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Windows Death Watch: How Microsoft's Common Carrier Loses Its Lustre

Carrier being decommissioned

An aircraft carrier



Summary: An overview of some of the latest debates about Microsoft Windows, the cornerstone of a two-decade monopoly

Windows has made proprietary software the 'norm' on most desktops. Its distribution model actively discouraged proliferation of freedom-respecting software (the Internet helped change this) and also facilitated government surveillance on desktop users.



A lot of this changed when Linux (sometimes with GNU) got the attention of phone makers and business models based on mobility plus wireless connectivity (for ads) got realised by Google. It is actually Google, hiding behind OHA, that helped make a breakthrough with a free/libre operating system called Android. This is why Microsoft hates Google so much and is now willing to conspire with competitors (e.g. Apple and Oracle) against Google.

"It is actually Google, hiding behind OHA, that helped make a breakthrough with a free/libre operating system called Android."Google is not the "next Microsoft" (no company deserves such an insult), but it is a dominant operating systems/apps force which now accounts for many sales and almost 1.5 Android activations per day, with over 50 billion app downloads (through Google Play) to date. My wife and parents use Android and they're not the exception. A Linux-based platform has become a de facto standard, challenged mostly by other Linux-based platforms.

The time is not right for Microsoft eulogies and talks about Windows 'death' are probably premature, but gradually we are ending up in a post-Windows world where this platform is going extinct and Microsoft is just some NSA informant and state terrorist, not a producing company.

Microsoft is in a very weak position right now, relative to the position it has been in since the nineties. Some people say that given the latest developments "Microsoft is Doomed" (Microsoft's huge dip in value adds strength to this argument). When Vista came out the common carrier came under huge threat (almost nobody uses Vista these days and Windows XP presents a problem for Microsoft) and OEMs started to explore alternatives. Microsoft started bribing some of these OEMs, devaluing Windows in the process. We also wrote about the bribes to bloggers -- a sweet deal for seeding of positive Windows reviews (bribes by proxy, through Edelman and Waggener Edstrom) -- and John Dvorak, writing for IDG, entertains the possibility that Microsoft can give hardware bribes to bloggers again. He writes: "The company seems rather unaggressive with evaluations since I haven't even been able to get my hands on one. Hearing that there are so many of the things in the warehouse, I'd suggest Microsoft send 1,000 devices to tech journalists and bloggers. Or maybe 10,000 and include rifle ranges so they can be used as targets. Of course, it is now too late to do any of this and I suspect the company will be giving them away at conferences like free pens."

"Microsoft is in a very weak position right now, relative to the position it has been in since the nineties."Over at ZDNet, the subject being floated this week is whether Windows is dead or not. One post about Dying Windows comes from Matt Baxter-Reynolds, who says that "Surface RT's failure calls the whole "Windows 8 Project" into question. As a result, the "death of the PC" may end up taking Windows with it..."

FOSS-hostile colleagues are responding, downplaying the threat to Microsoft. In more Microsoft-hostile sites the tone is stronger:

Microsoft drove the bus off the cliff, now it tries to speed up



Microsoft has driven off the cliff into the death spiral and rather than change direction they are trying to speed up their ‘momentum’. Endless reorgs, paid analyst reports, and flat-out lying to anyone who will listen won’t help, they can not succeed from their current position.


The 'reorg' PR campaign [1, 2, 3, 4] was perhaps an attempt to distract from another round of exodus.

There is a theme in coverage right now, as bloggers debate whether Windows is dead or not (whilst Android/Linux shows the most growth). Some agree that Windows is dying or growing irrelevant -- a trend we have been stalking for years in this Web site, whose launch almost coincided with Vista's release.

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