Practical Technology

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Windows’ Endgame. Desktop Linux’s Failure.


“After nearly a decade, Microsoft’s reign as a monopoly is over.” … “The latest real-world data on web usage confirms that Microsoft’s once-dominant position in the world of personal computing is crumbling.” That’s not me, the Linux guy speaking. No, that’s Ed Bott, who’s as much a Windows fan as I am with a Linux fan. Ed’s the one, not me, who’s saying that “if Windows 8 flops on phones and tablets, Microsoft’s future is very dim indeed.”

Desktop Linux’s future isn’t any better. Windows isn’t declining because of Linux’s security or stability benefits. No, as Ed points out, it’s declining because of the rise of mobile computing. Apple’s iPhone and iPad are the ‘villians” in the mystery of who killing Windows. And, they’re also killing off the traditional desktop Linux.

When I say this though I don’t mean that Windows won’t still be on computers in 2021. It will be. What it won’t be though is the dominant computing platform. Unlike Ed, I do think that Microsoft is moving too late to a mobile, tablet-based computing paradigm. Windows 8 will be too little, too late.

Linux, however, is in a funny place. Linux, through Android, is becoming an important operating system for end-users. Most people don’t know it though. If you ask them “Could you use Linux?” If they even know what Linux is, they’ll say “No.” Ask them can they use their phone, they’ll say “Yes, of course.”

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