More Microsoft “stories”? – The stats Microsoft doesn’t mention.

Once upon a time there was a company called Microsoft who claimed there was nothing wrong with Vista and everyone wanted their products…..

Just because you live in the United States, don’t assume that everything is on Windows….

Source: Jeff Orr – ABI analyst

The age old argument of Linux V Windows market penetration may simply be a fabrication if certain stats on the net are to be believed.  It has been claimed (for as long as I can remember anyway) that Linux accounts for 1-3% of market share and that nobody wanted Linux on a netbook.  That claim always puzzled me because no matter what figures you want to put on Linux use today, you cannot argue that no more than any time in the past more people are commenting, advocating and praising it on the net.  I can remember not too long ago where a Linux opinion was a rare thing to see on a forum thread, now you have numerous posts from users celebrating and supporting Linux.  That never happened in this volume a few years ago.

I often cite Microsoft-watch.com as an excellent example.  In the days of Joe Willcox (shortly before he left) Microsoft Watch had become a forum for more Linux users than Windows and I commented many times that it was ironic a site called Microsoft Watch would be a meeting place for so many Linux users.  I personally made many friendships there, friendships which continue on this blog (and various chatrooms today)  I cannot fail to mention Will and Chips who I first met on the MS Watch site.

I digress, because the purpose of this article is to highlight that what you read being quoted about Linux market penetration may not be the whole truth.

Brandon Le Blanc, a Microsoft employee who we have mentioned before has previously had this to say:

Users simply expect the Windows experience…..It’s easier to use, just works out of the box with people’s stuff, and ultimately offers more choice.

Now I could be mean here and mention that it was Brandon himself who brought up the subject of Windows 7 party hosts trying to flog their free loot on Ebay (which to me doesn’t say a lot for peoples opinion of the Windows experience) but Brandon has made many comments in the past that have had him highlighted on numerous sites and to be fair this article isn’t really about him, although he is also alleged to have said:

When they realize their Linux-based netbook PC doesn’t deliver that same quality of experience, they get frustrated and take it back.

Now I would say that it was the fact that I didnt get the same quality of experience with Linux that I kept using the system…that being in terms of quality experience Linux was far better than Windows ever was.  Would Brandon like to make a comment on peoples experiences of Vista?  Was that quality or was that why we see a migration to Linux in the numbers we have?  Of course you can’t blame Brandon, he works for Microsoft, but do you think that if tomorrow he took a job with Apple he would still praise Windows? IMO no and its why when listening to an employee of Microsoft you have to consider the basis for their opinion.

So onto the stats I mentioned.  ComputerWorld is reporting:

Nearly one-third of the 35 million netbooks on track to ship this year will come with some variant of the free, open-source operating system, ABI Research said. The exact split is 32% Linux versus 68% Windows, said Jeff Orr, an analyst at ABI, which works out to about 11 million Linux netbooks this year.

Source: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9140343/Linux_s_share_of_netbooks_surging_not_sagging_says_analyst

Mr Jeff Orr has predicted that Linux will overtake Windows on the Netbook by 2013 and whilst this is just an opinion, its just as relevant as any Microsoft would want you to believe (if they can quote stats and predictions, so can we)

Of course they say the “proof of the pudding…” and in the UK certainly you only have to walk into a high street news agents like WHSmiths and see the shelved lined with Linux magazines.  Something is happening, IMO Microsoft cannot keep a lid on the rise of an alternative to its products.

Lets end on some “quality experiences” of the Windows 7 OS (these and many more can be seen on the Twitter account MicrosoftHelps) of course minus “Goblin helpdesk” as I added that in to what would otherwise be very depressing viewing:

my win7 pc is going to sleep while streaming under power save plan default settings

Goblin Help Desk says:  Are you sure? Is that not just normal sluggish Windows behaviour? Leave it for a few days, it may wake up.

I’ve upgraded my XP to Win7 and the Audio is ignoring me; I’ve updated the driver, but it’s mute as a rock. Any ideas?

Goblin Help Desk says: Maybe you should not have listened to the MS faithful FUD that said that Linux sound drivers are problematic and Windows is so great.  Try a Linux distro like Ubuntu, you’ll probably find you have out of the box compat from day one.

Windows 7 does not play nice with my iPod Nano 5G, it won’t even recognize it as a valid device. Plz help?

Goblin Help Desk says: Windows not playing nicely with something?  Never!!!! Ask all the “happy” Vista users.  In all seriousness Microsoft has been alleged to not play nice with many things, maybe its an intentional feature of Windows to emulate company policy?

I think you get the idea now.  The only real opinion on the software thats best for you is your own.  Linux users/FOSS advocates are happy for you to try alternatives in order that you choose the right solution.  Can the same be said of a proprietary platform?

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Andrew says:

    Perception Management ala Gartner Forrester, Wagner, NPD, IDG/IDC, ZD-Net, etc. has made taken dis-ingenuity to an art form.

    They equate
    market share = installed user base
    Regional US statistics = Global demand
    real choice of OS = “shoved-down-your-throat” OEM installs.

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