Bundling and exclusive dealing has made the Wintel monopoly very solid but totally lacking the flexibility that consumers want. FLOSS and ARM have succeeded wildly in small cheap computers for consumers. Was Android/Linux an idea whose time had come or was Wintel the cause? One of Google’s motivations was to ensure the web would remain a place Google could play but what was the motivation of consumers?
Consumers lapped up Android/Linux but deserted “Phoney 7”. I think the rigidity of the EULA and the crippling of “Phoney 7” with lack of copy-and-paste as first released, higher prices and limited suppliers on limited products just does not work on small cheap computers. People love small and cheap not small expensive computers. The small size, small price leaves no space for bloat and high licensing fees. After consumers got used to Android/Linux, that other OS certanily looks less attractive. I have predicted and now I am certain FLOSS will invade Wintel’s usual space, killing the monopoly. The inefficiency of monopoly is its downfall.
A monopoly like public transit or public roads does work because of the efficiency that results. Having multiple sets of bus stops or multiple roads would seriously crowd already crowded cities. A monopoly on operating systems prevented people from running lots of software on small cheap mobile computers and was unacceptable. Now that consumers have seen that other platforms are available x86 will be seen as just another place the new platform can succeed.That OEMs and retailers can push the new products and make money is icing on the cake. Nothing prevents new operating systems from flourishing on x86 PCs. There’s no lock-in once people realize they can get things done with other software.
“Until recently, OEMs pretty much refused to get serious about introducing computers running anything other than Windows, and for good reason. On computers, consumers use what they know, and they knew Windows. Thatâ€™s all changed. Not only have consumers come to like their experiences with Android on handsets, theyâ€™re coming to have the same affection for Android on tablets as well. Just weeks after release, Google has already sold out of the 16GB version of the Nexus 7.
It might be time for Google to release a version of Android optimized for desktops and laptops. If it did, that might reduce Windows to being just another option, even on the desktop. The walled garden approach isnâ€™t going to work for Redmond like it does for Cupertino. That approach requires a superior product and neither Windows nor Office falls into that category.”