Monopoly of Client PC Market Died in 2013

I hate to beat an old drum but, according to Canalys, “The worldwide client PC market grew 18% in Q3 2013, despite desktop and notebook shipments continuing to decline. Tablet PC shipments accounted for 40% of PC shipments in Q3 2013, less than half a million units behind global notebook shipments. Tablet domination is set to continue, with Canalys forecasting 285 million units to ship in 2014, growing to 396 million units in 2017.”

See Tablets to make up 50% of PC market in 2014.

M$ took 2% of the growing market for tablets and might grow to 5% according to Canalys. That’s not monopoly. That’s being another competitor. How does it feel, M$? Expect that to continue as your anti-competitive tactics have finally died of natural causes and a few governments suing you.

Not only is this a story about tablets and smartphones either. ChromeOS has taken a few percent share of legacy PC shipments, mostly notebooks and there are some Android/Linux and GNU/Linux PCs shipping. That will only increase as the market explores new possibilities without M$.

The world can and does make its own operating system software and shares the load amongst millions of developers, hundreds of millions of users and hundreds of corporations/organizations. That’s FLOSS in action. No one can make software at lower cost and distribute it at lower cost than FLOSS. The GNU system and the Android system atop the Linux kernel. The Linux kernel is $free for all manufacturers, developers, and users of IT. Millions of developers have written software that works with Linux. In a competitive market free from lock-in FLOSS always wins because everyone has a stake in it and it works for all of us, not just a few. With FLOSS the cost of having software for a computer drops from ~$100 to near $0 as does the cost of upgrading the software because anyone can find and fix bugs and write software to work with FLOSS using open standards.

There is no reason to go back to Wintel or any other monopolized software architecture these days. We can choose *86 CPUs from Intel, AMD, Via, and ARMed CPUs from many different manufacturers and install them on motherboards or SoCs (Sytem on Chip) with the same software working on all. There are many thousands of applications available for */Linux on clients and servers. No longer is there a blessed supply-chain able to charge monopolistic prices. No longer is there a single source of supply for software. We are free at last to use our computers any way we want with the greatest efficiency and ease.

This all started more than a decade ago when the world discovered that servers and other network infrastructure running FLOSS made a lot of sense. High performance computing, networks, virtualization, and embedded systems were gradually taken over by FLOSS, mostly GNU/Linux over the next few years. Then Dell, HP, and many smaller OEMs began to ship GNU/Linux on legacy PCs. The icing on the cake for consumers was the development and pushing of Android/Linux to OEMs particularly of smartphones and tablets, devices without standard keyboards and mouse-pointers. There are few consumers or retailers who remain unaware of FLOSS and its advantages today. All of the FUD, lies, patent-threats etc. of the monopolists has come to naught. The only residue of that is a tiny tax in lieu of litigation for using Linux on some devices. That will pass in a year or two as the world shrugs off software-patents. In the coming year, retailers everywhere will offer consumers FLOSS at last on every kind of PC. It’s too bad that it took so long but the struggle has been worthwhile. FLOSS is the right way to do IT.

Because the monopoly has died nearly a billion more people will be free to use IT for the first time this year instead of just a few million with deep pockets. This is also an end to the digital divide separating rich and poor, North and South, and every region on Earth will have freedom to use IT unfettered by slavery to big corporations.

See also, PC market: ABANDON HOPE all ye who enter here

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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9 Responses to Monopoly of Client PC Market Died in 2013

  1. oiaohm says:

    bw about time you give up you cannot read balance sheets to save yourself when they have all the finance trickery in them.

    Please remember if you go back 10 years Microsoft was one of the few companies with zero debt.

    The big problem for Microsoft is what is coming in the next 12 months. Linux servers will be able to properly start replacing MS Exchange for Cloud and Locally hosted.

    bw Lets say Microsoft Desktop OS and Server sales stopped just for theory case. Microsoft net-worth would be consumed in 5 years. And that is if the valuations are correct. If they are overstated it could be 1 to 2 years.

    Microsoft is not a SUN Microsystems. SUN Microsystems lasted as long as they did because they had invested well and their operations run of the interest from their investments. Zero income by product sales would not be a disaster.

    Redhat could do a SUN Microsystems.

    Microsoft is exposed damage from market place changes. This is the big thing you keep on missing bw. You keep on pointing at money in bank. Really a Loto winner who gets millions can be bankrupt in 12 months if they are not spending their money wisely.

    Really lot of as see Microsoft as a Loto winner who not spending money correctly. Only staying alive while more loto payments keep on coming. Trends are tell us clearly this is not going to keep on going.

  2. dougman says:

    Continuing my analysis:

    M$ cloud-venture is a loser.

    “It actually takes real effort to lose $18B and never make a profit for 30 straight quarters.” M$ loses a staggering $18B every year from pirated Windows operating systems alone. With a total piracy rate of about 30% and the number even higher in some countries, M$ suffers massive losses from the distribution of pirated Windows. For instance, in China, 90% of all Windows operating systems are pirated.

    Xbox losses hidden by patent royalties, “If we start with the overall traditional [Entertainment and Devices Division] business that actually loses money before corporate allocations and back out the nearly $2 billion 95 percent gross margin Android phone (extortion) royalties, we conclude that Xbox platform plus Windows phone and Skype lose about $2.5 billion per year, and we estimate that the Xbox platform may account for roughly $2 billion of this,”

    “M$ Devices & Studios product chief Julie Larson-Green during a recent UBS conference talk: “We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We’re not going to have three.”Though not overtly stating it, Larson-Green hints Windows RT, which has been virtually abandoned by OEM partners, will get the hook. She admits RT lacks the flexibility of traditional Windows (albeit while suggesting it’s more mobile-optimized), and that Microsoft didn’t do a sufficient job of differentiating its Surface RT and Surface Pro tablets.”

    Dated article but nonetheless relveant:

    Regarding M$ financial status as depicted at Yahoo, all that fluff can be bluffed.

    “Microsoft Cooks Books – Microsoft fills the “cookie jar” in good times and dips into it in bad to create an appearance of steady growth. FTC does not approve of this accounting method. Former Microsoft chief of internal audits, Charlie Pancerzewski, charged Microsoft in court for wrongful termination under the Whistle Protection Act. When Judge Carolyn Dimmick approved the case for trial, Microsoft settled out of court (reportedly for $4 million). Pancerzewski charged he had been with Microsoft since 1991, getting stellar reviews and rising in rank. In 1995 he was promoted to job level 13 – near the top of Microsoft’s employment structure. Then Pancerzewski sent an email to his boss, CFO Mike Brown explaining how certain Microsoft financial practices were not compliant with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Practices) and SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) regulations. He was immediately given an “out of rotation” unsatisfactory review for “poor communications skills”. Within 5 months he was given the choice of resign or be fired.

    What non-compliant practices did he refer to? Basically a “cookie jar reserve” scheme where profit figures are doctored to look far more steady than they actually are. Money is stashed away in reserves during fat times, rolled back out of reserves in lean”

  3. bw says:

    You seem as confused as the Digger here. What part about don’t you understand?

  4. ram wrote, “Have you looked at Microsoft’s debt situation lately? That is a very deep hole to dig out of!”

    M$ borrows in USA instead of bringing in profits from overseas in order to dodge taxes. It’s a tax-dodge. Total debt is $77billion… Total cash on hand ~$80billion. It’s made to look like a non-profit in order to keep taxes low. Freeloaders…

  5. dougman says:

    Lets see….

    M$ is set to kill off its ReTarded devices as they are being sued for misleading advertising and are not selling. No one wants dog-crap.

    The entire Surface line-up is not doing to well. As for success in hardware of its own, they may have sold millions but they also wrote off $900 million. Most companies couldn’t afford that kind of a idiotic mistake with a new product. M$ is trying harder with the new version of Surface with ads everywhere, but people do not want them,

    Windows 8 is not selling as it was hoped.

    Windows phones do NOT sell, so instead M$ partners up with others and decides to sue over Android.

    WEb-RTC will supplant Skype, 8.5B done the drain.

    Amazon is taking over the cloud services, M$ is in 4th place Running and operating data-centers is an expensive venture.

    Gaming consoles, has always a loss for M$. This market is set to be taken over by Valve.

    Xbox should be sold-off, BING should be sold-off.

    M$, lacking a CEO has no long-term vision and despite having gobs of cash with which to pursue just about anything, M$ has missed just about everything over the decade or so he has run
    the company: the cloud, the tablet, the move away from PC’s, its lifeblood.

    M$ stock has long been a dog, for the better part of a decade. Surely, there is a reason for that… and it is called under-performance.

    Yes, M$ may have billions but in order to remain relevant, in any sense of the word, the new CEO better make a lot of damn good decisions or M$ will go by the wayside.

  6. bw says:

    You betcha! With only $78B in cash and liquid assets and almost $13B in debt, can hard times be very far off? No doubt they will run out of cash within a couple of hundred years if they don’t take some corrective action.

    Bugs Bunny would say “Macaroon!”

  7. ram says:

    Have you looked at Microsoft’s debt situation lately? That is a very deep hole to dig out of!

  8. Thanks for your report, Bob. It’s always good to hear from the real world. While GNU/Linux is doing well there according to StatCounter, doubling share in a few months, Android/Linux is going crazy:

  9. Bob says:

    Central Festival opened in Chiang Mai Thailand on 14 November. Most of the techie stuff is on the 3rd floor. It is big enough that it takes an hour to walk around without dawdling or hurrying. None of the shops were offering anything that we’d call a PC except IT City. The others had only smart devices on offer, tablets and phones. IT City had it’s share of those but also 2 desktop boxes, Dell Inspiron running Ubuntu Linux, their labeling. They also had 3 Lenovo All-in-one, the boxes that have the cpu built in to the monitor. They were running some flavour of Windows. As well as those there was collection of 8 laptops / netbooks running Freedos. The market has changed and not in any small way.

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