Unseating M$

For years I have had visitors to this site repeating how M$ is No. 1 and will never be unseated but it keeps happening…
The latest:

Gmail’s growth has skyrocketed since its public introduction in 2007, but this year in particular, Google has been successful in attracting millions of new users. In January, Google mentioned in its earnings call that it had about 350 million monthly active users on Gmail; six months later, about 75 million more users had flocked to Gmail, growing the total number to 425 million monthly active users. By this measure, Gmail has dethroned Hotmail.

Other battles M$ has lost: HPC, small cheap computers (including mobile), web servers, SCOG v World, …

Other battle soon to be lost: desktop/notebook OS, browsers, cloud,…

So, M$, in fair competition, keeps failing. Why is that? They have more money than most and should be able to do better. What keeps them from excelling? It’s the burden of having to remember every lie they have ever told, the backwards-compatibility with really stupid software-design decisions made decades ago, and the insistence on abusing monopoly power. Those dogs don’t hunt… not in the long run. Life and IT are long distance races. Bullies, criminals and those who take advantage of others may temporarily gain some advantage but they cannot keep it. In spite of lax governmental enforcement of anti-competition laws and sell-outs by OEMs, retailers, journalist, analysts and consultants, superior IT comes through in the end. Even M$ is using GNU/Linux in its operations now but there’s no monopoly-generated pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, just working for a living.

see Gmail Becomes World's Largest Email Service; Google Continues To Unseat Microsoft – International Business Times.

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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36 Responses to Unseating M$

  1. Prong Reboots says:

    These are industry statistics; I did not make them up on the spot. That should be evident by the links. To make headway, you’ll need to do better than ignore data and counter with “kids in my world” anecdotes.

    PC market share is irrelevant to this particular argument, which is countering your assertion that only kids play video games. By now it should be readily evident that this is not the case.

  2. Prong Reboots wrote, “Consumers spent $24.75 billion on video games, hardware and accessories in 2011.

    The average game player is 30 years old and has been playing games for 12 years.”

    One wonders why it is in your world they wait until 18 to start. In my world kids are the big game-players.

    Even assuming all that money went towards PC-gaming, can you imagine how tiny a slice of the pie that is?

  3. oldman says:

    “The same goes for buying more hardware that will do more idling than more modest hardware, say buying a V4 instead of a V8 engine. It’s all the same.”

    Check your premises. Hardware gets sized to accomplish a particular task to the satisfaction of the owner. Im my case I have saved quite a bot of money in heat and electricity by moving from a motley collection of old/junk systems to a single system running multiple virtual machines, In fact IO regularly run 6 or more VM’s comfortably on the same system that I am typing this on, and I still have enough horsepower to play back my music for a full simmulated symphony orchestra at the same time should I need to.

    And doing all of this my system is only showing on average 20-25% cpu utilization.

    And thats the way that I like it…
    And thats the way that i sized it…

    for MY needs, NOT YOURS!.

    In fact your opinion of what constitutes waste more often than not smells more like the conviction of someone who is more concerned with doing it on the cheap than doing it right.

  4. Prong Reboots says:

    Correction: 45.0 was the average social gamer age in 2010. In 2011 it was 41.2

  5. Prong Reboots says:

    Robert, you are woefully ignorant as to how big the video games industry is and who the target demographic is:

    Consumers spent $24.75 billion on video games, hardware and accessories in 2011.

    The average game player is 30 years old and has been playing games for 12 years.

    The average age of the most frequent game purchaser is 35 years old.

    Sixty-two percent of gamers play games with others, either in-person or online. (By comparison, annual box office ticket sales are “only” around $10 billion.)

    Thirty-three percent of gamers play games on their smartphones, and 25 percent play games on their handheld device.

    Furthermore, there’s the new “social media” gaming scene where kids basically aren’t a part at all. In that article is a demographics chart revealing the average social gamer age to be 45.

    These references contradict everything you’ve said on the subject.

  6. oldman wrote, “It also doesn’t mean that you shouldnt. Remember,if its my money, its my jackhammer.”

    That reminds me of a parable I used to tell students who complained I nagged them to change their ways…

    If I pass by someone banging his head against the wall, I may well suggest he stop and do something more productive. The same goes for buying more hardware that will do more idling than more modest hardware, say buying a V4 instead of a V8 engine. It’s all the same. Very often more spent gets you nothing more except waste.

  7. oldman says:

    “So the big question is what do people really need. x86 with big GPU simply might be using a jack hammer to put in a Nail. You can do it but does not mean you should.”

    It also doesn’t mean that you shouldnt. Remember,if its my money, its my jackhammer.

  8. oiaohm says:

    Phenom this is what I am talking about.

    I see a dead space. Either it will be a portable or a thin-client/server. With the portables being able to be thin-clients just as much as the fixed thin clients.

    The space in the middle being the desktop pc on desk does not need to exist and its not really a good use of resources. Think about it someone brings there portable into the office and for some reason someone screwed up and there is not enough seats. In a thin-client environment that portable can become part of the network without having todo any major software alterations to it.

    The thin-client effect threaten to nuke half MS market.

    Next question how much do you need in a portable and is android good enough.

    Most games on tablets are not I need huge GPU games.

    So the big question is what do people really need. x86 with big GPU simply might be using a jack hammer to put in a Nail. You can do it but does not mean you should.

  9. Phenom wrote, “enjoying quality video and modern games?”

    We have televisions and projectors which are much better for “quality video”. Games are for kids. Only about 10% of PCs are routinely used for games, kids as they go in and out of that phase and some really anti-social adults. At some point, kids grow into adults and realize the real world is more interesting. There are some cases where simulations are actual games and adults do play those on HPC clusters running GNU/Linux.

  10. Phenom says:

    The advantages of thin clients are real and available to a much wider class of usage than the thick client.

    Eh, like enjoying quality video and modern games? Not to spoil the party, but video and gaming happen to be amongst the most popular activies on a tablet.

    Ah, and tablets have the benefit of working offline. For example, while on the plane. Or while traveling in general, as during movement cellular and wi-fi connections are anything but stable. No connection or poor connection = thin client dead.

  11. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon and Oldman

    Not one of the things you have mentioned is entry level. Third world entry level.

    That price range is 100-400 dollars. Anything above that is western world and there is limited market share in that.

    The important issue here is a lot of ARM makers don’t have Microsoft OS license. Don’t have the option of using x86 chips either. So the battle at the low end is not going away.

    This is not like Linux netbooks vs Microsoft. Those were x86 based and able to be formatted and converted back to windows or the windows machine formatted and converted to Linux.

    The same golden price range remains 100-400. That price range is not good for MS bottom line.

  12. Clarence Moon wrote, of the advantages of thin clients, “you lose all the functionality that goes with that.”

    What advantage or increased functionality does one get from more heat being produced by a PC? That is just wasted energy. What advantage or increased functionality does one get from more hardware idling? The advantages of thin clients are real and available to a much wider class of usage than the thick client.

  13. Clarence Moon says:

    You are … You can … Your thinking … You may … You … are a sad case.”

    Well, Mr. Kozbear, YOU seem to find a fascination with my words, and that is reward enough for me! Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts.

  14. Clarence Moon says:

    you can have lower cost, longer battery life or less mass to carry around

    But you lose all the functionality that goes with that. It is quite a difficult decision. I bought a netbook (Acer One) and it gets great battery life and does most things I want to do, albeit slowly in many cases, but I haven’t had it out of its bag for almost a year now. It’s just too klunky and the 10″ screen is too small for me. Heaven knows what a dud an ARM tablet with even less capability might prove to be.

    If I get so far afield that I can’t find electric power to run my laptop, I find I am out of range of any sort of network signal, too, and so the laptop isn’t much of a help either. I have a Kindle Fire for reading books and playing Angry Birds. That is quite enough.

  15. oldman wrote, “Why should one adopt an anemic ARM tablet when one can have a core I5 based full function portable.”

    That’s easy. So, you can have lower cost, longer battery life or less mass to carry around.

  16. oldman says:

    “HP bails on plans for Windows RT consumer tablet“

    Thats because they have opted for a windows 8 based x86 tablet.

    http://www.crn.com/news/mobility/240003028/its-official-hps-first-windows-8-tablet-will-be-x86-based.htm;jsessionid=jcA8sg1Q5hu2bEKIajpggg**.ecappj03

    ANd the of course there are ultrabooks like the
    samsung system 9 to consider.

    http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/laptops/samsung-series-9-900x3a-review-50003617/

    Why should one adopt an anemic ARM tablet when one can have a core I5 based full function portable.

  17. Chris Weig says:

    As the 4th of July approaches Clarence the Loon shows his true colors. Die hard Cult of Microsoft. Close your ears Clarence and yell no no no no no no. It will make you feel better.

    Another example of a post where nothing of substance is added to the discussion by you. Funny that you accuse me of supposedly just doing that in another entry’s comments.

    And what has the 4th of July to do with this? Will you watch Roland Emmerich’s “Independence Day” and shake your fists at the screen, because Jeff Goldblum defeats the aliens with a Mac?

  18. oldman says:

    “I’m looking forward to the release of Windows 8. When that happens your separate reality will make the jump to hyperspace. That will be fun to watch.”

    If you mean the windows 8 that I am typing this from, I don’t think that you are going to have much fun at all. But If you are so sure that ARM is the future, Why don’t you go out and buy a tablet that has the equivalent function to the applications your linux desktop has?

    And by the way sir, should the market prove to go in another direction, we will all be there earning our money in spite of your kind.

  19. kozmcrae says:

    Clarence Loon wrote:

    “No one is going to buy a Linux PC on ARM to replace an existing Wintel PC or is going to buy one in lieu of Wintel.”

    As the 4th of July approaches Clarence the Loon shows his true colors. Die hard Cult of Microsoft. Close your ears Clarence and yell no no no no no no. It will make you feel better.

    You are absolutely blind to anything but Microsoft on Intel. That makes you unrealistic. You can be safely ignored too. Your thinking is mired in the last century. You may never wake up to the realities of this Century. You and the other members of the Cult of Microsoft herd are a sad case.

    As Microsoft becomes more irrelevant you will have to compensate by becoming more unrealistic in your thinking. You are pretty bad now with the statements you are making.

    I’m looking forward to the release of Windows 8. When that happens your separate reality will make the jump to hyperspace. That will be fun to watch.

  20. Clarence Moon wrote, “Look how enthusiastic ASUS and Acer are over Windows 8 at recent trade shows.”

    Like this?
    HP bails on plans for Windows RT consumer tablet

  21. Clarence Moon says:

    Those days are gone

    No evidence of that, Mr. Pogson. Look how enthusiastic ASUS and Acer are over Windows 8 at recent trade shows. Plus, the whole industry only exists because Microsoft founder Gates had the vision to make the OS available to others. We would be locked in an Apple or IBM choice today if he had not seen the future so clearly.

    No one is going to buy a Linux PC on ARM to replace an existing Wintel PC or is going to buy one in lieu of Wintel. I have never seen one in a retail store either. You display pages in Chinese purporting to show a “revolution”, but the issue seems to stop there and nothing shows up in anyone’s hand.

  22. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon also you can bet OEM will delay the return of the mainframe solutions as long as able.

    Reason it equals less hardware required.

    When normalised it looks like MS income is sliding.

    Clarence Moon can you forecast anything that will see MS income pure unit increase. I cannot.

    As you said yourself devices are getting cheaper and MS cannot claim 200 dollars for a 100 dollar device easily.

    In my eyes the time of MS monster profits is coming to the end. Between Linux and devices reducing in price MS income is going to drop. Its only been hidden by the effects of world events. It will become unhidden at some point for everyone to see.

    ubuntu has grown in sales in the last 12 months on PC hardware sales by 160% In India. Those have to be going somewhere. This is the interesting problem.

    Ubuntu and other Linux systems might end up the lead OS in China and India where most of the world population is. Take those alone and you could effectively have great than 50 percent market share world wide yet have zero percent in the USA. There is not that much population in the USA.

    This is why global numbers on what going on is important what is in your local stores in the USA really does not mean much Clarence Moon. There is not enough market share in the USA really to control the future path.

  23. Clarence Moon wrote, “The OEMs have always been in the “driver’s seat of the bus”, Mr. Pogson.”

    No, they have not. They have been living on tiny % margins and M$ was telling them what to install on PCs and OEMs were apologizing in public to M$. Those days are gone.

  24. Clarence Moon says:

    Exactly

    Two words, Mr. Pogson, “Volume Discounts”. Of course that is not the end of it either. There is the overall concept in marketing of “price realization” that affects what can be charged as a selling price and we product marketers strive to keep that as high as we can, but we have to face reality. Certainly you cannot get $200 for an OS on a $100 hardware device, particularly if you want to sell the package for $100. We are not stupid.

    I am not specifically aware that Microsoft’s list prices for OS versions has actually increased as you all say it has, but the list prices are simple works of fiction that may be in evidence in some limited ways, but they do not represent the revenue received by Microsoft for the item. Rather, they mostly serve to suggest a great value for the product to those who get a pre-installed Windows version with their computer purchase. Using those values to derive some theory of the market is rather silly, in my view.

    The OEMs have always been in the “driver’s seat of the bus”, Mr. Pogson. There is nothing new about that today. You go around Robin Hood’s Barn to convince yourself that Linux has a ghost of a chance, but you are only fooling yourself, if you even believe your own theories. OEMs focus on their target market niches and provide products that satisfy the requirements of those niches. If they do not offer very many Linux pre-installed products, then it means that they do not see any profits to be made in doing so. That is the bottom line.

  25. oiaohm wrote, “$62/308.3= 0.201102822 2009
    $67/350.9= 0.190937589 2010
    $70/364 = 0.192307692 2011

    Then you notice there product prices have not dropped in price but have gone up. Exactly what is going on. The direct answer is not good. More machines are shipping without Microsoft stuff on it.”

    Exactly. M$ is stalled at the edge of the abyss. They are about to become just another software vendor. The OEMs are getting into the driver’s seat of the bus. oiaohm’s numbers are for the whole of M$. Consider the ratios with just the client division operating incomes
    2008 $12.24B/302 million = $40.52/PC
    2009 $9.79B/308.3 million = $31.75/PC
    2010 $13.03B/350.9 million = $37.13/PC
    2011 $12.28B/364million = $33.73/PC

    It’s a real decline. No growth after 3 years. A decline…

  26. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon Number of PC units have increase over that time. MS income figs don’t reflect the increase sales.

    So MS number have slid backwards compared to possible market.

    From the market crash to now number of PC sales have increased a lot.

    308.3 million units in 2009
    350.9 million units in 2010
    364 million units 2011.

    Basically where is the money.

    $62/308.3= 0.201102822 2009
    $67/350.9= 0.190937589 2010
    $70/364 = 0.192307692 2011

    Then you notice there product prices have not dropped in price but have gone up. Exactly what is going on. The direct answer is not good. More machines are shipping without Microsoft stuff on it.

    Income per area of market share is a important number. Clarence Moon when prices have gone up that number should go up. Unless of course they are not buying from you.

    “You do not seem to have a very good business sense.”
    I am person who can see problem. I am good at business.

    Now if MS had cut its sale price of products and 2010 dropped this would be normal. If the number of Units sold in a year had not changed MS would be showing a drop in 2010 they have not recovered from.

    Revenue per number of items sold total sees past background fluctuations of like the sub prime loan mess in the USA.

    Then you notice on MS balance sheet they have taken on more debt over this time. This is why I am good at business. At first taking on debt can make profit look better. Why less expendure cutting into what came in become some of that expenditure has been covered by the loan that will have to be paid back. So there is not really an up kick in 2011 its an effect of the loans Microsoft has taken out.

    So 2010 and 2011 should have a higher income yield per item than 2009 due to the loans MS has taken out.

    Yet revenue per unit has dropped. Problem is its dropped without MS price per unit dropping that is a direct sign of loss of market share. This leaves the question to who as got this market share and why.

    Note those numbers I quoted don’t of unit numbers don’t include tablets or phones they are PC class devices.

    Clarence Moon you did not know how to normalise the figures to remove background noise. Its something good share traders do. You see a different picture on the future profitability of a company when you normalise at times.

    If there was another panic today MS revenue numbers you would be reading would be less than 2009 figures. This is what normalised is telling me. MS revenue only appears higher because more people at the moment are buying more devices this could change if another panic happens. But there percent of market base to make profit from has decreased.

    So there normalised revenue has dropped.

    Very important to normalise those figures Clarence Moon otherwise what you are reading can be more a sign of natural fluctuation then the companies profitability increasing or decreasing. In this case Microsoft means to extract profit from market has decreased.

    Early loan payments don’t eat into revenue. Its when the boost of the loan income wears off do you start seeing the revenue drop due to company having loans. So MS is still in the my books look good because I took out loans stage. This will end and when it does revenue will take a hit.

    Basically I am better at reading these business sheets than you are Clarence moon. You read the numbers without normalising out real world event effects on size of market MS sells to.

    Basically really is 2009 and 2010 and 2011 exactly the same environment Clarence Moon. The answer is no. Comparing profitability you must make sure you compare equal with equal to see what way a company is really going. You are being deceived by what direction MS is going due to the market fluctuations that have happened.

    I guess you did not understand the effects of taking out loans on displayed revenue either Clarence Moon.

  27. Clarence Moon says:

    Clarence Moon of course you miss comparing income to number of units produced in each time frame.

    I have no idea what that gibberish is supposed to mean. The original assertion that you made was “I will not be surprised if MS income just keeps on sliding.”, which was fairly lucid and more or less crystal clear. Perhaps that alone should have raised flags as to your not actually meaning what you wrote since it is usually not the case that your words make any sense.

    It doesn’t seem necessary to compare income to anything other than prior values to determine increase or decrease. Are you suggesting that their unit revenue, i.e. “average invoice” values are declining? That could be the case, but, with revenues increasing overall, that simply means that they are enjoying a surge in new user count, which is even more encouraging for their future.

    You do not seem to have a very good business sense.

  28. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon of course you miss comparing income to number of units produced in each time frame.

    You will see that MS growth from the market crash to where it should be has not happened. Percentage of 2010, 2011 and 2012 income is because MS has taken on debt. Or in other words accountancy tricks to make books look good.

    “That argues for bigger and bigger displays of more and more data.”

    A zero clients server combination can drive any size screen setup. So if you want a 20 x 20 screen setup you can have it with zero. Display more and more data plays into zero client setup.

    In fact Clarence Moon this growing data glut of users also is another driving force to return to mainframe. Why sending the 2d image of screen at 120 fps second by network cable can be less than what the user would be trying to pull through the network using a thick client.

    http://www.redhat.com/products/virtualization/desktop/

    Clarence Moon many businesses have already deployed and there PC Desktops have been disappeared for many years now. This is a on going trend.

    “You should know better. it will just change form from individual physical machine instances to user seats. ”

    Less duplication oldman. Physical machine to active seats directly equals less licenses required.

    Start doing the maths where active seat numbers reduce your number oldman. So you don’t need MS office on every machine where staff might need to use it. Since users who need MS Office the instance moves to where they are.

    This is simple effectiveness change. Active seat requires less licenses than Physical machine. Like really how many copies of MS Office do you use at the same time. Its a odd person who uses more than one.

    In Physical machine a Copy has to be on every machine the person wishes to use even if no one is there.

    Linux desktop does not have to take off to take wind out MS sales. More effective usage of closed source software using mainframe style solutions reduces number of licenses required. This has lethal effects on MS income. Also mainframe also removes need buying software ahead of need as much.

    The old business mainframe style had 1 computer with text terminals all over the office. New form this is graphical terminals.

    One of the big savings of the return to mainframe is that you can disconnect you desktop walk to another location in the office and reconnect it. Same with suspend your instance and let another worker sit at your location and when you get back be exactly where you left off.

    Yes less start over.

  29. oldman wrote, “IBM knows that the old zOS batch environments are at best a niche.”

    Uhhh, IBM cranks out a lot of mainframes that run gazillions of GNU/Linux virtual machines doing almost anything. Batch processing? Perhaps some, but a lot is realtime stuff.

    “IBM held onto the number 1 spot in the worldwide server systems market with 37.4% market share in factory revenue for 4Q10, as revenue increased 21.9% year over year. IBM experienced strong improvement in demand for its System z mainframe systems and continued demand for x86-based System x servers in the quarter. “

    That’s from IDC, 2011-02-28.

  30. oldman says:

    “I will not be surprised if MS income just keeps on sliding. As more and more return to the mainframe idea there simply will be less market area for MS to sell to.”

    You should know better. it will just change form from individual physical machine instances to user seats.

    And I would drop the notion of the mainframe returning. even IBM knows that the old zOS batch environments are at best a niche.

  31. Clarence Moon says:

    I expect the desktop PC to disappear.

    Given enough time, that may happen. As someone said, “None of us are going to get out of here alive!” But that day is far, far in the future, I think. More and more people are still becoming information workers in one way or another. That argues for bigger and bigger displays of more and more data. Thumbing around on a little portable tablet or, worse, phone is not going to ever become the norm for a workstation, home or office.

    I will not be surprised if MS income just keeps on sliding.

    Would you be surprised if it just keeps on growing then? You know, $62B in 2009, $67B in 2010, $70B in 2011, $77B in 2012, that sort of thing?

  32. oiaohm says:

    Clarence Moon I expect the desktop PC to disappear.

    Windows might remain. But it will be running in the server that serves out to thin clients and zero clients.

    I would say at a min this will 1/2 the number of Windows and MS Office licenses required.

    Once the return to Mainframe running happens question becomes do the portables need MS Windows or do the just need to thin client. There goes another large block of MS licenses.

    http://www.redhat.com/products/virtualization/desktop/

    This is the problem its not Linux taking over the desktop space that is going to hurt Microsoft. Its the desktop machines disappearing so less licenses required over all. Once the machines in network don’t have a OS installed changing OS is only server room work. User then can walk up to any terminal and choose the OS they need as well.

    The disappearance of desktop machines in first world business combined with MS failure to make in roads against android into third world countries kinda leave MS in the middle of nowhere.

    You know the secure boot thing. https://lkml.org/lkml/2012/6/27/384 Linux virtualisation will be able to support it before Windows 8 releases.

    I will not be surprised if MS income just keeps on sliding. As more and more return to the mainframe idea there simply will be less market area for MS to sell to.

  33. Mats Hagglund says:

    What people seldom forget is that the main battlefield ain’t in western rich countries. Who won battles in China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, Russia, Egypt, Nigeria, Congo, Uganda etc.. is the winner of the whole war.

    That’s why i’m not even thinking of the war between M$ vs. Android/Linux/Google/? Instead the question is: who’s gonna win inside Linux clan. There will be no much future for 500$-tablets/smartphone in global market.

    Clearly people in “west” should understand that they don’t play the main role in OS war. They are in marginal from now on.

  34. Clarence Moon says:

    Other battles M$ has lost: HPC, small cheap computers (including mobile), web servers, SCOG v World, …

    Of course the “battle” is just a figment of your imagination, Mr. Pogson. There is no “war” at all, simply an ongoing process wherein Microsoft sells a maturing product to hundreds of millions of new and repeat customers annually. Their corporate growth is no longer in the go-go crazy stage, but they are rather large now and that is to be expected.

    It is interesting how you clump things that have nothing to do with Microsoft into your bag, too. As I recall, Microsoft was an early victim of SCOG and had to make some settlements with them over a squabble about DR-DOS during the USA vs Microsoft actions in order to keep focused on more important issues.

    Other battle soon to be lost: desktop/notebook OS, browsers, cloud,…

    In a hundred years, perhaps, but I wager that you personally will not be around to see that day.

  35. jon says:

    I can’t figure out why this Microsoft thing is such a big deal for you. Yeah, they play hard ball and don’t mind breaking the rules. But,I haven’t used Windows on my PC’s for more than a decade.

    I’m interested in seeing that the operating systems I do use — Linux and OS X — get better and better. There is *no* connection between that and Microsoft’s position in the industry.

    If MS vanished tomorrow, how would that improve my Linux software?

  36. kozmcrae says:

    How true.

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