04.01.11

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Market of Firefox (Free Software Poster Child) is Increasing While Windows Market is Decreasing

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Windows at 5:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red fox

Summary: Firefox is growing up while Microsoft is growing old and its core business models erode

MARGINS and profits made from Windows are on the decline, despite inflation. Even Microsoft admits this and new numbers speak for themselves:

Then, all the boasting about the number of downloads of IE9 became a whisper when Firefox 4 was downloaded at least twice as much. “But that’s not fair! IE9 can be downloaded only for Windows Vista and Windows 7 while Firefox 4 is available for all platforms!” they complain.

EXACTLY!!! Don’t they realize?? How come a company on purpose leaves out the biggest number of its customers? (I mean XP users, of course!) Wasn’t it that XP support was “extended” for about 3 more years? Does that mean that something similar will happen to Vista and Vista/7 users when Windows 8 is released? Better keep an eye open, Windows users!

All this, plus former ways of bullying customers (Windows 7 Starter) has opened the eyes of several Windows users. One by one, they are starting to look for alternatives.

In our latest group of daily links we have confirmations from Mozilla regarding the numbers. Firefox 5 is coming soon and it will kick Microsoft’s bottom.

Generally, Microsoft has begun throwing out free copies of Windows and sometimes it allegedly pays hardware makers — not charges them — to have Windows pre-installed. In some places, Windows has actually gotten more expensive, claim some people (and it is not a wise strategy as it would definitely backfire):

A comment on Groklaw alerted me to the fact that M$ raised prices in Australia when Australia’s currency was low but has not dropped prices now that the currency is on par with US$. The current price of “7″ Ultimate is Australian $469 (US$484) while in the USA is is US$320. Chuckle.

That’s Australia, where forced sales is Windows are now a source of complaints. “Windows Is Not Free,” reminds us the anarchist, who explains:

The article is “Windows Is Free: The Impact of Pirated Software on Free Software”, along with the follow up article by the same author, “No Really – Windows Is Free.”

Commonly, people first gravitate to LibreOffice, OpenOffice, Linux, the GIMP, and other F/OSS applications because they are, almost always, gratis. That is, free of a monetary cost. But, as is persuasively argued, for a large number of people, so is Windows.

And because of the flexibility of F/OSS, a large number of individual F/OSS applications run just fine on Windows and Mac systems, so there is even less motivation to examine the underlying principles involved.

One of the major reasons for this confusion is the fact that in English, “free” can mean both “gratis”, as in no price, and “libre” as in without restrictions.

There is no such thing as “free Windows”, not even if “free” means “gratis”. To quote Bill Gates again: “They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.” Basically, now that Microsoft borrows money and givs its former cash cows free of charge, things are bound to change very rapidly.

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