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Microsoft Sees Linux As Bigger Competitor Than Apple

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the third-place-is-interesting-too dept.

Linux Business 596

Facetious writes "It seems Microsoft doesn't believe the data from Net Applications regarding Linux any more than Slashdot readers do. In a recent presentation, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed a slide showing, from Microsoft's internal analysis, that Linux client use is clearly ahead of Apple's."

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Microsoft confirms it! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26986873)

Apple is dieing..

Re:Microsoft confirms it! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26986895)

That's because they use BSD.

Re:Microsoft confirms it! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987061)

That's because there was no affirmative action to reverse all of the racism against niggers. We need to hire people who are unqualified or underqualified based on their skin color alone, because that will somehow end racism instead of perpetuating it!

Re:Microsoft confirms it! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987661)

You know, if you hadn't used the 'n' word (and if your post wasn't completely off-topic) you'd actually have a cogent, valid argument there.

Buuuut, instead, you're just Flamebait. (And I should've ignored you, but I had to chime in -- albeit as an AC.)

Re:Microsoft confirms it! (2, Funny)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987043)

Apple is dieing..

Really? Are they making toy metal cars in their die cast process?

Re:Microsoft confirms it! (3, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987077)

Apple is dieing its hair.

Re:Microsoft confirms it! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987095)

Because gentlemen prefer blondes, and so do queers.

Apple OS != Linux? (1)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986897)

I'm not an Apple user, but isn't the current incarnation of Apple's OS based on a flavor of Linux or Unix? If so, funny that they wouldn't count it..

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (1, Interesting)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986957)

No, it's not.

AFAIK it's a Unix-like environment running on top of the Mach microkernel with a BSD-ish userland. The unix-like varnish over the microkernel is very modern, but I find the BSD userland rather primitive.

The GUI is good. Most Mac users never leave it.

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (4, Informative)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987005)

Actually, OSX is certified Unix.

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (2, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987049)

Whereas Linux is just certifiable.

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (1)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987069)

Agree, but it's still no Linux.

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (5, Insightful)

makomk (752139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987591)

A lot of the more traditional real UNIXes were crap too, from what I've read. Being certified as Unix probably isn't all that useful.

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987615)

As is AIX. That's not something to be PROUD of.

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987125)

AFAIK it's a Unix-like environment running on top of the Mach microkernel with a BSD-ish userland.

Not to argue too much, but that might be understating it a slightly. According to everything I've ever read on the subject, it's certified Unix running on the Mach microkernel, with everything but the kernel derived largely from FreeBSD or NetBSD.

Sorry if I'm being too pedantic.

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987165)

Correction: When I say "everything but the kernel", I should have also excluded the GUI and stuff. That stuff is developed by Apple. I was only thinking of the Unix userland tools and stuff.

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (1)

causality (777677) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987149)

No, it's not.

AFAIK it's a Unix-like environment running on top of the Mach microkernel with a BSD-ish userland. The unix-like varnish over the microkernel is very modern, but I find the BSD userland rather primitive.

The GUI is good. Most Mac users never leave it.

I really don't know much about OSX, not as much as I'd like to.

Do you know whether it's POSIX-compliant? Is it proper to refer to it as a "Unix" or is it a "Unix clone" or "Unix-like system" like Linux? I'd also be interested in anything explaining why they went with a Mach microkernel and whether that has any non-negligible impact on performance (i.e. message-passing overhead, switching from kernel to userspace, etc). I'd appreciate anything you are able to explain since I'm honestly rather ignorant about OSX.

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (5, Informative)

dadragon (177695) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987251)

Do you know whether it's POSIX-compliant?
Yes.

Is it proper to refer to it as a "Unix" or is it a "Unix clone" or "Unix-like system" like Linux?
OS X is a certified UNIX.

I'd also be interested in anything explaining why they went with a Mach microkernel and whether that has any non-negligible impact on performance (i.e. message-passing overhead, switching from kernel to userspace, etc). I'd appreciate anything you are able to explain since I'm honestly rather ignorant about OSX.

The message passing overhead is fairly high compared to other systems like Linux or other BSDs. Unlike monolithic kernels, the Mach based one that Darwin (The UNIX part of OS X) uses actually has to do a full context switch when one makes a system call. That can be slow, especially with TLB flushes and such.

Wikipedia and Apple have some pretty good docs on how it works.

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987363)

I find the BSD userland rather primitive.

Concur.
I changed /etc/sshd_config on OSX one day while remote, tried to figure out how to do a service reload (the startup service only understands start/stop), eventually sent a HUP to the daemon with kill. Still got kicked for my trouble, but at least I was able to ssh in again.

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26986959)

GNU's not Unix

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (4, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986995)

Of course not. Apple has a different model (Linux is GPL and Apple is closed source). Apple is still proprietary and paid-for while Linux can be shared freely. Just because they have similar origins from a software standpoint doesn't mean anything when you consider their market viability. They're completely different beasts in that respect.

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987071)

Isn't Darwin, their "operating system" open source? Isn't it based off of Unix? Can't you run Darwin (Mac's OS) with X? Doesn't Apple provide instructions to do that?

As far as I know the whole Apple model is "open source" operating system with a sweet closed source (quartz or something like that?) windowing system on top of it.

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (3, Informative)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987119)

Apple's Mac OS X is not entirely closed source. The GUI layer is, and some of the kernel drivers are closed source, but Apple has made the bulk of the kernel, pretty much all of the command line tools, and a whole much of their non-GUI frameworks available as open source (under either the sources original license or Apple's APSL).

In particular, the CoreFoundation framework is useful for cross platform networking and unicode string handling code.

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987435)

To this discussion that has absolutely no relevance: linux is dangerous because attacking a single vendor is useless and because no single vendor needs to become 'huge' for linux to grow... and this is all a result of being free software

Re:Apple OS != Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987007)

The short answer is yes, OSX is UNIX with a sexed up GUI on top. However, UNIX != Linux. Both are POSIX systems with a shared heritage and some common tools (bash, X11, etc.) but they are not the same.

2009 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26986909)

Will 2009 be the year of linux on the desktop?

Re:2009 (1)

michaewlewis (1362339) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987315)

no

Makes sense... (5, Insightful)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986917)

Makes sense... a PC user can switch to Linux by downloading a LiveCD (or whatever) and installing or just running from the disk. A PC user has to buy new hardware to switch to Apple.

Re:Makes sense... (2, Informative)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987273)

After using Linux for 2 years, can still count all the other Linux users I have met face-to-face on one hand (OK, OK: in binary. But that's only because I might have met 6). Finding Apple users is much easier.

Re:Makes sense... (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987601)

Is there a version of Linux available for Apple Macintoshes?
How about Commodore Amigas? (just curious)

Re:Makes sense... (1)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987775)

The first Linux user I encountered (other than myself) ran Linux on his Atari Falcon.

So yeah... there is an Amiga version. Has been for a REALLY long time.

Re:Makes sense... (3, Interesting)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987665)

Yeah, but unless you REALLY know what you're doing, you risk locking yourself out of your computer and/or losing access to files.

For my part, I switched recently, and despite buying new hardware (I had to upgrade anyway), it's been an easy, smooth transition. The used computer I bought had Vista on it, and I installed Ubuntu 8.10 over it. I was surprised at how easy it was to install the OS and change settings. For wi-fi, all I had to do was plug in a USB adapter I had up and running on my previous computer and entire the password.

They've come a long way since three years ago when I ... didn't get it to work out. Of course, I haven't yet tried to move over my previous computer's hard drives or critical files like email.

Servers? (4, Insightful)

sean_nestor (781844) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986927)

I think thats sort of a "duh" statement when you consider server usage as well as desktop usage.

Mac servers can't be much of the server market.

Embedded Difference? (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986933)

Could Microsoft be accounting for embedded distributions of Windows CE versus embedded Linux compiled into his numbers? I think that might give it an edge over Apple's. Ballmer's presentation is just citing "use." Which could be pretty accurate while Net Applications analysis is also accurate for desktop/notebook/server situations. Don't see a lot of explanation past the charts on either of these links.

Re:Embedded Difference? (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987683)

If you look at productivity, the whole equation changes. Windows is a time sucking vampire. Since I started using *nix systems my productivity has risen exponentially. The open community breeds productivity. So if you consider how much useful work is done the *nix wins by a landslide.

Don't Rape Me Bro (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26986935)

Most people aren't willing to be anally raped by Steve Jobs.

iPods are an anonymous hand-job at worse, but Apple computers are rape.

Of course! (5, Insightful)

Techmeology (1426095) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986943)

Of course they're worried! If Linux (and the rest of the open source projects) become even slightly common, Microsoft have lost. They can't buy Linux, they can't do deals with it. They don't seem to be able to out perform it either. Short of zapping every magnetic and (some how) optical media on the planet, Microsoft cannot kill an open source project of a large magnitude; there'll always be community members willing to take over where one was "bought" by Microsoft.

Re:Of course! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987235)

They can't buy Linux, they can't do deals with it.

What if they offered Linus Torvalds a billion dollars for the trademark and the copyright to his code?

Trademark and copyright loss: no problem (5, Interesting)

jonaskoelker (922170) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987411)

What if they offered Linus Torvalds a billion dollars for the trademark and the copyright to his code?

And assuming Linus accepted, of course...

Then we'd fork the latest version of the kernel (and git, and * FROM code WHERE copyright_holder = "Linus") and hack on.

To deal with the trademark, we'd have to rename the kernel. We could always use Linus' original name, Freax, or name it after some other maintainer... Mortonix? Coxix?

And then there'd be happy hacking all around.

Re:Trademark and copyright loss: no problem (1)

RMingin (985478) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987721)

(Microsoft) purchase Richard Stallman. That line made me literally LOL. I don't think there's enough material wealth in the universe to buy out Stallman's ideals, and that's both a good and bad thing (see 'idealist' and contrast 'zealot').

Re:Of course! (3, Informative)

Chabo (880571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987413)

If MS got a hold of the trademark for "Linux", then someone would rename the kernel "Lunix", or "Orange", or something, and we'd continue where we left off.

As for GPL'd code, it cannot be made proprietary.

Re:Of course! (4, Insightful)

Pembers (250842) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987455)

Linus owns the trademark, but only some of the copyrights - the code he wrote himself. Copyright in the rest of Linux (probably most of it nowadays) belongs to whoever wrote it. (Unless they assigned it to someone else.) So unless MS wants to buy out all the other contributors too, that billion dollars wouldn't get them very far.

Re:Of course! (4, Informative)

flnca (1022891) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987625)

What if they offered Linus Torvalds a billion dollars for the trademark and the copyright to his code?

The Linux kernel is only a part of a GNU/Linux system. Almost everything, including the kernel, has been published under the GNU General Public License (cf. GNU [gnu.org] ).

Linus Torvalds is still the figurehead of Linux kernel development, but even if Microsoft would manage to purchase all rights to the Linux kernel, that would have little impact, because the Linux kernel has already been published under the GPL, which makes it legal to modify it and keep it under the GPL forever, no matter if there also would be a proprietary version.

The GNU project (which contains all free Linux software including the Linux kernel) also develops their own Mach-based kernel, called "Hurd" (the OS would be called GNU/Hurd then).

Even if Microsoft would manage to purchase Richard Stallman, the head of GNU, it would have little impact on free software development, since all code that already exists can be forked away before any proprietary branches would emerge.

Re:Of course! (1)

RMingin (985478) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987749)

(Microsoft) purchase Richard Stallman. That line made me literally LOL. I don't think there's enough material wealth in the universe to buy out Stallman's ideals, and that's both a good and bad thing (see 'idealist' and contrast 'zealot').

(Previously posted to wrong parent)

Re:Of course! (1)

Jason Earl (1894) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987751)

I'd still have *my* copy of Linux that was licensed to me under the terms of the GPLv2. In other words, the copyright cat is already out of the bag. Trademark, of course, is a different beast altogether. So the folks working on Linux would have to change the name. Perhaps Richard Stallman could finally get his wish and we'd simply call it LiGNUx (although that's probably too close to Linux).

I would bet, however, that if Microsoft tried to throw its weight around over the "Linux" trademark that it would find that it has been seriously diluted.

In short, Microsoft's best use for that $1 billion would probably be to use it to improve Windows (or at least market it a little better).

as soon as os x for all pc comes out M$ will be ca (0)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986949)

as soon as os x for all pc comes out M$ will be carping there pants.

Re:as soon as os x for all pc comes out M$ will be (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986991)

as soon as os x for all pc comes out M$ will be carping there pants.

Not really. Microsoft Office is the dominant word processing package on the Mac.

Re:as soon as os x for all pc comes out M$ will be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987057)

LINUX ON XBOX!!!

Re:as soon as os x for all pc comes out M$ will be (3, Funny)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987097)

as soon as os x for all pc comes out M$ will be carping there pants.

Why would MS put a fish in their pants?

Re:as soon as os x for all pc comes out M$ will be (1)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987123)

Well, given the quality of their software, they're obviously not programmers. They're carpenters.

Re:as soon as os x for all pc comes out M$ will be (1)

222 (551054) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987319)

Why?

I can tell that *somebody* has never put a fish in their pants!

Re:as soon as os x for all pc comes out M$ will be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987491)

no, no, no.... carping, as in, complaining about. "There pants", as in, pants that are fashionable, hip... they are so "there". ("OMG, Susie, those are some totally fine there pants!")

So Microsoft will again live up to its image of doofish "PC Guy" by whining about how Apple is nothing more than style and empty fashion, while their (Microsoft's) products are frumpy but "useful".

Re:as soon as os x for all pc comes out M$ will be (1)

geobeck (924637) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987619)

Why would MS put a fish in their pants?

Because they want to revitalize their advertising.

"Apple has that young hipster, Linux has that cute penguin, but look! We've got a fat nerdy guy with a fish in his pants! Look at him dance!"

Well, it would be more amusing than the Seinfeld commercial.

Re:as soon as os x for all pc comes out M$ will be (2, Insightful)

CHJacobsen (1183809) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987153)

That would require a reversal of the entire Apple strategy, as well as a huge developer-blitz to make OS X work on non-Apple hardware.

OS X is good and stable, but it's merits owes a lot to the tight integration with Apple's hardware choices.

Re:as soon as os x for all pc comes out M$ will be (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987159)

M$ will be carping there pants.

No, they'll be goldfishing here pants.

Re:as soon as os x for all pc comes out M$ will be (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987279)

M$ will be carping there pants.

No, they'll be goldfishing here pants.

Where pants?

They aren't in the same business (1, Interesting)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 5 years ago | (#26986997)

Microsoft sells software.

Apple sells hardware.

While there is certainly a small amount of overlap in their product lines, they aren't really in direct competition.

Re:They aren't in the same business (4, Interesting)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987131)

Apple sells hardware and software. You may have heard of Final Cut Pro, or Aperture, just to state a few high end products of theirs.

Microsoft sells software and hardware. You may have heard of the Xbox360 or the Zune.

The generalization that Apple sells computers and Microsoft sells software is a gross one, to say the least.

Re:They aren't in the same business (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987253)

I even saw a Zune once.
I think what the OP meant was Apple makes money on hardware. MS makes money on software.

Re:They aren't in the same business (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987641)

That's still a gross oversimplification. Apple also makes money on software and MS also makes money with hardware.

Re:They aren't in the same business (4, Insightful)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987133)

There are Apple products that compete directly with Microsoft ones. Both Apple and Microsoft make keyboards and mice. I regard Microsoft keyboards and mice as the nicest products they sell.

Re:They aren't in the same business (4, Funny)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987155)

SQL Server comes as a distant third, BTW.

Re:They aren't in the same business (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987215)

Nicely done - adding the punchline that gives away (even to Germans) that you're being ironic in a reply to your own post.

Re:They aren't in the same business (2)

inerlogic (695302) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987261)

right, MS is the default everywhere due to market penetration.

Apple has brainwashed users ready to buy anything they're selling....

no direct competition

Re:They aren't in the same business (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987409)

This is what I came in here to say. Microsoft is primarily a software company, so really the biggest threat to them isn't going to be another competing software company, but rather the commodification of software in general. Whenever your product becomes a commodity, your profit margin is going to shrink. So though Apple offering a better operating system for a couple hundred less would be a big worry for Microsoft, it's much scarier to think that anyone can download Linux for free and not have to pay anyone anything for it.

And in that sense, Linux isn't as big of a threat to Apple as it is to Microsoft, since Apple is primarily a hardware company. Their software and services are, to some degree, value-added. Even if operating systems in general become a commodity, Apple can continue to sell hardware and can even continue to offer value-added features to sell their hardware.

However, none of this is to say that Apple hasn't done damage to Microsoft. Apple has helped raise awareness of the idea that you can use something other than Windows, and I would maintain that iTunes and the iPod have severely damaged Microsoft's long-term media plans-- but I won't go into too much detail here.

Has Linux long been ahead of Apple? (3, Interesting)

olddotter (638430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987001)

Perhaps after the success of the switch adds Apple inched ahead of Linux on the desk top. But if you look over the last 15 years, I believe that there has been more Linux on the desktop than Apple OS's.

It hasn't been in anyone's interest to say that. I think that is even true of the Linux companies. For a long time they wanted to be under the radar under dogs. Perhaps because they didn't want a fight to the death with Microsoft.

Re:Has Linux long been ahead of Apple? (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987367)

How do you get radar to fit under dogs, and how can a Linux company fit under the radar that's under the dog? :-)

Servers (3, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987017)

There is more money in servers then there is clients, and it's an area that MS could still grow in. In this area Linux companies and traditional UNIX are competitors to MS whereas Apple is most decidedly not.

Another reason why (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987031)

Let's not forget that Linux can be installed on any architecture. Apple may have a larger market share (depending on where you get your data from of course, lol), but they still have a limited compatibility range making them less viable.

Duh (5, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987033)

OSX can only realistically come from one over priced manufactuer where as Linux is free and can be installed on any machine.

The economy is in the dumps. Would you be worried about the over priced guy with no net book or the guy that's infiltrating the netbook space quite well when that's a fast growing sector?

Re:Duh (2, Insightful)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987293)

Let's take it one step further. Apple sells you software. Red Hat, Novell, Canonical, etc. sell you support. Software comes free - you can hire your own IT to manage it if you want to....

Re:Duh (0, Troll)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987733)

no net book

iPod Touch
Close enough.

Apples and Oranges (No Pun Intended) (1)

Lumenary7204 (706407) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987073)

The Net Applications survey seems to be centered on desktops and personal-use devices only, while Microsoft's graphic conceivably includes OS deployment across all kinds of devices (desktops, servers, network appliances, etc.).

If you take servers into account (especially web servers and certain network appliances), aggregated Linux installations could very well top aggregated Apple OS product installations.

Also note that the Net Applications survey segregates Macs (presumably including MacOS System 9 and earlier along with OS X) and iPhones (which runs a modified Mac OS X called "iPhone OS"), whereas the Microsoft slide simply has a single "Apple" moniker.

It's an Apples v. Oranges comparison; don't read too much into it...

Apple and orange? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987173)

Since when apple sells iphones with orange support?

Re:Apples and Oranges (No Pun Intended) (1)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987533)

Lumenary7204 said:
> The Net Applications survey seems to be centered on desktops and personal-use devices only, while Microsoft's graphic conceivably includes OS deployment across all kinds of devices (desktops, servers, network appliances, etc.).

According to EWeek, you are wrong and Ballmer was only discussing desktops with that slide [eweek.com] . This seems to be collaborated by this story at brighthand which shows a different Ballmer slide just for phone OS share [brighthand.com] . Which makes the original story more interesting....

Piracy a competitor? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987087)

The day the manage to lock out piracy, a lot of that group will switch to Linux, not pay full prize full Windows licenses.

I can understand why they see Linux as a bigger threat. Linux is something completely different than Windows, MacOS is "just" another proprietary closed source company controlled desktop OS. These days, more and more people see the advantages of free sofware, and Microsoft will never be able to catch up with Linux on that one.

Re:Piracy a competitor? (5, Insightful)

InvisibleClergy (1430277) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987345)

Thing is, a lot of more computer literate people understand the following workflow:

1. Have a task which needs done
2. Get a tool to do the task (Or choose one which you already have)
3. Use the tool to do the task.

Most people, however, are not computer-literate. They don't understand "Word Processor" but they do understand "Word" in reference to MS Word.

They do the following:

1. Have a task to do
2. Use the tool they know to do the task

The very idea that there are more word processors than MS Word still blows the mind of people like, say, my grandmother.

Could this be... (1)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987111)

Could this finally be the year of Apple in the server room?

Linux is more widespread (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987113)

Linux is not tied to drm-filled hardware, which means it is free to flow through technology, unlike OSX. Linux has much greater potential than OSx primarily for that reason.

Do you know what DRM means? (2, Funny)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987337)

"That word, you keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means..." - Inigo Montoya, "The Princess Bride".

Installed base vs. market share (5, Insightful)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987117)

An operating system's installed base is not the same as the market share.

Market share is measurable because it's based on percentage of sales over a given period of time.

Installed base is difficult or impossible to measure, because it's the percentage share an operating system has over the entire population of computers. This means the market share of Macs and Linux machines is underestimated. Macs, because they last on average 2 years longer than Windows PC's. Linux, well, because hardly anybody pays for Linux since they can legally get it for free.

So, essentially, market share figures are highly inaccurate for estimated the installed base of any given operating system.

Apple makes hardware, iMacs, iPods and shit. (1)

crovira (10242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987197)

Apple USES software to move their hardware.

You're comparing Apple to lemons.

M$ sells software, (there is no branded computer called Microsoft, is there?,) and as such Linux is IN DIRECT COMPETITION, (there is no branded computer called Linux, is there?)

Because Linux is FREE and M$ costs, look for the same idiot managers to jettison M$ for the same reason they jettisoned IBM in the '80s and for the same reason: because Linux is FREE and M$ costs.

let's see..... (1)

inerlogic (695302) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987209)

1 iBook running OSX
1 machine running XP
1 machine running vista
1 Ubuntu box/dual boot Win7
2 Debian boxes
2 boxes running Mandriva

1/8 Apple
3/8 MS (more like 2.5 since 7 is beta)
5/8 Linux

YUP, linux is winning under my desk!

Re:let's see..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987573)

This sounds fun, I want to count my systems aswell!

1 machine running Debian (my server)
1 machine running OS X, Debian and Win XP
1 Macbook running OS X
1 PowerMac G4 running OS X (rarely used)
1 Laptop running Debian
1 Phone which runs iPhone OS, which is almost OS X
5 machines running AmigaOS
1 machine running AmigaOS / Debian

So let's count:

1/14,5 Windows
3,5/14,5 Apple (I count iPhone OS as 0,5 :D )
4/14,5 Linux
6/14,5 Amiga OS

Who would have thought?

Its beyond just the numbers (4, Interesting)

slashdotlurker (1113853) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987219)

Linux is a more fundamental threat than Apple. Apple, fundamentally, is another commercial vendor - one that can be dealt with, cajoled, threatened, and God forbid, even bought. Plus, Apple's focus is on hardware.

Linux cannot be dealt with in that fashion. The business model is different. Microsoft can pull a Novell or a Xandros deal, but that either 1) ends up helping those distros, or, more worryingly, 2) does nothing to fight the multiheaded hydra that Linux is. Add the fact that it cannot be bought or threatened with any serious lawsuits, its a major headache for Microsoft. All Microsoft can do, is to slow down its rate of adoption, through a combination of tactics, and that is what they have been doing for the past 10 years. This is also good for Linux, as it is giving the developers breathing time and space to improve the quality. In looks department, they are already comfortably ahead of anything Vista or Leopard throw up. The only missing pieces of the puzzle are UI workflow design (where Apple has a superior product) and apps (where Microsoft is ahead). The latter is changing, while the former, is IMO languishing a bit for Gnome, though KDE4 has made some notable improvements.

Microsoft's overall domination of the PC is currently not under threat, but Linux's success is forcing it to slash profit margins and do other things that it would rather not have do. The reason is that unlike Apple, Microsoft's userbase is full of people who want quality for a good price and don't want to be fooled into paying for pricy stuff they really do not need.

It is not the year of linux on the desktop yet. But its coming, and that is giving people in Redmond sleepless nights.

Re:Its beyond just the numbers (5, Insightful)

SpinningCone (1278698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987713)

actually i think your missing the real point. its not really about who you can threaten.

Apple has a business model which literally cannot take a market majority. the day Apple hits 30% it can no longer be apple anymore. however Linux can go all out.

but even that is an aside in these times of recession people have a vested interest in their hardware. XP is getting long in tooth and vista was a flop if 7 doesn't pony up there will be a huge body of unsatisfied people who cannot afford to go buy a mac but *can* afford to download a Linux distro.

once Linux gets enough of a market foothold support for the platform snowballs. more drivers come out more people get linux etc etc.

Apple has never been a real threat to MS (1)

Rix (54095) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987225)

And so long as they refuse to license their OS, they never will be. The vast majority of the market is uninterested in Apple hardware.

Re:Apple has never been a real threat to MS (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987521)

"The vast majority of the market is uninterested in Apple hardware."

You could be wrong there. Since Vista came out, I have found many people have decided to give this Apple thing a try. I did myself after many years of being an Apple hater. I bought a MacBook. My brother who is completely nontechnical and just wants to surf the net, do email, and sync his blackberry, just bought a MacBook. A good friend who does Java development bought a MacBook. My mother is thinking about buying an iMac. About half the people I work with have bought Macs. The list goes on and on.

Re:Apple has never been a real threat to MS (1)

Macka (9388) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987699)

You need to read up on your history. Apple tried licensing an older version of their OS to clone vendors before. It was a monumental failure and almost killed their hardware business. They won't make that mistake again.

Apple have found a niche for themselves as a combined OS + Hardware vendor where they control the entire environment. They aren't the cheapest, and they will never dominate the industry AND THEY DON'T CARE! For one simple reason: enough people like what they produce to generate a very healthy, very profitable business. That, at the end of the day is all they want and they're succeeding at it. For now anyway.

Microsoft is right to consider Linux as a bigger threat, because Linux hits them right where they're at their least competitive and where there is lots of money to be lost: in the business sector. Linux has grown up over the years to become a real power house on the server and deservedly so. And Linux solutions are just getting better and stronger with every year. It's relentless.

 

another typical ballmer presentation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987227)

...and then, to illustrate his point, Ballmer suddenly hurled the slide projector across the room into a group of subordinates wearing penguin masks, wiped his face violently with both hands while saying "Ngogn ngogn", and fell to the floor on his side, running in circles like a wounded animal, yelling "Woowoowoowoowoo"...

Ballmer only considers the business sector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987237)

Well, I haven't seen some companies using Apple based networks...

Which would mean that he wants more of the Linux-using network to switch to an M$ one.

yawn. same story different twist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987317)

keep fighting over it linux fanbois. the rest of the world is busy moving on with their lives.

'Piracy' seen as biggest threat (1)

lbalbalba (526209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987445)

Although it's nice to see Linux as a threat to the Microsoft marketshare, the pie chart in the linked topic shows piracy or 'unlicensed' copies of Windows as the biggest threat. I guess that people do still like or are forced to use Windows, but are just not capable or unwilling of providing the cash for the operating system.

Fair enough points (4, Interesting)

rinoid (451982) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987501)

OK so Apple's share of the worldwide computer shipments is 7-10 million units.

Funny thing is, there are other ships floating out there in them competitive waters Mr. Ballmer.
Witness: iPod, iPhone, iTunes, and notably WebKit

I see a much lower percentage share of IE on sites I manage and barely a blip of traffic from Chrome with Firefox and then Safari taking places 2 & 3.

We don't need to discuss how iPod/iPhone has affected the landscape.

I'm more interested in how WebKit plays in the equation.
Webkit is more than just plain old eyeballs, it's increasingly driving standards with support for CSS,/HTML specs, and, offline db support that make content development less dependent on proprietary tools like ActiveX plug-ins or Flash and more dependent on a web browser (typically not one from MSFT).

He's a cocky bastard and he just got lucky. Wonder if he'd do as well as Paul Allen outside of the MSFT play pen?

Not to mention that fleet sales are what propped up Detroit for a long time ... now what's happening to them? I mention this because the ultra low cost and low cost devices are equivalent to fleet sales.

Terminator quote (paraphrased) (5, Funny)

johnny cashed (590023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987513)

(to microsoft)

Listen, and understand. That linux is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

Netbooks (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987557)

Well, duh!

Netbooks are all the rage these days. The market is growing rapidly, and it will inevitably influence trends on desktop as a whole.

There's no OS X netbook (no, Airbook is not a netbook), nor there are any in plans so far.

Meanwhile, Windows is in heavy competition with Linux for "the netbook OS", and it hasn't been doing so good so far. No-one wants Vista there, and XP is mostly okay but aging fast.

It's no coincidence that "netbook-friendly" is a major talking point for all Windows 7 marketing.

source of Linux market share numbers??? (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987643)

The slashdot summary links to two different articles that show wildly different market shares for Linux. I understand why we might not trust the 0.83% from hitslink.com, since, e.g., lots of people's browsers are probably set up with user agent strings claiming to be something other than what they really are. What I totally don't get is where MS claims to have gotten the much higher figure, which looks like ~5% from the pie chart. All I can think of is standing outside the door of a supermarket and asking people to tell you what OS you use. And ~5% just seems much, much, much too high to me. I see my students use the computers in my physics lab, which are half Windows and half Linux boxes, so I can pretty much tell who's never seen Linux before. Now way is the percentage of Linux users that high.

Linux IS a real threat. (5, Insightful)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987755)

I revently took a course in Microsoft AD after having been a linux guy since RH 5. I couldnt in my wildest dreams think that Microsofts server products are such pile of manure that they are. The more i learn about Windows the more surprised i get that people stand for all the shortcomings, the bad usability, the lack of customer centric solutions and the costs.

In my mind there are just some small things that needs to be pieced in for Linux to be a really dangerous threat to Windows. Most of the things already exists for a Linux solution to completely replace a Microsoft centric network.

I have run Linux Terminal Servers, Linux Fileservers, Linux webservers, Novell, Windows various solutions and Novell Linux solutions. The only thing really needed is an easier and faster way of setting a Linux solution up. Novell and Windows is very hard and tedious to manage once setup but its really easy to get a minimal system up and running. Linux on the other hand is very hard to setup but very easy to manage on a daily basis.

If someone packages a solution where you can get a file, print, ldap and policy handling up and running without much fuss i think Linux would explode. Windows integration is from my view overrated, its much more important of making it easier to get up to speed with a pure linux network. Right now to much work is put into following Microsofts whims around with AD and whatnot instead of building a better solution on linux. A copy can only be so good as its original.

includes servers? (1)

deander2 (26173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26987843)

this is probably just because he's including server numbers. seems reasonable that the number of linux installs on servers would outnumber the number of apple desktops.

Microsoft doesn't have a chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26987863)

With the release of OS X, Apple has proven that they have finally figured out how to produce an operating system that isn't worse than Windows Millenium.

If Apple can keep up with nearly 10 year old software (Windows ME, and unix is what, 30 years old?), and charge nearly double what their competitors charge for hardware, it will only be a matter of time before they take over the operating system market.

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