Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Tagged / market share

  • Jul 22 / 2014
  • 6

The Monopoly Sinks Slowly Into The West

“Windows OEM non-Pro revenue decreased 9%”
“non-Pro” is the one consumers buy, eh? That means while sales of */Linux are rising everywhere, the empire is collapsing at a great rate, despite economic revival and thriving emerging economies. M$ just isn’t selling what people want, freedom. The “Pro” folks, however, are in a sad state, being led around by the nose by M$, forced forever to keep buying new PCs and software if they want M$’s permission to run their IT…

I recommend they all switch to Debian GNU/Linux. I did years ago and I’m glad I did.

See M$’s latest quarterly report.

UPDATE Another nail in the coffin…U.K. Cabinet Office Adopts ODF as Exclusive Standard for Sharable Documents

See also The Announcement from the Cabinet Office: Open document formats selected to meet user needs

That is a big deal. Once the lock-in of M$’s web-browser and office suite are broken, there’s little to keep many from switching entirely to FLOSS and GNU/Linux. Great news.

  • Jul 22 / 2014
  • 0

Even The Legacy PC Has Lost Its Monopoly In China

The huge lead developed by the legacy PC over more than a decade on the web“Around 527 million (or 83 per cent) of China’s 632 million netizens preferred to use a mobile device to access websites and apps.
Some 81 per cent of those Chinese people who are online browsed the web via a PC; naturally a large number of people used both mobile devices and PCs.”
is shrinking fast. In China, it’s gone.

This is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, the burdens of Wintel on personal IT are huge negatives compared to */Linux on ARM, software and hardware that works for the user and not the monopolists, Intel and M$. While it has been a difficult and slow process to move the legacy PC beyond monopoly, there never was a monopoly for these new small cheap computers. One way or another FLOSS and */Linux will have its day. Consumers are finally getting choice, competition and great price/performance on retail shelves.

See FONDLEMANIA: Mobile devices outstrip PCs on China's internet.

  • Jul 21 / 2014
  • 9
Linux in Education, Teaching, technology

Schools In Geneva Switching To GNU/Linux

“All primary and secondary public schools in the Swiss Canton of Geneva are switching to using Ubuntu GNU/Linux for the PCs used by teachers and students. The switch has been completed by all of the 170 primary public schools, and the migration of the canton’s 20 secondary schools is planned for the next school year. Ubuntu GNU/Linux offers powerful services to the teachers, is easier to maintain, faster, safer and more stable than the decade-old proprietary operating system it is replacing, the canton’s school IT department concludes, based on several four-year long pilots.” These guys took four years studying the matter and it will only take two years to switch their schools to GNU/Linux. It shows the Munich decade was some sort of aberration in terms of time taken to switch. The difference is the number of applications locked in to that other OS. Munich had hundreds. Geneva has only one or two. LibreOffice takes care of one…

Anyway, I think the migration in Geneva is remarkable because the Swiss are thorough. If they could be convinced in just four years, most of the rest of us should be convinced in a matter of hours. Get on with it folks. Take a look at Debian GNU/Linux and see what you’ve been missing: the freedom to use the hardware you own to its maximum capability, freedom from malware and freedom from paying about twice what IT should really cost you. In schools where I used GNU/Linux we easily had twice as much IT for the same cost and the cost of maintaining the larger system was less than the cost of maintaining the smaller system running that other OS. Freedom from the EULA of M$ which enslaves you rather than enabling you is the killer however. With FLOSS and GNU/Linux you can run, examine, modify and distribute the software to your heart’s content. Go with it. Seize the opportunity.

SeeGeneva class-rooms switching to free software | Joinup.

  • Jul 20 / 2014
  • 26

Radical Change In IT

M$’s new CEO wrote, “We will reinvent productivity to empower every person and every organization on the planet to do more and achieve more.”

See Can Nadella's remake Microsoft under his new manifesto?.

His vision of radical change is different from mine. His vision is one of greater lock-in to M$, reaching not only from desktop and mobile thingy but also to our networks and databases and web applications. Mine is one of freedom from M$, every place in IT.

Unless you use FLOSS everywhere, you cannot maximize productivity. Essentially, M$ equates productivity to slavery. The CEO equates productivity for the user to free labour given to M$. Look at it this way. Is your productivity maximized if you agree to do everything with a monopoly? A monopoly is still a monopoly whether or not you consent to deal with it. A monopoly, by definition, forces you to pay what is demanded from a single supplier. That was wrong for the desktop OS. It’s more wrong to do that for all of IT. M$ is out to get you. Escape the trap. Use FLOSS.

Supposedly new-M$ is without the old guard, Gates and Ballmer, but monopoly is still on the mind of its CEO. Face it. You are less productive paying the “M$ tax” whether it’s a bundled cost in hiding to an OEM/retailer or direct to M$ through a myriad of subscriptions and user-fees. You are less productive if you can’t do what you want because of some rule that M$ imposes. You are less productive if the software you use jumps through all kinds of hoops to ensure M$ gets paid. No, the way to increased productivity is through less lock-in to M$ and the only way you can get that is to use FLOSS or to write your own software. Obviously, maximizing productivity means using FLOSS and writing collaboratively only the software not available as FLOSS.

  • Jul 16 / 2014
  • 4

Broken? My Debian GNU/Linux Desktop Is Not Broken

“I didn’t realise just how broken the F/OSS desktop is. The straw that broke the camel’s back was the file manager replacing type-ahead find with a search but (to seemlessly switch metaphor) it turns out I’d been cut a thousand times already. I’m not just on the other side of the fence, I’m several fields away.” This is a strange comment coming from a Debian Developer. I use Debian GNU/Linux for my desktop and it’s not broken. Typeahead works for me but then I use XFCE4 desktop and the Thunar file-manager. So, why is this guy saying he’s going to MacOS because GNOME doesn’t work for him? Wouldn’t it be easier to switch to XFCE4 than to switch to MacOS (having to buy a new machine and all)? Well, he writes that he already had a Mac for work. I guess he didn’t need to buy one but it’s still silly that a Debian Developer feels he needs to stick with GNOME. There are a bunch of desktop environments in Debian GNU/Linux.
task-desktop - Debian desktop environment
task-gnome-desktop - GNOME desktop environment
task-kde-desktop - KDE desktop environment
task-lxde-desktop - LXDE desktop environment
task-telugu-desktop - Telugu desktop
task-telugu-gnome-desktop - Telugu GNOME desktop environment
task-telugu-kde-desktop - Telugu KDE desktop environment
task-xfce-desktop - Xfce desktop environment

The Debian desktop is not broken just because the GNOME desktop is broken. Further, if I need/want to search for stuff, I have a bunch of ways of doing that in Debian. I love to search for data with Swish-e or Recoll and I like to know exactly where to find an icon for my favourite applications.

See jmtd → log → Mac.

See also Bug 680118 – Triggering directory search by type-ahead breaks keyboard navigation

  • Jul 15 / 2014
  • 0

GNU/Linux Acknowledged As Valid Desktop OS In USA

I’ve known it for more than a decade but folks in USA are a bit slow to change… Today, the Vice-president of industry analysis at NPD stated, “Building on last year’s surprising strength, Chrome’s unit strength ahead of this year’s education buying season shows how it has become a legitimate third platform alongside Windows and Mac OS X and iOS”

Of course he’s mostly concerned with unit sales (“For the three weeks ending June 7, Chromebook sales made up more than 40 percent of Commercial Channel notebook sales, a significant bump from the 35 percent year-to-date.”) and I’m on about performance. I’ll grant that 40% share is wonderful but GNU/Linux could have done that years ago with the right OEMs and retailers involved. It took that train a long time to form.

GNU/Linux is a winner for Google in combination with Google’s cloud and browser. Just as M$ did years ago, Google is sweeping competition from the market but this time they are doing it with performance, not exclusive dealing. What a difference FLOSS makes.

See NPD: Chromebooks Lead a Strong First Half for U.S. Commercial Channel PC Sales.

  • Jul 15 / 2014
  • 5
Linux in Education, Teaching, technology

FLOSS Is The Right Way

“a lot of children had never had any examples of programming. They’d used a computer, but in fact the computer had used them. They knew how a mouse worked, they knew how to save a spreadsheet, they knew how to load an XBOX game, but they didn’t necessarily know anything else about computing”I’ve seen this repeatedly, a classroom full of students who “knew how to use PCs” but had no idea how fast they were or of what PCs are capable. I demonstrated a few simple programmes in PASCAL to show them how fast the maths was. Even on decade old machines, hundreds of millions of FLOPS happen. These are computers that are sluggish under the bloat of M$’s software. Put on lean software like GNU/Linux and they fly.

I let them read the GPL and the EULA.txt and jaws dropped. They had no idea that their use of PCs was handicapped by non-Free software. I showed them the power they had with a bit of knowledge of FLOSS, and a screwdriver. They were liberated from needing to depend on the Wintel treadmill and Wintel itself for all aspects of their IT. A decade ago, it seemed every way forward for FLOSS was uphill because of the lock-in. Now young people can buy a small cheap computer with Android/Linux and “root” it and presto! they are free of the Wintel treadmill forever. A billion people have seen the light and it’s possible another billion or more will go to FLOSS this year alone. The world is just beginning this explosive migration away from non-Free software.

See Friends record their call to arms for open source!.

  • Jul 14 / 2014
  • 11

Ho Hum. Yet Another Organization Saves With FLOSS

For years the sycophants of M$ and “partners” have told the world, at least anyone that would listen, that FLOSS costs more in the long run…“Open source gives the university more features, more flexibility and lower costs. Next year the costs will already be 30 per cent lower and after five or six years, the difference with the proprietary system will be 70 to 75 per cent.

We are being approached by many public administrations from large central government institutions and municipalities. They do the math and they see the enormous financial gains that are possible.”
Meanwhile, in the real world, folks can do the maths and save a huge chunk of the cost of IT, not just licences, but maintenance, flexibility, performance, … Everything is better with FLOSS. In my own experience with desktop and server systems, schools where I worked broke even on costs of migration almost instantly as the licensing was a huge fraction of the capital cost and we used that saving to get almost twice as much IT for the same money. Maintenance dropped by a huge factor because the distributions managed most of our updating/upgrading for hardly any cost besides deciding to upgrade.

Use FLOSS and GNU/Linux. That’s the right way to do IT.

See Coimbra University to save plenty with open source ERP.

  • Jul 14 / 2014
  • 27

Shopping For Tablets

The Little Woman had a PSU fail on her Android/Linux tablet. She went shopping for a new tablet by visiting a big box store locally. Eventually, she bought a new PSU for a few dollars.

The thought occurred to me that it’s getting really hard to buy an Android/Linux tablet these days because of the sheer volume of choice. I looked at a popular Chinese site and found 7″ displays were most numerous (124 choices). Prices ranged from $38 to $380. The $38 model actually is a serious product from a serious company complete with flashy rollouts and booth-babes. They are competing hard even for this low-end market. CPUs were of several kinds with clocks from 1gHz to about 1.6gHz and single to quad core. RAM ranged from 512MB to 1gB. That would be a killer for me. Beast has 4gB and I use it all day long, either actively or as a file-cache. The one thing I got from the exercise is a respect for the difficulty facing the consumer. I suspect that most consumers would look at the final product, the display in use, the general appearance and the price rather than specs. I rather care more about performance.

I looked at the higher-end chip, sibling to the $38 model, ATM7039, and found it in a 9″ model with 1920 x 1200px and HDMI socket at $183. There’s no Ethernet but 802.11n is decent. With USB and HDMI I can add size to the user-interface and storage. Except for the 2MP camera, this is a great device. Now we’re talking. Quad core 1.5gHz and 2gB RAM, competing with Intel… Whats-his-name was proud to say he could not make a tablet for less than $500. Chuckle. Watch our dust. These small cheap computers come in flavours suitable for any taste.

I can even get an Exynos 5 CPU in an 8″ tablet for $254. Close. Really close…

In all of the prices mentioned above, one can get a small but increasing discount if one orders more units.

The bottom line is that no matter what factor concerns a consumer most, he/she will find it with */Linux on ARM, be it affordable computing, great computing, or something in between. There’s something for everyone and Wintel need not apply. There are a million reasons why Android/Linux on ARM is kicking Wintel’s butt. Every consumer has a few.

UPDATE I noticed in a related story that M$ is now offering to give away its OS to makers of small and <$250 tablets. Good luck with that. ;-) Android/Linux is already giving ~1billion people “full PC functionality”. I can even root these things and install Debian GNU/Linux. It doesn’t get any better than that. Even for $0, M$’s stuff has negative value. M$ will have to start paying people to use its stuff.

  • Jul 11 / 2014
  • 1

FSFE On EC Foot-dragging

While the European Commission has decided to investigate use of FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software), according to the Free Software Foundation Europe,“In April, the Commission signed two contracts with Microsoft: An agreement for "high-level services" worth 44 million Euro, and a framework agreement on software licensing conditions. The actual licenses are provided by Hewlett-Packard under a separate contract from 2012, worth 50 million euro. The contracts cover the Commission itself, and 54 other EU organisations.” they have not done enough to escape lock-in by M$ and “partners”. The EC has gone as far as publicly acknowledging they are locked in and can’t find alternatives.

Lock-in is largely a matter of mindset. M$ made sure of that. They have spent almost as much effort on establishing that mindset as they have on developing their OS and applications. Quoting their “Technological Evangelism” programme: “Evangelism’s goal is to put the final nail into the competing technology’s coffin, and bury it in the burning depths of the earth. Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry. We want to place selection pressure on those companies and individuals that show a genetic weakness for competitors’ technologies, to make the industry increasingly resistant to such unhealthy strains, over time. “

Whatever effort is required to escape lock-in is worthwhile because lock-in is forever, an infinite sum of costs, hidden and explicit, restrictions on use of IT and literally fees payable for permission to operate the hardware owned by the user. Escaping lock-in is a one-time cost. As time goes on the cost of escaping lock-in is dwarfed by the cost of staying with lock-in. Simple organizations like schools get instant break-even by a sharp drop in the cost of operation or capital cost of new acquisitions. Complex organizations have to rationalize the applications that they use and replace them with FLOSS. It’s not that hard. It’s the capability/limitations of the hardware that matters, not what some application allows the users to do. FLOSS can do anything. It’s just a list of instructions for the hardware.

Want a quick recipe for escaping lock-in? Put everything but the office suite and browser on the server unless you use thin clients. Then put everything on the server… The result is that browsers and other networking will interface to all applications FLOSS or not and the client OS can be GNU/Linux. If any application denies this mode of operation, just quit using it and replace it with suitable web applications. If necessary, write your own or collaborate with others to do that. It costs less to develop an application than paying for lock-in forever.

The EC should be ashamed. They’ve done so much to spread the good word about FLOSS around the world yet they haven’t eaten their own dog-food. That’s hypocrisy. If they want others to use FLOSS, they should use it themselves.

See EC distorts market by refusing to break free from lock-in.

  • Jul 10 / 2014
  • 4

GNU/Linux Is A Part Of The Rebound In Sales of PCs

IDC and Gartner have reported that Q2 of 2014 showed a considerable rebound in shipments of legacy PCs but GNU/Linux is a part of that, according to web stats. IDC even mentions ChromeBooks in it’s story: “Despite the end of Windows XP support in early April, it appears many Windows XP migrations continue to take place. Most major vendors saw solid growth, and early indications also point to desktop shipments being stronger than expected in some areas, signaling continued business buying. The consumer side also appears stronger than expected, with growing activity among the lower-priced models as well as Chromebooks.

One encouraging factor was a good intake of lower-end systems, including Chromebooks, which coincides with the recent slowing in tablet growth and perhaps signals the beginning of some stabilization on the consumer side”

So, it pays to have salesmen and it appears that both Chromebooks and GNU/Linux machines have salesmen. It’s all good.

See PC rebound in mature regions stabilizes market in 2Q14, says IDC.