[Bug 1] Re: Microsoft has a majority market share

Tina Russell tinakellyrussell+launchpad at gmail.com
Tue Mar 11 22:09:00 UTC 2008

Actually, hasn't Linux made about a 100% jump in marketshare over the
past year or two? Obviously, that's something like 0.5% to 1%, but
it's significant.

Linux has never been big on the desktop... its big area of deployment
has always been servers. Making it big on the desktop has always been
something we knew would be a long and difficult battle. But, since the
future of computing depends on it, it's one we're willing to take up.

And I don't think anyone here is sad that Apple has been Microsoft's
big contender, lately. Notice that the bug is titled "Microsoft has a
majority market share," not "Linux does not have a majority market
share." The whole problem, the bug, if you will, is the stunning
_lack_ of competition in the desktop space. If Vista's implosion leads
people both to Mac and Linux, that's all the better for competition,
which is all the better for consumers.

Besides, you must have noticed the surge in budget-priced PCs, laptop
and desktop, natively running Linux, in the past year. Everyone wanted
to get in the "cheap Linux PC" game. In Portland, the beautiful city
which I hail from, we have a community recycling center that takes old
PCs, refurbishes them, installs Ubuntu, and offers free tech support
and classes, and gives the PCs to volunteers, schools, and local
nonprofits. Only using Linux could we cheaply turn old, clunky
computers into ones that are fresh, fast, and reliable.

Linux's market share is always going to be infinitesimal if it
requires people to install an entirely new operating system on top of
the (clunky and bloated, but usable) one they already have, the one
they think "just works." Now that Linux is showing its birth pangs as
a default desktop platform, it's time for the Linux community to show
its stuff, support the new users making the bold transition, and prove
that Linux is ready for prime time... it's vital that "cheap Linux
PCs" become a permanent presence in the desktop space and not merely a
fad. That's why now is the time to be bold and aggressive, and not the
time to think, "waaah, Microsoft's so big, we'll never beat them."

And remember, Microsoft's market-strangling dominance is a utilitarian
issue as well as a philosophical one. It not only limits choice and
competition, but Microsoft's fear of open standards holds back
innovation in technology in society in more ways than I could possibly
count here. Also, nearly every computer in the world running an
operating system for which security is a tacked-on afterthought is an
enormous petri dish for horrifying new kinds of crime. So it's a real
fight, and though we may be a slim minority now, it's worth it to hang
on until Linux can mature into a serious competitor for Microsoft.

Besides, as our marketshare continues to fluctuate in the niche range,
Linux has been getting better and better. Five years ago, somebody new
to Linux practically had to be a CS major to install and maintain a
Linux system. Now, there's a decent chance that an Ubuntu Live CD will
run right out of the box. Ubuntu does absolutely everything that your
average user needs Windows for, and much, much more... before ever
even installing any of the amazing plethora of free applications
available with a few clicks of the mouse (and one--count it,
one--password prompt). If you look at Linux's maturation, you'll
notice another pattern... we're not _losing_ anybody. Once you've made
the switch to the penguin, there's no going back because the
difference is night and day. I'd say a slow crawl to more and more
users, more and more marketshare, and a more and more robust operating
system is good news all around. And now... we finally have our chance
to strut our stuff on PCs that you can buy off the shelf.

Now is the time for hope. Now is the time to congratulate Apple on its
inroads, and now is the time to congratulate Microsoft on its twenty
years of dominance that are slowly coming to an end.

On Tue, Mar 11, 2008 at 3:43 AM, wyo <otto.wyss at orpatec.ch> wrote:
> Sure wyoGuide is stalled. Since especially the Portland group isn't
>  interested, there's no sense in keeping it going on. Besides I've delved
>  into other regions and don't have the necessary time anymore. If you are
>  interested in wyoGuide, it's OSS you may have it.
>  It's not my fault that the OSDL report isn't anywhere available on the
>  net anymore. If the LinuxFoundation doesn't consider it important
>  enough, I can't do anything. This is IMO yet another sign that important
>  parts of the OSS scene aren't willing to change anything.
>  Microsoft's market share on the desktop was around 95% 2 years ago, it's
>  now around 95%, it will be in 2 or 10 years. If there's one gaining
>  market share, it's Apple but not Linux.
>  I come back to bug#1 from time to time not to flame you but to hold up
>  the mirror and ask you, look yourself what you have achieved. It's no
>  question Ubuntu has done much in improving is, yet it has failed to make
>  any progression here.
>  O. Wyss
>  --
>  Microsoft has a majority market share
>  https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1
>  You received this bug notification because you are a bug assignee.

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