11.13.09

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ARM for GNU/Linux Arrives; Has Microsoft Given up on Sub-notebooks?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Hardware, Kernel, Microsoft at 12:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

ARM logo

Summary: The highly-anticipated torrent of low-cost, energy-efficient, user-friendly, GNU/Linux-only appliances has finally arrived, leaving Microsoft racing to the top again

THIS week’s article about ARM was a reminder of the fact that Microsoft cannot lie about the market share of GNU/Linux in sub-notebooks. Not anymore anyway. Our reader Oiaohm shares this article about the arrival of Snapdragon and also shows that “AMD [is] aiming for a 1 watt processor,” to use his own words. It spells trouble for two criminal companies. Microsoft Windows cannot survive under these conditions (not in the longer term because of cost and architecture compatibility) and numbers speak for themselves, being the simple facts:

“High return rates, little market share”: the scare tactic Microsoft used in the spring of 2009 to declare Linux dead in the water in the netbook market. But what might be true for the U.S. doesn’t hold for the European and worldwide market as a whole.

Not only did Dell repeatedly confirm that it found no higher a return rate than Windows for its 30% Ubuntu-installed netbooks, a new independent study by the ABI Research firm forecasts a 32% market share for Linux on netbooks for 2009.

In a new article over at IDG, Microsoft booster Shane O'Neill opines that Microsoft is either giving up on or trying to lessen the appeal of sub-notebooks. He tries to spin this in favour of Microsoft, but it’s really quite pathetic and bad.

It has gotten even worse for Windows Mobile. According to this new report:

Windows Mobile smartphone sales plunge 20% in Q3

[...]

The fact that Windows Mobile sales declined may not be a surprise, but the size of the decline is.

Microsoft says that it may withdraw Windows XP from sub-notebooks rather shortly, which leaves just a very crippled and resource-hungry version of Vista 7 to guard against GNU/Linux (Linux is gaining on ARM-type processors anyway). A former Microsoft MVP who regularly participates in our IRC channel wrote a couple of days ago: “I was making fun of a friend with XP [...] “Windows XP loves you, Windows XP wants to be with you, Windows XP wants to stab its tentacles into your brain and merge with you” [...] I am not thrilled with Windows 7 [...] seems like a hillbilly duct tape repair to Vista [...] It seems to have all the problems of Vista and very few actual improvements.”

When it comes to sub-notebooks, Vista 7 Starter Edition has already been mocked by Acer, which claims that Vista 7 has no impact on sales. Acer’s CEO also said ‘on behalf’ of the entire industry (OEMs) that they were disappointed with Vista. How long before the same thing is said about Vista 7, which is not selling well (Microsoft claimed that Vista was selling exceptionally well, but the numbers that truly matter don’t lie)?

“Acer and Intel, for example, are already complaining that Windows 7 Starter Edition simply won’t sell.”

May 2009

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5 Comments

  1. Dennis Murczak said,

    November 13, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Gravatar

    “Linux is gaining on ARM-type processors anyway”

    If you look at the whole embedded market, Linux has outrightly *exploded* since ca. 2005. Also, non-commercial (“commercial grade”) Linux seems to be preferred now due to cost (every cent counts in embedded, you are selling *inexpensive* stuff).

    Seen in this context, Linux is a logical choice for mobile devices. It has crept in from the low end, and once x86 declines on netbooks (for good reasons, x86 cannot be energy efficient and fast at the same time, but ARM can), Microsoft has lost one big segment of the end user market.

  2. Dennis Murczak said,

    November 13, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Gravatar

    “Linux is gaining on ARM-type processors anyway”

    If you look at the whole embedded market, Linux has outrightly *exploded* since ca. 2005. Also, non-commercial (“commercial grade”) Linux seems to be preferred now due to cost (every cent counts in embedded, you are selling *inexpensive* stuff).

    Seen in this context, Linux is a logical choice for mobile devices. It has crept in from the low end, and once x86 declines on netbooks (for good reasons, x86 cannot be energy efficient and fast at the same time, but ARM can), Microsoft has lost one big segment of the end user market.

  3. Dennis Murczak said,

    November 13, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Gravatar

    “Linux is gaining on ARM-type processors anyway”

    If you look at the whole embedded market, Linux has outrightly *exploded* since ca. 2005. Also, non-commercial (“commercial grade”) Linux seems to be preferred now due to cost (every cent counts in embedded, you are selling *inexpensive* stuff).

    Seen in this context, Linux is a logical choice for mobile devices. It has crept in from the low end, and once x86 declines on netbooks (for good reasons, x86 cannot be energy efficient and fast at the same time, but ARM can), Microsoft has lost one big segment of the end user market.

  4. Dennis Murczak said,

    November 13, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Gravatar

    Sorry for the triple post, the site is very slow at the moment :-/

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Sorry about that. We have just one server and hundreds of DB queries per second.

    Yes, someone in IRC pointed out this talk where Linux is named as a component in many/most TVs in Asia. I ought to post the video tomorrow. It indirectly explains why ARM, which sold over 10 billion chips, can make a huge difference.

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