Posted on Sunday 30th of July 2006 at 10:46 in Linux

Is Microsoft playing into the hands of Linux?

Following my recent article on AMD possibly playing into Intel's hands, I pondered whether MS could be doing the same thing for everyone's favourite underdog. Let's look at the facts, MS hold a massive market majority, with Linux reserved for servers and the educated among us who can live with command line installs. But are times changing?

With Vista on the horizon (apparently), it looks to throw countless beloved home machines into the 'outdated' pile (a thought vendors such as PCWorld and Ebuyer must be welcoming) but there are more injustices in the MS camp than that... The Windows Genuine Advantage tool (interesting synonym for invasive) points the finger at you should you do something less than legal, and while this *shouldn't* be a problem for us law abiding users (whatever) it's the notion of software you HAD to download, phoning home at every opportunity to stitch you up.

Are MS deliberately making their software invasive and hard to use? Convenient that Linux distros are getting easier to use and exponentially less invasive. The question I pose is whether there is a potential shift in the market?

Linux
Linux distros are getting easier to use. And has anyone counted the number of options you get with Linux these days? You can have a dabble here but if you don't wish to browse, it's an awfully long list. So should MS be sweating? Probably not, after all it would be nigh impossible to empty their petty cash box let alone corporate account, but maybe Linux could be in the right time and place to win over some new users, tired of invasive software and over-zealous deadlines which ultimately lead to continent sized security holes. Also, the $100 laptop campaign is set to create a whole world of Linuxheads - which could prove significant.

Also, Linux is still FREE, which should be an interesting point to remember seeing as I've not heard the respective prices of each Vista edition.

MS
Unfortunately, it is still the easiest to use natively and Linux, despite UI improvements is still difficult (ducks for cover in face of impending heckles of being a n00b) and although it would be nice to see Linux stress MS out a little, I don't see it happening. I think MS have gone too far and gained too much of a monopoly to ever fall from grace.

In Conclusion
It seems that having a free piece of software loved by (however many) just isn't enough to topple the goliath of MS. TBH, in the story of David and Goliath I still believe Goliath would have won... Time will tell in this instance I suppose, Linux appears to have the chance to gain a shedload of new users, but whether they will (or can) is to be seen.

 

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