icrosoft is frightened. Even Ballmer is telling users that they can skip Vista, which tells you everything you need to know about Vista’s failure. In the past, Microsoft wouldn’t have sweated this kind of flop. “What can users do?” they’d say. “Move to Linux or Macs? Ha!” That was then. This is now.
Today, major PC vendors are selling netbooks like hotcakes on a cold Vermont morning and three out of ten of those are running Linux. As my comrade in arms, Preston Gralla observes, “Microsoft isn’t just worried about ceding 30 percent of the netbook market to Linux. It’s also worried that if people get used to Linux on netbooks, they’ll consider buying Linux on desktop PCs. Here’s what Dickie Chang, an analyst at research firm IDC in Taipei, told Bloomberg about that: ‘It’s a real threat to Microsoft. It gives users a chance to see and try something new, showing them there is an alternative.'”
Exactly, and that’s why Microsoft is rushing out Windows 7, which is a stripped down Vista SP2, as fast as they can and jerking out features so it will run on netbooks with minimal hardware. Gralla thinks Windows 7 will kill Linux on the netbook, I don’t see that.