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Losing Ground?

Entry 567, on 2007-07-04 at 19:39:49 (Rating 2, Computers)

I have been predicting the demise of Microsoft for several years now. Well, actually "demise" is probably a bit too strong, its more like a gradual slide into being just another software company instead of being almost the only choice which has been the case in the past.

A computer platform is only as good as the software which is developed for it, and the software is only as good as the developer community. Because of this I was interested when I saw that a recent survey by Evans Data showed a significant decrease in the number of developers targeting Windows. OK, I know that Windows is still the major platform by a large margin, but the trend must be seen as encouraging.

The stats showed a drop in 12% from a year ago, from 74% to about 64%. At the same time Linux support increased from about 9% to 12%. I didn't see any mention of Mac OS X in the stats, but the fact that about 25% is unaccounted for, and that Mac OS X is the only recognised alternative to Windows and Linux, would indicate to me that developers do take the platform seriously and its share is probably greater than Linux.

I don't just enjoy these stats because I dislike Microsoft and want to see them suffer - although I actually do like to see them suffer. The bigger reason for celebration, in my opinion, is that the Microsoft monopoly might be finally being broken.

There are several reasons people use Windows: its just what they have always used and they don't want to change, they see Windows hardware and software as being cheaper, they aren't even aware that there is an alternative, they have support for Windows only, and they have Windows software which isn't available on other platforms. All except the last are probably more perceived than real reasons. If more developers support Mac and Linux, and less support Windows then the last reason (which is quite real and reasonable) can also be addressed. Then we might have an environment where real innovation can flourish instead of being stifled by the evil Microsoft machine!


Comment 1 (693) by OJB on 2007-07-04 at 20:58:39:

And to add insult to injury, Microsoft's Bill Gates is apparently no longer the world's richest person. His wealth, estimated currently at $59.2 billion, has been surpassed by Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim who runs businesses from Mexico City and who is now worth $67.8 billion.


Comment 2 (947) by sbfl on 2007-10-17 at 07:09:19:

I read: "I have been predicting the demise of Microsoft for several years now." and "Microsoft's Bill Gates is apparently no longer the world's richest person. "

Hmmm...am I sensing an inferiority complex...?


Comment 3 (965) by OJB on 2007-10-17 at 15:32:45:

No, you are sensing frustration that someone who uses a series of dirty business tricks and produces a pile of mediocre products goes on to become the most successful businessperson in the world. Its like the "system" rewards the sort of monopolistic, unoriginal behaviour that Microsoft seems to specialise in.


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