Bonum Certa Men Certa

Time for Everyone to Drop Microsoft Windows

Drop it...


Summary: With more reports about drawbacks of Windows, the need to consider free alternatives becomes imperative

WINDOWS is no longer a 'winning' horse. It's not even a market leader, neither technically nor in terms of number of copies. This month I'll be buying two tablets, one for the wife and one of the mother. These will run Linux of course, but here is the curious thing. Today I went to Maplin (large UK chain) and on display they had only ten tablets, all of which ran Android. Apple's offerings were neither on display nor in stock. And the UK is actually known for being Apple-friendly in terms of the market's demand. It has become apparent that many companies are turning their attention to new form factors that became cost-effective (Apple is overpriced). My mother told me the other day that with a tablet she would not buy a newer computer, meaning desktop PC, as she had definitely planned to (the older one can handle printing and other such tasks). Galen Gruman (IDG) calls it "the death of the PC" and it is very real. Some of my friends hardly switch on their laptops; they use smartphones and tablets for speed of access. My wife has not switched on her new laptop since February.

Realising that many people cling onto their old PCs with Windows XP, Microsoft is trying giveaway or as Pogson put it, Microsoft is trying to buy love for spurious 'upgrades'. He says: "SMBs, you can get Debian GNU/Linux and LibreOffice for $0 per unit, you can make unlimited copies, you can make unlimited upgrades, and you don’t need to upgrade your hardware unless you want to do that."

This is definitely worrying Microsoft. Its greatest enemy is public awareness. Recently, says IDC (which produced some marketing material "commissioned by licence management firm Flexera") a faux 'study' which is intended to just help sales showed proprietary software waste in businesses. Here is one report about it:

According to the survey, 30% of respondents familiar with their companies’ software usage rights do not optimise their software estates by reconciling software usage data with product use rights.

Only 17% practice software license optimisation across the entire software estate.

So they should move to Linux and GNU. These have no licensing costs and they usually work better, too, even for businesses (in the company I work for everyone uses GNU/Linux or BSD).

The Guardian has an interesting report about Windows-based infrastructure in banks (I know those banks' front and back ends as I use their services). As discussed in the IRC channles in light of this report, banks that use Windows go offline a lot of the time (almost every night in some cases, perhaps for restarts) and small businesses can go out of business for being unable to process payments. It is a good time for many in businesses and homes to go free not just for cost reasons but for technical reasons too. Nobody needs Windows anymore.


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