Something I occasionally see in posts is
M$ Appl$ Andr$id XB$x Nint$ndo .. I guess it's easier to put a dollar sign into MS but if that's the only company that can be associated with money and corporate power then pershaps it's not always easy to understand how business works, and what it takes to put these nice computers on our desks and into our pockets. Microsoft just happens to be the best at what it does in particular domains. But referring to Micro$oft with the dollar sign embedded implies that they are somehow selfish or greedy or after money more than everyone else, and that is a plainly immature view of the situation. Apple is valued at $658 billion, while Microsoft is valued at $258 billion, so who should have a dollar sign in their name ? Neither I would say, but it seems to be trendy to use M$ in certain circles. If they didn't make money, they wouldn't exist, at least in their current form. And there would be someone else in their place. There are always major players in every market. There's nothing wrong with that.
Another occasionally mentioned sentiment is
I think that is a massive oversimplificiation of the global computing marking. Windows now runs on over 1 billion devices, and that figure will only grow, I've read that although PC's took 30 years to reach that mark, it will be doubled in the next 10 years. And if you look at some figures, and I present just one set of the many available figures (these figures are derived from internet usage data from w3schools). It is clear that Linux and Mac are increasing their market share (which is fantastic), but Microsoft is holding it's own quite comfortably.
M$ is losing popularity
I see the usage of 'M$' and other circulating comments about the failure of Windows as an expression of a 'fantasy of decline' which isn't uncommon. It's good to be passionate about something you love and hope for it's survival or success, or hope that the other guy doesn't crush your dreams. But to condemn without good cause or falsely represent an entity and it's failure isn't actually adding anything to the discussion IMO.
Microsoft isn't going to give up the desktop OS struggle, because there is no struggle, although I'm sure this is not a commonly held view of possibility, merely one held by a very select minority to which this article may be directed. Microsoft will probably be building desktop (and other) operating systems far beyond our personal lifetimes. And any speculation beyond that is pure fantasy and it becomes a philosophical and demographic discussion.
I would expect the trend in growth for Mac to continue, I'm not so sure about Linux though. I can't foresee either OS supplanting Windows as the market leader any time soon, and their is no one else in the running. Although if you look at more specific markets like living-room gaming or tablets or others then the situation is more complex, Microsoft isn't even a serious player in some of those markets (yet). Mac may well continue to grow as they have a strong financial position and have taken some clear and decisive steps towards new technologies and methods. But I actually would be surprised if Linux doesn't peak soon. I don't see Linux as a viable product in the wider market. And even if it were to improve to the point that it may be usable by a wider audience, I imagine it would have to be presented to us in a different package (if that's even possible) in order to grow further.
It will be interesting to see how the Surface and Metro change the playing field. I predict that either the first or second generation Surface and OEM interpretations will easily compete with iPad and Android implementations. And will give Microsoft a decent share of the tablet market. I think they've done something really right with Windows 8 and Metro. I think the nay-sayers are too stuck in their traditional views of Windows and just don't understand the dynamacy and expectations of the casual market. Most home and street users don't need Windows as we know it (likewise could be said for Linux/Mac). It's actually too flexible and configurable, too much can happen with your installation. There is a demand for simpler and domain specific devices. The growth of console gaming demonstrates that precisely. The growth of smart phones and tablets demonstrates that, and other devices, E-Readers, Media hubs etc. There are surely other markets yet unexplored.
Windows 8 and Metro represent Microsofts attack into this new battlefield, and although it's not clear yet whether this newly devised phalanx can conquer, what is clear is that Microsoft is very serious about this battle to win our eyeballs. And whether we hate it or love it, Metro is going to change the way Microsoft thinks about software and services.
Windows 8 released October 26, just over a week ago has already sold millions of copies but it's uptake may be slower when compared to Windows 7. But it's still an absolute player in the OS stakes. Looking at the steam survey page, the figures for Windows 8 users shows :
Windows 8 64 bit 1.85% +0.71%
I'm not sure if that's a good or underwhelming uptake of the new Windows, remembering that the figure is specific to gaming systems. But looking back at the internet access figures XP will continue to drop it's user-base and Vista has a few percentage points there too that will probably move to Windows 8. Within 2 or 3 years from now, Windows 8 will be in 2nd position after Windows 7. And it's evident that a new edition of Windows immediately stops the 'relative' growth of the previous edition. This trend should continue even with the mighty Windows 7, but we will have to wait to see if that happens given the uncertainty about the new Windows.
Any notion that Microsoft [Windows] is losing popularity however does not seem to me to be well founded. The worlds technologies are diversifying and major OS providers are scrambling to position themselves within these new emerging markets. This is a good thing for the consumer. And it's a good thing for developers. I for one am looking forward to the ensuing technology wars.
Edited by Gavin Williams, 04 November 2012 - 07:12 AM.