OK, Please forgive me for acting a little bold right now, actually I heard about this several weeks ago just when this story was realest on Full Circle Magazine last month, so I’m kind of sticking it to all of you who are either fed up with your current operating system (OS); or frustrated because the OS that you never paid for and are happily violating the vendors’ service agreement keeps freezing up; or you paid for it, but discovered that in order for you to have a happy updated system, more money needs to be dished out to keep it healthy and operating smoothly; and, you found out that once your OS aged a little bit, and you do not want to spend any more money on it for the next version, there are no longer upgrades for it and it crashed all of the time because of that.
Looking at the what Microsoft is saying in this story from OS news sort of sums up what my philosophy is on the whole concept of what should be the ideal software environment. They, MS, has dominated the computing world for the last two decades, and with this power they suffer from some of the effects of becoming “the only platform” to all of the worlds personal computers. We all know why spreading malicious software is so easy, right? When 90 percent of the worlds computers run from a single copy of the same platform, it is easy to maximize your target. However, this can be said for the same reason why it has being so successful, as everyone can share, and compatibility between networks requires less problems of sharing data. But, this is slowly turning around in the world of competition; however, I didn’t think MS, or MAC saw this coming, a free open source system that is spreading like a the black plague.
Above is an image, courtesy of OSnews, that was used by Steve Ballmer who is the CEO of Microsoft, to describe to his investors of what the current market share of Window$, and the economic effects are on the company so far in 2009. If you notice that the bigest issue MS has is the piracy of their products, then next and surprisingly is LINUX, then MACs.
Looking at the chart more closely I noticed that there is a paradox here, and it took me some time to clear this up in my head. First, MS is a corporation who can really only gage its market share from its own profit or units of sales, anything other than that it has to guess at what those numbers are. Second, LINUX, or open source versions of it are free, in other words, there is no true way of determining who has it, and how many unit exist around the world because they are given away. I mean I am pleased that Open Source is on the radar, but we will never know the true extent of how prolific it truly is.
Why is LINUX taking off life wildfire? When you have people like Mark Shuttleworth who have taken a flavour of UNIX and transformed it to something that anyone can use right out of the box, the boon that this has created has made a title-wave of advances in all areas of software. For Mark Shuttleworth, he created the Ubuntu version of LINUX, and gave it a desktop, a means of updating the system with software, and who organized an entire community that spans the glob—all for free! The cascading effect it that it may become self-sufficient someday soon as more and more people support it. So, should MS be concerned? Damn right they should be. Every piece of software, technology and licensing, of what I used to create this, is created on Open Source platforms.
OSNEWS: Ballmer: Linux Bigger Competitor than Apple
on Wed 25th Feb 2009 10:17 UTC
FULLCIRCLEMAGAZINE: Issue 22, March 2009.
Ballmer: Linux Bigger Competitor Than Apple (p. 5).