Saturday, July 11, 2009

Microsoft's monopoly crumbling

In the past, Microsoft used to be untouchable. Today, things seem to be shifting drastically. Microsoft still has a monopoly on the desktop computer market but it is being threatened from numerous sides. The latest threat is coming from Google who is creating their own operating system and competing head on with Microsoft Windows.

      We knew that one day this would happen and it has finally arrived. Will Google be able to cut away at Microsoft's monopoly in the OS market? Microsoft is a large company and has been dominant for a very long time. They have a lot of money behind them and have established contacts with hardware and software makers. It will not be an easy task for Google to take market share away from Microsoft but they will definitely try. Google is a search engine king and they too have huge financing behind them. This battle of the OS will be tough, interesting and very competitive. However, if any one will be able to compete with an established and large company such as Microsoft, it is definitely Google. They have a lot of innovation, financing, and know how to compete with an established giant.

     Microsoft's monopoly is not being threatened by Google alone. There are a lot of other companies that are trying to get more market share at the expense of Microsoft. Apple computers has been marketing their products extensively and lately they are very popular. Microsoft is definitely losing customers to Apple who makes quality hardware, stylish and easy to use computers. Apple has become a huge brand that a lot of chic individuals want. Some people are just tired of Windows and are looking for alternatives. Apple brand seems to be everywhere and is an easy switch for most users.

      GNU/Linux is also a huge threat to Microsoft. They do not have a large market share but they continue to grow and GNU/Linux is definitely picking up momentum. It is not only for hobbyist and tweakers anymore but for users of all types. Even Google's new Chrome OS will be built on the Linux kernel. Microsoft will have a hard time competing with GNU/Linux because of several factors. GNU/Linux is not only one operating system. There are hundreds of them out there and they are all unique. They appeal to different users. It is hard to create one operating system that can satisfy everyone. That is why GNU/Linux distributions have an upper hand because they can create an OS for a particular user in mind. Also, open-source software is much easier to modify than proprietary software, so it can quickly adapt to new trends. There are already some established distributions that are getting at Microsoft's monopoly on the desktop. These are Ubuntu, Mint Linux, Debian, Fedora, Open Suse, Mandriva and many others.

      Gadgets are also threatening Microsoft. Things are shifting drastically in computers and the action is not only on the desktop. A lot of people are using different gadgets to get on the web and for computing. Cell phones have become mini computers that run their own OS. Netbooks are very popular and need a lightweight operating system. Tablet computers and many other devices are running their own software and are bypassing the desktop computer and Microsoft Windows.

     Microsft's monopoly is being threatened from all sides. This is a good thing for consumers. Microsoft will not be able to charge ridiculous amount of money for their software anymore. They will have to change and adopt if they would still like to be an important player in the future. The old ways of gauging customers for huge amounts of cash is over. Today there are plenty of alternatives and customers are switching to them. Microsoft is slowly crumbling and becoming less and less relevant. Now with Google Chrome OS taking its aim directly at Microsoft, it is inevitable for this large monopoly to finally fall apart.

11 comments:

  1. Microsoft is too slow to adopt and Google will take its place.

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  2. I do believe you're right that Google will take it's place, but not in the same way. Google is really a giant advertising company and I don't think they will or really want to take over peoples desktops and lock them in like MS does. They just want to funnel people toward their services (and thereby generating their ad revenue) in as many ways as possible. I do think they will be the dominant computer company much like MS is now. MS will probably have to settle in to a role more like IBM (assuming they can adapt like IBM did). IBM used to be that company that MS is now, but were driven to the brink of bankruptcy and adapted and is now a very large and powerful company, but not the dominant force in the computer world anymore. I'm guessing Microsoft will suffer a similar fate. Over the course of the computer era it's be shown time and again no one can stay on top forever and as markets mature (or in some cases become obsolete) the balance of power shifts. While I think Google may be next, they also will not last on top forever either. they'll have their 10-20 years and someone else will step up and take over that position.

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  3. There is to much noise over this matter. I am absolutely not favor of Microsoft policies, methods and solutions. But there is to much Microsoft Die Hard out there. So Microsoft to die or loose just a little market is need first to educate people, and even educated people are lazy some times, and prefer to have a hard work with something they already know, than have a easier way with something is new but needs to be learn.

    Unfortunately is like it is. I only believe the future could change by we all begin now educate the children, so when they get older, they have some practice with other solutions and an open mind to other products that is not Microsoft.

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  4. Folks, we have been continously hearing of the upcoming Chrome O/S, I think its really a dumb idea: Have an O/S that boots into browser – so that all you can do wd ur netbook is to browse.

    Cmon guyz, we already have Ubuntu loaded on netbooks and its market share has shrunk from 47% to 4% – it still provides Firefox and users can browse all they want on it - still nobody wants it!

    Secondly, we can already do a lot more with our cell phones than mere browsing. Remember: Desktop computing is not gonna go away any time soon – Google is totally getting its thinking boxed into browser!

    As far as MSFT is concerned, it took them time to get rid of legacy code of Windows NT, and with bold move of Vista, they have been able to set themselves up for the next decade. Windows 7 is already a success and it runs so smoothly over netbooks, laptops, PCs and even in my virtual machines!

    Bottom line: Google cannot overtake Windows in short term – They will need to work very hard for at least one decade to get anywhere close!

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  5. The business community will be Microsoft's last & most lucrative bastion. Most CEO's & accountants will remain with Microsoft until convinced otherwise.

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  6. It is all about choice and options. Until a few years ago MS Windows was really the only choice for the "average user." Today, there are options for the "average user."
    Although I use Linux almost exclusively (GO Linux Mint!!!) I do not dislike many of the thinks MS has done. I believe that the added competition will force MS to make some hard choice. If MS makes the right moves it is a win for consumers and will promote further growth by its new competition. If MS makes the wrong moves it may well fade away over time.

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  7. No one can come up with a one-size-fits-all OS anymore and that's why a discussion like this is childish and uncostructive. It's impossible to generalise what people need or want. Personally, I use Ubuntu a lot but it's extremely difficult to recommend for those who need to use some pro-level firewire sound cards or more exotic displays.

    Besides, Linux-based systems require plenty of know-how and understanding yet and this is why Google is making a great job by introducing a mainstream user to Linux world with their streamlined Linux distribution. Something Ubuntu has failed to do unfortunately. Google certainly knows why an average user isn't wild about the idea of using Linux.

    Lump it or like it but Microsoft still gives the best solutions for game fanatics and home theatre users. Linux can't either replace Mac OS X - serious pros can't get their job done without Photoshop, Final Cut, Illustrator, Logic Pro, ProTools etc. Linux-based solutions stay best suited for software and hardware developers, web programmers etc.

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  8. Google's chrome os idea is just another linux distro and none of them have went anywhere so I don't expect this to move anywhere. Although, I am glad to see them trying because they will at least create some jobs until they realize search is where its at for them and get rid of the project like they do so many other of their "lost" projects.

    I'm not totally convinced that google didn't get the idea from microsoft's gazelle project which is similar and they anounced this along with a whitepaper of how it's set up and loads of other data on it back in february at the PDC.

    From what I've heard, google's main reason for moving forward is because they want the same exposure that MS has in windows that advertises its other products.

    Either way, in defense of microsoft, they are not a monopoly and they aren't crumbling at all. Windows 7 pre-order sales are already really high. With a higher market cap than most banks and oil companies, the only crumbling that's happening is maybe their floors from the weight of all their liquidity.

    Lastly, there is a reason for their business success and its not unfair practices or companies just not knowing any better. A major reason its so successful is because of the strength and power of their enterprise support and applications. The .net framework has been regarded as the golden gem of this decade for any small or large business. Software companies and developmental staff (with .net skills) have skyrocketed and surpassed java based shops a long time ago. Just look at the job postings at robert half, monster, careerbuilder, or dice. Developer's salaries are higher than ever, and its way easier to get a job than before .net came out.

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  9. Oh where do I start... Lets start at the beginning... the first paragraph.

    "Google who is creating their own operating system and competing head on with Microsoft Windows."

    Firstly, they are NOT competing head on with MS Windows. Google Chrome OS is aimed at the netbook market. Desktops? Forget it. It's being developed with certain hardware in mind. Lets not go spreading stuff about Google Chrome OS targeting desktops. It's a silly idea and I can't imagine google doing it.

    Secondly, if we look back a bit we'll see that Linux, for all it's greatness in data centres and the like, dislodged not Windows servers but Sun Solaris and Unix. It's a like for like situation.

    So, if google truly do get a foothold, who are they going to be dislodging? Take your pick... Moblin? Ubuntu? Xandros?

    It's not all good news. A system which relies on cloud computing? Where is your data going to be stored and in what format? What if, Google being a household name, Linux's successes are attributed to Google? We've already seen this with Ubuntu (http://www.google.com/trends?q=linux%2Cubuntu)

    And as for the other threats. Embedded devices was ALWAYS going to happen. No two ways about it. Windows is not a suitable OS for most things let alone small low powered devices.

    Given that Google Chrome OS will be based GNU/Linux, can it really be that definitely seperated? Google are just throwing their hat into a battle that's been waging for a while now.

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  10. The change coming is like a tsunami out at sea, very fundamental and oh so powerful but just (for now) a little blip. The infrastructure has been laid, GNU/Linux is fully modern, net-2.0 enabled, runs incredible eyecandy (America's Army, Quake 3.0, Saubraten, it goes on) and finally has GUI (Gnome/KDE/others)married to it's always powerful underscore. Meanwhile, the most notable mindshare change, OLPC under John Negraponte has exposed a whole new generation to a paradigm outside the WinTel solution, but's occurring on other fronts too, Indiana schools. This fight for mindshare explains why MS took a 180 on XP-home about 7-8 months ago from unwanted itch to being pushed as the netbook solution. Why else the repeated attempts to muscle in on OLPC (a HUGE mindshare chunk). Even some of the old school users are maturing in what they want and exposed to the Penguin (or Apple, or BeBox or put your pick here) are waking to the exciting possibilities. When this thin hits shore it's gonna be quite a market change.

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  11. i agree that microsoft is going to go under for a few years but it will come up with something more spectacular and rise back up like everything else. There is always something bigger and better then that too fails.

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