Summary: The elusive fight for the desktop crown no longer the only route to breaking the illegal monopoly
Microsoft is trying to enter the market of portable devices, alas without success. Apple tried this years ago and had limited success (it is losing to Linux/Android now). What these two companies have in common is that they both recognise that the desktop is not enough.
One GNU/Linux pundit alleged  that we should aspire to dominate the desktop with GNU/Linux. He is right and there are many others who still try to encourage others to switch to GNU/Linux. My experience with this is different. Judging from the experience of my wife, the way to go about is to first get them hooked on Android (smartphones/tablets) which makes them less sceptical or hostile towards Linux (the wife never resisted, she has a Computer Science degree and can cope). Later on they welcome GNU/Linux on the desktop and laptop. Windows is seen as one of many, not the only option, and this is generally why I view advocacy of Linux on mobile devices as constructive. Microsoft suffers badly from this and Apple too, to a lesser degree. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
This week, something dawned on me. It wasn’t life-changing, problem solving, or (if I’m being completely honest with myself) truly profound. However, it really smacked me upside the head with a Harley Quinn-sized hammer and brought to light what Linux really needs to make serious noise on the desktop.
About a month ago, I came to the sad realization that my six-year-old white plastic MacBook was not going to see me to the end of my dissertation. Among the more serious of its ailments, its hard disk was about to fail, and doing any task took at least thirty seconds of waiting. (Going through the metal detector at an archives last summer, one of the security guards said, “I remember you; you’re the guy with the old laptop.”) Fortunately the funds for a replacement were at hand, and I needed to decide which computer to buy.
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