When Will That Other OS be FREE?

2012 likely will be the year that M$ gives away use of its OS generally. In 2011, that other OS will lose major share in the ARMed world and ARM will invade the Wintel domain by the end of 2011 in desktops, notebooks, netbooks and servers. In 2012, M$ will have to give away licences to its OS in all these areas.

There will be a few niches remaining. The rich will still be glad to pay a lot for an expensive OS. Some businesses and professionals who make enough money in one day to pay for all their IT for a year even with M$ getting its tax will be glad they don’t have to exert any effort to change. But everyone else will have the choice, know they have the choice and make the choice for Free Software. That will derail the Wintel monopoly forever in 2012. Don’t worry about M$. They can diversify, cut margins and layoff staff just like other businesses. Don’t worry about Intel. They can diversify, cut margins and layoff staff just like other businesses but neither will be able to count on positive cash-flow just because they exist.

No amount of advertising, FUD, bribery or corruption will keep the Wintel monopoly strong after 2012. M$, Intel and their “partners” will have to earn a living the old-fashioned way, by working for a living.

see http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1934490/analyst-googles-chrome-bury-windows

see http://displaydaily.com/2010/12/14/google-sees-life-in-the-cloud-wo-windows/

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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8 Responses to When Will That Other OS be FREE?

  1. Adrian Malacoda says:

    I sincerely hope “the future” isn’t Chrome OS. People are going to be enticed into the “Google Cloud” with the premise that they do not even “need” to know where their data is, or what the programs they are using are doing to it… “Google Cloud” might be an escape from the Microsoft monopoly, but it is not freedom.

  2. Dann says:


    I find that desktops are an interesting subject. It seems they fit a consistent pattern where desktop technologies are merely trickled down enhancements to servers.

    Desktops were never viable until the server market was fairly established and tech advances cheapened costs.
    Processors aren’t something you can just swap out, like ram. It’s going to take some adoption, with servers and smart phones at the helm, two enormous markets. Then these techs will trickle down into desktops. With technology, consumers have almost always been somewhat of an afterthought.
    Computers? Built in World War 2 to decrypt messages.
    The military are one of the best inventors of new technology, also: the internet.
    ARM has to find a home in a larger market before the desktops will adopt it. In this case: servers and smart phones. Pogson’s not a psychic and a lot goes on behind the scenes (Microsoft) to prevent adoption. Once the smartphone/server market adopts ARM, desktops will get ARM too.

    The slow adoption of GNU/Linux is in part due to ignorance and lack of marketing. I recently introduced a friend to Kubuntu and he keeps remarking on how better designed and faster it is than Windows. Sure, playing DirectX games on it is slow, but at least he doesn’t have to slow his comp down more with anti-virus.

    On the other hand, I wouldnt be interested in Chrome OS. Not enough freedom in it.

    @ oldman

    Personally I like the gmail interface, it’s fast and the search is effective. Though I would prefer KMail since I like being able to access my messages whenever I feel like it.
    If Google apps are so poor, why is it eating quite a chunk out of M$’s cash cow? Obviously it’s doing something right, if only having the price tag of $0.

    Desktop ARM comes in full swing when Server ARM becomes more mainstream.
    The traditional usage of desktops will change. In fact, I could see your average desktop becoming basically a home server, distributing media and files, filtering and caching internet queries, and running a number of thin-client devices (such as phones, netbooks, other desktop’s a la pogson’s school) as well as maintaining backups. The need for desktops is dwindling, there’s very little desktops can do that laptops and other portable media cannot. The desktop will become redefined, but ARM will still prevail. There’s nothing stopping anybody from buying an “Always Innovating” ARM netbook, hooking up a keyboard/mouse/monitor and using it as a desktop.
    There you go, ARM Desktop. It’s lean, mean, and green.

  3. Ray says:

    But I don’t see users abandoning their desktops to get a netbook with chrome OS.

  4. oldman says:

    “Android smart-thingies could be delivered as often as that other OS on x86. With that volume, things can change rapidly.”

    I dont think that volume is going to make a difference. As far as I can see, there are two completely different markets involved – That for Media consumption devices that are essentially endpoints in a delivery chain, vs. General purpose computing.

    Each will have their own niche.

  5. Richard Chapman says:

    Microsoft and Intel aren’t going anywhere (You nailed that one oldman.). They’re firmly planted in the way they’ve always made money. It’s the rest of the world that’s changing, just like it always does.

  6. Android smart-thingies could be delivered as often as that other OS on x86. With that volume, things can change rapidly.

  7. oldman says:

    I think you are being a bit premature in burying Microsoft.

    I have seen Chrome OS – as it stands now, `it totally lacks offline capabilities. In other words it is a modernized dumb terminal. But it is not only a modernized dumb terminal, but one with only one connection possible, into the google cloud.

    Have you ever used Google Apps, Pog? I have and Google craps is more like it. Notepad is more capable than the online google word processor. And anyone who has used Thinderbird or any thick client mail client is going to find Gmail web interface a huge backwards leap.

    Personally I dont think Microsoft or intel are going anywhere, and certainly not in the little over a year time frame that you posit.

  8. Ray says:

    I’d say that would be a long shot bet. For one thing, not everyone would be using the cloud in 2012. Second, Linux tends to gain marketshare slowly. And lastly, I doubt that everyone would ditch their desktops, laptops, etc. to buy Chrome OS netbooks, or install linux onto their desktops.

    BTW, what happened to that prediction about the prediction of an appearance of a ARM desktop?

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