Microsoft under threat from Linux - it's official
Redmond nerves jangle in prized client market
Microsoft has warned investors about new threats to its precious client-side tech ecosystem, by listing Linux vendors Canonical and Red Hat as rivals in its annual Form 10-K filing.
The software giant also acknowledged Apple’s impressive market share grab in the US, where it now commands fourth place for total shipments.
“[The] Client [division] faces strong competition from well-established companies with differing approaches to the PC market. Competing commercial software products, including variants of Unix, are supplied by competitors such as Apple, Canonical, and Red Hat,” wrote Microsoft in the US Securities Exchange Commission filing.
“Apple takes an integrated approach to the PC experience and has made inroads in share, particularly in the US and in the consumer segment.
“The Linux operating system, which is also derived from Unix and is available without payment under a General Public License, has gained some acceptance, especially in emerging markets, as competitive pressures lead OEMs to reduce costs and new, lower-price PC form-factors gain adoption.”
Microsoft also pointed out that hardware partners, including Hewlett-Packard and Intel, were working with “alternative” Linux-based platforms.
It went on to highlight the shifting operating system landscape, where different platforms and new devices could see some consumers flee Microsoft’s comfort zone - the traditional PC market.
“Competitors such as Apple, Google, Mozilla, and Opera Software Company offer software that competes with the Internet Explorer Web browsing capabilities of Windows products,” Redmond told investors, who have doubtless raised similar concerns over the past 12 months.
“User and usage volumes on mobile devices are increasing around the world relative to the PC. OEMs have been working to make the Google Android mobile operating system more compatible with small form-factor PCs or netbooks.”
Indeed, Microsoft has felt the pinch. For the past two quarters the once bullet-proof company has coughed to less-than-pretty revenue drops that have led to job cuts for the first time in the vendor’s history.
Google’s Chrome OS remained notably absent from the list. The big question is will the upcoming Mountain View platform be included a year from now? ®
2 for the price of one
It's interesting how the key FUD talking points seem to be stuck a decade in the past. Macs are no longer terribly expensive. They are in the same price range as consumer PCs that some clerk at the local electronics store might try to your mother. Linux is also considerably different from the hysterical portrait some try to paint of it.
The Windows fear mongers are pretty much wrong on all accounts.
It's a sort of 2 for 1 sale.
The biggest barrier is the fear generated by the fear mongers.
Given that Linux pushed Microsoft to keep XP alive longer and slash their OEM prices, their required disclosure of Linux as a competitor is clearly not just a smoke screen. Linux may not necessarily gain market share but it can certainly devalue Microsoft's products.
To the Wintards out there
To get windows to do what you want:
Regedit.exe and cmd.exe
Don't ever complain about the CLI !
Nothing a good knee capping wouldn't fix.
They seem to be doing a good job of it them selves.