How Microsoft is losing to GNU/Linux
By libervisco on 30 Aug 2006
What is happening at this stage is what I would call "cleaning out the pockets" of the market consisted of the remaining advanced desktop computer users. Those are everyone who knows at least enough to be able to install and re-install Windows. Those are the users who don't need to get the OS pre-installed on their computer to be able to run it. Those are the users which are, at an increasing rate, considering trying out GNU/Linux. In alot of cases they are in fact being chased away to GNU/Linux, as this guy will tell you. Microsoft is shooting itself in the foot by being what they are, a *proprietary software* company who actively wants to fight unauthorized copying and use of their software (AKA "piracy"). What their measures against this "piracy" end up causing though is not so much a cease of unauthorized copying, but the steady reduction of their desktop market share, as rigorous measures they have put in place are annoying users away to the free platform readily waiting for them: a Free Software platform which is GNU/Linux.
This mainly affects those advanced users who know the difference between a computer and an operating system that it runs, users who know enough to think and choose for themselves rather than leave the choices to someone else and users on which many "newbie" computer users depend on. In other words, what is happening is that all users who know enough to *choose* are increasingly choosing GNU/Linux.
And this bears more signficance than it seems. If it is those advanced users choosing GNU/Linux who the "newbie" non-choosing computer user depend on, than they will increasingly be choosing GNU/Linux for those users who depend on them. In other words, as advanced users continue to switch to GNU/Linux, more of their less computer advanced friends will be switching as well, sometimes without even realizing the full meaning of the switch. The advanced computer guy that is their friend will simply install GNU/Linux over their computer and assure them that it will now run better.
This considered, advanced users mean alot for keeping a market share of a certain operating system. They are basically the anchor (or at least one of the anchors) of this market share. They are the ones who can make make a big difference. If they continue switching to GNU/Linux as they are, Windows market share is no longer so unbeatable.
So thank you Microsoft for annoying the light bearers of your market share away to GNU/Linux. You are really helping us! ;)
Now, it all reminds me of the futile battle RIAA and MPAA are leading against file sharing. What have these lawsuits and intimidation done is not so much the decrease of file sharing (as it has been steadily *increasing* despite their efforts), but the increased spite of the crowds against them, forming political pirate parties, releasing free movies and music, supporting the other side, a Free Culture readily waiting to expand on the expense of the old obsolete and inefficient world that RIAA and MPAA represent today.
What can we conclude from this? The more they are gripping their hands the more will slip from them! They are already loosing and they themselves end up being the ones accelerating their loss as they grip to save the future for themselves. The only thing keeping them up where they are, keeping their influence and power over those who can still be fooled, is the power they've accumulated in the past, not power they are accumulating in the present, because that is slipping away as people who've passed their propaganda, people who choose and think for themselves, are becoming their enemies.
The future? The future will be ours, not theirs. Free Software and Free Culture will prevail, simply because people like to be treated with respect, not as cash cows and criminals.
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