Bonum Certa Men Certa

Windows Sales Keep Declining and “Windows Ecosystem is Broken”

Pedestrian and highway

Summary: GNU/Linux is driving Windows off the road, gradually but surely; Microsoft continues to deceive nonetheless

AS we repeatedly show and remind our readers, Windows-related profit is on the decline, so Microsoft resorts to cheating in the SEC filings, pushing into newspapers all sorts of fake numbers. Katherine from IDG and ECT explains that "Linux Wins Big" as "Microsoft Reveals Windows Decline" and she provides supporting evidence:

3. Microsoft Reveals Windows Decline

Microsoft is nothing if not a master at trumpeting its own horn, and recently it's being doing just that over the 350 million copies of Windows 7 it says it has sold since the software's debut.

One thing it apparently forgot to mention, however, is that that's not so good. In fact, it doesn't even keep up with the total number of PCs sold, as my Infoworld colleague Woody Leonhard noted today.

One needs to add that it's not Vista 7 , it's just licences issued/assigned (not necessarily used) and it includes Windows XP, which Microsoft counts as Vista 7 in order to game the numbers. It is easy to see why Windows is losing inertia. As one of our new regulars in IRC put it in his blog recently, Windows is broken and the "Windows ecosytem is broken", too, whereas Google's Android, for example, is doing extremely well and growing rapidly.

Over the years that I have provided IT support, I have always pointed out the options available i.e Mac, Windows, Linux (and in some cases a BSD). Familiarity tends to sway users towards Windows despite the problems. Another issue tends to be that “the must have” application for which no alternatives exist (except for other proprietary apps) are only available on Windows. When I dig a little deeper into how these apps are written I tend to be horrified at how they are put together. In the VB6/.net etc etc world sometime Client/Server can mean “lets map the executable to the server, run it over the network and tell the customer to get a faster network/computer/switch if it doesn’t work properly” .

One thing that is becoming increasingly common is to find that many of these apps are still written with legacy develop environments or libraries which is translating into not working well or at all in Vista & Windows 7. It seems to be that many of these apps aren’t coping well with the transition from smb 1 to smb 2 – strangely the average Windows techy appears to have no concept of this. My work with Samba has recently been helping me solve Windows problems!

So to translate the above into something less “geeky” – The Windows ecosystem is broken, littered with layer upon layer of legacy must have software. Its the more established businesses which suffer more from this, newer businesses with less software baggage do not have to weigh themselves down.

Adoption of Vista and its successors has been utterly poor in businesses and now that we discover some major wins for GNU/Linux in business desktops, there is reason to believe that a lot more of it is coming. In fact, based on information that cannot be made public just yet, a lot of desktops are going to see proprietary software stripped off. Sometimes it starts by running Free, cross-platform software on top of Windows, which in turn makes swapping the platform with GNU/Linux quite trivial. Microsoft knows that.


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