back to article Goldman Sachs: Windows' true market share is just 20%

Windows might still be the dominant desktop computing OS by a large margin, but Microsoft is in danger of becoming a small player in today's global computing market, according to a new report from financial bigwigs Goldman Sachs. The report, which was obtained last week by The Seattle Times, says that while Microsoft operating …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LOL

    "Throw smartphones and tablets into the mix along with traditional laptops and PCs..."

    Don't forget washing machines and microwave ovens. They have software too. And cars.

    Seriously, unless you're a pimp or a drug dealer, you don't use a smartphone to do the majority of your paid work, and I don't know of anyone who gets paid to watch TV, regardless of how 'smart' it is. So new products get developed, and they don't run Windows. Big deal. That doesn't mean that there are any fewer PCs in offices, and almost all of those run Windows. In that market, nothing has changed.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      @mutatedwombat

      You lack imagination and an understanding of how to make technology work for you instead of simply doing whatever the most recent whitepaper you read tells you to do.

      I do the majority of my work on Android endpoints. I use an Asus Transformer or a Samsung Galaxy Note II. A huge quantity of that time is spend using them as thin clients to RDP into my Windows XP VM running Office 2003, but this is only because Android lacks a sufficiently good Office package for me to totally jettison that VM.

      Browsing, research, even a fair chunk of the server administration I do can be – and is – done directly on my Android devices. I can access Teamviewer, RDP, various terminals, transfer files, compose documents…you name it.

      We don't work on TVs you say? Well, my third most frequently used Android device is…my television. I sure do get paid to work on my TV. It's a 47" 1920x1080 screen perfect for doing all sorts of useful work on. In fact, it is generally where I keep browser widows up for research, since the nice large type that appears is easy on the eyes.

      Do I have Windows systems? Yes. Do I plan on refreshing them any time in the forseebale future? No. In fact; I am "Libre Office that works with touch, keyboard and mouse on Android" away from being able to walk away from Microsoft for anything except my collection of older Steam games.

      For the actual heavy lifting stuff, I find that all the big apps I need have been ported to OSX.

      I do "work" on these devices. Systems administration. Writing. Research. Video and image editing. A squillion types of communications. I don't need Microsoft and that – I think – is exactly the point that Goldman Sachs is getting at here. Most of us don't anymore.

      Some do. Certainly Autocad isn't going to run on Android anytime soon, and there are a squillion legacy apps still stuck on Win32. Frankly, RDP (especially thanks to things like Nvidia's VGX and Microsoft's RemoteFX) is becoming more than capable of delivering legacy apps to non-Microsoft systems. App-V and ThinApp-style applications exist to also help ease the transition.

      For the first time in 30 some odd years Microsoft is actually being forced to compete on merit. They are ill equipped to do so. They have institutionalised mistreatment of their customer base to such an extent that they are corporately incapable of rising to the challenge of getting end users excited about their offerings.

      Microsoft – like Oracle, IBM's mainframe geeks, HP's Itanic division and other legacy vendors – doesn't really have very many customers any more. They have hostages. They aren't competing only against their last version anymore, they are competing against "good enough" offerings from others.

      Is Libre Office a feature-for-feature replacement for MS Office? No. But for most people, it doesn't have to be. Nor does iWork or anything else trying to play the game.

      Browser compatibility is more important than operating system compatibility for the overwhelming majority of users and that given the plethora of options this puts users in a position where they can make choices based on those intangibles like "does the company I'm buying from treat me with respect, listen to my gripes and play ridiculous profit maximisation licensing games that make me feel like I'm dealing with an American cell phone company?"

      What nerds and fanboys don't get is that alternatives don't have to exist for every conceivable use case for a migration to begin. Your market share is whittled away every time someone looks at their budget, says "I have $1500 to buy myself some new shiny," and chooses someone who is not you.

      A fanboy is bound to pop in and say "Microsoft isn't doomed, it's just that people are updating thier systems on longer cycles than before!" I argue that this means they are, in fact, doomed. People are updating their systems on longer cycles because they don't see a need or reason to update! They do see value in an iPad, a Galaxy Note II or a Kindle.

      They are getting something they want – hardware or software that meets their needs – from another vendor. That vendor isn't sitting still, either. Those devices and those vendors are becoming more and more capable every single day.

      So what happens when Aunt Tilly's computer finally breaks? When that Windows PC she's been nursing for 3, 6, or 10 years finally gives up the blue smoke or gets that one, final virus? Do you – Microsoft, fanboy, nerd or otherwise – honestly believe that Aunt Tilly is going to rush out the next day to Staples and buy a new Windows PC?

      Maybe. Maybe not! Maybe fucking not. Isn't that scary, right there? Aunt Tilly may well look at the broken PC and say "you know what, I never use the damned thing. I don't think I'll replace it."

      That is what analysts who understand people - as opposed to those who have attached their nerdy self worth to a corporation or product's success – understand about this whole smartphone/mobile revolution thing.

      It is why Smart TVs will, in fact, be "a thing."

      Why? Because when Aunt Tilly's PC dies and she wanders in to Best Buy…if the Apple TV is sitting there she may just buy it. That Apple TV has a nice big screen, can do everything she used to do on her old PC – including type with a keyboard and use a mouse – but doesn't take up the space that PC used to…she'll choose it. It's about the same price as a PC, but it's got a bigger screen. Besides which, she's been happy with her Apple iPhone and her Apple iPad…why not get the Apple TV?

      This is not a world Microsoft can live in. Microsoft's corporate culture of treating us like substance-addicted prostitutes won't fly in a commoditised world. PCs aren't dead, but Microsoft's dominance is.

      In case you missed it, 2012 was the year of Linux on the endpoint. The endpoint just happened to be in our collective pockets, not on our desk.

      Apple, Google, Microsoft? Who cares? I – like so many others, it seems – am going to use the device/software/ecosystem that works best for me. I am going to look for return on my investment, and actually care about the total cost of ownership. I am going to assign some value to how I am treated by a company, and whether or not my needs are being met.

      The days where I simply do what I am told, eat what's put in front of me and like it are over. I don't have to learn to use whatever interface Microsoft chooses to foist on me. I don't have to use their codecs or live with their DRM or give up my privacy or use only approved apps from only one walled garden store.

      I'm the fucking customer and you will make what I want, or I'll take my custom somewhere else.

      We can't all do that, yet. Some of us are locked in to one platform or another. But when you get there, when you finally get there and realise that this is the power you have; the choice that you can actually make…it is intoxicating.

      Choice. What a novel concept. About fucking time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Windows

        @Trevor

        "You lack imagination and an understanding of how to make technology work for you instead of simply doing whatever the most recent whitepaper you read tells you to do."

        Nah... When it comes to business use, which is what wombat was aiming at IMO, its not an issue of imagination and/or understanding. Its about time. Time = Money. If people can get $stuff done in 3 hours using Microsoft products (no matter the reasoning behind it) then that'll be preferred over $other_technology.

        Then, with more mature businesses, people will also look at continuity. Though not always. A quick solution is preferred; but it also needs to continue working for a good amount of time (usually).

        So if $stuff can be done by introducing $other_technology yet only a select few within the company understand $other_technology it can quickly become a serious liability. Because; what'll happen if said select few for whatever reason are suddenly no longer available?

        There's much more to this topic than mere understanding and the will to do stuff.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: @Trevor

          Sure, there are plenty of good business reasons to keep using MS excusively. No question. But the analysis in the original article wasn't so limited. It was looking at the use of computers in daily life; including emerging markets like Smart TVs.

          That means recognising and accepting that consumer use is part of the discussion...and that computers are no longer merely a business tool. When we look beyond business inertia, we start to see that MS is losing in this wider market. That will affect them in the corporate landscape, just as the "personal computer" evaporated mainframes.

          1. toadwarrior

            Re: @Trevor

            Most businesses I've been in use iPads for tablets and that does include larger companies. I can't think of anyone that doesn't use blackberry or iphones for company smart phones but they'd go android before MS. Businesses might be happy to be locked into MS on the desktop but rarely do they use MS for phones and tablets. The desktop market is shrinking too so whatever some businesses decide to do is kind of irrelevant.

            1. Mark .

              Re: @Trevor

              I love how the consensus here seems to be either that Windows 8 is awful for being more touch friendly because people want keyboards; and also that keyboard/mouse is dead, everyone should throw away computers and use ipads...

              Which is it?

              (As for desktop market, most PCs are mobile in the form of laptops, not desktops.)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @Trevor

                Only you Mark . would read that whole piece and complain about the fact Apple were praised. Frankly it's beyond pathetic. And you call others 'Fanboy'? Sheesh!

                Sorry, Obviously! has probably popped a gasket over it too.

        2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: @Trevor

          Another item; Microsoft no longer owns all the critical protocols and formats. Ask the man why he bought a Mac instead of a Windows notebook: "I can edit Office documents on my Mac, I can't Facetime with my grandkids on Windows."

          The world is larger than the inertia of the fortune 500...and those who recognise that will make...a fortune.

          1. NullReference Exception
            Facepalm

            Re: FaceTime

            "The man" wouldn't have this problem if people used (existing!) open standard protocols for video chat. But everybody uses FaceTime, Skype, and other proprietary solutions because the open software is too fiddly, and nobody except nerds uses it anyway. Sort of like the bad old days with Office documents on the Mac...

            Meet the new boss, same as the old boss... (Where's the RMS icon?)

          2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

          3. Mark .

            Re: @Trevor

            And to think people here still criticise MS for lock-in...

            You can webcam on Windows btw. And since most people use Windows, most people are better off web-camming with something that runs on multiple platforms, rather than just a minority platform like Apple. I guess you asked an Apple fan - for most people, that really doesn't make sense.

            "Facetime" is just Apple's trademark for something that everyone else did years earlier (flagship feature on an iphone 4? This was standard in 2005 on a feature phone).

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Trevor

            and those who recognise that will make...a fortune.

            Except you.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: @Trevor

              @16:47

              I don't ultimately want to make a fortune. It sounds stupid, but I am aware of the price that making that kind of money bears. It exacts a physical and mental toll on anyone ambitious enough to pursue it that far, and it exacts a social toll as well, placing you within entirely different circles of individuals who reinforce the worst of your self-destructive habits.

              I have ambitions towards personal financial independence, maybe even enough to be considered moderately wealthy by the average North American. I don't ultimately want "a fortune." I want the mortgage paid off, the ability to write for a living and the requirement to only work on computers at a strategic level and then only for a few months every year. It would be really cool if I could also save some money to retire; I've a science fiction trilogy I want to write.

              I'm on track to make that goal some time in the next 5-10 years. I don't think any of that is an unreasonable set of goals or expectations of myself. I don't need to come up with the next Great Thing, or run Microsoft. I'm pretty sure I don't want to.

              I want to be able to enjoy spending time with my life. I want to stop working 12 hours a day, go to the gym for a few hours every day, do some gardening, spend time with the kitties and take the lizard for a walk. I want to watch my fish swim around their tank and maybe breed some of the more difficult-to-master species.

              I've done this working myself to death thing. I've decided I'd rather work myself into a life.

              Leave the fortunes for the OCD types and the antisocial. Life is short; I think I'll take the time to enjoy it.

        3. vic 4

          Re: @Trevor

          > If people can get $stuff done in 3 hours using Microsoft products

          I think one of the points you missed is that there are very few tasks that using MS products actually saves you time. Those that are or can only be done on MS software can be done via a VM.

          1. Magnus_Pym

            Re: @Trevor

            If you only look at the back office of a typical business you may see a room full of 'traditional' WinTel desk set-ups. However for the size of the business that room is smaller than it was in 2000, The Sales staff do almost all their work on tablets and smartphones, the directors bring their own stuff and the factory floor have connected devices with built in monitors. The Main business systems are web connectable and this has allowed other OS's to creep in and eat Microsoft's lunch.

          2. Khaptain Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            Re: @Vic

            Which means that they are still being done my MS, the VM is simply an intermediary layer.

            That VM requires a licence, a CAL and the usual other MS niceties.

            1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

              Re: @Khaptain

              The key point is once you have licensed a VM (which for XP is fine though Win7 I think muddied those waters) is you don't have to worry about hardware changes, drivers, etc. Further more, if it is running in more-or-less isolation for specific tasks you have far, far less to worry about in terms of security. To the point where I don't care about my XP VM going out of support in a year or so time.

              The manage-my-whole-network by Microsoft is very attractive for corporate users, and so far Apple & Linux are not nearly as organised, etc, but most people don't want Windows, they want stuff that works and gives them less trouble.

              And MS don't really get that - they foist Metro [insert latest name here] and the office ribbon, etc, on us without the obvious and easy to implement option of just keeping the old way and that means re-training and so on. Change is annoying, and it is gradually getting to the point where going from MS to MS latest is as much trouble for users as going to an alternative.

              OK, Ubuntu et al are not doing themselves much favours either...

            2. Pookietoo

              Re: That VM requires a licence

              On the server, yes - but not on the non-MS client.

        4. John Sanders
          Linux

          Re: @Trevor @ShelLuser

          Because; what'll happen if said select few for whatever reason are suddenly no longer available?

          Hmm you hire more of them? You train some of your stuff? You pay attention to what your business runs on so this doesn't happen?

          1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

            Re: @Trevor @ShelLuser

            Bus factor is always a consideration.. :/

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @mutatedwombat

        Interesting points - except for Aunt Tilly, who is not part of the captive office market that I was talking about. Aunt Tilly is unlikely to have licensed expensive domain specific software that works on Windows and will never be ported to anything else. Aunt Tilly is also unlikely to have invested thousands of man hours in developing custom Visual Basic scripts for Excel or Word, the documentation and authors of which have long disappeared. Also, Aunt Tilly isn't faced with the prospect of having to retrain people who are only used to a Windows environment.

        So yes, Aunt Tilly may well buy a Mac. Or a tablet. I have an Android phone and tablet myself, and have no interest in the Windows 'equivalents'. I don't think too many large companies will be throwing away their Windows based PCs, however, and that provides a customer base that in my opinion will sustain Microsoft for quite some time.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: @mutatedwombat

          If the consumer market leaves Microsoft's cloistered little world, then people at large - people who work in companies, people who administer network and even people who own companies - will start to see and understand a world without Microsoft.

          They will see that it is possible, even enjoyable to move away from the Beast of Redmond. Microsoft is used everywhere only because Microsoft is used everywhere. IT is not (for most people) because they adore the company or the product.

          This is my point. I'm pretty sure it's Goldman Sachs' point as well. The spread of "not Microsoft" in the consumer sphere will eventually erode Microsoft's dominance in the corporate sphere. In fact, I already see it happening, despite the ardent protestations of the fanboys.

          Microsoft is losing the SMB market and is beginning to lose the SME market. This will edge up the stack until even the Fortune 500 are starting to operate heterogeneous environments.

          Perhaps like the massive uptake of non-Microsoft environments at Intel. Or the 30,000 deployed Macbooks at IBM. Those could be examples. It depends on how strongly you feel the need to believe that Microsoft is eternal. But what do I know, it's not like investigating such things is my job or anything...

          As to "sustain Microsoft for some time," youa re 100% correct.

          RIM still sells handsets. Novell still authenticates users. IBM still sells mainframes and HP still ships Itanics. Even Sco still licences their variant of Unix. Microsoft will be around for a long time yet.

          But that doesn't mean it will be anywhere near as important in 5 years as it is today, or that in 10 years it will be aught but a shadow of it's former glory.

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge

            Re: @mutatedwombat

            The spread of "not Microsoft" in the consumer sphere will eventually erode Microsoft's dominance in the corporate sphere.

            Exactly the opposite of what happened 15, 20 years ago: people got PC's with Windows (and before that, DOS for some) on their desk at work, and for compatibility and familiarity reasons chose that for their home system; for some early adopters it may well have worked the other way and as the "computer-knowledgeable one" got to influence the setup of their office environment.

            What happened then is happening again now, and this time Microsoft is not the one offering the new options.

            1. Tom 13

              Re: Exactly the opposite of what happened 15, 20 years ago:

              Actually, that wasn't what happened 25 years ago when PCs started moving into offices.

              Before the IBM PC with MS DOS there was a largely hetero environment of hardware and software. Granted in the home tinkerer market CPM was the big player, but you could find damn near anything. And what those home tinkerers found was that they could hack together stuff they couldn't get out of the mainframe boys so they tried to bring their home systems into the office. But when they did so, the Office Guardians of the Corporate Culture said no (for reasons that are well outlined in a recent El Reg article and which have been biting us on the ass in the non-mainframe world for quite a while now). And IBM looked out and saw they were not getting a piece of that pie. So they said 'Let us enter this market and reap while the reaping is good, but note that it cannot be sustained, so don't waste a lot of R&D money on it.' And the minions went forth and spent no R&D money on it and built the first IBM PC. And when the home tinkerers saw it, it was too expensive to buy for home use. But it was an IBM, and they knew that the Office Guardians would say 'It is an IBM, it is good.' And thus they wer able to get their home program brought into the office and accomplish certain things more quickly, but without the coordination truly large organizations require. And as the IBM PC was adopted in some offices other offices saw that they were at a certain type of disadvantage so they adopted them too. And thus the IBM PC came to dominate the Business World. But then Compaq had a vision. In this vision they saw that because there was no R&D money spent on the IBM PC and there was no sales support money either, there were no patents protecting the hardware and the specs had openly been publishes. So they set about making compatible hardware based on the specs, but at a cheaper price. And they needed the same OS, so they went to Microsoft who granted unto them the same license that had been sold to IBM. From that line eventually came the affordable, and then the cheap home computer. And it spread like wildfire across the civilized world until MS was the monoculture of personal computing.

              The only reason to buy Microsoft is because everyone else has been buying Microsoft. This isn't new and has been true for the last 15 years. It is the same reason MS has had problems moving away from their DOS base. (Hell, we have a critical app here that still depends on an 8-bit DOS app that the programmers can't find a replacement for.) The advent of pure consumer consumption devices doesn't change that. Goldman Sachs hasn't discovered anything, and they are likely wrong about their assertions.

              1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                Re: Exactly the opposite of what happened 15, 20 years ago:

                Sorry, but the CP/M crowd wasn't that big, and was mostly limited to hobbyists and the odd user who had the forward-looking nous to realise that these things were (or at least could be) a spiffy typewriter, an even spiffier calculator and a filing cabinet rolled into one. I know of exactly one non-hobbyist back then (around 1980) who had a computer (a Bondwell portable IIRC) for writing documents and doing spreadsheets. All the other computers around were Atoms, ZX81's and whatever one could find in kit form, with the occasional Apple ][, then Speccy's, BBC's and just about everything else that came along. Usually those systems lived in a nest of flatcables between DIY peripherals.

                When the PC hit the market and started being deployed around offices a lot of companies offered projects where you could buy a PC to use at home, at a reduced price and tax-deductable. And Microsoft jumped on that bandwagon with both feet, allowing you to use WIndows and Office at home if your employer had a business license. IMO the latter is what strongly contributed to the self-sustaining inertia of the Windows environment.

          2. Mark .

            Re: @mutatedwombat

            "They will see that it is possible, even enjoyable to move away from the Beast of Redmond. Microsoft ... Or the 30,000 deployed Macbooks at IBM."

            Seriously - why are people here so eager to praise and what the success of Apple over MS, a company that's trying to block the most successful open source operating system, with software and design patents?

            Not to mention that that would leave us with a company controlling the hardware and OS, rather than just the OS.

            I'd love to see more open source success, and more choice in operating systems. But your vision is of a world with less choice.

            And I could say the same of Apple - just because they still sell "Macbooks" (why not call them laptops or PCs, like for any other company?) doesn't mean it's important.

          3. The Godfather
            Thumb Up

            Re: @mutatedwombat

            Great response. Precise, to the point and entirely accurate. Consumers today are far more relevant than ever in shaping what is produced. Commerce no longer drives the bus.

          4. Andrew Barratt

            Re: @mutatedwombat

            I'm seeing exactly this quite regularly now.

            MS has run the corporate IT eco system for sometime, the proliferation of devices without Windows or the cumbersome nature of getting to work with the rest of the MS infrastructure has lead people down the path of selecting or at least testing alternatives.

            MS has an opportunity with Win8 and surface to show it can easily integrate a tablet into the corporate space - but also that it will play with others in a world where they can't just assume that there will be Windows based servers everywhere. If MS don't get this they are doomed, Android's price point will see it keep on becoming more popular and the management and security tools for Android will become more mature. Interestingly this is who Apple should be most concerned about.

        2. John Sanders
          Linux

          Re: @mutatedwombat

          expensive domain specific software that works on Windows and will never be ported to anything else.

          Wine, VMWare, Virtualbox... etc.

          Many business are doing it already.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. Khaptain Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: @Trevor

        Trevor, that was the worst attempt at a counter argument that I have seen from you for a long time.

        Almost everything you wrote was purely anecdotale. Trevor you are falling into a trap, just because you work for yourself as an IT Consultant does not mean that you have any major insight whatsover into the Business World and certainly not the Corporate Business World, it is really beginning to show.

        I understand that you have your personal methods of working, you have your own quirks that help you get through the day BUT you do not, and are not, representive of the world at large. Please understand this point, it is vital.

        Your articles are becoming more and more about Trevor and less about the common subject , IT.. There is a severe lack of objectivity.

        If I were to sum up your long winded post at the beginning of this article I would use the following two words. "Egomaniacal diatribe". That is not meant as an insult, it is merely a personal observation.

        Do you actually preach this kind Methodology to your clients ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @Trevor

          I work for a Fortune 50 company, and I think Trevor is more in tune with the Corporate world than you. Surprised?

          I use a corporate-issued iPad, a Linux workstation, and a Win 7 PC. The Win 7 PC gets the least use of the 3, since the iPad with Good Enterprise handles my modest Outlook needs and Office reads as I roam around the multi-site campus, while my Win 7 laptop just kinda sits there, too heavy and klunky for the harried pace of a modern corporation. And all of our internal apps and processes (which were developed in Java after all) are now officially supported on desktop Linux where my daily life is easily automated (though they work on Windows, too, of course).

          And no viruses. Hmmm...

          Just saying. Vista opened the door (we largely skipped it and looked elsewhere to keep our productivity train moving), and we just don't need to close it now. We're too freaking productive!

          1. BobChip
            Linux

            Re: @Trevor

            I'm not a large company - as a one-man band I'm anything but. I was also "Vista'd" down the Linux road, perhaps with some reluctance and trepidation at first, as I have to support all my IT myself. I am now in a position where I would no more go back to Microsoft than jump out of an aeroplane without a parachute. Stuff just works, the OS is rock solid - and it is free. Nuf said.

            An additional bonus is that the majority of my key clients have now migrated to Linux as well.....

            I suspect that Goldman Sachs really have have seen the future.

        2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: @Trevor

          I don't preach to my clients. I ask them what they want and I make it happen. When they ask me what they shojld do, I look at thier unique situation - from fnds to existing tech to requirements to the local staffing situation - and tailor a response to their individual needs.

          Why? Do you merely preach the last whitepaper you read? Or is it that you only preach the solutions for which you paid an assload for a cert? Or who took you out for dinner?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Trevor

            Hey Trev,

            >Do you merely preach the last whitepaper you read?

            You like saying that don't you.

      5. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: @mutatedwombat

        What Android telly/set top box is it?

        Just interested.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: @dan55

          Random Samsung. Can't remember tbe model. Fiund instructions to root it online on day, got a terminal, realised is was a Samsung Galaxy S with a television attached. Changed the bootloader and installed cyanogen. :)

      6. S4qFBxkFFg
        Happy

        http://www.marriedbbwslooking.com

        "It's a 47" 1920x1080 screen perfect for doing all sorts of useful work on. In fact, it is generally where I keep browser widows up for research, since the nice large type that appears is easy on the eyes."

        That typo gave me a chuckle, it brings to mind Trevor clicking dating profiles with headlines like "hubby always on internet - curvy girl needs attention".

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Devil

        Re: @mutatedwombat

        Ooooooooooooooooooo NICE rant.....

        I do "work" on these devices. Systems administration. Writing. Research. Video and image editing. A squillion types of communications. +++++++ I don't need Microsoft and that – I think – is exactly the point that Goldman Sachs is getting at here. Most of us don't anymore.+++++++++

        For the first time in 30 some odd years Microsoft is actually being forced to compete on merit. They are ill equipped to do so. They have institutionalised mistreatment of their customer base to such an extent that they are corporately incapable of rising to the challenge of getting end users excited about their offerings.

        Ooooo a splendid rant.

        The days where I simply do what I am told, eat what's put in front of me and like it are over. I don't have to learn to use whatever interface Microsoft chooses to foist on me. I don't have to use their codecs or live with their DRM or give up my privacy or use only approved apps from only one walled garden store.

        I'm the fucking customer and you will make what I want, or I'll take my custom somewhere else.

        We can't all do that, yet. Some of us are locked in to one platform or another. But when you get there, when you finally get there and realise that this is the power you have; the choice that you can actually make…it is intoxicating.

        Choice. What a novel concept. About fucking time.

      8. Captain Hogwash

        Re: "I don't have to ... give up my privacy"

        Android? Er, you kinda sorta do. Unless you haven't infected the device with a Google identifier. I've gone this route on a phone with a custom ROM but it's bloody hard work staying free of the snooping when F-Droid has so few apps.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: "I don't have to ... give up my privacy"

          "Hard work?" I'll root and unlock any Samsung or HTC Android for you in 10 minutes. I'll load the custom ROM of your choice in 5.

          This isn't 2009 anymore.

          And yes, all my phones are rooted. No, Google doesn't track me.

          1. Captain Hogwash

            Re: "I don't have to ... give up my privacy"

            Calm down Trevor. The hard work is not in rooting the phone or installing the custom ROM. It is in having to manage without the apps available only from the Google Play store. Because I have decided not to add a Google account to the phone, most of these are unavailable to me. Many legitimate suppliers only make their software available this way. You say Google doesn't track you and perhaps this is true. But how can you be sure? Furthermore, if you install apps via Google Play, Google knows what apps you have installed and is able to make some (though possibly very crude) inferences about you. This is more information than I believe they should have about me - hence my choice to adopt this modus operandi. Everyone else is free to act differently but as I said originally about not having to give up privacy, on Android you kinda sorta do....unless you act to severely limit the capabilities of the device.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: "I don't have to ... give up my privacy"

              Um...firewalls, hosts file, packet analysis and so forth.

              Also; there are alternate markets. Kindle. Or Appbrain.

              1. Captain Hogwash

                Re: "I don't have to ... give up my privacy"

                Hmmmm. Worth a look I suppose so thanks for the tip. Hopefully neither of those require any sort of ID that can be tied to the device. Otherwise it's just kept the sharp object digging into my soft bits but moved it to another pocket.

                1. Captain Hogwash
                  Unhappy

                  Re: "I don't have to ... give up my privacy"

                  To anyone else thinking of investigating these suggestions, don't waste your time. You can't use these other stores without a Google, Facebook or Twitter ID.

                  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                    Re: "I don't have to ... give up my privacy"

                    @Captain Hogwash Yeah, you have to supply an ID, but so far as I know the appbrain one doesn't track you or maintain a list of the apps you download. (Amazon does.) There are other third-party markets available, and you can always sideload your apps if you really want. (Many developers even post QR codes on their sites linking to APKs.)

                    Really, you just need an APK repository.

                    1. Captain Hogwash

                      Re: "I don't have to ... give up my privacy"

                      @Trevor_Pott I don't know what it does if you use a Facebook or Twitter ID, but use a Google one and it will send you straight to Google Play. Sideloading works if you can get hold of the APKs but that's what's proving impossible (Google won't let you download them to a PC.) As I said in an earlier post, many legitimate software providers only make their stuff available via Google Play. A case in point is Sonos. I once did manage to find an APK in a third party store but it was well out of date and so wouldn't work until it had updated itself....via Google Play - GRRR! If only the developer would allow the APK to be downloaded from their own site there would be no problem.

      9. Mark .

        And "true" market share of ipods is smaller, too

        "Do I have Windows systems? Yes. Do I plan on refreshing them any time in the forseebale future? No. In fact; I am "Libre Office that works with touch, keyboard and mouse on Android" away from being able to walk away from Microsoft for anything except my collection of older Steam games.

        For the actual heavy lifting stuff, I find that all the big apps I need have been ported to OSX."

        It's great that you're smug about being free of Windows and supporting Free software - but then we find you're an Apple user! I never understand that logic.

        Plus it sounds like you're in agreement with the OP - yes, why not include TVs, along with microwaves and washing machines - that Windows has smaller share when you include the market you're looking at is hardly suprising, and nothing new.

        Apple's market share of mp3 players is a lot smaller, if we included all devices that can play mp3s! Or especially, all devices that play music. Why not include all the sales of phones, laptops, tablets, stereo systems, and then see the "True" market share of ipods!

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          @mark

          I'm not an Apple user. I'm a journalist and sysadmin. I use the best suited device for the task. Windows, Apple, Android, Linux, BSD...what-have-you.

          I have no corporate loyalty excpt to ninite.com ;) (Those guys save me a lot of work. They get my one bit of fanboy. Everyone gets one exception.)

      10. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: @Trevor

        I am sitting at work with three screens (1280 * 3 Wide ) * 1024 High of applications, some of which, the following , of which have no viable Unix/Apple equivalants (Avaya ASA, Business Objects, Visio). I have several VMs open which are usually interfaces to the servers.

        These are my standard tools + MS Office Suite, screen real estate still feels limited and users are always crying out for more.

        And yet you guys want to say that you can manage to get your work done on Tablets and Non MS systems. What kind of work do you do ? What kind of "work" does anyone do from a tablet ?

        It feels as though there a lot of Porkies being thrown about this forum...

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: @Trevor

          I've detailed that pretty explicitly already in my comments here. I have also talked about tools I use in my articles. Lots of command line stuff - where I spend most of my non-Office time - and lots of browser-based tools. Lots of browser-based research. Communications...none of this needs Windows.

          Even Spiceworks has a smartphone app.

          I also recall explicitly stating that some folks would still be tied to legacy apps and forced to use Windows. Great reading comprehension. A+++++++. Would troll again.

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: @Khaptain 15:03

          The core of my work is done in character cell terminals. A good chunk of the remainder is by browser, although to get access to those systems I need to open a remote desktop to some Windows crate on the other side of a firewall. Most of those browser-accessed systems tell you to use $DEPRECATED_VERSION of IE, but Firefox (sometimes with its browser identification set to $DEPRECATED_VERSION of IE) works just as well.

          Actual Windows stuff that I currently run on my desktop at work is a problem tracking tool, Outlook, and Office, but there's a WTS I can use for that (a lot of Office stuff is closely tied to Sharepoint, so I suspect that LibreOffice is not quite a viable alternative).

          There's no need for me to have Windows on my desktop, and if the stupid thing karks once more it won't be on my desktop anymore.

        3. Chemist

          Re: @Trevor

          "And yet you guys want to say that you can manage to get your work done on Tablets and Non MS systems."

          What's so suprising about that. Scientist, academics, engineers, designers - lots of them work on non-MS systems. You might not recognize the names of the programs but plenty of them are rather pricy. Before I retired I'd been using Linux plus a host of commercial scientific software for ~6 years, much of that had been ported from SGs and there were several hundred of us in the company so equipped.

          A few comments recently have been along the lines "who needs more computing power - machines are fast enough" - well they may be to edit a document or fill-in a form but there are PLENTY of people who have requirements for as much as they can get. My twin Xeon workstation used to run all the time - many of the day-day requirements needed a run of several days and nights and I had a stack of jobs waiting to run whenever the machine was idle. For the really serious stuff there were several 1-2 K node Linux farms.

          What wimpy kind of work do you do ?

          1. Khaptain Silver badge

            Re: chemist

            A number cruncher...,

            You have just excluded yourself from larger subset known as the majority.. your vote doesnt count. Sorry.

            1. Chemist

              Re: chemist

              A perfectly valid use for a computer - probably the original.

              In any case It wasn't all exotic calculations, there was the real-time use of 3D graphics to study protein structures, analysis with spreadsheets ( no not Excel - that could only handle 16K rows at the time - we had to handle millions) and even writing reports & papers.

              In any case dismissing thousands of people using non-MS solutions just because it doesn't fit your world view or experience only shows how little experience of the world you have. There are lots of other uses out there - CGI, stock trading, machine control ( all the NMR and MS spectroscopy machines where I worked DIDN'T use MS software.

              The majority, by the way, probably only want a browser. If you mean people who work in offices that might be a different matter.

              1. Khaptain Silver badge

                Re: chemist

                @Chemist

                Pushing aside a severe lack of subtlety, it is quite obvious that you cannot be considered as being representative of anything but a tiny minortity of computer users.

                The majority are what is important here, as it is their computer/application usage that determines the sway of what constitutes as Microsofts future income. There are far more secretaries, spread sheet users, accountants etc in this world than there are Chemists, Physicists etc....

                If Microsoft starts to lose market share it will not be because of the people that do jobs such as yours, it will be because IT Managers and CFOs have decided to deploy other solutions to the masses for which they are responsable.

                You have dedicated platforms using dedicated software that was probably not developed for the masses. Is that what you consider to be usefull information in relation to a article which concentrates on the majority not the minority.

                1. Chemist

                  Re: chemist

                  I'm sorry but you were the one who said "And yet you guys want to say that you can manage to get your work done on Tablets and Non MS systems. What kind of work do you do ?"

                  So I told you. This was about MS losing it's stranglehold -well it lost it a long time ago for some people.

                  "I am sitting at work with three screens (1280 * 3 Wide ) * 1024 High of applications, some of which, the following , of which have no viable Unix/Apple equivalants (Avaya ASA, Business Objects, Visio). I have several VMs open which are usually interfaces to the servers."

                  I don't suppose you are representative of the majority either.

                2. alcalde

                  Re: chemist

                  >Pushing aside a severe lack of subtlety, it is quite obvious that you cannot be considered as being

                  >representative of anything but a tiny minortity of computer users.

                  Incorrect. He's representative of the MAJORITY of business computer users. The majority are crunching numbers at their desks - accountants (budgeting, accounts payable/receivable, cash flow projection, etc.), logistics (analyzing bids, optimizing carriers, freight consolidation, etc. along with freight payment), demand forecasting, purchasing is analyzing vendor bids, etc. The other major task is working with data - transforming it (ETL), accepting it, recording it, outputting it, reporting it, analyzing it. It's things like AutoCAD and Photoshop that are not being used by most businesses, let alone most departments or most employees.

                  As such, many of the tools Chemist is using are useful for all sorts of numerical data analysis in addition to any field-specific software. And the reality is that numerical analysis and data manipulation in no way, shape or form depend on Microsoft products.

                  >There are far more secretaries, spread sheet users, accountants etc in this world than there are Chemists,

                  >Physicists etc....

                  And these people, per above, can be quite happy using LibreOffice Writer, Calc, and many other options. In fact, many popular ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) packages which combine everything from accounting and supply chain/logistics to payroll and HR as different modules in one suite use the browser as an interface or are Java-based rendering them OS-agnostic on the client end. Replace Microsoft? Solutions like this enable desktops themselves to be replaced with thin clients or a Chromebook.

                  What I do in business intelligence/data mining today is quite easily done without any help from Microsoft - in fact, given that many Microsoft products such as Excel are historically so buggy that numerous published papers by statisticians warn that Excel simply should not be used for statistical work at all and show Excel failing numerous benchmark tests with some broken functions taking a full FIFTEEN YEARS to fix and getting to the point of having sub-headings like "Does Microsoft Ever Fix Bugs In Excel?" not using Microsoft products is considered the smart move just on pure accuracy reasons. Anyone choosing to employ Excel today - in fact, anyone choosing to continue to patronize a company that lets reported bugs languish (or "fixes" them in ways that make them worse, which is also documented) for a decade or more should be fired for incompetence. They're just choosing the default without doing research. That's without getting into Word's incompatibilities (with itself) and its broken Master Document feature which has also remained broken since Word '95 and leads to data corruption in large documents, Access' various incompatibilities with earlier versions, stripping out features to force the use of MS products, non-adherance to standards, VBA being deprecated, etc.

                  With tools like python (cross-platform), Qt (cross-platform framework), Rapidminer (second-most popular Java-based BI suite), R (amazing mathematical programming language that can essentially do anything math-related and should be used instead of Excel for all but the most trivial tasks and the #1 tool in BI right now), sqlite3 for local databases, PostgreSQL for enterprise-class client/server database functionality (including the unique ability to code stored procedures in python and R), BIRT for web-based reporting, the python modules pandas for class-leading ETL data manipulation (developed by a trading firm and used heavily in financial and scientific areas) and sqlalchemy for ORM, etc. there's no need (or room) for Microsoft products anymore. The R Studio IDE and RapidMiner (via RapidAnalytics) can also run in the browser for use beyond the desktop.

                  I've got more enterprise-class data mining, data analysis, programming, database and machine learning firepower on my desktop today than I did when performing analytics at the HQ of a major billion-dollar U. S. retailer with close to 1000 stores just a few years ago. It's all running on Linux, with one exception it's all Big Three cross-platform (that one exception is a Mathematica-like program that runs on Linux and OS X but NOT WINDOWS), and it's all open source. That's in addition to all of the "glue" from e-mail and browsing to disk burning, backup, mind-mapping, VoIP etc that's also on the system. With slight reconfigurations my setup could be used for developers (replacing the python and IDE with Java/Eclipse, etc.), accountants, authors (slip in Scribus for desktop publishing), everything I used to do in my previous field of logistics, etc. Any general-purpose business task is quite capable of being performed today in Linux or OS X and much of it on more mobile devices as well.

                  There's nothing the masses are doing that they couldn't be doing today on Linux or OS X. In fact, give them Linux and the KDE desktop, and they might not know they're not using Windows!

          2. JEDIDIAH
            Linux

            Re: @Trevor

            A large number of things are being lumped together her just to manufacture a number that's troll bait. They're not equivalent or interchangeable. The only bits that really are are the Macs and PCs. The rest is just silly spin, "statistics", and wishful thinking.

            Although the idea that computing is more than just "secretary terminals" is hardly a new idea. So there is nothing new or shocking in these cooked numbers. They're really nothing to get excited about because nothing has actually changed.

            Phones can now be conflated with desktop PCs but that doesn't alter the big picture much.

            Even if consumers get broken out of their "must be DOS compatible" mindset, you still have to worry about apps and legacy apps especially. "Work" will probably still require terminals.

        4. RudeBuoy

          Re: Khaptain Re: @Trevor

          I agree with you 100% here. I cant stand to use any device with less than DUAL Monitor with 1920x1200 each for serious work. Have two different setup at home two at work one in the warehouse and one set in the office. I also have a couple 47 inch sony FWD-S47H1 that I am waiting for the stands for to add to one of my setup.

          I cant imagine anyone getting serious work done on a TABLET. The question for me is "tool or toy?"When I walk through Sears appliance section and see the sales reps with their tablets I understand their use for that purpose but not for anyone doing serious computing whether it is administration, word processing or development. Makes no sense to me.

          So the big question to Trevor is .. " Is he the exception or the norm?" I suspect that he is the exception. Will he become the norm. That depends on the intensity of the tasks being performed and the frequency. From the amount of comments he has posed on this topic I suspect that it is more a case of him having too much time on his hand and him being more than a little obsessed with tablets.

        5. alcalde
          WTF?

          Re: @Trevor

          > of which have no viable Unix/Apple equivalants (Avaya ASA, Business Objects, Visio).

          You're honestly going to contend that there's no equivalents for telephony, data mining and charting on non-Windows platforms? Really?

          1) Asterisk

          2) Too many to list but Actuate BIRT, Jaspersoft, Pentaho and SpagoBI come to mind, although my BI preference is for a mix of a few different tools rather than one suite

          3) Dia, LibreOffice Draw, possibly inkscape depending on usage

      11. John Sanders
        Linux

        Re: @mutatedwombat

        "'m the fucking customer and you will make what I want, or I'll take my custom somewhere else."

        Example: Many companies developing their software for Linux because you can not virtualize MacOS in VMWare, and the customers want to VMWare everything.

        Linux in the other hand...

      12. albsure

        Re: @mutatedwombat

        easily the best response I've read for ages!! So funny... "hostages" .. "crack ridden ".. lol

        sums it up so well.

        I cant believe that people cant see what is happening out there. Its like stockholm syndrome...

      13. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: @mutatedwombat

        > You lack imagination and an understanding of how to make technology work

        No. He just realizes that a toaster isn't a computer. He realizes that many devices being conflated with general purpose computers are extremely limited in functionality or usefulness and aren't being bought primarily for their computing characteristics.

        They are PCs masquerading as appliances. Why contradict the manufacturer?

        I would love to see Microsoft knocked down a peg as much as the next Linux Zealot but I would rather not be so obviously delusional about it.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          @JEDIDIAH

          I seriously doubt I qualify as a Linux zealot. I spend too much time actually getting shit done and not enough time submitting bugfixes or compiling kernels.

          If I pay for something, it had better work. More to the point, it had better work as advertised and meet the needs I delineated as requiring to be met when I had discussions with the vendor. I don't care if the solution is Microsoft, Google, Apple or some flavour of Linux.

          So now, I'm not a Linux zealot, or an Apple fanboi. I'm not a Redmondian nor a node in the Google hive mind. I'm that rarest of rare things: a technological atheist. I have no religious affiliation with any of the cults out there (except Ninite, but we all get one, right?)

          Pick any company or product and I will gleefully rip it to shreds. Even the best designed stuff has some flaws. The difference between me and the vicious pack of internet piranhas around here is that I don't have technology Stockholm Syndrome. I don't sympathise with my hostage takers. I don't cut them slack and say "next time, next time it will be better…right guys?"

          Bizzarely enough, it seems that consumers are becoming equally fickle. (Which should terrify marketers, because building consumer loyalty has been a cornerstone of the profession for bloody ages.) Something about being bombarded with PR and marketing 24/7 everywhere we turn is raising a new generation of individuals that are functionally immune to this crap.

          Humanity has evolved more reliable bullshit detectors. I just don't let a change in the winds which might threaten my job keep me from acknowledging the fact of it's existence. I rail against VMware for actually spending hundreds of millions of dollars to put people like me out of a job while I spin up their latest greatest on my test lab to prep it for install, documenting it for an article the whole time.

          Technology means adaptation. It means thinking back even 10 years ago to when Google was nobody; a start-up that couldn't possibly threaten the mighty Yahoo. It means remembering dial-up and Netscape, the rise of Linux and the Code Red worm. It means remembering when Exchange shipped with an instant messenger and the wonder of migrating a workload from your SQL server to Azure for the first time.

          Things change. As technologists we need to adapt with that change. Loyalty to any one technology or company is not only stupid…

          …it could ultimately cost you your career.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @JEDIDIAH

            Too bad I can upvote only once. I can't say that I agree with Trevor every time (not even on the original article), but this is the best comment I've seen here in years. Spot on sir !

            Back OT: I, as most commentards here, am not an average user. But I do deal with them, and since distributing Windows Phone 8 devices I've seen only happy faces. These are basic users who need to call support to change basic settings. And they don't, which is a Good Thing.

            Why WP8 ? Simple: where I work people get a budget for smartphones. iPhone isn't an option for most users (price too high), the Android devices in the price range (between 200 and 250 euro unsubsidised) are mostly crap. The EAS implementation sucks, they are often not responsive, and most importantly: the users don't like them. The HTC8S devices now in use have none of these issues. they have others which would be an issue for me, but I'm not the average user. Remember: these are the average users/employees where I work. We have a BYOD policy, they get budgets, and... They don't care. No one, and I mean NO ONE, wanted OSXon the desktop or Android on a phone.

            So don't count on MS being out of the game just yet.... Especially since (I haven't read all the comments yet, I,m halfway through) no one here has said anything about Exchange/Sharepoint/SCCM or any other MS server product yet. Those products are, in my opinion, where the profit is for MS. After all, business users with iDevices or Android tablets are more often than not getting their mail from MS servers.

      14. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Certainly Autocad isn't going to run on Android anytime soon..."

        To be fair, the apps that Autodesk have produced on both Android and iOS are looking mighty promising. I'd say the real reason that we won't see AutoCAD is because manufacturing is mostly PLM and architecture is moving to BIM solutions, so there isn't much need for AutoCAD any more.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: "Certainly Autocad isn't going to run on Android anytime soon..."

          @AnotherNetNarcissist I'll defer to your subject matter expertise on that. I havent' had any opportunity to use Autodesk's iOS or Android apps.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: LOL

      And digital watches...and handheld games consoles..

    3. Mark .

      Re: LOL

      Couldn't agree more.

      If we're looking at "any kind of computing device" this is nothing new. I'm sure that the media want to pretend it's something new, as part of some Windows decline, but we've had mobile phones being mainstream for ten years (Symbian was dominant until 2011 - and why stop at "smartphones" when "feature" phones are also mobile computers, just with a different marketing name?), and before that, we also had games consoles. It's also long been obvious that phones will sell more than PCs (phones are intrinsically something one person has, where as many people still share computers; and people upgrade phones more often).

      I'm sure people could make the same claim about the popularity of ARM versus Intel - but again, it's nothing new! I remember in the 1990s reading an article pointing out that actually it was ARM that was very popular, on par with Intel, because of all their use in embedded and mobile hardware.

      It's also worth noting that this kind of argument makes every platform look smaller. So Windows is only 20% - but OS X and GNU Linux are also a lot smaller. And Android is no longer at 75% in mobile, it's a lot smaller. Let's throw in all those feature phones too, as I say, and watch the share for Android and Windows go even smaller... (Nokia's S40 still probably sells more than Android, for example.)

      That's not to say that it isn't interesting to look at operating system share as a whole, on all kinds of devices - but it's nothing surprising to see a different picture, nor is it anything new.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yay! Die MS die.

    I for one will help in MS's demise by dissuading anyone from buying MS stuff.

    1. dssf
      Joke

      Re: Yay! Die MS die.

      For ms, i bet Goldman "SUCHS"...

      (ok, grumble...)

  3. Jan Hargreaves
    Coat

    Yup I bet all the traders for goldman sachs are using 4 iPads or Nexus' hooked up to each other...

    Oh... wait....

    Tablets are okay for a bit of work on the go but if you want to do anything serious you need a proper machine.

    Goldman Sachs... they took all our money five years ago.. why should we listen to these fraudsters. They've probably just shorted a load of Microsoft stock before releasing this "report"

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. Kev Beeley

      Exactly my thoughts

      When companies such as Goldman Sachs, or credit agencies like Standard & Poor's 'announce' such things, my first thought is "So, who are they attempting to make money for NOW?". Strikes me as nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy after this.

      1. ShadowedOne
        Meh

        Re: Exactly my thoughts

        When companies such as Goldman Sachs 'announce' anything, my first thought is usually along the line of 'pull the other one, it's got bells on'.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Few use the "smart" features of smart TVs

    Yeah, I'm sure several Reg readers are getting ready to thumb me down and/or reply because they use these features all the time, but Reg readers are hardly representative of the world at large. People buy smart TVs for the same reason they buy 3D TVs - because these features are included in all but the low end models despite the fact that few would pay anything extra for the feature if were a separate add on (for example, if when you bought a TV you were given the opportunity to pay $10 to enable smart and/or 3D functionality)

    TV makers are struggling to find an added-value feature people are willing to pay for. It wasn't 3D, it isn't smart, the next try will be 4K, which will be another miss and back to the drawing board to try to come up with the killer feature no one wants.

    When it becomes normal for the typical smart TV owner to fire up the built in browser to check a web site or use it to check their Gmail or work Exchange account, I'll agree with Goldman Sachs that smart TVs are as disruptive as the tablet. I won't be holding my breath. BTW, before someone claims that streaming Netflix makes a TV a "smart TV" I'll preemptively disagree. That's just giving the end run to the high prices/small selection your cable/satellite company charges for on-demand, not actually adding any new functionality - you're still using your TV as a TV.

    1. Richard Plinston

      Re: Few use the "smart" features of smart TVs

      > someone claims that streaming Netflix makes a TV a "smart TV" I'll preemptively disagree. ... - you're still using your TV as a TV.

      Which replaces using your Windows PC as a TV.

      1. dogged
        Stop

        Re: Few use the "smart" features of smart TVs

        Almost nobody uses a windows PC as a TV. They use XBoxes and other STBs to add value to TVs. Therefore, there's hardly any market share to lose.

        1. alcalde

          Re: Few use the "smart" features of smart TVs

          >Almost nobody uses a windows PC as a TV. They use XBoxes and other STBs to add value to TVs. Therefore,

          >there's hardly any market share to lose.

          Nobody's watching YouTube videos on their PC? Netflix? Hulu for tv shows? Amazon Video On Demand? Bittorrent for... well, you know? Why is XBMC still in existence if no one is using their PC to watch tv? What about the periodic articles on Lifehacker and elsewhere about how to get rid of cable and just use your PC/the Internet?

          I got RID of my tv years ago and my PC does double duty... well, it's also my stereo, my phone, my DVD player, and I guess it's also my mail box thanks to e-mail and online bill pay.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Few use the "smart" features of smart TVs

        >> someone claims that streaming Netflix makes a TV a "smart TV" I'll preemptively disagree. ... - you're still using your TV as a TV.

        >

        >Which replaces using your Windows PC as a TV.

        Nope. A Roku doesn't quite manage that. Neither does an AppleTV. Both represent pre-alpha releases of what a PC was capable of doing 6 years ago. That's why those of us prone to using PCs with our TVs are not stopping any time soon.

        We are demanding early adopters. We won't eat dirt. We might even pay a premium that "normal" people would refuse.

        That's why there will always be a place for something that's not an appliance. That's what caused the rise of the PC to begin with. (people needed/wanted more)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Few use the "smart" features of smart TVs

          "there will always be a place for something that's not an appliance."

          Why does "not an appliance" have to mean "must be x86 PC". Unless you're Wintel dependent, obviously.

          What is a Wintel PC if not an expensive and somewhat programmable appliance available in various skins all of which are largely built to specifications written by (and largely benefiting) Intel and Microsoft?

          Before you hit the downvote button, look at the names behind the industry standard PC "system design guides" such as PC97 (to PC2001) and the less visible successor documents which have largely dictated form and function of PCs for the last decade or more.

    2. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

      Re: Few use the "smart" features of smart TVs

      As a tech savvy owner of a non-smart TV purchased 2 years ago. I must say I really don't like the idea of smart TVs. I rather hav a RaspberryPi or something similar hooked up to the TV(or even a x86 system). It gives me *shock* CHOICE of what I can do. And am not limited to a specific system.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: Few use the "smart" features of smart TVs

        I have lots of choise with my TV. Shipped with some backwards-ass Linux derivative. I rooted it and installed Android. How do you not have choice just because the hardware is in a case?

  5. MIc

    Ms hate

    Its weird that there is all this hate towards MS still. The anti trust stuff is long over. There is plenty of choice in the tech world. Why is it so vogue to hate that company?

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Ms hate

      Because they don't listen to customers, attempt to bamboozle us at every turn, have byzantine and purposefully misleading licensing, are insanely expensive and generally treat customers like shit.

      The better question is "why do some people feel that pointing out flaws in Microsoft's actions, products or strategies is akin to personally attacking them as individuals?" How and why do people let themselves get so attached to a company that they marry their sense of self worth to it?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. dssf
        Thumb Up

        Re: Ms hate

        A thumbs up to you, sir. Bang on description.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ms hate

        "The better question is "why do some people feel that pointing out flaws in Microsoft's actions, products or strategies is akin to personally attacking them as individuals?" How and why do people let themselves get so attached to a company that they marry their sense of self worth to it?"

        Trevor, you've been in this industry for a while and you should know. You're suggesting that the livelihoods of a large percentage of the Register's readership are in danger, and people, no matter how rational they think themselves to be, will generally go apeshit if they think someone is taking away their cheese. Not to mention these are the readers who've staked their entire careers on one company's technology when times were good, and now that the market is changing, as it always does, refuse to believe that their choices could possibly be wrong. "A few minor incursions into Gaul and Dalmatia, but Rome itself is safe."

        Realistically, Microsoft is so entrenched that even if every decision Ballmer, or whoever replaces him, makes totally flops, they can coast on the installed base for another 10 or 20 years. And that's often a deadly trap, because it hides the effects of incompetence until it is far too late to reverse course.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Ms hate

          You're probably right. Personally, I think that these people don't need to worry; their skills will port away from MS and to other platforms. Mine did. I guess they just need to have a beer and think about things more calmly.

          As to "they can coast on the installed base for another 10 or 20 years," I think that depends entirely on how hard they squeeze the lemon to extract the juice. Oracle started squeezing too hard and there was a mass exodus. Now they have to continually ramp up the prices, turning the lever on a shrinking number of customers to get any traction. Meanwhile, NoSQL and other Big Data technologies are exploding.

          As I've said before, Microsoft isn't going to disappear overnight. Novell is still with us, as is RIM…people still buy IBM mainframes, for $deity's sake! The question is simply "how much of the empire do they lose to the Gauls?"

          Microsoft is not irretrievably fucked. They have a massive amount of cash, a huge install base, millions of loyal fans and some of the smartest, most capable people on the planet. They have to make a a handful of really hard decisions to be able to adapt to the new world. So far, they don't seem capable of recognising the necessity; they still believe that they can alter the course of the market through the force of their sheer largesse.

          I don't believe this is the case. I don't believe that they can simply force "Microsoft on every device" on the world and licence – and CAL – appropriately. I don't think that their obsession with fat clients, with licensing one copy of Office, Windows and everything else for multiple devices is really going to work. I don't think people are going to buy into this subscription thing…at least not at the prices they want.

          If I am right, and Microsoft is wrong, then the market will shift under them in a big way, and it will shift fast. Microsoft can prevent this all with a simple licensing tweak; a few changes and they can maintain their dominance. Unfortunately, I don't think they see the necessity, let alone have the corporate will to implement it.

          What then? What do they become? How much of the empire do they lose and how fast?

          That depends more on their competitors executing properly than it does on Microsoft's failure to read the market. Microsoft's competitors are not standing still, and Microsoft's inability to make the tough calls is giving Apple, Google and others the opportunity to fail their way to success.

          The next two years are going to tell the tale.

          1. danolds
            Thumb Down

            Re: Ms hate

            The thing that many seem to overlook is that there are usually good and valid reasons why firms buy technology that some seem to think are archaic. You, and others, seem to be holding up the mainframe as an example of a stupid buying decision. But even today, there are things that mainframes can do that other systems can't do as easily or as inexpensively. The same follows for commercial Unix's too. Unix based system running AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris are highly integrated solutions that do things and have characteristics that can't be duplicated in Linux or other alternatives without a lot of clunging, cost, and risk. Smart phones don't have the same functionality as tablets and tablets can't do the same kind of work as efficiently as laptops. And there aren't any laptops that can handle the same power-hungry chores that come easy to a beefy desktop or workstation.

            My main contention is that these competiting technologies aren't exact substitues for each other. Implying that an organization or individual is somewhat thick if they buy a mainfram, commercial Unix box, Windows based systems, or whatever technology you happen to NOT be in love with at the moment is provacative and makes for a fun flame war. But it doesn't have anything to do with the reality that tech decision makers wrestle with daily.

          2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ms hate ... Not to mention

          @4:07

          [i]You're suggesting that the livelihoods of a large percentage of the Register's readership are in danger, and people, no matter how rational they think themselves to be, will generally go apeshit if they think someone is taking away their cheese. Not to mention these are the readers who've staked their entire careers on one company's technology when times were good, and now that the market is changing, as it always does, refuse to believe that their choices could possibly be wrong.[/i]

          Those people are such Bitches!

        3. toadwarrior

          Re: Ms hate

          I'd say Microsoft is as strong as it is now purely because people don't want to learn new things for their job. They'll get enough mileage out of the current generation of employees but as they retire them MS may have problems.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Trevor_Pott

        <quote>

        The better question is "why do some people feel that pointing out flaws in Microsoft's actions, products or strategies is akin to personally attacking them as individuals?" How and why do people let themselves get so attached to a company that they marry their sense of self worth to it?

        </quote>

        You could easily replace the word "Microsoft" with "Apple" there...

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: @Trevor_Pott

          Or Google, or Oracle, or IBM...

      5. VaalDonkie

        Re: Ms hate

        "Because they don't listen to customers, attempt to bamboozle us at every turn, have byzantine and purposefully misleading licensing, are insanely expensive and generally treat customers like shit."

        Ever had dealings with Apple?

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Ms hate

          Apple is expensive, but their lisencing is clear and simple. They are pirates olundering your wallet, but they are straightforward about it. I respect that.

      6. MIc
        Stop

        Re: Ms hate

        I didn't mean to imply that its not ok to direct some hate. It was a genuine question as to why. I realize that genuine questions on the interWebz are hard to come by so I understand the confusion.

        However I do have more genuine questions regarding some of your comments.

        How exactly do the bamboozle "us" and why should I think their licensing is purposely misleading?

        Data please...

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Ms hate

          @Mic

          Okay, that's a huge topic. Please understand that if I try to be brief with my answer here it isn't because I am trying to dodge the topic. The motivation is far more mercilessly capitalistic: I think your question is a damned good one, and it deserves the kind of answer that A) I'd really like to get paid for providing and B) The Register should be able to advertise against.

          In short: I'll give you the info here in the comments that will allow you to do the research on your own, but the full run down will have to wait for the Feature I am working on. (You'd be surprised just how much research I've put into this already.) I hope that comes across as fair.

          First item: VDI licensing. Remote access of any kind, really. That means VDI as "a virtualised copy of an operating system you access only remotely" or "RDPing into your home/work PC." The rules surrounding this are byzantine and asinine. They are designed to strongly discourage the use of VDI in an attempt to cling to the fat client model. Look it up, but make sure you have a bottle or six of scotch to hand when you do.

          Second item: CALs. The entire concept of CALs belies the way modern systems work. "Per CPU licensing" for things like SQL is strongly discouraged if you ever actually talk to MS reps – such as during an audit – in favour of a CAL for every user. So how – exactly – are you supposed to use SQL for things like a web application? How do CALs work when something like SQL has no users, because the only things using it are automated services?

          This gets really, really complicated quite quickly. I've been asked to hand over my customer list by one auditor because they felt that the only fair way to license this was to ensure we paid a CAL for every single customer we had, as they had "the potential to submit an order to a web service which would (via shell script) convert that order into something injected into SQL which would then be picked up by a robot for action." Others said I could/should just get a per-processor SQL license. Still others said that I should only get two per-device CALs, one for each automated system accessing the server.

          Are we having fun yet?

          Third item: Backups. There are still provisions in Microsoft licences that basically say "you must pay a licence for every copy of this software, whether it is in use or not." This has been interpreted by MS auditor types to mean "every copy of a VM in cold storage must have a license." #facepalm

          Fourth item: Service Provider licensing for VDI. I just…I can't talk about this. I have too much rage.

          There's more – don't get me started on exchange or Lync! – but it should give you a place to start, and this is already 500 words…

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ms hate

            @Trevor

            You've got a valid point regarding licensing... But the same can be said of all EULA's. I deal with it in a simple manner: we pay what we deem reasonable, if an auditor thinks it's not enough I have a quiet chat with an MS sales droid (no pun intended) and the problem miraculously goes away. I don't work for a Fortune 50, 500 or 100000 company, but it still works. I haven't even had to use the old sock-and-a-half-brick argument yet.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: Ms hate

              @21:53

              Well, bully for you then. That doesn't work here. I can generally negotiate with any other company just fine...but Microsoft doesn't negotiate a damned thing below 500 seats around here. Even then, if you are less than 1000 seats, be prepared to fight for months.

              When I factor in the cost of my time to do those negotiations, it is less cost to simply pay to have staff retrained for an alternate solution and exit Microsoft's ecosystem. They provide me software I want with standardised, comprehensible licensing at a price I am willing to pay or I purchase from an alternate vendor.

              What is so hard to understand about that? The fact that Microsoft's licensing has gotten more byzantine (and expensive) while competitors have reached not only "good enough" but are starting to close the feature gap on the more obscure features only hastens the jettisoning of these heavy-handed fools.

              I am not a substance-addicted prostitute reduced to turning tricks for my next hit. I resent being treated as such by a vendor who should instead be seeking to form a partnership with me and vying for my ongoing loyalty.

              It's 2012. I am no longer the dependant one in this relationship.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ms hate

        Guess what: they're a vendor like any other. If you don't like pricing or licensing but you do like their product, you can negotiate. I've done so with great success. Granted, t took a month or two... But it saves about 20K quid a year. AC because I'm not really allowed to discuss this. Not because of MIcrosoft, but because of rules and regulations at the workplace.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Ms hate

          @21:37

          No, I don't get to "negotiate." My business and most of my clients are SMBs or into the SME territory. 20K quid a year "saved" on licensing? You're into the licensing budget for an entire refresh cycle for most of these shops. You don't get to negotiate fuck all at those levels. And guess what…there are a hell of a lot more SMBs than SMEs and a hell of a lot more SMEs than large enterprises.

          So put your waving cock back in your pants and think outside the scope of your own experience.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ms hate

            Take a deep breath and calm down. If you have to deal with MS auditors I assumed you were talking about the SME market. Auditors for me are the guys that come in after the cops have sealed the building. I was not "waving my cock" as you se eloquently put it, and the 20K is about 30% of the yearly MS budget. I do think outside of my experience (I do consultancy for SMB's, aka shops with 2 or 3 users). They have never seen an "auditor", and they probably never will. If you have seen them, I wholeheartedly agree that the experience is not one to cherish.

            If my comment has offended you in any way, my apologies. I do often wave my cock around, but only in the privacy of my own home. Still AC, but believe me: I'd rather not.

            1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

              Re: Ms hate

              Here in Canada, the instant you buy an Open Licence product - or anything else volume licensed - you are audited. The pesky little twerps e-mail you and demand an accounting of things. It can take months and often amounts to little more than extorting more licences out of you to meet some obscure clause somewhere in a license agreement.

              You could try to fight it - but then the pull out some other obscure clause which allows them to do an on premise inspection. You could of course use automated tools to do your audits as well, but that doesn't change much if you were in fact telling the truth the first time.

              You don't get to negotiate much with Microsoft. You don't have "wiggle room." At least not here in Western Canada.

              For that matter, if you are playing with budgets where $20K is “a third of the MS IT spend for a year,” you’re still way over the moon for 80% of my customer base. Most of them have IT budgets that are in the $15K for hardware and software over three years. A handful have budgets that are $100K for hardware and software over six years. (And they are trying to push that to 8.)

              Now, Microsoft is a large organisation and they will behave differently in different markets. But I can tell you about the markets I have worked in. In Western Canada, in Toronto, in Silicon Valley and in Austin, for deployments where the total Microsoft spend is less than $50K over the course of 6 years, Microsoft not only gives no fucks whatsoever about the customer, they are actively hostile and continually try to extort more licences.

              In Western Canada specifically, touching their volume licenceing with a 20-foot poll means instant audits with a laser focus on one thing and one thing only: getting every single licence you have moved to SA. Any other option is not well received, and the sales nerds have nothing whatsoever to do with the audit henchmen. They are from completely different companies (the audit nerds being third-parties hired by Microsoft who simply audit every company on the list they possibly can) that don’t interact.

              You can lean on the sales nerds all you want – or on other parts of Microsoft, if you have access – and it won’t have any effect on the douchbaggery of the audit nerds whatsoever. Nor will the crappy treatment you get from the audit nerds help drive down the price of any of the software: they don’t negotiate at these levels.

              So yeah, I consider the concept that Microsoft’s licensing department is “easily dealt with” or that “you can just negotiate the problem away” to be cock swinging. It is the guy in the Hummer not comprehending why the bloke in the Pinto can’t climb the rugged mountain track littered with fallen trees to get to the lookout point at the up of the mountain before nightfall.

              “It’s easy” says the Hummer owner. “You just push the pedal and drive over.”

              So it is indeed a question of experience. If your experience with Microsoft has been favourable; a veritable bed of roses populated with beautiful, rational people who are inviting and joyous, great. Don't change vendors. That would be stupid! Sounds like things work well for you.

              For those of us, however, who receive aught but abuse from this Vendor, do you advise that we simply "take it" with a smile on our collective faces? I think not.

              People like me – or my clients – have no recourse. There is no "court of appeals." If you get the douchebag brigade as your local reps then you're just plain fucked. Entirely aside from that, none of this resolves the terrible licensing issues that do affect everyone: things like the VDI licensing, or turning the wrench on per-user CALs to keep the stock from crashing.

              When you have no troubles finding the cash to meet any requirements, or when the vendors are willing to negotiate and your time spend negotiating has no value, it's certainly easy to wave off interactions with these people. When you're trying to do the best you can for honest hardworking folk under impossible circumstances with virtually no budget, then dealing with Microsoft is a costly aggravation that quickly moves beyond the real of "makes business sense to keep at it."

              I used to champion Microsoft, you know that? Was a big fanboy for a long time, when everyone thought they were pretty crap. Ultimately, despite having a lot invested in wanting Microsoft to turn out to be awesome, in having spend my entire career learning their stuff, implementing it and maintaining it…it all amounts to nothing.

              People like me don't have a voice within Microsoft, and they don't treat us any better at the negotiating table. We are told what we shall use and Microsoft demand we alter our business practices and workflow to suit their licensing model.

              I try very hard not to preach. Not to my customers and not through my articles. I do, however, let off steam here in the comments section of El Reg, because it is "safe" to do so. There are only a few hundred – of a total readership of over 6.6 Million – regular commenters. They are all pretty hard-boiled and opinionated to begin with. My ranting and raving here in the comments won't affect anyone's viewpoint, and Microsoft – who doesn't listen to their own "partners" – sure as hell isn't going to waste a social media nerd's time getting the pulse of the wailing hoi polloi down here in the depths of the deep web.

              So you'll excuse me if there is a small element of hyperbole (and really, over time the hyperbole has shrunk, not grown) to me comments. Microsoft's licensing shenanigans are a blocker to innovation and I have been burned more than once. The VDI service Provider thing alone…

              AUUUGH.

              I'm going to have a beer now.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Ms hate

                Thanks Trevor.

                It's refreshing to see someone invest a commendable amount of effort into actually explaining the situation while most of us cowardly commentards can barely manage an anonymous monosyllabic slanging match.

                Your efforts won't make a blind bit of difference of course. We ALL already understand. Those of us with a modicum of intelligence and the freedom to choose will never again allow the Microsoft Corporation anywhere near valuable data. EVER. No matter how desperately they try to ram themselves into a position to pwn it. Meanwhile the -sheeple- -paytards- -shills- -fanbois- -fandroids- rest will go on worshipping their great provider until such time as it's become so weak and marginal that they have to pull their heads out of (in this case) Microsoft's arse and look for an alternative. In ten years they could easily have become Google/Apple/Oracle/Amazon/Canonical apologists decrying anything which looks like rocking their comfortably numb monopolistic boat. Some people are simply afraid of -fear- -uncertainty- choice, others are actually paid to post propaganda to fora. No doubt we've got them all here.

                1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                  Re: Ms hate

                  @02:17

                  Oh, it isn't about making a difference. Venting in the comments is aught but catharsis for me. If anyone else gets something out of it, great! These forums are my goddamned bridge and I am going to exact the toll of my own frustrated sanity on those who seek to pass. #muahahahahaha

                  Cheers!

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Ms hate

                I hope the beer did the trick. I'm the cock swinging AC by the way... I understand your frustration, I've had it in the past. I realize that I'm in a privileged position regarding budgets, I just wanted to add a few things :

                - I can negotiate with MS with (for EMEA) "only" 200 seats. APAC is a different story, I'm working on that one.

                - I managed this by "networking", i.e. going to the odd event, meeting and talking to different people

                - negotiations did take a couple of months, and the 20K a year was saved because they fucked up and I was able to prove this

                - my time has value, but the savings for the company I work for make up for the time spent. I won't be getting a bonus for this, it's part of the job description. FYI: the savings made are close to my annual pay check.

                - most important: after all this time I've managed to have a good relationship with MS sales, licensing, and support. And I use the contacts I made on the day job to help out the small SMB's. Not just for MS, same thing goes for ISP's, Adobe, HP, IBM, etc...

                In short: I try not to deal with companies but prefer to find and deal with the people inside that can make stuff happen. Maybe it's different in Canada. If I ever get there, I'll buy you a pint or two. If not I'll ask one one of the company sales droids to do it on my behalf.

                1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

                  Re: Ms hate

                  @14:11

                  I manage to negotiate with nearly every company in the tech sphere. The exceptions to this are Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and Citrix. I know how the game is played - you don't make the contacts required to write articles about things if you can't play the game - but Microsoft doesn't play the game here. In fact, they behave pretty much exactly like all those other legacy vendors desperately clinging to to their customer base whilst simultainiously turning the knobs on them.

                  There are no "people who can make things happen" here. There is simply massive, faceless bureaucracy, terrified of stepping outside the clearly established rules and held to account for every single dime. Long term thinking is not only discouraged, ti isn't allowed. Make this quarter's numbers.

                  Or else.

                  So yeah, no love for Microsoft's waste-of-carbon licensing department. They are some of the only people on the face of this planet that I put into the same category as Dick Cheney: I really, truly, honestly hope that a rock from space hurtles down through the atmosphere, glowing white hot with the fires of reentry and annihilates the bastards where they sit.

                  There are people at Microsoft I cherish and respect. But the sons of bitches in the licensing department are not among them.

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: Ms hate

      Three words: Embrace, extend, extinguish.

      Most recent case: the netbook, which was a thriving market until Microsoft released a cutdown version of XP to run on them (Embrace, leaned on manufacturers to beef up the specs to run it (extend), then forced them to limit their functionality so they wouldn't compete with Vista laptops (extinguish). The result; netbooks fell even faster than they rose.*

      The old timers out there can point out other examples, dating back to the 1980s. So while yes, there is plenty of other choices out there, there would have been much more choice today if Microsoft hadn't tried it's damnedest to control the entire market. (BEOS, DR Dos, and the QNX desktop are some choices that Microsoft successfully stomped out of existence.)**

      *I'll give Apple their due here. Jobs saw what was coming, and did a sweet end-run around Microsoft's blindside by incrementally (iPod, then iPhone, then iPad) bringing the fondleslab to market, even as the netbook rose and fell.

      ** No, Amiga doesn't count. Commodore did that all by themselves. (Less shot themselves in the foot, more aimed a 15 inch gun at their own crotch and fired, repeatedly.

    3. E Haines

      Re: Ms hate

      Having the "anti trust stuff" be "long over" doesn't really make MS any better of a company now than it used to be. That wasn't even the reason people didn't like MS, and the actual reasons haven't gone away.

    4. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Ms hate

      Software patents (not the only bad actor).

      Secure boot (Luckily there are alternatives).

      Dictating laptop specifications to OEMs (OEMs share some blame for temporarily blocking small cheap computers).

      Damaging ISO badly enough to get OOXML approved as a 'standard'.

      Anti-trust being 'over' is a strange idea. In the US, Microsoft got the judge changed, and liked the new sentence so much that they asked for (and got) more time to think up some extra punishments. In the EU, we got a browser choice screen and media player sold separately, but the price of IE still included in the price of the computer even if you never wanted it. The only things antitrust has achieved are some fines that provided extra tax revenue and active directory support in Samba (I use NFS).

      Much of what irks me about Microsoft are actions in the past that still affect the present. What they are doing now is backfiring as much as it is peeving. I used to buy Windows laptops, wipe out Windows and install Linux. That means I am counted as part of the Microsoft market share. Thanks to secure boot, that is no longer true. OEMs are still clinging to the hope that I will buy a £599 laptop, but small cheap computers are out there from other sources, and the OEMs know they can either join the party or sulk alone.

      Microsoft's death throws are going to be with us for a few more years, and they will involve patents and ever more desperate attempts to keep OOXML relevant. Microsoft are firmly on the path to being a legacy OS. Even the games makers are jumping ship. Watch the market share fall and the prices rise as the development costs are divided by a smaller customer base. Next up: Intel admit too late that they have to compete on price, but won't have the market share to sell a cheap profitable x86.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ms hate

      "The anti trust stuff is long over" you say. Well, well. Better tell the EU quick, before they make some silly mistake. They seem to be under some misunderstanding about Microsoft reneging on its desktop browser monopoly mitigations. Fuckwit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ms hate - have they paid the fines yet?

        Have MS actually paid any of the EU anti-trust fines yet, or are they still subject to appeal?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other shocking news, Goldman Sachs also reports that....

    the orange's true market share is considerably less than 10% out of all fruits and vegetables sold instead of just in the fruit market. It was also found that the refrigerator's true market share is less than 10% when it was compared against other goods sold like tables/chairs/kettles/knives/teaspoons and other household items and utensils.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so the Vampire Squid is long AAPL....

    And worrying about the recent crash in their stock price. So they do what they always do and issue a 'research report' that talks up their own book. And the Muppet reg readers believe them as it supports their own confirmation bias. And then Trevor Pott writes paragraph after paragraph of inane drivel in the comments section and we all laugh at him again. Just another day in the tech blogsphere....

  8. A Long Fellow
    Go

    I hate to admit it, but...

    ...I think Goldman Sachs are pretty close on the money here. A smartphone can certainly do some things that used to be the domain of a laptop. Tablets sound an even louder death-knell for the Windows hegemony: it's possible to use them instead of a laptop for some more purposes -- a tablet user sitting on a train, typing into GoogleDocs can get a fine start on some work that is picked up at the home or the office. Nothing to install, no licenses to worry about, no viruses...

    Yes, there will be Very Loud and Impressive Boys on this board who will insist that You Cannot Do Real Work on anything other than Office on Windows... but that's a minority. Most people can do lots of work without that combination, and it is the breaking of a monopoly that bodes ill for Microsoft. When you can't count on everybody having your particular variety of application and platform, you start thinking in more heterogeneous terms -- which brings us straight to Trevor Pott's eminently sensible argument.

    1. The Godfather
      Thumb Up

      Re: I hate to admit it, but...

      Long Fellow's always get it right..

    2. E Haines

      Re: I hate to admit it, but...

      Indeed, I know several families who barely use their PCs anymore because they've pretty much replaced them with iOS and Android devices. Not intentionally, mind--they get an iPhone or whatever and just gradually turn on the PC less and less, since a lot of what they used it for is more conveniently done on a mobile device. So people talking about "but what about dishwashers and feature phones" are missing the point...yes this is a relatively new thing; this situation with computing devices wasn't possible 10 years ago.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Device?

    How big is a device? What is a device? I know how to speak English - hopefully. That term is very vague. Yes, even in the computing industry it is vague. AFAICT, a device is somewhat small. Normally you can hold devices in one hand. Are we considering devices vs. computers? Maybe. But then what is a computing device. Now this technically means any device used for computing. This means you have to include servers and soroban. Unless we know exactly what devices were included in the report, it's pretty meaningless. Shall we talk about virtual devices now?

    In any case, it's nice to see MS decline. However, I don't like the Android or Google trend either. Yes, as a professional I make decisions some what how ShelLuser described the situation. As for humanity and computing at large, most of these large corporations are a "Very Bad Thing" (TM).

  10. Arctic fox
    Megaphone

    While I would agree in principle that the decline in the.............

    ...........centrality of Windows in the modern computing world is a positive development I wonder how many here have thought of the implications with regard to what comes next. Anyone actually happy with the prospect of Mountain View and/or Cupertino controlling the market is not actually thinking things through. Indeed it could get worse if "the big three" in their joint bid for Kodak's patents are edging towards a "peace settlement". Such a settlement (if it came) would be on terms that suited the three of them, not me and thee. They would in practice be very happy to "divide the city and their rackets" in the manner of three Mafia dons wanting to avoid a gang war and the mutual attrition and bloodshed that goes with one. We are seeing a major paradigm shift within computing systems, that much we can agree on and it is highly likely that the conventional control that Redmond has had is on the wane. However, I am not at all sanguine about what comes next.

  11. JaitcH
    Thumb Down

    Why should we believe Goldman Sachs - crooks too big to fail?

    Anyone who saw Goldman Sachs Blankfein testifying before the US Congress might wonder why his nose didn't grow a few feet.

    So why should the tech industry put any faith in what GS mutters - they are in it for the money. Your money.

    And where does his data come from?

    Copy software sold hereabouts have all those little 'feelers' that reach out to Mother MS have been neutered so if his data is from MS Blankfein and gang are wrong. Again. As they were with FB - down, down, down.

    The tech industry is very fickle. Just because Apple product placement manages to plaster CIS Wherever with fake pads doesn't mean they are actually going to have a viable use in business.

    Had GS not been busy fiddling shortages two years ago, undoubtedly the bald-head fraud artist would have been poo-pooing 7" screens. Bet GS has ,ore fixed screens that pads.

  12. Christian Berger

    Look my cake is all crust

    Depending on how you slice the market, you can come up with any number you want. Sales numbers can be pretty misleading as you don't take into account how long and how those devices will be used.

    A more useful number could be derived from how many computers of what kind actually get used.

  13. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Exhibit 1

    In 2004, Other had 0% of the market, but in 2005, other had 29%. Who is 'Other', and how did they achieve more than Apple (5% to 21%) without hitting the news?

    I could not find a new product that would explain Apple's leap in market share. The events I did find were Ubuntu's first release (October 2004) and Apple showing a profit - see the second graph at:

    http://royal.pingdom.com/2010/04/09/the-money-made-by-microsoft-apple-and-google-1985-until-today/

    Janet I. Tu asked a similar question, and got an answer:

    http://seattletimes.com/html/microsoftpri0/2019853243_goldman_sachs_microsoft_os_has_gone_from_more_than.html

    [Update 12:58 p.m.: I asked Goldman Sachs about what happened in the 2004-2005 time frame -- as seen in the above chart -- that made Apple's vendor share jump, Microsoft's share plummet and the "other" category to go from zero to 29 percent. Goldman Sachs replied that it has to do with more mainstream adoption of non-PC consumer computing devices but declined to elaborate beyond that.]

    What were these non-PC consumer computing devices? The obvious candidates are mobile phones, TV, GPS, routers and NAS (OLPC and the small cheap computer came later). I cannot find products that explain the harsh jump. What would make a difference is perception: the devices were there already, but in 2005 IDC and Goldman Sachs put them in the same category as PC's. That still does not explain why it did not hit the news back then. I have tried to find similar graphs that were made at the time, but found nothing obvious.

    The only guess I can make fit is that IDC/Goldman Sachs put other devices in with PCs recently, but only had good figures for other devices from 2005 onwards. The big changes on this graph are not sudden massive consumer revolts. They are IDC/Goldman Sachs deciding to publish a different perspective. I think this says far more about IDC/Goldman Sachs than consumers.

  14. Esskay
    Meh

    Not convinced.

    Whilst I can see that Microsoft is losing it's grip on the "computing" market as a whole, surely a lot of that is down to the decline in popularity of the desktop PC - not so much that people are switching their desktops away from Windows? (although OSX has undoubtedly taken a chunk of the desktop market in the last few years). I agree that Microsoft needs to move away from relying on desktops to survive in the future, but there's no doubt that in the sit-down-at-a-desk market (ie desktops, laptops, etc) they're still most definately winning.

    Not only that, but I'd wager (on gut feel) that many of the people going out and buying Tablets already have a PC in the house - and quite often one that runs windows. Whilst they may not be going out and upgrading it as quickly as they would without the tablet market, I'd have to say that Microsoft isn't in as much trouble as Goldman Sachs would like to indicate - I wonder how many GS analysts are short selling MS stocks as we speak...

    Lastly, I find it hard to believe that Blackberry's new OS launch & Windows Phone 8 moving out into the market will have no impact in the overall market - whilst I'll be using neither, I'm sure there will be many businesses out there will old fogeys up top in management who will leap at the chance, and plenty of more budget smartphone owners looking for something different - and the suggestion that Apple's market share will continue to grow I also find hard to believe - I honestly think they've had their time at the top, they're reached a point in market share where they're no longer the "cool, quirky" company that hipster-geeks want to be seen with, and people will start to look for something "different" (ie something without an Apple logo). Not to mention the post-Jobs issues Apple seem to be struggling with.

    1. toadwarrior

      Re: Not convinced.

      Apple's market share is more than hipsters and it isn't like their stock is still in decline. They are still worth a lot more than most companies so I'm not sure how you feel they're on their way out. If they don't innovate anymore they will be in trouble but even then it won't be overnight.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  15. Sil
    Thumb Down

    Coke snorting and the Financial Industry

    This fantastic analysis by the company that sold you sub-prime mortgages while at the same time shorting them on the market for the further edification of its customers.

    This study is fail by most metrics.

    One could also compute new market shares in the car business with the Bring Your Own Bicycles but what would we learn?

    If Apple or Microsoft for that matter increased its "device" market share to Android's proportions while earning (or most probably losing) as much money as Google does per license, they would become the world's less profitable business. So from a Financial standpoint this aggregation isn't interesting.

    If usage metrics are of interest, then please don't mention smart tvs. There is a reason why they are never mentioned in internet usage statistics for example, because they aren't much more than an epsilon. Let's not even talk about apps usage where smarttvs are the epsilon of an epsilon riding an epsilon.

    A better metrics would be how much money is there to be made by device over its lifetime and how much share of the pie can Microsoft make. Then again it would mostly be a comparison with Apple only and it would still have to be analyzed market by market (PC, tablet, phone) to give any interesting insight.

    Even for software development houses this overall aggregation doesn't offer much interesting insights. They will still consider earning potential device by device. And if they analyze who made money with apps they will see that the single most statistically relevant factor to make money isn't on which Platform you are, but what kind of app you are selling (i.e. games).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Coke snorting and the Financial Industry

      @Sil - The thing is that this is an article that suggests that MS are going down, therefore a large amount of shoutey commentators will jump on it and hail it as the truth. There is a distinct lack of critical thinking with many commentators, if this article were about linux or Mac it would be rounded on and slagged off, for exactly the reasons you suggest - Goldman Sachs aren't exactly a paragon of reliability.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beware of Vampire Squids bearing gifts

    or surveys - because they're trying to sell you some useless crap to invest in.

  17. Piro

    So, this chart is picky about the datapoints it uses

    So now we're using Android or iOS phones, they suddenly count?

    What about Symbian? That must have been a huge platform at one point, with Nokia dominating! How about Java? We used to have that on our featurephones.

    1. plrndl

      Re: So, this chart is picky about the datapoints it uses

      There's a difference between having the potential to do something, and actually doing it on a regular basis. Before the iPhone, accessing data on a phone was so complex that almost no one did. Have you ever used WAP? I haven't. The companies that had paid billions for 3G bands were wondering how they could get people to use it. Now they're worrying about running out of bandwidth.

      1. Piro

        Re: So, this chart is picky about the datapoints it uses

        I actually had a WAP site with black and white bitmaps on it. But I take your point.

    2. Steve Todd Silver badge

      Re: So, this chart is picky about the datapoints it uses

      Symbian was a huge percentage of a much smaller market. It wasn't until around 2007 that smartphones became more than a small blip on the computing horizon. Since then they have become a force to be reckoned with, but Symbian has singularly failed to keep pace.

  18. plrndl

    Future Perfect?

    I sell subscriptions to a well known business publication, read mainly by top business people (average income £250,000 pa). I speak to hundreds of them every week. Virtually all of them have an iPad and iPhone. These are the people who make the decisions about what the rest of us use for work. Increasingly, it will be stuff that "just works", which is VERY bad news for MS.

    Most readers of the Reg probably NEED some sort of PC to do their work. I certainly do (and for my leisure), but the vast majority of people sitting front of a Windows PC need a small fraction of its power, and none of its complexity.

    1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

      Re: Future Perfect?

      "I speak to hundreds of them <top business people> every week. Virtually all of them have an iPad and iPhone. These are the people who make the decisions about what the rest of us use for work. Increasingly, it will be stuff that "just works", which is VERY bad news for MS."

      Also VERY bad news for their employees as what "just works" for "top business people" is usually very, very different from what really works for the person who must do a real job.

      1. kovlen
        FAIL

        Re: Future Perfect?

        Next time tell those guys deciding what all the employees must use to buy everyone IPhones and stick them you know where and see how productive they are ...

    2. cantankerousblogger
      Thumb Up

      Re: Future Perfect?

      This is absolutely right. It is exactly the Davos-attendees and wannabes who forced BYOD on corporate IT departments when they used iPhones and MacBooks at home and then had the authority to refuse to accept they had to give them up and use Microsoft products at work (all those terribly awkward "You can't use your lovely metrosexual iPhone, you need to use this fucking awful Windows Mobile or slightly less clunky but unreliable Blackberry" conversations...) Unless Microsoft can win these people back, it is game over. I can't see them giving up their iDevices, even if Microsoft gives away its stuff for free and it is as good. Microsoft's offerings are not as good and they are not free. Microsoft could try giving every Davos attendee, their private office and family a Lumia 920 (and a night of product training with a fully-trained 'professional' for every 'business leader'...) but even then I can't see them giving up their iDevice habit...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smart TV's?

    PC / laptop + TV card or USB dongle + antenna = exceedingly smart TV.

  20. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Tablets for business?

    It's like doing throat surgery using arsehole as the entry point for the scalpel.

    Yes, they may have some limited applications like interactive notepads for secretaries, portable interfaces for IT people, pointless status symbols for executives but all the real work is done using some form of a stationary PC - trading, accounting, documents writing, stock management, presentations, the lot.

    "Everyone is using smart phones" - mostly the use of smartphones in corporations are for the purposes of sending "I am currently in <someplaceintheworld> and I will respond to you when I'm back in the office" emails, idle fondling to while away the hours or waiting in airports, and for getting news and price quotes between meetings.

    I admit the portable platforms are very useful for IT systems management. However, that is only a fraction of the total business function of most companies.

  21. Tringle
    WTF?

    mmmm

    I'm a photographer. I have android devices, 'phone and tablet, but there is simply no substitute for a desktop computer for editing and organising my work.

    Since I am neither a) stupid nor b) minted that means a windows desktop, Mac being the only possible alternative, but I hate their stupid shiny screens as much as the price tags.

    Linux won't do it - can't run monitor calibrations or half a dozen of the important applications I use.

    So unless they come a long way and soon, the other devices will always be as well as rather than instead of thingamys.

    1. DiBosco
      Happy

      Re: mmmm

      Linux monitor calibration:

      http://www.hughski.com/

      Linus runs Photoshop under WINE. What else can we help with? :~)

      1. Tringle
        Stop

        Re: mmmm

        1. Some ham fisted 'I guess it ought to look like that' calibration is possible with Linux - worse than useless.

        I have never found a colorimeter that works with Linux.

        2. Only old versions of Photoshop will run under WINE, and not reliably.

        3. Lightroom is the industry standard catalogue and RAW editor. I have used Aftershot Pro on my daughter's Linux machine when I have to, but it's frankly not in the same league.

        4. Photoshop is not the only, nor even the most important tool I use. In deference to the commenter who remarked that GIMP is a substitute for a decent photo editor, err, no it's not - it's only 8 bit for a start, doesn't work with (for example)Topaz or OnOne software, and has no adjustment layers.

        Lastly, why make life difficult? Machines come with Windows x, all the software and hardware works with them, why fix it if it isn't broken?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: mmmm

          >>1. Some ham fisted 'I guess it ought to look like that' calibration is possible with Linux - worse than useless.

          Curious. Argyll is probably the most comprehensive, versitile CMS on any platform. There are also LCMS2, Oryanos, etc and nice little wizards like DispcalGUI for those for whom Argyll its self is too sophisticated.

          >>I have never found a colorimeter that works with Linux.

          Something tells me that's because you have never looked. Works PERFECTLY for me STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BOX with my i1Pro spectrometer and both the models of x-rite colorimeter I own.

          >>2. Only old versions of Photoshop will run under WINE, and not reliably.

          No longer true.

          >>3. Lightroom is the industry standard catalogue and RAW editor. I have used Aftershot Pro on my daughter's Linux machine when I have to, but it's frankly not in the same league.

          I'm rather fond of an application called Darktable but there are plenty of other excellent choices. I'm sure you'd be able to find something perfectly suited to *your* style of working, if you were interested.

          >>4. Photoshop is not the only, nor even the most important tool I use. In deference to the commenter who remarked that GIMP is a substitute for a decent photo editor, err, no it's not - it's only 8 bit for a start, doesn't work with (for example)Topaz or OnOne software, and has no adjustment layers.

          GIMP is shit. It can't do >8bit3chan and can't dither for toffee - doesn't even seem to know what dither means and why its ESSENTIAL in such a limited depth, the rescaling is fucked, etc, etc... Looks like some of this crapness might finally be addressed during the current "goat invasion" release cycle but in the meantime there are always Cinepaint, Krita, Adobe Photoshop, etc.

          >>Lastly, why make life difficult? Machines come with Windows x, all the software and hardware works with them, why fix it if it isn't broken?

          That's a perfectly fair comment and I completely agree. If you're 100% satisfied with what you've got then stick with it. Personally I found the Windows/Photoshop situation far too limiting. e.g. far too many of Photoshop's most useful tools being unusable on images >8bpc, crappy fragmented automation (droplets/scripting/etc not properly co-operating and none alone providing a complete solution. WTF Adobe?). Your "points" above are outdated or plain untrue and Linux can actually offer SUPERIOR and infinitely more flexible workflows for many purposes. If you ever feel inclined to seriously look into the Linux imaging ecosystem, you'll be very pleasantly surprised! Since I switched I've never looked back.

          1. Chemist

            Re: mmmm

            I'm glad you posted this because it does help to illuminate the general ignorance around about Linux photo tools - even though I'm just a keen amateur I find it satisfying to convert a good raw photo from my 550D through 16bit programs like darktable or showFoto or do most of the tweeks in ufraw (again 16bit) and final (un)sharpening in GIMP. Even the command-line program dcraw and it's library which are at the back of many of these programs will output 16bit.

            Apart from dcraw all these are GUI programs but for efficiency a little bit of scripting around dcraw will convert, resize, enhance an entire directory of raw images into a decent set of jpg proofs ( I use 1080 v) without the large sizes associated with the original .JPGs

            e.g.

            #!/bin/bash

            #

            dcraw -w *.CR2

            #

            mogrify -resize 1624x1080 -quality 100 *.ppm

            #

            mogrify -unsharp 0x1+.5+0.02 *.ppm

            #

            mogrify -format jpg *.ppm

    2. Neil Lewis
      Linux

      Re: mmmm

      I'm also a photographer and have been for all 32 years of my working life. I moved 100% to digital back in 1999 and my business was a Windows-based one. I switched to Linux a few years later and have had no need to look back.

      Monitor calibrations? Certainly there are perfectly acceptable Linux tools for the job. The only really important application for strictly photographic use would be a good bitmap editor and a good filing/management system. Linux has no shortage of excellent filing/management systems, e.g. digiKam is excellent and GIMP is perfectly viable as an alternative to Photoshop. Yes, I have used Photoshop quite extensively. In some areas it exceeds GIMP's capabilities, in a some others GIMP is superior.

      In short, there is *no* specific reason why I as a very experienced, full time pro photographer cannot use Linux as his sole OS. I've been doing so for years.

  22. EyeCU

    The Register has gone downhill fast

    No longer are we getting news, every editor seems to have their own agenda to push and every article becomes an opinion piece full of bias.

  23. croc

    For some reason, I just can't trust anything that comes forth from the orifices of Goldman Sachs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "I just can't trust anything that comes forth from the orifices of Goldman Sachs."

      Same here, and probably in lots of other places, and for very good reason too.

      But, if readers were to acknowledge that the GS numbers in question here relate to *consumer* computers (ie not computers used for work), what is there to argue with? Microsoft used to have a monopoly, now they don't, arguably they've lost the plot though opinions vary, undeniably they'll never get back close to monopoly in the consumer market.

      Much of the rest of the discussion hereabouts is just the dying breaths of the decreasingly relevant (but still massive) certified Microsoft dependent ecosystem, who are likely to be big losers in the next few years, however much they try to pretend that Windows is still the future and that no alternative is needed.

  24. JDX Gold badge

    Tablets the future?

    Every university student needs a computer on which to write essays, etc - (well they can use libraries but they all have laptops). That remains a pretty stable market, a substantial % of the population.

    Similarly, office workers need a computer on which to work.

    MS is losing market share primarily because the market has suddenly got far larger - the pie is growing so in relative terms MS' slice is shrinking.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  25. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Lord Voldemortgage

      Re: Microsoft on 20% of computers

      "Microsoft are irrelevant"

      Although not to you, clearly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft on 20% of computers

      @Eadon - In the words of Blackadder: Please, please, please, please, STOP.

      No, I don't work for Microsoft, or any related company.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft on 20% of computers

      Oh, I forgot, see the link "House Rules" go and look at what it says about accusing people of being shills.

      I still don't work for Microsoft.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Vendor share of consumer compute"

    Lots of comments here seem to have failed to notice that the GS figures relate to market share in the *consumer* market (as per title, from the graphic).

    Just sayin, like.

  27. NotesDev
    Meh

    Err really?

    It may be true that *some* people can use BYOD, and *most* senior execs who can, do tell the IT dept to get stuffed and use their iPads for work, but for the 99% of coal face workers on Windows XP/7 working on PCs, the future isn't going to change anytime soon. TV for a screen? You're lucky if you can squeeze a second sub $150 screen to spread the work over the bigger desktop. I'm writing this on a 'screwed down' $600 laptop, with a basic install, hardly any access rights to the computer settings and MS Office only. The % of people I know (mid level drones) are in the same situation, and with money being the way it is, the situation is unlikely to change anytime soon. I'd be very interested to know the GS Author's own machine specs... I'm guessing 'big brand laptop, with Win 7 and Office 2010'... And I don't know of a single Co. that has migrated everybody from PC to Apple/Linux - I'd be interested to hearing about any such 'reference' sites.

    1. DiBosco
      Linux

      Re: Err really?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_adopters

      Lots of companies, educational authorities and government organisations have successfully migrated to Linux. There was an article on lxer the other day going on about Linux having a 9% share of the corporate desktop now. If there's one place desktop Linux stands a great chance it's business where the potential savings are massive once the employees are trained on something new. When you consider how KDE is so similar to Windows desktops (other than TIFKAM), this is hardly difficult.

      Someone made a very good point above in that if people are creating documents on tablets on the move they will soon wonder why they need MS Office. MS has nothing like a 99% "coalface" market share. Apple have way more than 1% on top of Linux's share. I have a two or three reps that come see me who now use iPads or Samsung tablets instead of laptops. You can bet your arse this number will grow rapidly.

    2. alcalde

      Re: Err really?

      Google "Linux Munich" - they switched 20,000 PCs to desktop Linux and to LibreOffice from MS Office, finished ahead of schedule, and their support calls have gone DOWN as a result.

      >and with money being the way it is, the situation is unlikely to change anytime soon.

      Isn't that MORE reason to adopt open source software? With money being the way it is, I see more reason than ever to adopt a lot more open source. Take PostgreSQL - fantastic enterprise-class client/server SQL database. RedHat published a comparison against Oracle without naming Oracle and PostgreSQL performed better, especially under high loads. It has GIS, full-text search and unique features like being able to create new data types and associated indexes, open source plugins available to add new types, indexes and functionalities, the ability to code stored procedures and triggers in at least 12 languages from java and C++ to python and R, etc. It also includes several features only available on the enterprise version of SQL server - data compression, partitioning and replication. The enterprise version of SQL server has to be licensed per server core with a 4-core minimum at over $6K per core. That means a minimum entry point for SQL Server Enterprise of $25K vs. $0 for PostgreSQL plus being more standard-compliant and extensible. SQL Server Enterprise costs can easily hit six digit figures. Yes, I think things WILL be changing anytime soon.

  28. Aoyagi Aichou
    Windows

    Off with their heads!

    People getting happy? Because then the only major options are oh so loved OS X which is more closed than a virgin in Alabama's countryside or Google (and we all trust Google with our data, right?) with their so-called Linux system Android. Oh yes, and then all the hundreds of real Linux distributions, that work -so- well throughout corporate structures. Yes, that's the tomorrow I people want to see.

    Oh well, good thing this news is only a different interpretation of statistics, well done Reg!

    1. alcalde
      FAIL

      Re: Off with their heads!

      >Oh yes, and then all the hundreds of real Linux distributions, that work -so- well throughout corporate

      >structures. Yes, that's the tomorrow I people want to see.

      Yes, the Linux distributions that DO work well throughout corporate structures. Go tell Red Hat and SUSE they must be missing something that you're not. Oh, and Google, which are running their own version of Ubuntu. The only problem Linux ever experiences in corporate structures is when it bangs into the wall of a proprietary, embrace-extend-extinguishified Microsoft "standard". Open standards, no issues. Period.

  29. Philip Lewis
    Mushroom

    Last time I looked, the Mac had consumed the university moarket for all but the geeks.

  30. sisk

    Uphill battle

    Microsoft faces an uphill battle (though not insurmountable)

    Battle plan step one: fire Balmer, get a real CEO. Any other step one will result in a failed uphill battle for Microsoft.

  31. RainForestGuppy

    Taken with a large Pinch of Salt

    How many times have Goldman Sachs been found guilty of trying to manipulating markets? They are a bank, not a IT consultancy, anything they write is aimed at making them money.

    I would suggest that they either have a large portfolio of Apple stock that want to talk up before dumping them on the market, or they are trying to build up a stake in MS by driving the price lower first.

  32. Sarah Davis
    Coat

    Goldman Sucs

    Arse ! more like.

    Saying MS only have 20% of the tech market is like saying that bikes, trucks, boats, trains, and planes have quite a chunk of the transport market, therefore car manu's should be worried - talk about irrelevant !

    Can anyone do all their work on a eBook reader, Portable Media Player, Tablet, or Phone (my MP3 player can't run an MS-OS. I suppose (if you care enough) you could ask what's the percentage of things that can actually run an MS-OS actually using an MS-OS ? - oh, 97% you say - well there you go.

    1. alcalde
      WTF?

      Re: Goldman Sucs

      You're missing the point... today phone=computer, tablet=computer. And yes, if everyone began biking to work or using mass transit or fuel-efficient scooters auto manufacturers WOULD be worried.

      >Can anyone do all their work on a eBook reader,

      If it involves reading... yes. :-)

      >Portable Media Player

      I can, but then mine runs Android and has a 5" screen and I'm going to get it to run desktop Linux soon. Just last night I remotely connected as root to a desktop PC via WiFi and SSH and killed a hung process and then later rebooted the system remotely. Is that work?

      >, Tablet,

      Certainly.

      > or Phone (my MP3 player can't run an MS-OS.

      You seem to be under the delusion that the only OS that counts is an MS-OS. In the Linux world they call that MTBS (Microsoft-Trained Brain Syndrome). It's the mistaken belief that Microsoft products are the only way to do something or that the way Microsoft does something is the only way it can be done. Symptoms include saying things like "I need to use Excel" instead of "I need to use a spreadsheet" or "I need to type this on Word" instead of "I need a word processor". In one vexing case I had a person insist to me she couldn't switch to desktop Linux "...because I can't sync my iPod with iTunes", which she repeated about three times in eight sentences. I then began to administer the cure by explaining to her that the operative phrase there was "...with iTunes". The Linux world doesn't use iTunes. But it does use Amarok, Banshee, Clementine, gtkpod and several other programs, all of which will sync to ipods just fine.

      While your phone may not be able to run a Microsoft OS (but it would if you had a WinPhone 8 model) my media player does run the Linux kernel, as does every Android device. Ubuntu is also completing work on "Ubuntu for Android". One would slip an Android phone into a dock which is connected to a monitor, keyboard and mouse and the device would immediately switch over to Ubuntu complete with a desktop interface. The OSes would be integrated to the degree that pages open on the Android browser would be open when launching the browser in Ubuntu! Contacts, etc. would be shared and the phone would still be able to take calls in this mode. No Microsoft necessary. Also, unlike WinRT, Linux has been ported fully to the ARM architecture including applications, most of which merely need to be recompiled. For instance, while Office runs on RT minus VBA script, LibreOffice continues to function normally including its support for its own basic script and the superior options javascript and python. Linux, not Microsoft or Apple, is the only option today if you want to run your desktop software on an ARM mobile device.

      In addition the Asus Transformer line of tablets have an optional keyboard dock with extra battery that turns the tablet into an ARM laptop as well as extending the runtime to about 14 hours. Given its unlocked bootloader you could install an ARM Linux distribution instead of Android and run regular desktop apps on it. Of course with VNC, SSH, etc. you could remotely connect to a server and use the tablet/laptop as a thin client.

      > I suppose (if you care enough) you could ask what's the percentage of things that can actually run an

      >MS-OS actually using an MS-OS ? - oh, 97% you say - well there you go.

      Sadly, I have absolutely no clue what this even means unless one assumes that you only regard Microsoft Windows as a "real" operating system, which is just ridiculous.

      I've seen new benchmarks of Linux on the Exynos dual-core ARM chip and in most benchmarks it blows away both the mobile and desktop versions of the Intel Atom chip and on many benchmarks places about half the results of an Intel i3 (although some were worse and a few better than that). About two years ago someone connected told me ARM was four years away from a chip with the same processing power as that year's entry-level x86 chip. It looks like they've made good progress towards that goal and possibly are even ahead of schedule depending on how the newest 64bit ARM architecture performs. This is the world we are heading towards: a mobile phone/computer that you simply plug into a small dock on your desk and which transforms into a normal desktop for large screen/keyboard use. Between increased storage densities, ubiquitous wifi and the cloud, you'll be carrying your only computer and its data with you wherever you go. The whole point is that it's looking more and more like Windows won't be the OS you'll be carrying around with you. MS could have tried to do what Ubuntu is doing and given us Windows in our pockets and it would have been an iPhone killer, but instead Ballmer's doing the only thing he's ever known how to do: leverage the existing monopoly to create another one. Between Win8 and the rumored Windows 9 "Blue" update next year, he's trying to force anyone who wants to develop for the Windows desktop to make apps compatible with the phone and tablet as well or be locked out of the Windows Store. Personally I think this is going to backfire big time. Either way, you need to understand that many phones today are now more powerful than the netbooks of a few years ago and they're eventually going to replace desktops for most users. Your (odd) thinking that it's not a computer unless the OS is from Microsoft is at least 10 years out of date.

  33. Colin Millar

    Outplayed at their own game

    MS success was built on allowing people to do stuff. It tied itself to the seemingly endless possibilties of the PC and blew the competition away because it enabled lots of stuff to be done in lots of ways. What do you want to do today?

    Those endless possibilities and doing stuff in lots of different ways is now seen as being driven more and more by the mobile market which particular train MS failed to board for whatever reason.

    The vast majority of people spending domestic market money don't care about maker - they just want to do what others are doing - smartphones and tablets is the current shiny market and MS are not in it.

    The more technically minded will not hold a torch for MS (or Apple or Samsung or Google) - if they are pro's in systems or support they have way to many calls on their priority list to waste time bigging up a software house (or fruit supplier).

    Corporates are influenced by many factors, price and technical effectiveness being just a couple of those factors. MS hasn't been cheap for many years and their reputation for tech effectiveness is being hurt by them being unable to compete in the mobile market, the Vista legacy and it looks like Metro is lining up nicely as Vista 2.

    MS are probably going to continue as a major player for many years to come - servers, desktops and laptops are not going away anytime soon, Libre Office is so painful to use that more than an hour or so every few days is likely to have workers going postal.

    What they have shown us here though is their inability to diversify into the more esoteric areas of tech. What do you want to do today? has become here's what we will let you do today

  34. MissingSecurity

    Eventually....

    MS will be all but dead here...

    I've already been mixing the environments, replacing email, FTP, (soon I'll be trying out a SAMABA server on the MS diehards). The funny thing is that 90% of the time people just want things to work, and if I can do this more cost effectively with linux, they could give a rats ass. Since were not fortune 500, I'm happily find suitable alternatives to MS.

    Hell, I am even thinking about setting up open stack on a series of kit, and letting development and QA setup and destroy their own test server environments...

    I may not get much of the general users two switch their desktop OS, but they could care less that document x is run on server y.

  35. The_Regulator

    LOL @ Marketshare including other devices

    Wow, shows that people will stop at nothing when it comes to trying to make a splash. I can't do 10% of the things I do with my PC running windows with any other device I own. As other poster commented maybe we should include washing machines and toaster ovens and microwaves in the numbers too.

    Dumb!!!

  36. Magnus_Pym

    Microsoft USP

    Why buy something else when you will still need a WinTel PC in some capacity?

    Microsoft historically built the market share by have a single machine that would fulfil ALL your computing needs when everything else could only do some. I don't think this is a disputed very much. Notice it's not buy Microsoft stuff, It's Don't buy non-Microsoft stuff or don't look elsewhere you might see something you like that we can't do.

    As new 'computing needs' where found Microsoft added feature to Windows to cover them so the paradigm held... ...for decades. Eventually the answer to the question changed. 'I'll get a Wintel PC AND a Blackberry so I can get my email on the move'. I'll get a Wintel PC AND smartphone because there is an App which is useful on the move. I'll get a Wintel PC AND a tablet so I can ...whatever.

    It's important because the history of Microsoft is about selling the idea that there is no alternative. Once the buyer sees an alternative that Microsoft cannot buy or stifle then Microsoft must change the question. Not easy after so long at the top.

    1. Chemist

      Re: Microsoft USP

      I take your point but

      "Why buy something else when you will still need a WinTel PC in some capacity?"

      I don't and haven't needed to for 5 years

      1. Magnus_Pym

        Re: Microsoft USP

        Me neither but that was the Microsoft mantra from the past it's getting very long in tooth now.

    2. alcalde

      Re: Microsoft USP

      Beyond that Microsoft has deliberately tried to hide that alternatives even EXIST, as crazy as that is. When the secure boot controversy came up and Red Hat put out a white paper, Microsoft responded to it and continually used the term "alternative operating systems". Red Hat was the author and only sells one operating system, but about five times it was "alternative operating systems" in their response, not "Linux". "Alternative" apparently is meant to invoke the impression of non-mainstream, unusual, outside the norm. aberrant. It's similar to how some politicians leading a race refuse to acknowledge their opponent by using his/her name, with the idea that doing so acknowledges them as a contender. I envisioned a Microsoft PR person smirking as they kept saying "alternative operating systems". Even on the Microsoft partition manager it labels Linux partitions as "unknown". They're not unknown; every partition on a disk has a hex code that identifies what type it is and Linux was assigned two codes for its data and swap partitions many years ago. Use any 3rd-party partition manager and its correctly labels them Linux partitions; however Microsoft is essentially "terra incognita" and "here there be dragons". :-) It's ridiculous, but even among Windows trolls the line is always that Linux isn't a "real" operating system and doesn't count/isn't ready (although they'll try to do this to a lesser extent with OS X too). And I'm not sure the Windows OS installer will EVER acknowledge that other OSes exist; at least as of Win7 it had no problem attempting to create a boot partition on the primary drive if you tried installing it on a secondary drive and overwriting the primary boot sector WITHOUT ASKING or even telling the user; I only caught it because there were already the maximum number of primary partitions on the main drive. Someone once noticed me using Linux on a laptop and asked me about it and after I explained she said, "I didn't know you could run anything else on these things", which is the way Microsoft apparently likes to keep it.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, at least telling us the bleedin' obvious

    Is mostly harmless. Certainly far less harmful than sinking economies. So I for one sincerely hope Goldman Sachs continues in the mostly harmless business of saying the bleedin' obvious.

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