Gartner Confused

About a year ago, Gartner made a presentation outlining the status of software as a service and the status of “Open Source Software”. Generally, there were good and promising findings for FLOSS in a survey of 547 IT professionals. Key findings, for my purposes:

  • a large proportion already use FLOSS as a desktop OS: 60% use it either as a building block for new rollouts, a replacement for that other OS or as an alternative.

  • businesses currently use GNU/Linux desktops for “data-entry” seats and Gartner saw GNU/Linux as being used on mainstream business desktops within 2-5 years.

A few months later, Gartner reports:

  • Gartner’s latest PC OS forecast shows 94 percent of new PCs will be shipped with Windows 7 in 2011.
  • “Gartner’s forecast assumes that Windows 7 is likely to be the last version of Microsoft OS that gets deployed to everybody through big corporatewide migration. In the future, many organizations will also use alternative client computing architectures for standard PCs with Windows OS, and move toward virtualization and cloud computing in the next five years.”
  • “Linux OS is expected to remain niche over the next five years with its share below 2 percent because of the remaining high costs of application migration from Windows to Linux. In the consumer market, Linux will be run on less than 1 percent of PCs, as Linux’s success with mini-notebooks was short-lived and few mini-notebooks are preloaded with it today.”
  • “Gartner estimates that only in 2012 will the market reach the point of crossover between Windows-specific and OS-agnostic applications for enterprises, as 50 percent of the applications will be OS-agnostic. In the consumer space, Gartner believes that the proportion of OS-agnostic applications is already above the Windows-specific applications. This could help Chrome OS and Android make inroads into the consumer space in the next three to five years.”

Methinks Gartner is conflicted about reality. They cannot both have GNU/Linux growing rapidly and 94% of PCs shipping “7”… They cannot both have GNU/Linux remaining “niche” when there are no barriers to adoption left.

The facts indicated by web logs are that “7” is still very close to XP in adoption
Breakdown per OS version, non mobile
Windows NT 6.1 1,427,480 34.18%
Windows NT 5.1 1,353,162 32.41%

and it’s shipping on only 50million PCs a quarter, not 94%, but 55%. They should look at their own surveys and independent statistics rather than M$’s pronouncements by salespersons.

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.
This entry was posted in technology. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Gartner Confused

  1. nt_jerkface, unable to do the maths wrote, “in the US the administration costs of Linux are higher than Windows and offset any license savings. Windows Server isn’t as expensive as it used to be, MS got wise and scaled their prices based on business size. Linux admins cost more so unless your time is free it won’t work out.”

    That is ridiculous. Many businesses run by people who can do the maths use GNU/Linux. One GNU/Linux admin or one GNU/Linux server can do more than a bunch of admins/servers using that other OS. Certainly it takes some effort to administer GNU/Linux machines but cutting out licensing fees and the cost of malware really tilts the scales in favour of GNU/Linux. In all my years of using GNU/Linux I have never seen a wave of malware take out a network of GNU/Linux machines or had a system demand a reboot in the middle of my class or require re-re-reboots because of the damned registry. In particular I have never seen an update that clobbered my device drivers. Typically you would only see that with a new kernel version and we can simply boot from the old kernel which stays around. That other OS has nowhere near the resilience of GNU/Linux.

    The system at Largo, FL has been well documented. Costs of operations are multiples less than the cost of operation of the same sort of system with that other OS. The largest system of servers I have ever seen running that other OS could have been replaced by a single decent server running GNU/Linux and requiring much less maintenance. Patch Tuesday always caused me sleepless nights because there were always machines that took a couple of days to get patched while the world of malware artists were gunning for them. That place disconnected from the web for a week once because they were defenceless against the malware.

  2. oiaohm says:

    nt_jerkface It depends on whos all in one printers.

    You don’t hear Samsung or hp all in ones having trouble with Linux. There are also the one you can get spare parts for in old age.

    “[ 2822.733715] ipw2200: Firmware error detected. Restarting.” Yep know that one personally.

    Person has failed to install “firmware-ipw2x00” or failed to upgrade it.

    Debian and Fedora have no problem with it. Ubuntu has a habit of missing upgrading firmware-ipw2x00 because a failure to associate required dependency when they package there kernel.

    http://ipw2200.sourceforge.net/firmware.php Yep the issue. Ubuntu had no firmware. The equal to a windows person trying to use the same card without installing the driver. Of course it don’t work.

    Not all Linux distributions are created equal nt_jerkface. Yes use ubuntu if you want the most hardware problems out of top 10 Linux distrobutions.

    bluetooth any device that is android and phone friendly is Linux friendly what is most of them.

    logitech hardware mostly not important most of the logitech stuff that does not work there is better quality else where.

    office devices like stamp machines. Brazil the stamp machines are not a issue they are Linux compatible.

    nt_jerkface do some proper homework you will find out doing selections for Linux hardware does not cost that much more. Long term it costs less.

    Even you GPS claim is fairly much baseless nt_jerkface.

    There are distrobutions particular targeted at small business. They are getting better. They need way less admin time than a full feature Linux.

  3. nt_jerkface says:

    Can you provide a couple of examples of update and HW-compatibility problems so I can be better informed.

    BTW, I’m from Brasil so windows is expensive enough.

    To avoid update problems with Linux all you have to do is never upgrade and stick with old software. Having your wireless broken from an upgrade is a common problem. Linux evangelists don’t like to talk about it but you can find plenty of examples in Ubuntu forums, even admittance that it is an ongoing problem.
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1744065

    Examples of hardware compatibility problems: GPS devices, all-in-one printers, logitech hardware, bluetooth, specialized office devices like stamp machines.

    The economics of adopting Linux is Brazil might be different but in the US the administration costs of Linux are higher than Windows and offset any license savings. Windows Server isn’t as expensive as it used to be, MS got wise and scaled their prices based on business size. Linux admins cost more so unless your time is free it won’t work out.

  4. Yonah says:

    “In China that is no problem at all and GNU/Linux machines do sell for less and are quite profitable.”

    How profitable? Got some numbers for us? I’m still waiting on sales figures regarding the Dell Ubuntu laptops. Not overall sales for Dell computers as a whole, but just the machines you claim are selling like hotcakes in various stores around China.

    I thought of a great gag for candid camera! Sneak into a retail store late at night. Take all the PCs with Windows pre-installed and replace them all with different Linux distros. Watch the hilarity ensue the next morning as costumers and staff alike puzzle over what’s wrong with the computers. See them pull their hair out trying to figure out why their favorite software won’t install at all, much less run.

    I’m sure you envision a totally different scenario playing out. Everyone who touches these machines discovers the joy of free software and gleefully accepts Linux regardless of any difficulties they may face, because each and every one of these customers hates being a slave to Microsoft just as much as you once did. I’m sure that dream makes you happy, but it’s just a dream, and one that’s not soundly rooted in reality.

  5. kozmcrae says:

    “Microsoft is not forcing OEMs to pre-install Windows.”

    Not quite as much as they used to but that has nothing to do with how Microsoft used their influence in the past. There have aways been other OSs in competition with Windows. None of them have been given pre-installed status. There are two players in that game, Microsoft and the OEMs. You want to put all the blame on the OEMs. That’s why I call you the Cult of Microsoft Clarence. Microsoft gets all the credit and none of the blame, all the time, for ever and ever.

  6. Clarence Moon says:

    Suppose all that you want, Mr. Pogson, but you must see yourself that such a hypothetical situation cannot account for the profits being made by both the hardware manufacturers, such as Dell, and Microsoft as a software supplier. Think of it as a kind of law of financial thermodynamics if you prefer a physics analogy.

    Dell made some $11+ billion dollars in gross profit last year and Microsoft made a heck of a lot more than that, of course, but hardware has its drawbacks in terms of leverage of profit.

    If you want to say that OEMs see that selling Windows is in their own best interests, I would agree with you. What you suggest, namely that Microsoft offers incentives to manufacturers and retailers to promote Microsoft’s product, is generally true. But it is not “forcing”, rather it is “inducing”.

  7. Clarence Moon wrote, “Microsoft is not forcing OEMs to pre-install Windows.”

    You don’t know that. M$ is very innovative in creating pressure. For example, they might give OEMs or retailers “promotional fees” to promote the product. This can completely swamp the cost of the product and hardware margins may be quite small so the OEM makes more money selling stuff at a loss if he is paid by M$ to advertise it. The OEM passes on costs to retailers so the OEM. Some numbers are worth more than words.

    suppose a retailer makes a box that costs $200 to make and adds that other OS for $50 and sells the whole thing for $300. He makes $50 in the normal course of business. If M$ offers him $10 to advertise the product, he makes $60 although there are some costs of advertising. If the OEM ships some other OS such as GNU/Linux, his costs are lower but so are his revenues: $200 cost he might sell for $250, making $50. So, he seems to make $10 more working for M$. Over millions of machines that is huge. It is nothing about price/performance or what the end-user wants, just what M$ wants. By excluding competition, M$ makes more money and M$ always has a huge margin.

    Further, the OEMs were forced to sell that other OS universally or get no licences at all for that other OS. That M$ agreed to stop but they just reinvented the wheel in other ways.

    Companies that produce GNU/Linux machines in USA are using USA labour which costs more. If they had everything produced/installed in China it certainly would cost less. If you buy PCs by the container-load in China instead of installing the OS in USA you could save a bundle. Because they only serve a few percent of the market they cannot do that volume of business. In China that is no problem at all and GNU/Linux machines do sell for less and are quite profitable. From the OEM/retail perspective there is no difference selling an Android/Linux machine and a GNU/Linux machine. They are profitable and there’s no distortion of the market because M$ is not involved.

  8. Clarence Moon says:

    What is wrong with your argument is the notion that all this lack of product offerings comes about because those in a position to do something about the situation, namely the OEMs who make the products and the retailers who stock the products, do not give a hoot.

    Microsoft is not forcing OEMs to pre-install Windows. OEMs believe that they have to pre-install something and the only thing that makes any sense at all to pre-install is Windows.

    Buyers who do not want to change anything have no problem with buying a Windows compter, would you not agree? Buyers who may want to use Linux instead can easily do it on their own, so they are equally at home with the idea of buying a Windows computer. Game, set, match, I think.

    Don’t go on about a Microsoft “tax” either. If you look at the pricing for companies that do offer Linux pre-installs, such as System76, you can see that the price of the Linux machine is likely to be even higher than the price of the Windows computer.

  9. What Kozmcrae wrote. Yeah.

  10. Kozmcrae says:

    “I think that the main problem restraining Linux on the desktop lies in the cold hard fact that no one really gives a hoot.”

    Before you can determine if any one “gives a hoot” or not, you’ll need to flatten out the playing field. GNU/Linux has not been able to compete, nor any other OS for that matter, while Microsoft has been allowed to force manufacturers to pre-install their OS on retail computers.

    How could you possibly ask someone looking at a bunch of computers at Best Buy if they would care to try a GNU/Linux computer when there are no GNU/Linux computers? Same goes for Walmart, Circuit City, Target, Kmart, Sears… Do you understand now why “gives a hoot” is a BS?

  11. Clarence Moon says:

    I think that the main problem restraining Linux on the desktop lies in the cold hard fact that no one really gives a hoot. Just about everybody who buys and uses computers knows what to expect, just like they know what to expect when they buy a candy bar.

    It is simply too late in the product life cycle to make any dramatic change and the OEMs, who would have to lead the way, are demonstrably not interested. Their business has become doing what they need to do to accomodate the latest release of Windows and meet the steadily lowering price points in the market.

    Price conscious buyers are not likely to switch to Linux. Rather they will simply wait a bit longer for the next drop in the price cycle or for today’s PC to go on sale when the new models arrive. There are no Linux PC replacement products on the shelves and there will never be any. Never.

  12. Clarence Moon says:

    What inconsistency, Mr. Pogson?

  13. Simply relying on two press releases from Gartner, I can see the inconsistency. Are you blind? Sorry about that.

  14. nt_jerkface wrote, “It really has nothing to do with trying to move away from Windows.

    Linux will remain niche because even for OS-agnostic shops it isn’t cost effective. It still comes with too many problems related to updates and hardware compatibility. Windows just isn’t expensive enough to warrant a switch.”

    Chuckle. Denial.

    I read recently that a significant number of businesses have identified FLOSS as perfectly suitable and less costly for data-entry work. No wonder. A GNU/Linux PC can easily keep up with typing and clicking. No need for that other OS and since these types of users are numerous it represents an increasing share of the market for PCs for which that other OS need not apply. Same with thin clients and lots of positions involving just a few applications. Putting stuff on web servers means the client machine can be much simpler, cheaper and more secure. No need for drives, high power, storage, M$…

    I have been in a lot of places where the cost mattered and GNU/Linux was far cheaper to operate in problems, labour, capital costs or any other measure I have ever considered. Hardware compatibility has not been a serious issue except in a couple of areas for a decade. RedHat used to have a “hardware compatibility list” but it wasn’t worthwhile lately (They don’t seem to keep it up to date. Just 40 items on it…). I have been in schools with multiple types of PCs from multiple manufacturers and I have only once found a NIC I could not use and that was just for network booting. It worked fine from a live CD. I do have in my home one PC out of 14 that lacks one driver in Linux for wireless. I have a bunch of wireless devices all happy with Linux.

    So, way off base, nt.

  15. oiaohm says:

    nt_jerkface updates and linux normally not a major problem.

    Hardware compatibility is a valid and invalid issue. Lot of cases hardware that is Linux compadible will be usable for a long time. The stuff that is windows only normally only has a short life due to makers cutting out driver support.

    The idea that Linux is not cost effective is wrong. Lot of places use it on call center terminals.

    nt_jerkface deploying it general at this stage is a mistake but correct deployments inside a business Linux is a god send.

  16. Andrew says:

    “It still comes with too many problems related to updates and hardware compatibility.”

    Can you provide a couple of examples of update and HW-compatibility problems so I can be better informed.

    BTW, I’m from Brasil so windows is expensive enough.

  17. nt_jerkface says:

    More applications are becoming OS-agnostic, that is certainly true. Web apps have a lot of advantages for in-house applications where you want refined control of access and deployment. It really has nothing to do with trying to move away from Windows.

    Linux will remain niche because even for OS-agnostic shops it isn’t cost effective. It still comes with too many problems related to updates and hardware compatibility. Windows just isn’t expensive enough to warrant a switch.

  18. Andrew says:

    Must be the tax write-off.

  19. Clarence Moon says:

    Gartner is handicapped due to using conventional market data survey methods, Mr. Pogson. They do not have the same ability to run the sophisticated SQL queries on Wikipedia site data as you are able to do and so their results are likely to be totally wrong. One can only wonder why so many companies pay them so much money for their information.

Leave a Reply