“Client software felt the slump in PC sales, and was further harmed by the shift to netbooks; many of these run Linux, which helps Microsoft not at all.”
“Microsoft, like much of the IT industry, was caught off-guard by the rapid rise of the netbook category, but moved quickly to offer a netbook-specific version of XP Home to stem the tide of Linux on netbooks. When one considers that getting some revenue is better than getting none, that was a wise move.”
“Search engines be da**ed, it’s the OS that generates money – if the world switches to linux, it will switch to OpenOffice too.”
“Microsoft can’t charge $80 or $100 when there’s Linux for free on netbooks,” Rosoff said. On regular PC sales, Microsoft’s profit margins are typically about 70 percent to 80 percent, he explained.”
WE WROTE ABOUT Microsoft’s latest defeat several days ago [1, 2] and will continue to do so later. Apart from the new quotes above, worth paying attention to is the following article, which predicts that “There may not be much left [of Microsoft] in two years time.”
Here is the prediction I’m hesitant about. Always in the past when software with substantial installed base has finally been supplanted the fall has not been gradual: Lotus and Wordperfect went from world-beaters to also rans in just a few years. I think Microsoft may surprise us by falling equally fast. There may not be much left in two years time.
Could Microsoft be heading towards $4? Everything is possible. Just witness how quickly giants like Sun Microsystems have fallen; none of this is linear, much like the network effect. Proprietary software loses its margin advantage very rapidly and a panicky shift to Free software is in some situations a case of “too little, too late.” Novell understands this too. █