets & smartphones) as well as economic pressures (including high unemployment, slow growth & investment, tight credit, and currency fluctuations) related to the Great Recession, sovereign debt crises, and their related impact on international trade” The news could have been better if more XP units were migrated to GNU/Linux or Android/Linux but it’s not clear because IDC doesn’t publicly report that division. My view is that since most legacy PCs ship with Wintel, down is a good thing. GNU/Linux is holding its own despite that decline so shipments of GNU/Linux must be up.

The bad news for me is that still too many people are locked in to Wintel and don’t see that they are being ripped off or are working hard to ignore that fact. I do notice that Wintel prices are coming down rapidly. My favourite supplier will sell motherboard and CPU (AMD) for much less than $90. A good ARMed system will trump that with more throughput and far less wasted power but it’s good that it’s available. Dell, here, in Canada, even shows the price of that other OS on Intel boxes. Unfortunately, they only sell one GNU/Linux box… It’s the token OS for Dell and that box is priced outrageously at $943 even with GNU/Linux. What are they thinking? Money grows on trees? Wintel still has a monopoly? Nope. Consumers can get better for $400. Wintel is still not even close to providing what consumers want.

Still, overall, we are seeing competition actually gain traction against Wintel. OEMs, retailers and consumers are actually seeing a major share of the market go to other platforms. Most consumers are happy with Android/Linux on ARM. Imagine how overjoyed they would be with GNU/Linux on ARM… I’m looking forward to more good news when M$ reports in a couple of weeks.

See Windows XP Migration and Commercial Spending Helped Offset Weak Consumer PC Demand in the First Quarter of 2014.

  • Apr 07 / 2014
  • 21

Feature Comparison: LibreOffice – Microsoft Office

Anyone who thinks M$’s office suite is a “must have” should look at this page. Feature for feature, LibreOffice has what it takes. There are some features that one has that the other doesn’t but the performance is about the same. Why then, pay $gazillions for M$’s office suite when LibreOffice is $0 for as many copies as you want? The feature I like best about LibreOffice is that it can work with SVG so I don’t have to regenerate graphics for different sizes, a total waste of time. I still think GNUmeric does a better job with charts but The Document Foundation is working on that. It’s good to have choices. With M$, one gets to choose whether to pay a lot or a little. If you pay a little, you know you have cripple-ware from them, whereas for $0 LibreOffice is as good as it gets. What the world needs in an office suite it creates as FLOSS and shares. That’s the right way to do IT.

See Feature Comparison: LibreOffice – Microsoft Office – The Document Foundation Wiki.

Thanks to Herbert for supplying this link.

  • Mar 31 / 2014
  • 24

Making a Difference

I have a lot of respect for Ken Starks but he wrote, again, “The fact is, we’ll never see “the year of desktop Linux.” Not the way we imagine it anyway. Many of us long for the time when Linux will become a well known alternative to Microsoft Windows. That just isn’t gonna happen.”

He makes some good points, that don’t actually support his thesis. I can give a single counterexample that shows the error of his ways. There are places on this planet where GNU/Linux is a well known alternative OS on the desktop. See, for example, Reunion, a French colony in the Indian Ocean.

There, “7″ is only a few times more frequently used than GNU/Linux and Android/Linux is breathing down “7″‘s neck. “8″ and “8.1″ are far less frequently used. Are they widely known? Must be with all the advertising M$ puts out.

There are many countries where GNU/Linux is widely known: Brazil, Russia, India, China, Malaysia, Venezuela, Cuba, Uruguay,… Even USA, M$’s homeland knows GNU/Linux because it is on TV every night, and M$ and Apple have been complaining about Android/Linux and GNU/Linux eating their cake.

Not convinced? Large school systems run GNU/Linux. Do you think all those thousands of students might spread the word? How about all those employees at Google? Think they are all geeks with no friends? What does it take to be a well known desktop OS? Sold by major OEMs? GNU/Linux has that covered.

No. The problem, if there is a problem, is not about being well-known. The problem is getting on retail shelves everywhere. That’s the last barrier to wider adoption. Some countries don’t have that problem: Brazil, China, India, etc. If your country has that problem, tell the retailer why those over-priced bulky boxes are gathering dust on their shelves and that they could move product if it was ~$100/unit cheaper. Retailers are all about turnover. They need a high margin on a product rarely sold but a small margin is very profitable on a product sold more often. GNU/Linux PCs of all kinds will sell with lower prices. We saw that with the eeePC and others. ASUS had trouble keeping those shelves stocked.

See Making a Difference the Linux Way.

  • Mar 31 / 2014
  • 2

Tamil Nadu State of India Pushes GNU/Linux To Replace XP

It’s coated in bureaucratese but when the boss suggests installing the boss, some employess might just do that…“the Tamil Nadu government has advised all its departments to install free open source software BOSS Linux” This suggestion was made as early as 2011 but it had little traction. The imminent demise of XP might focus the right minds on the matter…

Read the latest letter for your self. I have a hard time parsing “mandatory” and “suggested” on the same piece of paper. Isn’t that like a spark in a powder-keg?

See TN state departments asked to switch over to open source software.

See also the original letter of 2011

  • Mar 31 / 2014
  • 2

2014 Will Be A Great Year For LibreOffice

The only issue I still have with LibreOffice is that it lacks styles for charts.“The tender specification lists five additional features to be developed, including new spreadsheet functions, chart styles and improved mail merge capabilities. The project is expected to be completed later this year.” That will change in 2014 as several European governments pool their resources to pay for developers to add that feature and several more. They are also wanting to update the change-management features in the ISO standard. That could eliminate the last barrier to adoption to some heavy users of office suites. M$ has been stripping ODF change-management… With the modification to the ISO standard, that will be unsupportable.

Does anyone think paying a few programmers for this project will cost more than hundreds of thousands of licensing fees for that other OS and its office suite? ;-) Chuckle.

See Call to fix interoperability of office suites.

  • Mar 31 / 2014
  • 12

Small Cheap Computers Win China

The number os users of smartphones in China greatly exceeds the number of legacy PCs.“There were 1.24 billion subscribers of mobile communication services in China as of February 2014, growing 0.36% sequentially and 9.52% on year, and 429.79 million (34.67%) of them were 3G users and 839.05 million (67.68%) mobile Internet-access users, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
The number of subscribers in February accounted for 90.8% of the country’s population.”
Clearly, these smartphones are the new PC for many. They are replacing legacy PCs for communication and browsing. The legacy PC is too expensive, bulky and immobile to give these folks what they want.

See China has 1.24 billion mobile phone users in February, says MIIT.