That Other OS as a Legacy App

All this talk of the “PC” being obsolete is a bit off-base. A PC is a computer that is suitable for use by an individual. That cuts out main-frames but includes just about every other type of computer in mass production: desktops, notebooks, netbooks, tablets, smart phones and various smart thingies embedded in various gadgets and appliances. Ordinary folks can even use main-frames remotely if they are running some web application. The PC is here to stay but it won’t be staying in the legacy formats.

The “desktop” intended to cover a good portion of a desk or to hold up a monitor is dead for consumers although some foolishly locked-in businesses may still feel that’s what a PC looks like. The rest of us will use thin clients that bolt on to the back of a monitor or reside inside it. We don’t generally need “drives” or expansion slots in our PCs so why pay for them and have them take up space? We don’t need to use 100W gadgets near where we work when 10W or less can do the job. PCs will be like light-bulbs. Smaller and cheaper to own and operate is better.

A tiny ARMed CPU does not need a 400W power supply or a 10kg case to support it. They can fit in a pocket-sized gadget and do most of the things that a PC does: create, find, store and present information.

A small cheap computer does not need an OS with a $100 price-tag. The thing that is really obsolete largely is Wintel, a fire-breathing CPU and huge expensive resources being squandered by a bloated OS. Small cheap computers need FLOSS OS and applications because they permit PCs to be smaller and cheaper. Use stuff with ARM CPUs and GNU/Linux or Android/Linux.

Here are some sellers of non-obsolete PCs:

There are many others. Those are just some biggies. Products are available from ISPs and retail outlets globally. Google is your friend. If you disagree with my thesis, reflect on the 994million results. That other OS gets only 1270million results. It’s not the only game in town. QED.

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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20 Responses to That Other OS as a Legacy App

  1. Contrarian says:

    “Windows is dead and so is Microsoft.”

    Congratulations, #twitter! You have finally found someone who is evem more illiterate than yourself! Such a scholarly fellow.

  2. twitter says:

    Windows is dead and so is Microsoft. The wonder is not that it is happening but that Microsoft managed to put it off for so long.

  3. oiaohm says:

    Contrarian by the time they get jobs if they only require android tablets todo there work or other competes. Maybe Windows will not sell.

    Windows is not the overwhelming majoring in everything.

    I remember when Windows CE and Windows 2000 were dominate pair for all business usage.

  4. Contrarian says:

    “I wonder what OS they will choose once they get jobs.”

    So far it has been Windows by an overwhelming majority. Do you see that changing?

  5. The world does not speak English and can make its own software.

    Brazil is not “third world”. It is the economic engine of South America, has a large and educated population, and a huge rate of growth of GDP per capita.

    Characterized by large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, Brazil’s economy outweighs that of all other South American countries, and Brazil is expanding its presence in world markets. Since 2003, Brazil has steadily improved its macroeconomic stability, building up foreign reserves, and reducing its debt profile by shifting its debt burden toward real denominated and domestically held instruments. In 2008, Brazil became a net external creditor and two ratings agencies awarded investment grade status to its debt. After record growth in 2007 and 2008, the onset of the global financial crisis hit Brazil in September 2008. Brazil experienced two quarters of recession, as global demand for Brazil’s commodity-based exports dwindled and external credit dried up. However, Brazil was one of the first emerging markets to begin a recovery. Consumer and investor confidence revived and GDP growth returned to positive in 2010, boosted by an export recovery. Brazil’s strong growth and high interest rates make it an attractive destination for foreign investors. Large capital inflows over the past year have contributed to the rapid appreciation of its currency and led the government to raise taxes on some foreign investments.

    GDP is $2trillion (ninth largest in the world) and growing at 7.5% per annum. GDP per capita is around $10K. Labour force is about 103million (sixth largest in the world) and most of their economy is based on industries and services other than agriculture. Public debt is only 59% of GDP. Brazil is the tenth largest producer of electrical power in the world. They export power, too. They export oil, too. They are the fifth largest country measured by hosts on the Internet at 19million and the fourth largest country in the world measured by users of the Internet at 75million.

    see CIA World FactBook

    Contrarian wrote, “Third worlders may indeed be stuck on Linux, although that is not really so clear. Let us see what they choose to use once they become affluent.”

    Twit. Bigot.

    The USA has 12% unemployment and 12% of population below the poverty line. I wonder what OS they will choose once they get jobs.

  6. Contrarian says:

    “What does your mind make of this advertisement?”

    Every time that you have to demonstrate some support for one of your obscure positions, you seem to find something in some far-off land. Even then, the proof is nothing mainstream and often presented in some language other than English. Perhaps you should move to Brazil and post in Portugese. I will quit

    Meanwhile, Microsoft makes all the big money in PCs and Apple makes all the big money in phones and tablets. Third worlders may indeed be stuck on Linux, although that is not really so clear. Let us see what they choose to use once they become affluent.

  7. ch says:

    “What does your mind make of this advertisement?
    “Linux desktop PC” (in German)”

    I make of it that a “Desktop-PC” (without qualifier) runs Windows. If it doesn’t run Windows, you better say so explicitly by calling it a “Linux Desktop-PC”.


  8. oe says:

    You must be very effective at hitting the nerves of truth to bring out such a vociferous discussion over what a “PC” is.

  9. Nonsense. What does your mind make of this advertisement?
    “Linux desktop PC” (in German)


    Does your brain parse that as dual-booting PCs? Twit.

  10. Contrarian says:

    ““PC” stands for “personal computer”, nothing more”

    You are out of touch with reality, #pogson. Did you see those Apple commercials? Do you think that they were a complete mystery to the viewers? After all, PC just stands for personal computer and nothing more. No need to draw a distinction between a PC and a Mac at all. All that money spent so foolishly!

    Of course not. PC means “computer with Windows” and Mac means “computer for urbane sophisticates with a fine sense of taste”.

  11. It’s not your opinion or some statistician’s opinion that matters. The world knows what it wants and the web is some representation of that global knowledge. There are people who will tell you that that other OS is on 99% of PCs and they are wrong, really wrong. Linux is a force to be reckoned with and despite the negativity of some commenters here Linux and FLOSS and ARM are happening without benefit of M$ and that other OS.

  12. Contrarian wrote the mind-numbingly thick statement, ““PC” has become a synonym for the successor to the “IBM PC” of yore.”

    “PC” stands for “personal computer”, nothing more. Apple made PCs that had no connection to the IBM PCs or that other OS. PCs are made by the hundreds of millions annually, some with x86 processors, some with Power chips, some with Sparc processors and some with MIPS and Loongson processors. They are diverse and do not fit your pigeon holes. More were built in the past year using ARM than x86.

  13. Contrarian says:


    That is not any more nonsensical than defining PC by breaking down individual words with Webster’s definition.

    “PC” has become a synonym for the successor to the “IBM PC” of yore. The alternative in most people’s minds to “PC” is “Mac” as in “I’m a PC!” or “I’m a Mac!”. That is what regular people think.

  14. Dr Loser says:

    “If you disagree with my thesis, reflect on the 994million results. That other OS gets only 1270million results.”

    Wow, you’re really losing it, aren’t you, Robert?

    In what sense is any of this nonsense supposed to be numerically inspiring?

    Do you have the slightest clue how risible this would sound to a professional statistician?

    I mean, I’m not one. And it sounds utterly ludicrous to me.

  15. Contrarian says:

    “PC” – a computer that people use in business or for home use that has a Windows OS and runs things like Quicken and a variety of common office programs, notably Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook. Maybe Access, too.

  16. Personal – “Of or pertaining to a particular person; relating to, or affecting, an individual, or each of many individuals; peculiar or proper to private concerns; not public or general; as, personal comfort; personal desire.”

    Computer – “an electronic device for performing calculations automatically. It consists of a clock to provide voltage pulses to synchronize the operations of the devices within the computer, a central processing unit, where the arithmetical and logical operations are performed on data, a random-access memory, where the programs and data are stored for rapid access, devices to input data and output results, and various other peripheral devices of widely varied function, as well as circuitry to support the main operations.”

  17. Contrarian says:

    “Mark Dean did not write that PCs are obsolete”

    Well, you linked to that article with your counter claim that it was not obsolete, so one is left with the impression that you disagree with the article. You say you disagree with the comments to the article instead, but you did not mention that and any fair reading of your comments certainly does not suggest that as your meaning.

    On reflection, I think that I take exception to your notion that a PC is any computing device used by an individual. That may be useful for creating audacious headlines, but doesn’t really provide any useful focus. The Dean fellow, whom you now profess to admire, makes the distinction that PC are NOT “smart thingies” but rather the new center of innovation apart from the PC.

  18. Mark Dean did not write that PCs are obsolete. He wrote, “PCs are being replaced at the center of computing not by another type of device—though there’s plenty of excitement about smart phones and tablets—but by new ideas about the role that computing can play in progress. These days, it’s becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact. It is there that computing can have the most powerful impact on economy, society and people’s lives.”

    I agree with that.

    Software freedom is there in those social spaces, in case you hadn’t noticed.

    The word, “obsolete”, occurs not in his article but in the comments that follow and other articles referring to his article. Quit putting words in others’ mouths. Mark Dean did also write that losing the PC business increased their margin, something that is obviously true but he did not mention that M$ was the millstone around PC OEMs necks.

  19. Contrarian says:

    “All this talk of the “PC” being obsolete is a bit off-base”

    It is not fair to criticize fools like Mark Dean, #pogson. He has only been IBM’s CTO and one of the original PC product founders. He obviously hasn’t been to Manitoba to see the real world and you should not prey on such vulnerable innocents.

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