Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

Posts Tagged / market_share

  • Jul 01 / 2014
  • 28

M$ Has No Hope To Compete Against Small Cheap Computers

As the small cheap computer grows in numbers and capability, M$’s monopoly on IT is on its last leg.“Microsoft called off its plan to mass-produce and launch the Surface Mini tablet back in May. According to the report, the decision to cancel the device was made because the tablet lacked differentiation compared to other small tablets, and also because the company received “negative responses” from its various brand vendor partners.” The last straw was an attempt to push “8″ out into the world of small tablets. Against Android/Linux and GNU/Linux selling for $0 on generic tablets, M$ has no hope at all. According to StatCounter, recently M$ had just 0.2% share of tablet-page-views. In countries like India, M$ is down to just 0.09% share.

You just can’t sell generic tablets in a free market with a big hit for a monopolist’s software licence. Even M$ charging itself $0 for its own software could not make any money in this market because consumers just weren’t interested. Life is hard when your big brother doesn’t grant you a monopoly, eh? Get used to it, M$.

See Microsoft Surface Mini Release Date Cancelled, Report Claims.

  • Jun 17 / 2014
  • 0

Legacy PCs Being Squeezed Out By Smartphones

I think IDC has finally accepted reality, that smartphones are displacing the legacy PC for much of IT. “The PC will be the new accessory to mobile as smartphones become the first and primary computing device for many. IDC expects smartphone shipments to outpace total PC shipments by more than 6 to 1 in 2018.
The smartphone installed base is quickly approaching two billion units, and vendors are scrambling to find the next two billion users in new markets.”
It took them a while. Like many they kept seeing the decline of the legacy stuff year after year but they kept looking for light at the end of the tunnel. That was not an opening but an oncoming train, Android/Linux on ARMed smartphones.

What’s changed is that IDC and others have been conditioned by M$ to see IT as a highly competitive market with every OEM competing to sell one of M$’s OS but the world has left monopoly behind and now the world is competing to sell small cheap computers with FLOSS operating systems. That’s the right way to do IT. FLOSS gives products with the lowest cost per unit which is what the market is demanding. Since M$ no longer controls the market, good things happen. M$ was worried about competing on price when legacy PCs were ~$1K but now that consumers can buy what they want for less than $200, and even less than $100 with no contribution and no “tax” from M$, M$ can no longer dictate to OEMs all and sundry details. Gone are the days when M$ could destroy an OEM by raising the price of licences a few dollars. Now M$ almost has to pay OEMs to install M$’s OS.

What’s shocking people, including IDC, is how rapidly this change has come. In less than a decade Android/Linux has gone from curiosity to commodity. In the last two years, Android/Linux has overtaken that other OS in installed base. M$ has lost market-share, mind-share and even bottom line for client OS. M$ is having to work for a living and all its bloat accumulated in the days of monopoly prevent M$ from doing that well.

It’s ironic. In the early days of the legacy PC, M$ and Intel did work hard to persuade the world that the legacy PC was necessary even though very few needed all the capability. Many PCs were simply glorified typewriters. Now, the world appears to believe personal computers are necessary but Moore’s Law, and ARM and Linux and Google and Samsung and Android have made an entirely different platform front and centred in people’s mind. Further, the new PCs don’t make whirring noises pointlessly stirring the air and wasting energy. They run all day on a tiny battery. What money people spend on them mostly goes to getting the best bang for the dollar in CPU power, storage, and networking rather than filling M$’s coffers. Intel, too, has been cut out. Instead of running a $200 chip from Intel that needed a dozen other chips to interface to the real world, the smartphone does it all with just a couple of chips that cost much less. The network connects the smartphones to any real big storage/compute engines and there might be 1K smartphones connected to just one server. Wintel is no longer necessary anywhere in IT.

It’s been a long time coming but it’s a great day.

See Smartphones to Drive Double-Digit Growth of Smart Connected Devices in 2014 and Beyond.

  • Jun 16 / 2014
  • 14

Government of China Bursts M$’s Patent-bubble

M$ has been taxing Android/Linux distributors by threatening legal suits over software patents. “A list of hundreds of patents that Microsoft believes entitle it to royalties over Android phones, and perhaps smartphones in general, has been published on a Chinese language website.” For years, M$ has not bothered to publicize the patents in question because fear is a powerful motivator. Thanks to inquiries in China, a list is now public. This will permit M$’s competitors to organize a cooperative response rather than suffering under “divide and conquer” conditions.

For a start, one of the patents in question is for differential GPS, something that has been known for decades… This is another example of re-patenting the wheel, something that is supposed to be blocked by USPTO but is not. OEMs have been paying up because it’s cheaper than taking on a patent-troll in court. If all the OEMs get together they could sue M$ collectively and cause the empire to crumble. What’s it worth to clog the courts for a decade to drive these bastards from the market? $50 million? It would be a bargain rather than paying $billions in “royalties” to extortionists.

See Chinese gov’t reveals Microsoft’s secret list of Android-killer patents.

  • May 30 / 2014
  • 20

Pride and Prejudice: Smartphones

I laugh when trolls who come here seriously claim, “You get what you pay for”, implying that FLOSS is a broken model and that PCs running FLOSS are somehow second rate.“Android will undoubtedly remain the clear market leader among smartphone operating systems with share expected to hit 80.2% in 2014. Looking forward, IDC expects Android to lose a minimal amount of share over the forecast period, mainly as a result of Windows Phone growth. Android has been, and will continue to be, the platform driving low-cost devices. ASPs of Android smartphones were well below market average in the first quarter of 2014 and are expected to be $254 for full year 2014, dropping to $215 in 2018. Growth of Android phones is expected to outpace the market in 2014, rising 25.6% with volume just shy of 1 billion units.” According to what IDC finds, Android/Linux smartphones are taking 80% of the market shipments while having an average selling price ~$70 less than those other operating systems, you know, on Blackberries and iPhones.

The obvious advantage of FLOSS is that it is a cooperative product of the world and no organization has to pay the full shot. Further, there is no per-copy charge. So, OEMs can charge much less and make a sale and make a profit. Obviously, consumers love it. FLOSS works. It’s the right way to do IT. It will be the way software is prepared on nearly a billion smartphones this year, according to IDC. FLOSS smartphones are cranking out almost as many units per annum as M$’s total installed base and 4 years of production of those other operating systems.

See Smartphone Momentum Still Evident with Shipments Expected to Reach 1.2 Billion in 2014 and Growing 23.1% Over 2013, According to IDC.

  • May 09 / 2014
  • 8

Guy Installs A Bunch Of Distros, Including Debian GNU/Linux And Everything Works

Every now and then I still read on the web that hardware compatibility is a problem for GNU/Linux. It isn’t. The Linux kernel knows just about every piece of hardware consumers are to find on retail shelves.“When I decided to install Debian, I wondered if there might be a driver missing or requiring separate istallation because of the FOSS-only policy in the base distribution, but there wasn’t anything missing. Even the Broadcom wi-fi adapter was working out of the box. Great stuff!” It’s just that GNU/Linux is still not found on all retail shelves. It should be. TFA installed a bunch of distros and only one oddball would not work perfectly. Try installing that other OS on random hardware and see how many drivers you have to find.

Yep. Give it a rest, naysayers. GNU/Linux works on hardware because Linux has enough developers to absorb whatever appears in the market.

See Testing Ubuntu, Debian and LMDE on my new notebook.

  • May 08 / 2014
  • 0

Weekend Apocalypse in Ethiopia

While the share of page-views from Ethiopia that StatCounter sees for GNU/Linux has been impressive lately, take a look at the peaks:

Date Share of Desktop Page-views
Saturday, 2014-04-19 28.95%
Sunday, 2014-04-27 32.74%
Saturday, 2014-05-03 32.65%

Both the magnitude and the fact that these are all on weekends when school is not in session shows that Wintel is in for a rude shock in Ethiopia. If the students or others are using GNU/Linux to this extent, the mindshare of Wintel has been dealt a body-blow. There’s no way the users of Free Software like GNU/Linux will accept slavery to M$ and “partners” from now on. Further, growth of GNU/Linux in that country is potentially huge, many millions of users all in a single country. In a post-apocalyptic world, the best the forces of evil can expect is an ordinary share of consumers, not anything like 100%.

Top 7 Desktop OSs in Ethiopia from 1 Apr to 7 May 2014.

Apocalypse – “the final battle between good and evil, as foreseen in Saint John’s Apocalypse”

UPDATE The same thing may be happening in Reunion. April’s sundays: 13, 20, and 27 were all high points.

  • May 07 / 2014
  • 3

OEMs Ramp Up Chromebooks

I have long recommended schools and others adopt small cheap computers for a number of reasons:“Lenovo isn’t the only company with Chromebook news today. Intel and a slew of hardware manufacturers announced a lineup of new Chrome devices today at an event in San Francisco — including devices that will feature more powerful hardware than we’ve seen thus far in most mainstream Chromebooks.”

  • They are less expensive.
  • They tend to run FLOSS and GNU/Linux because that’s the right way to do IT and it’s less expensive.
  • They will do what you need done and they are less expensive.

Thin clients, smartphones, tablets, Chromebooks… all meet those criteria. Not everyone needs to drive a Cadillac, most of us in fact. It’s the same with personal computers. The concept of a mainframe-replacing desktop hair-drier is just silly. Most of us don’t need the massive storage, CPU-power, noise, heat… sitting close by us. “Education-focused Chromebooks have been "a huge success for Lenovo"”We can have it on a server somewhere, anywhere, even in the cloud. With the cloud, maintaining those servers is the headache of someone else. There is no need for the world to be slaves to Wintel. Amen.

See Google and Intel team up to give Chromebooks more power.

See also, The world's largest PC maker now wants to sell you a Chromebook

  • May 05 / 2014
  • 6

Sam Varghese Rants On GNOME; So Do I

Change for the sake of change has fired up Sam again…“The GNOME project is almost 17 years old. When will we see some signs of maturity, some signs of stability? It shows that the people at GNOME just want change. Like the good folks at Microsoft who want to change, change, change, until the software becomes utterly unusable, the GNOME developers want to keep changing things too.” I disagree with Sam as often as I agree. He must be close to right most of the time… This time, he is right. When an application is good enough to collect a solid following, why jerk users around with random changes of user-interface?

Further, I think that if an organization wants to deviate radically from the user-interface that folks love, they should fork the project. Whatsit 1.2.3 is a different application than Whatsit 2.0.0 if a user needs to learn some new tricks just to use it. It was years ago I gave up on Kate and Gedit. They were good enough for many purposes. Now I use Vim, Lyx, LibreOffice and Gnumeric. While Sam wanted a simpler application with a kinder face, I wanted powerful apps that worked for me on a desktop that retained a simple/familiar desktop analogy, XFCE4. These can do just about anything I need done and the user-interface has scarcely changed since Day One except to make what works a little better from time to time. If I want to use a different application, a developer should not hold me to follow his random path and he should not expect/demand that.

There are things that need to be changed about applications: performance, reliability, and security are valuable to users. Needing to change how we do things is not. Stand up for users’ right to be left alone by developers. This is akin to why I left the Wintel treadmill years ago. Then, we were constantly changing things so M$ and Intel could rake in big bucks for next to no effort. Is there really any difference being slaves to developers of FLOSS who see themselves as the source of the one true application? Is there really any difference between an application that does something when you click on an icon and an application that does something when you click on a different icon in a different place? Come on, developers, grow up! 1000 monkeys could tweak applications to design random icons in random places but they don’t presume to know more than the users.

See Sam fume at gEdit shows that GNOME wants to drive users away.

  • Apr 30 / 2014
  • 0

March Of The Tablets

It is always interesting to see how IT goes when M$ is scarcely involved. Tablets are an example.“There will be 61.42 million tablets shipped globally in the second quarter of 2014, increasing 4.9% on quarter and 30.9% on year, according to Digitimes Research.” Digitimes is predicting 5.7% share of tablets going to M$. I would be surprised if their share is that high. According to StatCounter, M$ is less than 3% of tablets in April. Their Phoney OS is scarcely larger than that after years of production. What we see is a nearly 1/N share amongst size of tablets. That shows that diversity is good rather than letting M$ or anyone dictate sizes. Consumers are getting what they want and what they can afford. This is a free market unlike Wintel.

See Global tablet shipments to rise in 2Q14.

  • Apr 28 / 2014
  • 1

FAQs Of GNU/Linux Life

I was searching for news of Acer’s deal with the Victoria police in Australia

Windows Users
  • Firefox 0.9 or newer (Firefox is recommended for best performance)
  • Mozilla 1.4 or newer
  • Internet Explorer 5.5 or newer
Apple Users
  • Firefox 0.9 or newer (Firefox is recommended for best performance)
  • Mozilla 1.4 or newer
  • Internet Explorer 5.5 or newer
Linux Users
  • Firefox 0.9 or newer (Firefox is recommended for best performance)
  • Mozilla 1.4 or newer

when I stumbled upon Victoria, BC, Canada PD FAQ:

Yes. They are frequently asked about use of GNU/Linux and FLOSS browsers. Chuckle. In fact, they recommend FireFox over InternetExploder. One wonders why M$ with its “tight integration” and multiple APIs can’t beat the competition. Perhaps they don’t have the best technology. Perhaps more people are knowing that. Isn’t the old British Empire still showing signs of life?

Still wondering about Australia, though. I thought I had a report that they were using Android/Linux tablets… but that was just my faulty memory. Acer sold the tablets to an elections commission. Great fun. Acer is shipping FLOSS in bulk and Australia is buying it. Some people in Canada are also using GNU/Linux, enough that web-authours care. I love it.

See Frequently Asked Questions | Victoria Police Department.

UPDATE Police are right not to prefer IE. Apparently there is a zero-day vulnerability out there: “All versions of Internet Explorer from 6 through 11 are listed as vulnerable as well as all supported versions of Windows other than Server Core. “

Isn’t that the umpteenth time that’s happened?

  • Apr 23 / 2014
  • 3

China White-Box Tablet Competition

Not only is Wintel feeling the pressure in price/performance for ARMed tablets running FLOSS“Ex-factory pricing of a 7-inch white-box tablet is expected to drop to between US$30-40 in 2014 and every inch larger will add US$10 to the price range, indicating that a 10-inch white-box tablet’s ex-factory price will be about US$70-80.” The lowering of prices will continue for a year or more longer. Information will be $free, nearly, in the future with Wintel no longer able to tax the roads, rails and air-waves. Intel is giving away its processors to stem the tide but Google’s dream of exposure to every human on the planet is another year closer.

See China white-box tablet prices expected to drop in 2014.