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[DesktopLinux] Windows is caught between Mac and Linux

post #1 of 36
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For the first time in ages, the sale of new PCs with Windows as a percentage of the PC market is declining sharply. The new winner is the Mac, but, while no one does a good job of tracking the still-new, pre-installed Linux desktop market, it's also clear that Linux is finally making impressive inroads into Windows' once unchallenged market share.

The Mac numbers are especially revealing. NPD, a global market research company, has revealed that Apple's share of the U.S. computer market jumped to 14 percent in February 2008. This was up from 9 percent in February 2007.

In comparison to the overall market, U.S. PC retail shipments only grew 9 percent in units shipped and a mere 5 percent in revenue in the last year. Macs, in the meantime, saw a 60 percent growth in unit sales with an even more impressive 67 percent gain in revenue growth over the same period.

In an investors' research note based on the NPD data, Pacific Crest Securities analyst Andy Hargreaves said that Apple did especially well with its laptops. Better still, though, "MacBook Air sales appear to be additive to total sales, rather than replacing MacBook Pro sales. We believe a new set of corporate customers makes up a meaningful portion of MacBook Air buyers," said Hargreaves.

At the same time, while, to the best of my knowledge, no analysis firm is tracking Linux desktop sales yet, empirical evidence makes it clear that Linux desktops are moving into customers' hands at a quick pace.

For example, according to the Amazon's Bestsellers: The most popular items in Computers and PC Hardware list of March 21, the best-selling computer is not a Mac. It's the Asus Eee PC 4G Surf. Simultaneously, other retailers, such as Best Buy and Sears, are also offering low-priced Linux PCs.

While HP still hesitates from being the last of the major PC vendors to commit to desktop Linux, others are predicting great things from the Linux desktop. Asus, the Taiwanese OEM (original equipment manufacturer) behind the Eee Linux PC line, is predicting that it will sell 2 million Linux PCs in 2008.

I see two strong trends here. On the high end, people are buying Macs instead of Windows PC. On the low end, Linux is eating Windows alive.

Windows finds itself being confined to the middle ground.

This is happening because Vista, SP1 and all, has proven to be a commercial flop. Even Microsoft seems to be backing off Vista and looking ahead to its next operating system, Windows 7.

I've long predicted that Vista would be a failure and that this failure would give the Linux desktop its shot at the big time. That's no longer a prediction.

It's an observation of the facts.

This year is proving to be the year of desktop transformation. I see Macs continuing to gain strength with users who want the best of the best and are willing to pay the price. At the same time, the low end is going to be completely owned by Linux. From there, thanks to PCs and laptops from Dell, Lenovo and, eventually, HP, Linux will start moving up the PC ecosystem. Microsoft will be forced to a very unusual position: a defensive battle.

How Microsoft deals, or fails to deal, with this new challenge will determine if Windows continues to be the dominant desktop operating system. Distracted by its Yahoo buyout plans, its courtroom failures and its leadership changes, Microsoft is in trouble, and that means the other desktop operating systems have their best chance ever to knock Windows off the top of the desktop hill.
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post #2 of 36
I certainly dont see any evidence of msft abandoning Vista for WIndows 7 already. Although the news came out years ago that longhorn was being scaled down...
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post #3 of 36
These above numbers have been floating around the internet for a while. They are not true.

Regardless, Mac's market share is not going to grow much. They are in a niche market, with their super expensive Mac Book Pro's.
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post #4 of 36
Mac's have their purposes. They do very well you need a low-hassle bundled video editing machine, especially with the newer macs that have come out in the last year, but is still evident that PCs have the best compatibility with different types of software, be it games or whatever. It isn't exactly surprising the PCs are losing a bit of the market share. Word of mouth advertising can be the most effective and the most damaging at the same time.
Vista, in my humble opinion, is a wonderful OS with a few issues that, when compared XP's original release, are quite neglegable, but is has gotten a bad wrap mostly by people who haven't even used it or barely used it.
I want to remind people that a business, especially one as complex as the PC market, can be very volatile and you can never quite put your finger on the pulse of it for more then a few minutes.
I am personally excited to see how things play out. I love seeing Microsoft having to compete with other developers to make a great, low-cost operating system. It's the best thing for consumers, it's the best thing for everyone.
post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by pauldovi View Post
These above numbers have been floating around the internet for a while. They are not true.

Regardless, Mac's market share is not going to grow much. They are in a niche market, with their super expensive Mac Book Pro's.
QFT my friend.

Last I saw just a couple months ago was Mac's taking about 4% of the overall market. And as for Vista being a flop? Obviously this guy hasn't ever used it and is voting for some other OS but I have yet to have a SINGLE problem with x64 Vista Ultimate. Its even more stable that XP in my opinion.

Another article written by an idiot who has never used Vista but somehow doesn't like it
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post #6 of 36
glad to see that linux is getting some cred! if windows starts spiraling downward, we should see vast improvements in linux's 3d elements as well as some games becoming available for linux users.


a man can dream cant he? lol.
    
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post #7 of 36
Tear this junk down NOW. This article is SOOOOO Biased against Microsoft I dont even believe it - Theres no way 'Microsoft is going down'

Economy doesnt work that way
    
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post #8 of 36
I am inclined to agree, this article is very biased, as if looking at the source wasn't at hint at this.

The usual "I haven't used it, but a friend of a friend on my chat room said..."

It is very unfortunate, at the very least try it before you make fun of it.

Also they should draw a distinction between the windows-linux that is found on the lowend machines, they are built to copy windows to gain sales and for ease of use. Buying an EEE with castrated windows-linux and using a laptop with Slackware, or another Distro are completely different worlds.

Heck you could almost consider those OS's cheap-ware, used to cut costs over windows.
    
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post #9 of 36
well compitition is always good it will push Microsoft to build a better os
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post #10 of 36
Though I'd like to, I'm never going to go completely Mac until I can build one.

And before everyone starts saying "what about OSx86?", I'm referring to being able to build a Mac legally.
 
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