Microsoft Death Watch — GNU/Linux to Blame

Posted in Finance, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, SUN, Windows at 9:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“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.”

Ars Technica

“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.”

Motley Fool (heavily Microsoft-influenced)

“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.”

Microsoft Press

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.

GNU and Linux

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:


If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one


  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    January 24, 2009 at 1:01 pm


    When nearly all 50 states in the republic were suing M$ for price gouging, the damage came to the surface: It’s important to point out that 70% – 80% profit margins mean that between 4 to 5 times the fair price is being extracted.

    When things are that bad, especially in consideration of the pathetic quality, then it may be time to bring in racketeering charges for Gates and his cohort.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 24, 2009 at 3:15 pm


    It’s important to point out that 70% – 80% profit margins mean that between 4 to 5 times the fair price is being extracted.

    From a national perspective it’s seen differently (despite abominable tax breaks). That’s why Europe and Asia must respond more effectively. The US is too lax.

  3. twitter said,

    January 25, 2009 at 8:32 pm


    Another important shift that even Steve Ballmer has recognized is the demise of Office as a cash cow. The easy availability of Open Office has taken a bite out of that software’s profitability for years. Recently, Steve Ballmer admitted Google Docs were eating into mindshare because it’s so much easier to share and collaborate. So goes the other foundation of their little clerical empire. Free software and web services have run around their monopoly impediments and M$ finds itself both surrounded and ignored.

    The end is probably nearer than we think. I’m keeping a little log of Microsoft’s failure that is much like my Vista failure and Windows 7 failure logs. Vista failed the way Windows should have failed long ago, but the speed and totality of that failure took me by surprise. M$’s propaganda machine is so strong that even I’m surprised by how bad field conditions usually are. For example, a relative spent three weeks exchanging email with M$ “support” before that advice reduced their Vista machine to a single line of blinking, unbootable error message. An analogous condition probably exists with their murky finances – they are liars and reality is always worse than you think it is after talking to them.

  4. ram said,

    January 25, 2009 at 9:19 pm


    An investigation into racketeering would be worthwhile – especially in Australia. Last I checked threatening people with goons and bribing them with illegal drugs and prostitutes was itself illegal, yet that is how the ‘marketing’ arms of several foreign companies do ‘business’ here.
    (And Americans wonder why the rest of the world is coming to hate them!)

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 26, 2009 at 3:26 am


    Stallman compared it to “Colonialism” last month.

    `Do not fall prey to software monopolies’

    The extensive use of proprietary software will lead to digital colonisation, as it forbids people from sharing knowledge, founder of GNU Project and Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman has said.


    Stallman said that companies such as Microsoft were trying to create colonies by not sharing the knowledge behind the software. ‘’Just like colonialism, they are following the divide and rule policy. After making some softwares, they are asking us to use it or to think like that. Here, people become slaves of this monopoly,’’ he said.

  6. Jim Lee said,

    January 26, 2009 at 7:44 pm


    “An investigation into racketeering would be worthwhile – especially in Australia. Last I checked threatening people with goons and bribing them with illegal drugs and prostitutes was itself illegal, yet that is how the ‘marketing’ arms of several foreign companies do ‘business’ here.
    (And Americans wonder why the rest of the world is coming to hate them!)”

    Ram, I must take offense at that last sentence. Steve Ballmer is not representative of all Americans, nor do all Yanks suck at the teat of M$ (it might surprise you to know this Yank is posting this message on a Debian laptop – will wonders never cease?)

  7. ram said,

    January 27, 2009 at 12:06 am


    My apologies Mr. Lee. Of course America has many good people, unfortunately what most of the world sees (and feels) are the actions of its most agressive organizations. America (and to a lesser extent Europe) may call it ‘Free Trade’ but it increasingly is viewed as colonialism by the remainder of the world.

  8. Jim Lee said,

    January 28, 2009 at 5:30 pm


    No offense taken, ram. There’s a contingent of us here who take a very dim view of Steve Baller’s tactics. There are some brilliant engineers at Microsoft (well, a few anyway) but their hands are tied by the baboons who pose as their leadership (Ballmer, Jim Allchin, et al) as well as the greedy, winner-take-all, ethics-be-damned corporate culture at Redmond; it’s been that way for *years*.

    It pains me that these guys are seen as the face of American business, and I usually bristle at the thought of being even remotely associated with them. At least the majority of the world has (thus far) refused to drink the Microsoft “Kool-Aid”.

  9. Roy Schestowitz said,

    January 28, 2009 at 5:41 pm


    What’s needed is a potent regulatory system to restrain behaviour. This ought to be applied to foreign affairs too.

What Else is New

  1. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, June 12, 2021

  2. Virtual Injustice -- Part 5: Benoît's “Friends” in Budapest

    "Battistelli went to considerable lengths to secure the support of the Hungarian delegation."

  3. Links 13/6/2021: KDE Frameworks 5.83.0 and helloSystem 0.5

    Links for the day

  4. The Story of Techrights, in Banners...

    A look back at site banners from 2006-2021; they help illuminate or show our changing focus over the years

  5. With KDE Plasma 5.22 Having Just Been Released It's Time to Give KDE a Try (or Move to GNU/Linux, Leveraging the Best Features of Any Operating System Out There)

    A quick recommendation of KDE based on a reasonably recent (but not latest) build; there's this myth about KDE being difficult and flaky, but for a number of decades it has been the most advanced desktop (on any operating system) and its developers managed to hide the complexity while offering users all the power they may want/need

  6. Open Letter to the FSF About Taking Control of the FSF's (and GNU's) IRC Channels

    The FSF should have seized the opportunity, in light of self-harming IRC infighting (instability and unpredictability), to create its own IRC network and then help this new (or "GNU") network flourish

  7. EU Already Captured by -- and Lying for -- Corrupt EPO Officials, Team UPC, and Lobbyists of Multinational Corporations

    12 pages of lies; is the European Parliament reduced to a mere marionette of corrupt officials who run the EPO into the ground?

  8. [Meme] Virtual Code of Conduct (ViCoC)

    Cheapening of basic concepts and principles like "right to be heard" or "access to justice" is an international trend; we need to push back in the direction of justice, not fake 'innovation' or 'tech' (where it clearly does not belong)

  9. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 11, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, June 11, 2021

  10. Virtual Injustice -- Part 4: Mihály Ficsor, the EPO's Hungarian “Fixer”

    One key operative of António Campinos, who is fiercely in favour of software patents, has quite a colourful past and background

  11. Conversation With Richard Stallman in Brazil, May 31st 2021

    At the end of last month Richard Stallman had a 2-hour (and beyond, considering some of the afterthoughts) conversation, which is now available online

  12. Links 11/6/2021: Nginx Rising and SteamPal Rumours

    Links for the day

  13. New Introduction at Gemini

    As part of ongoing improvements to our capsule we have a new introductory text, reproduced below

  14. Links 11/6/2021: A Torvalds COVID Rant and RISC-V Risk of Takeover

    Links for the day

  15. Petition Against Richard Stallman Continues Losing Signatures, Open Letter of Support Reaches 6,750 Signatures

    The latest (if not last) person to garden the anti-RMS petition is an IBM employee. As has been the case for months. Another removal. IBM has a grudge against GNU's founder and by extension the FSF (they want the FSF to be a slave of IBM, just like the Linux Foundation is; we last covered this a day ago). “An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation” has meanwhile reached 6,750 signatures and that number grows by about 50 every 3-4 weeks, so it’s reasonable to expect 7,000 by year’s end. The anti-RMS petition may fall below 3,000.

  16. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 10, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 10, 2021

  17. Virtual Injustice -- Part 3: All the President's Men…

    Benoît Battistelli‘s army of minions, combined with former colleagues of António Campinos, team up to participate in the legal fudge of the EPO

  18. EPO ‘ViCo’ Prior Art (or ViCo Going Back to the 1980s)

    A previous post (video from yesterday) gave examples of prior art from the early/ier 1990s, debunking the EPO’s foolish and irrational embrace of this notion that so-called ‘ViCo’ is so absolutely incredible (we’ve kept talking, e.g. in many prior videos, about how the only real ‘innovation’ was connection speeds); MinceR recalls that “when UMTS (“3G”) was new, video calls on mobile was the feature that was supposed to sell the technology” and in the mid-80s you could already see who you spoke to (almost) in real time

  19. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Needs to Get Its Act Together on the EPO's GDPR Violations

    EU authorities aren't keeping abreast of EPO abuses; as a result, people's basic rights and fundamental sense of dignity erode, with impunity resulting in passage of massive piles of data to foreign corporations and governments that engage in industrial and political espionage

  20. Links 10/6/2021: Raspberry Digital Signage 15.0, NVIDIA Driver 470

    Links for the day

  21. EPO 'ViCo' Prior Art (~30 Years Ago): Barely Innovative at All

    Debunking the EPO‘s Big Lie that ViCo is some sort of incredible and innovative thing that must therefore be embraced fully; the missing ingredient was fast network connections, so there’s no excuse for EPO claiming that we must embrace such stuff irrespective of the law, constitutions etc.

  22. Improvements in the Techrights Gemini Capsule

    Further improvements are being made to our Gemini capsule, which contains all the latest stories sans the graphics; it now has a total of 35,820 pages

  23. Linux Foundation is a Foundation of Mass Surveillance

    Whatever the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation touches turns to dust; they’re already killed the site known as Linux.com and now they scatter the “Linux” brand to the wind (in pursuit of misbranding cash)

  24. [Meme] Lord Justice Sir

    Inspired by an old Internet joke, we present the state of EPO 'justice'

  25. The EPO's Lack of Objective Legal System is No Laughing Matter

    The array of abuses committed by António Campinos and his EPO minions (people who meddle in legal affairs) is mentioned in this new video; we focus on what was shown this morning, i.e. in Part 2 of an ongoing series (to last two more weeks)

  26. Virtual Injustice -- Part 2: The ViCo Oral Proceedings of 28 May 2021

    More than half a day of theatrics and stonewalling by the EBA may have done a damage so enormous to the EBA's credibility that irrespective of the final outcome the case is already seen as compromised

  27. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 09, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, June 09, 2021

  28. Links 10/6/2021: KDE Gear 21.08 Schedule, Librem 5 USA Supply Chain Security

    Links for the day

  29. Linux: Bugs Welcome

    With UEFI ‘secure boot’ (aka ‘wontboot’ [1, 2]) and bad BIOS, are we just accepting malicious ‘features’ and inherently bad design?

  30. Links 9/6/2021: Krita 4.4.5 and Mabox Linux 21.06 Geralt

    Links for the day

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts