A Year of Changes

The past year has had dramatic changes in OS-share.

  • “8” was released to no applause
  • that other OS lost a lot more share than usual
  • GNU/Linux grew like Topsy

Take a look at what happened in the Falkland Islands, a country with a farming/fishing population and few NATed PCs. There are only a few thousand people. M$ lost about 5 percentage-points of share…
It’s interesting that there was a recent influx of PCs with “7” but they were converted to XP and GNU/Linux…

Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Operating System Market Share


Meanwhile, in UK, culturally and economically connected to FK:

These data suggest that where PCs are not NATed, web stats show a much larger rate of growth of GNU/Linux, ~100% per annum than in more diverse situations with millions of PCs hidden behind firewalls and not being counted. In UK which has lots of big schools, businesses and government offices, growth of GNU/Linux web stats are ~50% per annum. Thus, global web-stats may be in error by huge amounts. The only thing we know for sure from them is that GNU/Linux is growing rapidly and that other OS is stagnant at best. Good.

So, no matter where on Earth you are, you have a choice of OS and many are making choices in their best interest, not M$’s. That’s the right way to treat a monopoly which has abused its power for decades. I recommend Debian GNU/Linux, a set of operating sytstems and applications that will work for you on client or server. It’s Free Software, meaning you can run the code, examine it, modify and distribute it, all things that M$ forbids users except under severe restrictions. Don’t let M$ control your IT. You own it. Run it as you wish.

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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10 Responses to A Year of Changes

  1. bw says:

    “Cut out the jokes”

    Not a joke at all in my opinion. I merely said that Windows was consistent. Whatever Vista did on a Dell, it did the same on an HP or Sony or IBM or .

    You sneer at Vista, but I would wager that there are more copies of Vista in use today than any version of Linux or even the aggregate of Linux. I, too, felt that Vista was rather ponderous and updated to Windows 7 at the first opportunity. But it was still useful and Microsoft does not seem to suffer any today as a result.

    “Employers did not want to pay employees while the machines booted…”

    If I worked for such an employer, I think that I would vote for Obama.

  2. bw wrote, “When you buy a Windows computer, you can be assured that you are getting the same thing no matter where you purchase.”

    HAHAHA! You kill me. Cut out the jokes.


    • Vista incapable lawsuits? I remember Vista when it was released. The long good-bye, frequent pauses, …
    • Lawsuits over long login-times? Employers did not want to pay employees while the machines booted… I have worked in places where XP took 2 minutes to boot to a usable (?) desktop. GNU/Linux took 30s on identical hardware.
    • many machines that refused to boot at all or took incredibly long times to boot. I read one case of 15minutes.
    • malware. No matter what M$ provides, it is often replaced by malware so all bets are off. M$ had no business telling OEMs what they could do with their hardware while booting.
  3. oiaohm says:

    bw there are legal and above board methods to protect brand. Then there are not legal and above board methods.

    Microsoft has been recording doing both.

    bw Linux is a group of different distributions.

    The question is any bigger than OS X. If so it most likely big enough to go on and challenge Microsoft.

    Even if Linux Wins the OS battle. There will still be battles.

    Problem with the time of the Linux netbooks we had no data on what was populate Linux distributions. Netbooks choose a lot of odd ball distribution with small followings.

    The one thing steam will bring us is what distributions are what positions.

    A single Distributions maintain consistence release to release and computer to computer as well.

    bw Linux is a multi OS world basically.

  4. bw says:

    “What is M$ doing in there?”

    Protecting their brand, of course. It is a valuable commodity that is the only real factor in what you call a monopoly control of the business, so it would be criminal if Microsoft did not maintain the consistency of experience from one computer to another. That is what people are paying for, after all.

    It seems to me that, if you buy Linux, you do not really know what you are getting and you have to study many documents to find out. When you buy a Windows computer, you can be assured that you are getting the same thing no matter where you purchase.

  5. Mats Hagglund wrote, “For several years i’ve gotten strong evidence of Linux becoming more familiar to people. Some 5 years ago were few people even know that there was an alternative for Windows.”

    Same here. Years ago, I taught in many different small communities in Canada’s north, places with just 1-4K people. At first I might be one of only one or two people who used GNU/Linux on a personal computer. Then I began to meet students who had attended a school in the south who had used GNU/Linux and there were several in the community that used GNU/Linux. At my last place, I salvaged a bunch of old PCs that were totally trashed by XP and malware by installing GNU/Linux. Between giving students exposure at school and planting GNU/Linux in home PCs, I have left a trail of humans damaged forever for the Wintel monopoly.

    Years ago people would look at me with a funny face when I suggested GNU/Linux. Later they would just ask a few questions and approve. My latest experience before retirement included people coming to me and asking to have GNU/Linux installed. The progress is inescapable.

    I am an old man with lots of regrets but one thing of which I am proud is that I introduced thousands to GNU/Linux. I assume those liberated folks would also spread the word. That’s happening everywhere, on top of OEMs and certain distros doing their part. GNU/Linux is a force with which to reckon.

  6. Mats Hagglund says:

    For several years i’ve gotten strong evidence of Linux becoming more familiar to people. Some 5 years ago were few people even know that there was an alternative for Windows. Now they knew that there is two main options – Mac or Linux. Many friends of mine have asked about Linux. And i think the main reason might be that there computers are good but the problem is Windows. I’m not hungry to install Linux to their computers. Mostly i’m just telling that i haven’t used Windows since 2008. This pale comment has remarkable effect to them. They will immediately understand that Windows indeed is not necessary in 2013.

  7. bw wrote, “They have been the leader in OS sales for over 30 years now. What do you call “sustainable”?”

    They have not been the leader in OS sales in a free market for a very long time. Remember US DOJ v M$? We learned about lots of their dirty tricks there. Same lately in the EU…

    In a free market, M$ is just another player, not a leader. Notice that the world has cooperatively built a Linux kernel and all the infrastructure it needs as well as many thousands of applications and “apps”. The world does not have any need of M$ for anything. Sales? You mean extortionate transactions.

    Does this sound like selling something in a free market?
    “I request that you IMMEDIATELY do the following:

    1. Together with your SE, make sure you understand the letter that was sent to your OEM customer.
    2. Together with your SE. audit the Windows 98 boot sequence of your customer’s PCs in order to ensure that it is in compliance. In particular, you need to examine the recent modifications as spelled out in the letter.

    3. Report back to me about your findings.”

    That’s about micro-managing the production of PCs selling with that other OS bundled with it. What is M$ doing in there? If you sell something you sell it. You don’t put all kinds of restrictions beyond copyright on it. If the OEMs were free to install whatever they wanted, M$ would not have been able to do that.

    See http://www.justice.gov/atr/cases/exhibits/789.pdf

  8. bw says:

    “that’s not sustainable”

    Perhaps it is. They have been the leader in OS sales for over 30 years now. What do you call “sustainable”?

    “well over 100 million PCs now”

    With the 1.2% share you show in your graph, that would imply some 8 or 9 billion PCs in use. That seems high to me.

  9. bw wrote, “Did they lose any revenue? Or did it actually increase due to better price realization as it did elsewhere?”

    M$ can charge an infinite price to their loyal, locked-in users and maintain their cash-flow for a while but that’s not sustainable. The reason M$ did not charge infinity previously is because it would motivate users to go elsewhere. Price/performance is M$’s downfall whether it’s price or performance where they fail, or both.

    What’s important to me are the number of PCs running Free Software and the number of users benefiting from it. These days those numbers are huge even though we don’t have precise values. I think we are working on the second hundred million users and we are well over 100 million PCs now. Then there are the servers… It’s all good news.

  10. bw says:

    “M$ lost about 5 percentage-points of share…”

    Did they lose any revenue? Or did it actually increase due to better price realization as it did elsewhere?

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