Summary: A report about migrations to GNU/Linux and how UEFI ‘secure’ boot is making it hard for ordinary people to make such migrations succeed
Microsoft is losing the battle and it knows this. The common carrier is becoming Android. Microsoft is rightly worried. It is reportedly dropping the price of Windows (dumping), as claimed by corporate press. As Sosumi put it, Microsoft “is slashing prices of windows licenses by 70%… according to them, to compete with Apple… so windows 9 to be a toy OS? that fails at even accomplishing that… or not to just shove the monstrosity that vista 8 is with its disjointed GUI” (Vista 8 was a disaster in terms of adoption and usage, to the extent that I never saw anyone using it).
Based on some of the latest news, “11 Percent of Windows XP Users Will Switch to Linux” , there are some real stories about large migrations to GNU/Linux , usage of GNU/Linux doubles on the Net [3,4], and non-techies also manage to cope with GNU/Linux . One client of ours (with over 100 seats) is moving to GNU/Linux desktops, not just servers. It’s because Windows XP support (security patches) will end soon. Microsoft is already reacting to it by trying to adapt to price differences, just as it did back in the days of major GNU/Linux gains in sub-notebooks. It is, as iophk put it, “price dumping of Vista8, probably out of fear of GNU/Linux.”
At ZDNet, one pundit says that “Office is the only thing that can kill a Chromebook”, but let’s face it, document formats lock-in not a feature. It is more of a reason to escape Windows, not stay with Windows. It’s why Microsoft tries so hard to derail ODF. Adding to all this mess, because businesses  and schools  are moving to GNU/Linux, Microsoft seems to be leaning towards artificial inconveniences for GNU/Linux at hardware level. Already, UEFI makes it harder even for GNU/Linux enthusiasts. Very recently we saw the NSA acknowledging that any claims of improved security were bogus because security was actually harmed by all this complexity. Microsoft is making it more difficult for people to install GNU/Linux and one ZDNet pundit whom the UEFI Forum tried to appease/silence continues to show that what Microsoft did was harmful to everyone. It’s too complicated dealing with UEFI and it may very well confuse new users , which is exactly what Microsoft wants. What’s needed now is another antitrust complaint. Microsoft is just playing dirty, as it always did. Reject any claims that Microsoft has changed. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
The research group asked organisations still using Windows XP about their plans post-April, when Microsoft ceases providing official support and security fixes for the 11-year old OS.
Recently, a High School in Millersville Pa struck a cord with me personally. Like many east coast advocates of Linux, I often have to watch California, Europe, and other countries from the sidelines, engaging fun and interesting Open Source events and projects. Imagine my excitement when I learned of one such champion of Open Source, but not from Europe, from a place not more than a few hours from me. Deploying over 1700 laptops, armed to the teeth with Ubuntu and Open Software to students, I knew there was more to the story than the small stories floating around. Even if for my own personal education, I wanted to know more.
By comparison, Linux Web traffic grew from 1.1 percent to 1.9 percent over the last five months. Chitika didn’t provide statistics for Windows or Mac, but they presumably account for nearly all of the remaining desktop traffic.
Chitika, a former advertiser on Phoronix, has issued a new report about Chrome OS and Linux web usage growth from September 2013 through January 2014. Chitika found that the number of Chrome OS devices rose from 0.1 to 0.2% of all accounted web traffic by the network. Meanwhile, for Linux devices in general, they found Linux rose from 1.1% last September to now at 1.9% when ending their numbers at the end of January. The Linux growth really took off in October has continued since.
I suggest you take a look at Linux. Why? Because Linux can serve your basic computing needs well enough that the experience is comparable to your previous operating system of choice.