Ed Bott’s Delusion

Ed Bott wrote, “Microsoft still controls roughly 90% of the PC market worldwide and is still the standard for business computing”.

I can see where Ed Bott gets his information and it’s wrong on two counts:

  • M$ is selling 50 million licences a quarter while the world is making and selling 90 million PCs, that’s 55%, not 90%, and
  • many businesses are using GNU/Linux, MacOS, BlackBerry OS, iOS and Android/Linux for many purposes.

Ed knows better. He wrote, “Windows 7 has shipped a half-billion copies” since October 2009, 9 quarters, 55 million a quarter. IDC reports 80-90 million PCs per quarter produced. M$ is no longer getting a free ride, Ed. Get used to it. There are businesses that do give M$ a free ride but there are many governments, organizations and businesses that have seen the light and choose to avoid monopoly. Shopping around is the right way to do IT.

The most locked-in business I know is a bank. They are still using XP/IE6. I checked. All they have to do is to refresh the web application and M$ is out of there. The bank can count pennies.

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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16 Responses to Ed Bott’s Delusion

  1. ch defined “over-priced thin client” as, “a Windows PC accessing a web app with a browser”.

    I agree. There will be some of that amongst the really clueless but there is absolutely no need for that other OS on the client for properly written web apps. Many businesses who are re-writing in-house applications for web-access are doing a proper job of it. Others may not. It’s still share lost to M$.

    Not only is the price of the licence for that other OS a matter that businesses can see but also the CAL if the server is on the LAN, which is likely for many small and medium sized businesses, the bulk of seats. For general PCs, M$ squirmed when prices of units dropped below $1000. Imagine how they squirm for thin clients priced ~$100. Who, in their right mind, intent on saving money by using thin clients would continue to waste half the cost of the client?

  2. ch says:

    “Thin clients can grow much faster.”

    Always being eager to help others, I’ll now fulfill your wish and make thin clients grow much faster, all with the magical power of just one sentence: I hereby redefine “thin client” as “a Windows PC accessing a web app with a browser”.

    Whoa, watch them grow !

    As for your other points:
    “Retailers could welcome ARM and Android/Linux with open arms.”

    As smartphones and tablets sold mostly in addition to PCs? Why not.

    “ARM could start shrinking M$’s slice of the desktop.”

    With Win8 running on ARM ? Not very likely.

    “Web apps could become the standard for business.”

    There are already a lot of web apps being used within businesses, quite some of them made with/running on Visual Studio / Sharepoint / SQL Server / Windows Server. Man, that’s gonna hurt MS !

    “Emerging markets could dominate production, distribution and installed base.”

    And they will use Windows etc. like almost everybody else, so what.

    You forgot “A huge meteor might hit Redmond”, btw.

  3. Clarence Moon says:

    “have no place but to go but down”

    One could argue that Microsoft has mostly been going more sideways than up for several years now although there is still a small amount of up in their vector. I see nothing wrong with that myself. Nothing goes straight up forever and Microsoft’s run has been a record breaker for all time.

    There is a large market for PC operating system software and Microsoft essentially owns that market. One major manufacturer makes their own OS software and the rest ship Windows.

    You are under the belief that tablets and smart phones will drastically cut into the size of the PC market and will thereby damage Microsoft’s market for Windows OS. So far, though, the hundreds of millions of smart phones, feature phones, and tablets sold have not made much of a dent in the PC business. At least not the devestation you predict.

  4. Clarence Moon wrote, “Overall, Microsoft continues to prosper from the Windows ecosystem and grows larger every passing year.”

    That has been the case but the good times are over for the monopoly. M$ has had several quarters where the desktop monopoly has grown very little, so they are past the peak of the desktop monopoly. They have no place but to go but down. The only questions are how far down and how fast. The levers are in position to make the decline very fast.

    Here’s a list of areas where moves could happen very quickly:

    1. Retailers could welcome ARM and Android/Linux with open arms.
    2. ARM could start shrinking M$’s slice of the desktop.
    3. Web apps could become the standard for business.
    4. Thin clients can grow much faster.
    5. Emerging markets could dominate production, distribution and installed base.

    All of those are happening and it would not take much to set them on fire, destroying M$’s desktop monopoly in a year or two. If M$ on ARM does not gain traction, on cloud goes nowhere, and upselling does not succeed in emerging markets, M$ is toast. They will have to compete on price and performance and lose huge share.

  5. Clarence Moon says:

    Well, Mr. Oiaohm, you are unable to see the forrest for the trees, as the saying goes. Microsoft’s entire fortune is tied, one way or another, to Windows. They make a lot of money from servers and tools because there are so many Windows desktops. They make even more money from office automation prodcts because they are so prolific on the desktop.

    Overall, Microsoft continues to prosper from the Windows ecosystem and grows larger every passing year. That’s the big picture and the one that you should be looking at.

    FLOSS, as an entity, makes nothing, Mr. Oiaohm. FLOSS users are avoiding costs at best. Royalty income is likely to be filed under non-operating income

  6. oiaohm says:

    Really read the report you are point to http://biz.yahoo.com/e/111020/msft10-q.html

    Windows & Windows Live Division
    4,868 vs 4,785 that is pretty much flat. 2 percent change redhat is reporting many times that. Yet number of PC sales in the same time have increased. So this should be up by more than 2 percent.

    Servers are up a bit but the complete server market is up. By way more than 10 percent.

    Microsoft Business Division that is MS Office and other items like it are up.

    Servers and Business Division is where MS increase in revenue is. This is suggesting that possibly more thin clients are in usage or more Linux clients out there.

    I don’t get where you get FLOSS makes nothing from Clarence Moon. Revenues feeding into FLOSS are just very hard to count.

    Basically if you read all the numbers Clarence Moon they are telling a very risky story for Microsoft.

    Funny enough what department is getting all the android payments. This is very much reads like someone cooking the books. Clarence Moon

  7. Kozmcrae says:

    “Perhaps you are reading some out of date source or are getting your information from a biased source.”


  8. Clarence Moon says:

    All indicators seem to point to it being a larger and larger mint, quarter after quarter, year after year, Mr. Koz. Perhaps you are reading some out of date source or are getting your information from a biased source. If you look at:


    it is easy to see that Microsoft’s most recent quarter showed revenues of $17,372,000,000, which is an increase of 7% over the revenues in the corresponding quarter in 2010 of $16,195,000,000.

    Meanwhile, FLOSS makes nothing, as you point out. The only mystery there is how that can be seen as having one’s ass kicked. Perhaps you could explain. It would be helpful if you could point to an unkicked ass with better numbers than Microsoft’s.

    Meanwhile, as long as you are there in Fantasyland, say hello to Peter Pan, Tinker Bell, and the Tooth Fairy for me.

  9. Kozmcrae says:

    “…is not a “mint” in your world?”

    Yes, absolutely it is a mint in my world. It’s just not the mint it used to be in Microsoft’s world. You fail at reading comprehension Clarence. You see only what you wish to see.

    FLOSS makes nothing and it’s kicking Microsoft’s ass in more than one market. You don’t see the irony in that? Of course you don’t.

  10. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon you don’t know the first cars. Remember the first car was the first cause of the offense of dangerous driving.

    First cars would have brake failures, steering failures, jammed accelerators and possibly all that at the same time.

    My analogy is right Clarence Moon. Of course cars when the tech become stable evolved into lorries.

    Yes really a bicycle the penny farthing(what is one of the most dangerous bikes) of the time compared to the car was safer.

    Basically after all these years you have forgotten how crap the first cars were. Clarence Moon.

    Bicycle is not a good analogy bicycles never tried to kill anyone other than the rider. Cars tried to kill everyone. Does not the car match up better to the miss behavior of early Linux than a bicycle.

  11. Clarence Moon says:

    Oh, Mr. Koz, you are just too much! $20+ billion dollars a year in revenues and $12+ billion dollars a year and rising in bottom line profits (before taxes) is not a “mint” in your world? What land, flowing with milk and honey, do you live within?

    You are just a grumpy turkey.

    Mr. Oiaohm, what would the “car” be in your desperate analogy? The phone and tablet? They are more accurately likened to a bicycle that can, in a pinch, substitute for the cart and horse, but only for some tasks. If you have to ever haul a heavy load, you still need the horse cart. Let me know when there is an Android or Linux truck that can fill the bill. Or maybe you rubes call it a lorry?

  12. oiaohm says:

    Phenom Australia you don’t see any banks using activex.

    So the overseas banks could buy the tech from us to update there websites.

    I deal with a lot of banks in the asian region as well most of those are active X free as well.

    Phenom where are you that banks are still using insecure Active X.

    Our government is disconnecting it self from active x.

  13. Phenom says:

    Pogs, to your disappointment, most of these web apps in banks are actually web pages, heavily loaded with ActiveX, making them in effect desktop applications. Yes, AX in a web page is a desktop app, despite running in a browser.

    So, your notion to simply update the web app is simply not feasible cost-wise in real life.

  14. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon Windows is in the same location the horse and cart was in when the car was released.

    At first it holds market share but as time goes on it fades.

  15. Kozmcrae says:

    “As long as Microsoft continues to make a mint selling Windows…”

    That’s the problem Clarence, they are not making a “mint”. They are working harder to keep what they’ve got but they are losing ground where no ground was lost before. Windows’ future is not guaranteed anymore.

    My prediction is that when Windows 8 hits the streets we will see a drop in PCs sold as people run from Microsoft’s offering. Windows 8’s crash and burn will make Vista look like a Girl Scouts camp fire.

  16. Clarence Moon says:

    As long as Microsoft continues to make a mint selling Windows, what difference would it make even if you were correct, Mr. Pogson? No one else is making any money selling PC OS, so Microsoft is hardly losing any revenue since there is no such revenue to be had.

    Where do you suppose those missing PCs are hiding?

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