Small Cheap Computers Are Really FREE

“Worldwide sales of tablets to end users reached 195.4 million units in 2013, a 68 percent increase on 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. While sales of iOS tablets grew in the fourth quarter of 2013, iOS’s share declined to 36 percent in 2013. The tablet growth in 2013 was fueled by the low-end smaller screen tablet market, and first time buyers; this led Android to become the No. 1 tablet operating system (OS), with 62 percent of the market”I’ve been harping on small cheap computers and FLOSS for a while. Gartner has seen the light but thinks it’s just inspiration M$ lacks… Some people just don’t get FREEDOM, you know, the right to run, examine, modify and distribute the software anyway you want under the licence that comes with the software. That’s what’s happening, you see. OEMs get to install as many copies as they want. 10million or 1K, it’s all the same price, $0 and OEMs can add whatever apps they want and they can see how the stuff runs and boy, can they distribute.

See Gartner Says Worldwide Tablet Sales Grew 68 Percent in 2013, With Android Capturing 62 Percent of the Market.

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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18 Responses to Small Cheap Computers Are Really FREE

  1. ram says:

    iaohm wrote: “… Linux workstation sales numbers are not dropping …”

    Yes there are reasons obscure tiny players in the industry such as Intel are making Xeon Phi boards with Linux embedded on the boards.

    Other tiny players such as IBM are using them in “Compute Nodes” with drivers only available for Linux.

  2. wolfgang says:

    that is good news for google, but maybe overstated. big seller in computers is still windows computer and Microsoft still making the big money there. apple next. google not really getting any money from chromebook if oem getting Linux for free, I think.

    maybe google sell apps? I look at chromebook in store not long ago and it not working first off since no wifi there. at another store I see one, but it all web app only. not even android app. chromebook like big, clumsy tablet, not slim pc. rather have nexus
    I don’t see that it is a major part of pc sales as you say. google world doesn’t say that, just that it big hit in under 300usd business. sells 20% there, but what is other 80%? windows, I think.
    anyway, who shed tear if Microsoft sell less? not me. Microsoft guys all have more money than king farouk and not have to work anymore, just play with toys and do what they want. drive nice car to get there, too.

  3. oiaohm says:

    ssorbom you know valve they have announce there will be 1 so far. We know the author is not Valve because valve themselves is not working on a Linux exclusive game.

    Yes we will find out basically with Steam OS formal release. Valve and the maker are playing cards close to chest.

    ssorbom workstation model does not have to remain to use windows applications. Virtualized desktops. Note Linux workstation sales numbers are not dropping off they are holding or growing.

  4. ssorbom says:

    I could be wrong of course, but statistically I would guess the 10% drop will eventually level off. Even the “iron maiden” mainframes still have a place in some sectors of the US economy. I think some markets will be too entrentched with the workstation model to let it die completely. Also, in industries where space is not a concern, I kind of think that some people will opt for just putting more power into the same amount of space. Granted, this does not apply to everyone, ut as I have said before: “niche market” != “dead market”. Of course, prices will go up for those of us that like more power…

  5. ssorbom says:

    Valve announced A Linux exclusive?! Dang, I missed that. Whats the title? I’m suprised. I comb through Linux news feeds religeously too…

  6. oiaohm says:

    wolfgang volume of PC sales in stores has been dropping by about 10 percent per year for the last few years. If your head had not been in sand you would know this.

    If this does not slow down Windows PC sales will hit zero in 8 years. Why the one that has lost all the 10 percent is not Apple or Chrome OS(google) or Linux desktop all of those have grown. Microsoft is the one losing all the marketshare. Microsoft has mostly lost the phone market well on the way to losing the tablet market. Laptop market is in hazard. Desktops no one is upgrading quickly.

    Only major growing segment in what is called PC is chromebook.

    Wolfgang chrome OS/chromebook devices is not phones. There are more chromebooks sold per quarter than Apple desktop and laptop units.

    This is your problem is a 3 dominate split. Microsoft, Apple, ChromeOS(google). With the left over percentage being made up by Linux workstations and desktops.

    Saying that PC buyers are only buying Microsoft or Apple is disregarding the over 15 percent now buying chromebooks. Apple is not second they are third.

    Last few years stuff has changed. In big ways. Problem here is nothing says it going to stop. Yes valve has announce one Linux exclusive game. This is something MS supporters said would never happen.

    If gaming is serviced by Steam OS, Business is serviced by Chrome OS and server side terminal services of one form or another.

    Chrome OS selling point is that is secure. With MPX support it will be even more secure.

    wolfgang please do some more homework before typing on this topic again. You comment was valid 6 years ago. Current market 100 percent invalid and misleading today.

  7. ram says:

    I don’t know about free, as the new big Google Chromebooks are getting up there pricewise. However, the bigger Chromebooks get, the more popular they seem to become. They are virtually the only thing moving at the retail level in Australia.

  8. wolfgang says:

    …things have changed…

    maybe, maybe not. not much change in what people buying in stores in terms of computers. you say people buying many phones and phones not windows, but when they buy a computer it is still windows computer except for some apples.

    you look dumb always trying to find problem for Microsoft anyway. they made their fortunes and still make more, I think, but what you do has nothing to do with what they do. you not part of main system, just whiner.

  9. oiaohm says:

    wolfgang things have changed if you are installing Ubuntu/Redhat/Centos on any of the major OEM’s will help you do it today. If you are a enterprise order to any of them you can order the machines OS Less or with a custom Linux image applied. Yes direct clone image.

    The OEM Linux offering are increasing. 5 to 8 years ago ring up a major OEM with a Linux problem on most of their machines it was go sort it out yourself.

    The Major OEM are also using Android and Chrome OS on particular products. Remember all Major PC OEM use to be Windows CE for devices only. So like it or not wolfgang Microsoft has lost a segment. The Major PC OEM have not produced a Windows Phone OS device in many years. Its not that they are not still producing the token upsell phone.

    wolfgang something you have not considered that over 50 percent of all PC OEM device production is now not PC. Chrome OS devices, Android devices and Linux servers is the dominate segments of their business.

    Microsoft might not be dominate in 5 years.

    From a security point of view items like MPX force all existing applications to be scrapped. The major thing holding Windows in place is legacy applications.

    The next 5 years of hardware change will be brutal on any OS that is designed around closed source binaries.

    This is not end exactly end consumers its logistics of building secure operating systems. The logistics makes the Windows OS highly expensive over the next 5 years.

    Think how long it took microsoft to roll out NX and how they failed to roll out PAE on 32 bit system completely.

    Linux based will be able to roll out the new security features fairly quickly. Major Linux distrobutions majority are open source so a simple rebuild covers the most. Majority of android apps don’t use native code so simple to implement MPX.

    Majority of windows applications just happen to be closed source cpu locked binaries. The disaster in the next 5 years was predicted. Microsoft metro interface was all about attempting to get developers to migrate to .net to offset this disaster.

    Enterprises using Java solutions a JVM update will pick up MPX. .net no so simple there are 6 independent engines so far by Microsoft that are not compatible with each other.

    The waters are about to get really rough. We have not seen anything this savage in a long time.

    Lot of the major project work around Linux are about fixing the security issues.

  10. wolfgang says:

    …how helpful?…

    not same thing, I thihk. first statement was that oem needed open source to do job. I said that oem got help enough from Microsoft (mostly).
    you say Microsoft does not allow oem to deviate from plan that windows same everywhere. you right, of course, but oem get as much help as needed to make product work the way Microsoft want. if oem not want to do that, then Linux better choice no doubt. most oems not so bothered, I think, since they still offering mostly windows after more than 20 years.

  11. wolfgang wrote of OEMs and their relationship with M$, “plenty help from Microsoft.”

    Yeah, like HP back in the day, John Romano of M$ to HP in 1995: “MS requests that HP a)place the HP Introduction after the first 3 MS required screens (‘User name, EULA, COA) and then be followed by the Windows 95 Welcome Screen and b) return the MSN Icon to the Windows 95 desktop as soon as possible.
    I sincerely want to express my understanding that these modifications to your production systems will bear a cost. I know that HP can understand how important it is that all OEM’s of Windows 95 are treated equally by MS in meeting the same OPK requirements for shipping Windows 95 PC‘ 5 to ensure the customer of a consistent experience with a Windows 95 system.”

    Yep. HP was forbidden even to say “Hello!” to their customers on PCs that HP designed and made. How helpful was that?

  12. wolfgang says:

    ok, then, if trimslice not get any help on windows, then they must use Linux and do it for self. that just exception that prove rule, I think. trimslice just nobody guy compared to dell, hp, Lenovo, etc. big oem not need Linux only to get help or do it by self. plenty help from Microsoft.
    I think wintel still in heyday if looking in stores is any matter.

  13. wolfgang wrote, “it seems to me that all the oems manage to work their products with windows”

    That was likely never true even in the heyday of Wintel because other platforms did exist.

    There are OEMs who have products that don’t/can’t run M$’s OS, like Trimslice. They did have some products that ran that other OS but why bother taxing their own products when they can be Free?

  14. oiaohm says:

    wolfgang go back 5 years and you would not find OEM or cpu makers bother working on Linux only/Linux first features. This has changed. MPX from intel is one of the most recent Linux first techs. Quite a impressive one. MPX is a cpu level tech that if implemented correctly terminated all buffer overflow attacks as long as all programs are rebuilt to support it.

    Open source is becoming more important to OEMs with the changes in tech.

    There is a growing market for secure PC/Phone solutions. systemd wayland and cpu alterations all are working down this path with Linux.

  15. wolfgang says:

    it seems to me that all the oems manage to work their products with windows, too. I think that big maker get plenty of help for windows and not need to worry. open source not needed for this, just business need.
    open source pretty useless for most people and useful only for people want to learn programming. plenty such sample code available for windows, too.

  16. dougman says:

    OEMs can tweak Linux and develop something sells. Chromebooks and Kindles are proof of this fact.

  17. wolfgang just doesn’t pay attention: ” sane person not want to build clock, just find out time. no one here able to re-do software inside android phone or tablet with or without directions.”

    The user mostly uses the software. It’s the OEMs and other geeks that do those other things but they can with FLOSS not that other OS.

  18. wolfgang says:

    …examine, modify, distribute…

    crazy idea. who ever bother to do that? 99.9999% just use stuff and look for other stuff if it not working right. sane person not want to build clock, just find out time. no one here able to re-do software inside android phone or tablet with or without directions.

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