Applications Are The Key

Early on M$ worked hard to lock developers, ISVs, OEMs and consumers in to that other OS. The scheme worked well for more than a decade but is coming unravelled. Not only has growth of the platform frozen, there are now signs of shrinkage. SJVN points out that data from shows only 28% of downloads are software for that other OS. Also, the top downloads for that other OS are for anti-viral software, not productivity or entertainment items.

Wow! Think of it. If users of PCs run applications, not operating systems, the applications they are running are those for smart thingies. There’s less need for that other OS. Of course, M$ is still raking in money for the applications it sells to businesses, but consumers are not so keen any longer.

Clearly, consumers are seeing smart thingies as the right tool for the job and that other OS need not apply. is pushing 10million downloads a week. This matters. M$ is selling about 4million licences for its OS each week. Fewer applications are being installed on them. It won’t be long before fewer licences are sold.

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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28 Responses to Applications Are The Key

  1. oiaohm says:

    JairJy and Phenom funny.

    SharePoint vs Alfresco. Features Alfresco wins.

    JairJy Linux users is not comparing Libreoffice vs MS Office but Libreoffice+(Calligra Suite/Koffice) vs MS Office. Issue here neither Calligra Suite or Koffice is ported to windows in a form that works anywhere near well as the Linux version. Yes the Linux versions of Koffice and Calligra Suite work very well. They both contain a lot of functionality like project planing and notes management… Where Libreoffice is weak. When you add on kontact MS Office is basically replaced.

    Kexi out of Calligra Suite or Koffice is more suited to working with mysql and postgresql databases than what MS Access is. So when doing web integrated solutions Linux platform can win hands down with out question here.

    “They can use GIMP or Paint.Net, and if they needed, there is Photoshp or Sony Vegas.”

    Can you explain why Sony Vegas is here. Lightworks is free and does a better job. Lightworks is currently in the process of being ported to Linux. Wait that partly undermines your argument why is a desktop application being ported to Linux. Also you will not want to admit a Lightworks has won more awards than Sony Vegas as well and is going Open Source.

    JairJy start trying out digikam it only recently been ported from Linux to windows. Still it has more features in Linux version. But in a lot of ways it gives photo-shop a serous run for it money.

    JairJy big thing here is you say you have the best. Problem is you don’t. Lot of the FOSS applications on Windows are weaker copies of their Linux versions.

    KDE is only partly ported to windows. Also you find out that KDE applications are massively slower on Windows than Linux. Yes the windows version of KDE comes with this warning “Be aware that these could kill your kitten(s), but chances are that you might find yourself quite comfortable in using some of these applications.” They are not kidding KDE on windows in it current state might render windows non operational.

    That FOSS software is ported to Windows does not mean it works safely there or performs it best.

    As well lots of the KDE applications are lacking features on windows they have on OS X or Linux or other posix system platforms. So you are not seeing the best FOSS has to offer JairJy.

    “Halo or StarCraft 2, not even mention World of Warcraft.” I see users running these in wine. But yes over all games are weak but you don’t require them for the business desktop.

    Really wine is about as bad a cygwin ported open source applications to windows. Word of wise you see something port to windows by cygwin forget it, find something else or install Linux.

    About time you let the myth die JairJy about windows having the best. Simple reason you don’t. If you had done a head to head the applications on Windows and Linux to make sure you do have the best you would have already know this. If you had, you would be shocked at some of the differences.

    What you don’t get is some of the reason I am on Linux is I was having trouble with weaker copies of posix programs on dos. When windows turned up the same thing has kept on happening.

    Ie there are two major environments Windows and Posix. Application code bases are picky on what they prefer. Platform neutral applications almost don’t exist.

  2. Phenom says:

    Lightweight, nimble and lacking features. Puty users care only about the latter.

  3. oe says:

    It’s amazing how lightweight and nimble the more functional GNU software equivalents are (Evince vs. Adobe Reader or Thunderbird and Evolution vs. Outlook, OpenOffice/LibreOffice vs MSOffice) over their closed commercial equivalents.

  4. I don’t want to run Adobe Acrobat. I have plenty of software for working with PDF: LibreOffice etc. to create, examine, extract images and text, and to edit PDF files.

    If I did want to run Adobe Acrobat I could try Wine or, in the last resort run it on that other OS somewhere and access it by RDP.

    I have been using PDFs for ages and, even before using GNU/Linux, never had occasion or need to run that app. Education has long used PDF to distribute documents among a variety of OS.
    pogson@beast:~$ apt-cache search pdf|grep ^pdf
    pdf-presenter-console – multi-monitor presentation tool (ala Keynote) for PDF files
    pdf2djvu – PDF to DjVu converter
    pdf2svg – converts PDF documents to SVG files (one per page)
    pdfchain – a graphical user interface for the PDF Tool Kit
    pdfcrack – PDF files password cracker
    pdfcube – PDF document viewer with 3D effects
    pdfedit – Editor for manipulating PDF documents
    pdfgrep – search in pdf files for strings matching a regular expression
    pdfjam – collection of PDF document handling utilities
    pdfmod – simple tool for modifying PDF documents
    pdfposter – scale and tile PDF images/pages to print on multiple pages
    pdfresurrect – tool for extracting/scrubbing versioning data from PDF documents
    pdfsam – PDF Split and Merge
    pdfshuffler – merge, split and re-arrange pages from PDF documents
    pdftk – tool for manipulating PDF documents
    pdftoipe – converts arbitrary PDF file to XML file readable by Ipe
    pdfminer-data – PDF parser and analyser (encoding data)

  5. oldman says:

    “I can run any app I want on GNU/Linux.”

    Really, how about Adobe acrobat Pro X?

    “If it doesn’t run natively I can access it from the web and other means.”

    What other Means Pog?

  6. Hey! Because any app can be ported to that other OS does not make all apps its apps. I can run any app I want on GNU/Linux. If it doesn’t run natively I can access it from the web and other means. There is no reason for me to run that other OS.

  7. JairJy says:

    “There is no evidence of that. Do side-by-side tests of M$ apps besides GNU/Linux apps and see the GNU/Linux ones work very well.”

    Hey, you don’t understand what I said. Windows has the best apps, not necessary Microsoft’s ones.

    Firefox, Chrome and LibreOffice are pretty cool apps, but hey! They are for Windows!

    The Windows’ user can pick the best of the best, if they want some simple and free (as in beer), they choose LibreOffice. If someone wants some more professional, he/she can buy MS Office to use SharePoint or OneNote.

    If they want some entertainment, they can use Windows Media Player. But, if someone want a more professional app, they can buy Winamp, the most used media player out there (or even use it for free).

    They can use GIMP or Paint.Net, and if they needed, there is Photoshp or Sony Vegas.

    And what about games? Users can play Tux Raicing, Battle for Westnoth, Halo or StarCraft 2, not even mention World of Warcraft.

    The best apps for Linux are available for Windows. GIMP, Blender, LibreOffice, Firefox, Chrome, KDE, Pidgin, Emesene, Xchat, etc. The Windows’ user has more choice because there are more apps, and the best ones. As you said: Applications are the key.

  8. Unfortunately, the habit of bundling just one OS with hardware precludes choice of software.

  9. Phenom says:

    And what choice would there be on the shelves? Windows, and then a cohort of Linux distros? I am sorry, but only a linux geek can make a choice from a long shelf of linux distros.

    However, your theory of choice is incorrect. People do not make choices for OSes. People make choice of software, that would work for them best. This is the important choice, and the OS just tags along. That is, sane people. Geeks and zealots, who would sacrifice productivity for religous reasons, should not be considered normal anyway.

  10. 90% of PC users are not geeks and don’t realize they have choices other than what’s on retail shelves. In places where there are choices of OS on retail shelves, people do have a choice.

  11. oiaohm says:

    “Just because Majority is doing something does not make it right. ”
    “Just because a minority is doing something different does not make them right either.”

    Exactly. Market share is bogus measure. Always has been. What is right and what is wrong is very hard thing to determine.

    All comes down to case by case requirements if you are doing it right of course.

    I have found people pirating copies of windows when they have OEM stickers on their machines because the knew no better. And due to having pirated software asking no one for help.

    The hard thing to accept for some here to accept is that in some case Linux is the right option. Other is that Linux has taken market share. Ok not in desktop but in a lot of other areas. Those areas are starting to directly effect Linux desktop development.

  12. oldman says:

    “Just because Majority is doing something does not make it right. ”

    Just because a minority is doing something different does not make them right either.

  13. oiaohm says:

    Phenom 90 percent miss guided may be 100 percent true.

    Just because Majority is doing something does not make it right. Ie Majority of people in the USA are getting over weight does not making being over weight being right either.

    Phenom please stop making complete stupid arguments.

    Also what is normal today may not be normal in 2 years time.

  14. Phenom says:

    Of course there is evidence, Pog! That’s the simple fact that people keep paying to get the apps which suit their needs best.

    Unless you claim that 90% of PC users are misguided and spent their money for nothing. Well, you know what – majority defines normality.

  15. JairJy wrote, “Windows has many apps, the best apps for desktop”.

    There is no evidence of that. Do side-by-side tests of M$ apps besides GNU/Linux apps and see the GNU/Linux ones work very well. I recently installed Debian GNU/Linux testing in a virtual machine. To my surprise, LibreOffice snaps open in 1s and all operations are crisp. The LibreOffice team have really tightened up LibreOffice compared to which was already superior to M$’s office suite. Then we have browsers… M$’s operating system has IE which is not the people’s choice. I have used IE and I know why FireFox and Chrome are eating its share. IE keeps trying to tell the user what to do. Users don’t like that. FireFox and Chrome are designed to please the user by taking prompt action.

  16. oiaohm says:

    JairJy I think I better bring upto date on what android is causing to happen.

    When android was first released it has a 100 percent custom framebuffer system. This was in fact required. Due to the difference between embedded and desktop hardware that existed.

    The difference you buy a Ati Nvidia … card you get drivers from one location for it. Embedded the 3d accelorator the 2d accelerator the video stream decoder… All may be from different companies.

    So the Linux kernel way it handles graphics is being altered. So in time wayland, X11 and Android will be on the same graphic stack able to share drivers and be able to operate a video out that is in fact multi vendor made. Why do embedded do multi vendor solution over single supplier. It can be more power effective, better performing and most important of all most cost effective. Since you only have to pay extra for where a particular vendor is truly better than the rest.

    There is different as well today Linux Desktop vs Windows Desktop. Linux has had independent drivers. Linux Desktop vs Android that will not be the case. It will come down to functionality. The question is what fuses into what. Does the exist Linux desktops fuse into android or the android applications fuse into existing Linux desktops or a mixture of both. This is not death but transformation.

    Next Windows Phone 7 ATI drivers are in fact from the same source base as the Linux Open Source ATI drivers. Question is how long before Windows desktop is forced to use drivers that a primary developed for Linux Desktop and Android.

    Linux has had to cope with using drivers primary designed for Windows and hacked into working on Linux. Performance has been bad.

    Yes MS Windows desktop and phone is doomed because the rules are being inverted so is going to end up is the same location Linux desktop has been with poor quality drivers.

    The Linux Desktop could never fully take off while it graphic stack suxed. Android is in fact making the Linux Desktop more competitive. Android is also helping items like tizen as well.

  17. oiaohm says:

    Phenom looking for outlook replacement. Name kontact. Issue it don’t work well on Windows. There is a windows version but I don’t think most people are going to like the idea of installing 1.2 G for a pim client due to all the extra Linux/Unix desktop platform libraries it has to pull in. Runs rings around outlook for performance due to design you have install each feature solo.

    JairJy some areas in fact windows is kinda lacking. The best repeated user reviewed email when you remove platform is kontact. The best cd/dvd/blueray burning program again on repeated reviews is k3b.

    KDE also sees the end of the normal desktop. Semantic Desktop instead. This is something different to what you are seeing in Windows or OS X.

    Sementic Desktop is different since it highly focused on syncing between web, private clouds and desktop as well as making the system more searchable.

    JairJy the Linux desktop is excepting the fact its most likely doomed in it current form. So it is evolving. GTK and QT both working on adding HTML5 support and above. So the applications can be placed and provided by web to devices.

    QT does have an android version and a nacl version yes a version to run inside chrome webbrowser sand box. Yes QT is the base to the KDE desktop it the first thing you have to port to move KDE and all its applications to a new OS/platform. The rise of android is also seeing kde alter a lot of applications to be able to operate on the small screen.

    Basically where is the tools to port MS applications to web and other devices?

    JairJy its hard to accept that Android could be a foundation that one of the major existing Linux Desktops just steps on top of and brings all its applications to the end users.

    So the Linux desktop is not dieing is transforming to cope with the new world in front of it.

    JairJy KDE has not reason for loyalty to Linux. They will go where every they can get market share.

    So Linux desktop platforms doomed if Linux Desktop dies that is one huge myth. Linux Desktop ceases to exist MS desktop ceases to exist. Linux desktop platforms transform and keep on going. Except now they have an advantage. Linux Desktop legacy applications will come with them.

  18. JairJy says:

    The applications are the key. The success of Windows is that Windows has many apps, the best apps for desktop.

    Smartphones will rise eventually, and Android is succeeding because it has a lot of apps too (not to mention iPhone; IMHO, the iPhone has more quality over quantity).

    Is Windows doomed? Maybe, but if Windows is doomed then Linux Desktop is more doomed. At least Microsoft is trying to solve this problem with Windows 8.

  19. People, for the most part, only know a few applications. They will know many tasks, however, like finding some information, sending a message or doing a calculation. They likely can do that with any OS. They don’t depend on M$ to provide infrastructure. I have installed thousands of GNU/Linux seats and no one told me they could not do the job with GNU/Linux.

    M$ has also inhibited a huge ecosystem of people helping themselves and each other. They dragged their feet when the web came along, when mobility became feasible and when smaller operations just wanted to make a living for themselves. M$ tramples things and people.

  20. oldman says:

    “M$ has no monopoly on the ability to programme computers.”

    But microsoft has enabled an entire ecosystem of applications that people know and use and which serves their needs. saying that any software that does the job will work is IMHO subjective and misleading. To the person already using the software and making use of function and feature that is unique, your proposed substitute clearly will not work as a direct substitute.

    At the same time these people will by and large not share your antipathy towards microsoft and closed source, and will have notions of price/productivity that include their own estimation of the value of their own time and productivity – factros that you tend to gloss over.

    IN short, I would submit that while your statement is technically true, it is at total total loggerheads with the reality of current desktop information technology.

  21. Some say that. The curriculum of Manitoba schools assumes people want to get things done. Any software that does those things will work, including GNU/Linux. “the blue e” is not the web browser. M$’s office suite is not the office suite. M$’s media player is not the media player. M$ has no monopoly on the ability to programme computers.

  22. oldman says:

    “M$ has absolutely nothing to tempt me.”

    We know that Pog. But you may want to consider the reality that others have working applications that they do use. Linux does not support those applications, therefore linux is a non starter.

  23. Why do I need Outlook? I have e-mail with hundreds of correspondents and I use Gmail.

    M$ has absolutely nothing to tempt me.

  24. The numbers show otherwise. M$’s share is shrinking no matter how you measure it. Their bottom line is still growing because the locked-in keep paying more but the fraction locked in keeps decreasing.

  25. oldman says:

    “I have windows open from two computers at once, thanks to SSH and X. I have two browsers, a calendar, a weather app, a spreadsheet and mplayer or vlc handy. I have four virtual desktops going.”

    The issue is not what you have Pog, nor is it what you think that we have, it is what is available. The fact is that in order to precipitate a major change of platform across the desktop computing spectrum, you are going to have to make it worth the while of those who are using the status quo to change.

    As it stands right now FOSS and a smattering of commercial vendors who happen to sell desktop applications on linux simply do not provide enough breadth to precipitate that transition.

    Simply stated, I am not likely to change system sjust to get IMHO geek features like virtual desktops, nor am I going to have to put up with the limitations of some half baked freeware when I have closed source commercial software that directly meets my needs.

  26. Phenom says:

    Yeah, right, all people use only two browsers, a calendar, a weather app, a spreadsheet, and media players.

    Btw, I am yet to see an alternative of Outlook when it comes to integrating a calendar, e-mail client, to-do lists and contacts database, all in one, well integrated setup.

    Anyway, leaving Outlook aside. In addition to what you mention, people do use software for activities like accounting, image and video processing, music recording and mixing, engineering, medical… Now, please tell me you have them all, on professional level, in your Debian repository. It would be a good laugh.

  27. I have windows open from two computers at once, thanks to SSH and X. I have two browsers, a calendar, a weather app, a spreadsheet and mplayer or vlc handy. I have four virtual desktops going. Some of those applications are available on that other OS but the whole combination and how efficiently it works is not there. I could have windows open from my wife’s PC and two other notebooks that she uses. I also have some web applications running on three computers.

    My setup is very complex and flexible. There is nothing like that in that other OS without installing a lot of third party applications. I get everything I need from the Debian repository except I sometimes get latest versions from the upstream suppliers.

  28. Phenom says:

    You are right on the spot, Pogson! Applications are the key, indeed.

    Where are the applications for Linux?

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