Windows is irrelevant to IT future ?

Story: The Biggest Problem With Microsoft Windows in 2014Total Replies: 27
Author Content
Ridcully

Jan 01, 2014
4:42 AM EDT
I read this article with fascination. I then searched on Paul Thurrott and the old eyebrows went back over my head. From what I gathered, he's a fairly high powered person in the Windows world. So I then decided what he had to say must be an absolutely real comment on the situation from a "rusted-on, dyed-in-the-wool Windows disciple and professional user". If anyone wants to correct my summation, feel free.

Okay....but assuming Paul is on the mark, I find his article rather startling. He sees Microsoft steadily failing because it is being ignored, ergo, no longer relevant to the software users of today's world. You begin to understand why Microsoft is frantic to break into the smartphone and pad markets, but even more interesting, you begin to see why attracting developers to an OS is crucial to its survival. And finally, he sees the business world as Microsoft's "life support" as use of the OS falls away amongst the consumer majority. A big gap in his summation is one that is now assuming increasingly great importance - the move by gaming platforms to Linux rather than Windows which accelerates the move to actual Linux desktops.

He doesn't see Linux as a threat to the desktop, but I think in this one area he is quite wrong. Apart from gaming, Linux in the forms of Android and Chrome is making the conventional desktop irrelevant to the modern generation who are busy with their smartphones and pads and the vast majority don't want Windows on their phonetops or padtops. Perhaps 2014 may see a tipping point. I am certainly aware that the OEM's no longer look on Microsoft as "the answer to a maiden's prayer" and are beginning to diversify with Chrome and Android. But of all reasons, I would never have considered a simple "so what" as the basic reason for Redmond's slow decay.
hughesjr

Jan 01, 2014
1:00 PM EDT
MS Office and gaming are the two things that have kept Windows alive outside the business world, but now with Android and IOS clients for Office 365 available and gaming consoles getting the majority of games, I see the tablet / chromebook to really gain market share.

Fettoosh

Jan 01, 2014
1:36 PM EDT
Quoting:He doesn't see Linux as a threat to the desktop, but I think in this one area he is quite wrong. Apart from gaming, Linux in the forms of Android and Chrome is making the conventional desktop irrelevant to the modern generation who are busy with their smartphones and pads and the vast majority don't want Windows on their phonetops or padtops.


@Ridcully,

I absolutely agree.

Jobs eventually recognized the potential of Unix modularity and made his old brilliant idea of Newton happen.

Linux prevented Apple from becoming the monopoly of mobile devices like MS was the monopoly of the PC for too long.

The PC is being marginalized but will not totally disappear. The distinction among the computer devices will be very blurry.

MS's biggest mistake was believing that Linux was the only enemy/competitor to beat and forgot or ignored the competition from numerous vendors empowered by Linux.

Etc...





Ridcully

Jan 01, 2014
4:37 PM EDT
Thanks Fettoosh.....I'd throw in one more spanner for Redmond's works too.....Why in heaven's name would any thinking person want Microsoft Office on a phonetop or padtop ? It sounds like a lot of development work on the part of Redmond for very little gain. They can forget Chrome books......the web apps already available to Chrome users already negate such a move. Again, Microsoft's conventional cash-cows are steadily becoming irrelevant.

I think you are right....the conventional PC will lose its importance to a huge majority, but will still be critically important in business and government.......which again is why I see Munich, the French police (and others of similar standing) as trailblazers, showing the way to enormous savings and increased security by ditching Windows.
jdixon

Jan 01, 2014
9:21 PM EDT
Paul wrote the Windows Vista and Windows 7 Secrets books, so I'd say he has a pretty good grasp of the Windows ecosphere. If he's worried about Windows' future, there's definitely good reason to be worried.

My concern would be that Microsoft has currently cut off business users. There simply is no business ready version of Windows past Windows 7. Unless that changes, the drop in Microsoft's fortunes could be sudden and dramatic, and happen within the next 5-8 years.
the_doctor

Jan 01, 2014
11:08 PM EDT
Paul Thurrott can also be found on the TWiT Network as a regular contributor to Windows Weekly.
DrGeoffrey

Jan 02, 2014
1:05 AM EDT
Quoting:My concern would be that Microsoft has currently cut off business users. There simply is no business ready version of Windows past Windows 7. Unless that changes, the drop in Microsoft's fortunes could be sudden and dramatic, and happen within the next 5-8 years.


You say that like it would be a bad thing.

Snowden's revelations have made it clear that Windows is an unmanageable financial risk for every company that uses it. The sooner MS is relegated to the dustbin of history, the better.

However, I suggest not holding your breath. Between MS's extremely deep pockets and the all too parochial viewpoint of most executives, it may take the bankrupting of a few notable companies before the light starts to shine.
jdixon

Jan 02, 2014
10:06 AM EDT
> You say that like it would be a bad thing.

Not my intent, but for company's who haven't been looking at escape routes it could be. But then they've made that bed, so they can lie in it.
Bob_Robertson

Jan 02, 2014
12:04 PM EDT
In my opinion, small and agile has always been more effective than big and cumbersome.

WalMart, for example, has its one real advantage as the ability to get products to where they are needed quickly. Their distribution network is their efficiency. Agility.

Microsoft built their business on big and slow. The illusion of reliability. The illusion of backward compatibility (anyone with old office files that can no longer be opened knows what I mean by "illusion").

Again in my opinion, without the huge market of governments, which by their nature gravitate toward big, slow, monolithic systems, Microsoft would have failed years ago.
Fettoosh

Jan 02, 2014
2:26 PM EDT
Quoting:My concern would be that Microsoft has currently cut off business users


That might be the best thing that could happens to them and a good incentive to make the transition to much better platform.

jdixon

Jan 02, 2014
2:35 PM EDT
> That might be the best thing that could happens to them and a good incentive to make the transition...

The ones that are capable of making the transition, yes. The others? Well, bankruptcy exists for a reason.
Steven_Rosenber

Jan 02, 2014
2:38 PM EDT
As Microsoft and Apple take their focus off the desktop, there certainly is an opportunity for Linux to pick up some significant share. That's already happening in the form of the Chromebook and Android encroachment on the desktop space.

As much as I'm not using Ubuntu, I fully support Canonical's decision to focus on mobile because free software really needs to make some moves in that space. However, I don't think that's been good for the Ubuntu desktop offering, and the confusion over Unity has stalled any efforts to gain desktop share.

Right now I'm only OK with GNOME 3 and not as enthusiastic as I once was, so I'm also putting some of the blame for Linux desktop confusion on that project as well. In a world where the Windows 8 Metro interface has pretty much tanked a whole OS in the court of public opinion, I don't see Unity or GNOME being able to pick up that business because they are equally alien to the accepted desktop computing experience. Layering the most compelling features on top of a more-accepted desktop paradigm -- like the fully searchable application list and filesystem -- would have gained a lot more success. Maybe there's some hope in the new GNOME Classic DE, which from what I understand was pretty much ordered up by Red Hat so they would have something for RHEL 7 that wouldn't scare off clients.

All that means is other Linux distributions can focus on the desktop and try to push into OEMs as pre-installed operating systems. That Canonical didn't succeed in that endeavour doesn't mean others can't and shouldn't try.
Ridcully

Jan 02, 2014
5:47 PM EDT
As a quick 2c worth Steven (which fully agrees with your first paragraph), I have noted articles now that suggest that Chromebooks are now rapidly displacing conventional Windows desktops. The reasons ? Extremely cheap, they can run in both cloud and stand alone modes, and at last the OEM's are picking up the Chromebook baton and running with it. By the end of 2013 all major OEMs were making Chromebooks and even Dell finally came on board in December 2013. Again, Windows is being sidelined.
Steven_Rosenber

Jan 02, 2014
7:49 PM EDT
>$300 speaks volumes.
flufferbeer

Jan 03, 2014
3:07 AM EDT
@Ridcully,

> Again, Windows is being sidelined.

BTW, Nixie Pixel says essentially the same thing in her vid of ~2yrs back, http://youtu.be/7G7TJyZPKPo . And that was BEFORE Valve's open source offerings picked up as much steam (pun; har har) as it has in the last year or so! A super nice thing Nixie Did in the Vid was to Bid the distrowatch-popular LINUX MINT as her distro of choice so's we could get Rid of lo$edoze ;)

2c
Ridcully

Jan 03, 2014
4:10 AM EDT
@Steven_Rosenber...........SJVaughan-Nichols is indicating a Chromebook can be purchased for $US199. A Windows based laptop is simply not in the race, is it ?
jdixon

Jan 03, 2014
6:58 AM EDT
> .SJVaughan-Nichols is indicating a Chromebook can be purchased for $US199.

http://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/devices/chromebooks.htm...

Sold by both Amazon and Best Buy.

And while I haven't looked at it, you should be able to load your preferred version of Linux on it.
Bob_Robertson

Jan 03, 2014
9:39 AM EDT
> And while I haven't looked at it, you should be able to load your preferred version of Linux on it.

If I can't, I'll not buy it.
jdixon

Jan 03, 2014
11:31 AM EDT
Well, there are directions for Ubuntu 12.04 at http://liliputing.com/2012/11/how-to-install-ubuntu-12-04-on... and some others at http://lifehacker.com/how-to-install-linux-on-a-chromebook-a...

Debian has a page about it at https://wiki.debian.org/InstallingDebianOn/Acer/C710-2615-Chromebook but no instructions that I could find.

And there's a blog which apparently covers the process at http://chromebooklinux.blogspot.com/ but I haven't had time to look at it.

Ridcully

Jan 03, 2014
4:56 PM EDT
Apart from the "I can do it, I can do it" sort of thing, why would you want to put Linux onto a Chromebook ? It seems like it is defeating the whole purpose of the Chromebook and you end up with a Linux computer with very little memory storage space......Oh sure, it has the capability of external drives.....but even so. Okay, fill me in, I feel iggorant this morning........with 40 degree Celsius temps promised here today....
jdixon

Jan 03, 2014
4:59 PM EDT
> Apart from the "I can do it, I can do it" sort of thing, why would you want to put Linux onto a Chromebook ?

A Chromebook is already running Linux, so you know the hardware is compatible. You're just exchanging Google's distro for your preferred one.
number6x

Jan 03, 2014
5:44 PM EDT
Ridcully,

Come to Chicago. Right now we are at -10º C and 20 km/h winds. That's 15º F and 13 m/h for my fellow Americans.

The temperature should drop about 10 more degrees (at this point who cares which scale) and the wind speed is set to double overnight.

That should wake you up!

More on topic, I'm planning on buying my in-laws a chromebook. Was hoping to set them up with an older laptop from the closet, but it seems to be a little flaky when I was testing it. Although my mother in-law used windows for work before retirement there is absolutely no way she is interested in using win8. A chromebook, usb keyboard, usb mouse and an external monitor seems to fit her needs best.
Ridcully

Jan 05, 2014
12:14 AM EDT
Y'know Jdixon, I still cannot understand the reasoning - I 'spose I'm feeling particularly dense at the moment. :-) Lessee......You got no internal and replaceable (?) hdd, video disk drive, nuttin. I'm not even sure the things have sound.....but I guess they do. And you got 16Gig on board memory, part of which will be the Chrome system......Okay, you can plug in usb items such as the above drives and I'd assume you also have a headphone socket, assuming it has some sort of audio player. I also noticed an HDM1 socket on one version. So, inwards or outwards ? Or both ?

Personally, I'd rather spend the extra money and get a decent laptop......but then my requirements are NOT those of either a student, a business man etc. Oh I agree, they are rather nice items and I am informed their displays in some cases are nothing short of brilliant, but they are designed for one special purpose: to use the cloud and the internet, and of course, Google's apps. Sure, there are stacks of Linux distros that will fit easily on 16Gig and probably give you 14Gig memory to use....But.....Oh well, each to their own taste I guess. They are certainly light, compact, very long life as regards power use and to be honest, highly attractive even to my eyes, and it could be a lot of fun seeing how much you could do with the machines...I'd better stop or I'll convince myself that I need one.

Oh yes.......Number6x......yesterday was utterly savage. Some of the damage those constant hot dry winds did to the plants was dreadful...we reached 40 in the house and I was outside at odd times checking the temperature in the power shed.....it got to 42 Celsius, however the inverter has an ambient working range up to 50 degrees C. Today much nicer.....just 33.5 and it has now stabilized and is about to drop........Thunderstorms coming.
jdixon

Jan 05, 2014
8:52 AM EDT
> You got no internal and replaceable (?) hdd

Just think of them as newer netbooks running ChromeOS as the Linux distribution, Ridcully.

My Dell Mini-9 only has an 8GB SSD in it. It's met my travel needs for almost 5 years now.
Ridcully

Jan 05, 2014
9:56 AM EDT
You've convinced me. It's just a different way of using resources and one that I am not familiar with. Guess I am going to have to have a play with one, if I can get my sticky paws on one. Thanks Jdixon.
jdixon

Jan 05, 2014
4:33 PM EDT
> You've convinced me.

Another convert to the dark side. My work here is done. :)

> Guess I am going to have to have a play with one,

Take a look at http://chromeos.hexxeh.net/ and follow the directions. If you have a working machine you should be able to try it out without buying anything.

Ridcully

Jan 06, 2014
4:38 AM EDT
May I say Jdixon, this is the first time ANYONE has accused me of being on the same side as Anakin Skywalker. I shall have to breathe more heavily as I do my computer work. LOL.
CFWhitman

Jan 06, 2014
2:12 PM EDT
By what I've read, you can replace the SSD in the Acer C720 with a 128GB one for about $100 US. There is also a 4GB RAM version of this Chromebook for fifty dollars more than the 2GB version. Some might like to install Linux on this because it's small, light, has good battery life, open source firmware (Coreboot), and I believe it's possible to dual boot ChromeOS and Linux for maximum versatility. This is with a total monetary investment of $300 to $350 US. I've certainly thought about it (and also how it would likely make my netbook totally obsolete for my purposes).

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