That Other OS: A Long Good-Bye Or Divorce Italian Style

SJVN and others have opined on whether or not “8” will be a hit for M$. Jason Perlow has a different take. He writes that “7” and legacy apps will be around for a long time and new development will occur on ARM.

That’s probably true in part but I like numbers. There are still tons of people using XP. Are they going to migrate to a dead-end-support-only platform in “7”? Are those who migrated to “7” going to migrate again to “9” or “10” or whatever eventually comes down the pipe? I see people having to finally think about migrating instead of just doing it because that is what has been done for years. The x86 Wintel treadmill may not appeal to many if the apps don’t evolve. Who is going to get on the WARM treadmill if they have options? Wintel started with no/few options and none were able to survive the anti-competitive actions of M$ except GNU/Linux and some *NIX that just refuse to die.

Faced with real viable choices, IT is going to become much more diverse with M$’s stuff being only one of several options. Those who move to ARM to use devices as thin clients/PCs will not require M$ to be on those devices. There are many other viable choices that everyone knows exist on smart thingies of all kinds. 2011 was the Year of Android/Linux on Smart Phones. 2012 will be the year of Android/Linux on tablets, GNU/Linux on thin clients, and GNU/Linux on servers in the cloud. The pie is getting much larger but M$’s share of choices is shrinking rapidly. 80% of an x86 PC universe will soon become 30% of an x86 and ARM PC universe. There is no longer a compelling reason based on applications to stick with M$, because the applications will not be ported to ARM and new development will be for ARM and web servers.

Even “8” on servers which Perlow sees as having an edge is marginal. There are many other clouds out there that deliver the goods. M$ will just be 1/N of the cloud, not 80%. ARM may be only 12 percent of clients on the web these days but growth is 100% per annum or more while that other OS shrinks by 2% per annum. ARM is running a Hell of a lot more devices than a few percent.

Perlow may be right that “7” sticks around for a long time but, at the rate it’s share is growing compared to the rate that M$ is losing share, by the time “7” is old, M$ will be just another player on the field, competing on price and performance, not exclusive deals with everyone. It will only take two or three years for this to be clear. I can wait. It doesn’t seem to me that “8” has anything going for it and OEMs and retailers who make space for it may be wasting precious resources.

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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3 Responses to That Other OS: A Long Good-Bye Or Divorce Italian Style

  1. Ray says:

    Or there’s option number 2, which most people take, like me: skipping versions.

  2. Clarence Moon wrote, “I don’t think that developers or customers are going to abandon the Windows products as you imagine they might, Mr. Pogson.”

    I was just reading that GNU/Linux jobs are heating up. I took a peek at and found some really nice, GNU/Linux-only jobs in Canada. It used to be that one had to work with multiple OS to get a good job in IT but there are lots of businesses ramping up and expanding use of GNU/Linux, mostly on servers still, but with thin clients that works for me.

    Two categories that are hot: GNU/Linux developers and system administrators. I think that shows a lot of businesses are moving some systems to GNU/Linux and making new installations on GNU/Linux. It’s all good.

  3. Clarence Moon says:

    I don’t think that developers or customers are going to abandon the Windows products as you imagine they might, Mr. Pogson. You do not appreciate the magnitude of the numbers involved. There are perhaps 20 million Linux users of desktop/laptop systems, if one can believe the internet usage statistics, and they exist almost entirely unnoticed. Ask around in a crowd and no one even knows what Linux is and there are 20 million of them lurking somewhere. Maybe more.

    Ditto the developers. They have been through umpteen paradigm shifts from Win16 through .NET, Silverlight, ASP.NET, WPF and XAML, and a bunch of sidetracks of lesser magnitude. Switching to another SDK isn’t going to break their hearts or spirits. They will welcome the opportunity to coast along re-inventing the hard stuff in a sort of mindless state of relaxation.

    All the dweebs out there will just have some new thing to sneer at while the rest of the world goes about ignoring them as it has for 20 years now. MSFT profits are up, the DOJ and EU cannot see through the fog of phones, tablets, and miniPC blocks to notice any sort of monopoly growing, and life is generally good for all.

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