Windows

How loyal are you to Microsoft Windows? Take the poll

Technophiles and early adopters appear to be using Windows in smaller numbers than ever. Here's a quick data point on that topic and a poll that is aimed at measuring your Windows loyalty.

I noticed a funny thing during the Fourth of July weekend. I wrote a couple quick articles about Google+, but since it was a holiday weekend in the U.S. and I initially thought Google+ didn't have a whole lot to do with IT or business, I posted them in my personal blog (jasonhiner.com) instead of here on TechRepublic, and then I simply promoted them on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook. When I looked at the stats for those posts, I was startled by the user data for operating systems and web browsers. I noticed that Microsoft Windows was far lower than you'd expect (well under 50% of visits) and Internet Explorer was nowhere to be found.

Naturally, the one who were reading those Google+ articles were the early adopter crowd, especially technophiles, coders, IT professionals, and journalists. But, this tech crowd also tends to be an early indicator of where the masses will be headed in a couple years. If that's the case, then Microsoft Windows could be closer to a significant decline than I expected. Interestingly enough, the biggest competition isn't from Mac or Linux but from mobile devices.

Of course, this got me thinking that I should run a poll on TechRepublic to check the loyalty of users to Microsoft Windows. Before we dive into that poll, take a look below for a closer look at the visitor data from my personal web site during the long weekend of July 1-4, along with a comparison to my TechRepublic blog during the same four days.

Operating systems

Here is the comparison of visitors based on operating system. Notice that only a third of all visitors to my personal site (again, coming primarily for the articles on Google+) were coming from a Windows machine, versus the 80-90% we typically see for TechRepublic articles.

Web browsers

Here is the comparison of visitors based on web browser. Notice that roughly a third of all visits to my site came from Google Chrome browsers and another third came from Firefox/Mozilla browsers, while Internet Explorer is was missing altogether, suggesting that even the Windows visitors were using mostly Chrome or Firefox.

Summing up

Keep in mind that the numbers we're talking about here in relation to my personal site are pretty small -- 1,000 visitors versus over 35K on my TechRepublic blog over the same period -- plus this was measured over a holiday weekend in the U.S. Nevertheless, this is what data wonks would call a statistically significant sample. And, the fact that the primary people attracted to my site during this period were technology early adopters (albeit ones with a Google preference) means that this data could be a bad sign for Microsoft. Combine this with the fact that 80% of students now want to buy a Mac instead of a PC, and the story starts to look even worse for the Redmond software giant.

That said, I expect that existing Windows users, who make up the vast majority here on TechRepublic, don't plan to jump off the Windows bandwagon any time soon. I'd like to confirm just how deep that loyalty runs, so I've created the poll below. Answer the poll and then jump into the discussion to share your current thoughts on the issue.

Take the poll

Also, if you're experimenting with Google+, you can find my profile here.

About

Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).

58 comments
chrisbedford
chrisbedford

- exactly. I'm in support, so I have no choice but to stay on Windows, since more than 90% of my customers are on Windows. And since some of them have started requiring help with Vista or Win7, I have had to bite the bullet and "upgrade" to Win7 myself. That said, the couple per cent users who aren't on Windows, are on Mac and I've had to learn a bit about the various flavours of Leopard. Found that easier after setting up a couple of test installations of Ubuntu and Fedora. Linus is easier than it was 5 years ago, but still a way to go before it's as easy to do stuff (talking about under the hood stuff) as it is in Windows. I don't exactly "love" WIndows, but I *do* dislike MacOs. Settings are in all the wrong places, some of them impossible to find intuitively, some basic settings can't be found at all, and the "help" isn't even as good as Microsoft's was 6 years ago.

lxa374
lxa374

I love competetion. Windows is doing a fine job in keeping up. Besides, their products are ubiquitous.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Windows happens to be the tool I use because it does what I want/require. If another OS were to accomplish that and more, I would probably switch. But the likelihood of that at present is slim.

jasonhiner
jasonhiner

Again, it's not simply Mac and Linux that are taking a big bite out of Windows among early adopters. It's also mobile devices. Many of those users -- especially Android and iPad users -- may also be using Windows systems. They're just using mobile devices to do many of the tasks that used to be solely relegated to their PCs. Many of them will likely continue to use Windows for years to come.

Bishop234
Bishop234

I am glad to hear that someone else does not find Macs to be 'super-duper-user-friendly'. I thought it was just me. I am NOT a genius(pun intended), but I am not a total idiot either...

rmerchberger
rmerchberger

Microsoft's help isn't as good as it was 6 years ago... Heck, I learned Microsoft Access 2.0 (and programming in VBA) from 'F1.' No books, no Interwebs... just 'F1.' That is when Microsoft knew how to make a good help system. Now, their help system tries to hit the interwebs to show you why your computer won't hit the interwebs... *Nothing* has nearly as useful help system (MS, MacOS or Linux) as good ol' Access 2.0.... but I suppose if I had to pick a 2nd place, it'd prolly be man pages in Linux. (They're ugly, but at least they're usually useful... and gawd, do I hate that newer 'info' system...) And sometimes numbers can be misleading... The logs will say my post came from Win7 (which technically, it did) so you won't see the "behind the scenes" info: My Win7 is running in a virtual server under Ubuntu 10.04LTS. [[ TR, you're upgraded site wreaks havoc with FF3.6.x and Ubuntu 10.04 -- which doesn't easily upgrade to the very latest versions of FF or Flash ]]. However, if I wasn't running Win7 in it's own little sandbox... I don't hate Windows either... but I do hate MS's marketing tactics, and the security subsystem is laughable. (You'd think that by Win7, they'd have made at least a little headway on the whole virus/spyware issue...) 'Course, if the wife lets me (fat chance, eh?) I might be browsing from a Touchpad soon... ;-) Laterz, "Merch"

techrepublic@
techrepublic@

From years of administration experience on both GNU/Linux and Windows, I find the first much easier to work under the hood, mainly because it is much more open, modular, and scriptable. I would say this is a common opinion in the hand full of people I know that have extensive experience in both OSs.

gmichaels
gmichaels

I think you mean "competition." Doesn't your browser underline errors as you type?

sehamon
sehamon

I agree to the concept of not being an OS loyalist, something I've said about myself for years, but I have a much different attitude when it comes to OS use. I use any and all, (except Mac, but only because of price). I run Linux as my network's backbone, and Windows for the massive amount software available and for testing purposes. I have an android phone, and wouldn't mind an iPod. I dabble with Unix (the solaris variety), and have even install experimental systems like ReactOS, a windows substitute. All in all, I don't really care what system its running, as long as it has an available compiler so I can write my own code. Because really, when you get down to that point, we're all written in C.

VirtualPro
VirtualPro

Agree. It should be a productivity tool to get a job done! However the need to continually nurse and patch Windows to keep it running well - impacts that productivity. I was upgraded from XP to Windows 7 and Office 2003 to Office 2010. It is now responsive again (goodby registry corruptions, cookies, spyware, extra bagage that comes with time...). But... while it runs better I am still not happy. Forget the agrument of one version is better than another - the fact is they are very very different and I have wasted weeks re-learning and resetting the environment to start being useful again. The tool should fit the user - I should not have to adapt to what the tool wants.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

At work, it's not my call. At home, Windows runs the apps I want, which aren't available on other platforms. As an OS, it does what I want.

rm.squires
rm.squires

I use windows purely for that fact I can easily run my games and run VMs to run other OSest to experiment or even use them.

TGGIII
TGGIII

MS's first-to-market strategy of "good enough software" was great tactics for its time but like all short cuts, it isn't playing well in the long run. Code bloat, lack of functionality, non-integration of known improvment features and a culture of internal competition all make the software giant vunerable.

Weird Fishes
Weird Fishes

Jason, I think you should pay attention to when you actually gathered the data not the data itself, as it was a public holiday in the US users will generally check Twitter, facebook, blogs, news sites and so on.. on mobile devices (as it's more of social, get out of the house and behind the desk day, therefore mobile devices come in place) i know for a fact i wont take my work PC or Home PC to the local cafe, rugby match or to the pub whilst i'm catching up with mate so i can check the latest news or gossip when i have a spare few minutes, i would most likely use my over rated iphone. just another perspective.... Cheers

alextepes
alextepes

It really seems that you grasped at a straw here to try and see what you already knew. Perhaps not, you could be genuinely looking to see how many people are sticking with Windows, but it almost looks like a viral ploy to get the attention of users to increase the hits you get with something a lot of people are passionate about, and that would be their stance in choice of operating system. While I personally would use Linux on anything work related, that being servers or any kind of data storage due to system stability, less hassles and uptime, but when it gears more towards media and general consumer use you will see Microsoft Windows on top. I don't say that from a fan-boy point of view either. With Microsoft, sure you have the odd operating system like ME or Vista that are unjustifiably horrible, but if you look at it from a stand point for quick use, multimedia use, hardware compatibility, software use, and general things, Microsoft is generally on top. With Linux, most of the time you are looking at restricted drivers, later software releases for major programs, a very short-line of gaming options, unless you know how to use some of the tweaking software like WINE or Cedera or whatever it's called. When it comes to server daemons you are going to have better luck with Linux. However, the general consumer has no idea what a server daemon is, javascript, html and all the other things that put the web together. People who purchase Macs do get similarities as you do with Windows, but people are under the assumption it's better than Windows for some reason when it's based off a unix operating system to begin with. The thing about Mac is you are only capable of using software that Apple says is okay most of the time, or you have slim options with open source applications, you don't get the same vast pool as Windows or Linux by any means. Only what Apple likes, and whoever has extra time to make that kind of port for their software. The problem today with the average consumer is they believe advertisements or what false techies say to create sales, or because they believe it's some way more secure. The problem is still between the keyboard and the chair. On the mobile front it's the same idea, you can get things done quickly and simply now more than we use to, however it still stands that laptops and desktops are more for hardcore use, where you need full hands on control of your media, work or gaming.

raelayne
raelayne

I have used a number of operating systems, and agree that it is just a tool like any other. But let's talk about the things we do every day. Until 5 days ago, I spent about 6 hours a day on my Windows laptop. A couple of years ago I spent 5 hours a day on my Mac, but then dumped a chai latte into the keyboard, killed it, and decided I didn't deserve a Mac. But that's another story. Anyway, what happened 5 days ago? I bought my first Android phone. Over the past 5 days I have spent maybe 3 hours on my laptop; the rest on my phone (unlimited data from Virgin mobile -- the Verizon contract runs out in 3 weeks -- woohoo!). I am on the laptop now only because I'm writing a grant proposal, and it's faster to write large docs. But how much of our screen time is spent doing that? Bottom line - it won't take long. Windows is about to be gone. And now, how about the "cloud"? (Been talking about that for 20 years, and finally it has a cute name so it's catching on? Hmmmm) Anyway, yesterday I was working on my 85YO ex-MIL's laptop, and starting thinking about backing up to DVD, and realized that was crazy. External SSD? Crazy, too. Thumb drive? Why bother? To the cloud, baby. My docs are all on Google Docs, I have stuff in Dropbox and everywhere else, and I think we're about to see those PCs become the boat anchors we've been talking about for all these years. What I want is a phone with a projector, so I can see a large page on the wall, and a projected keyboard I can type on quickly on the top of the table. And a little camera to watch where my fingers go. Then I would never use the laptop again.

franklymydear
franklymydear

Due to the proliferation of smart devices there are manny who use their device to gather or research information frequently. This does not correlate to "replacing" a desktop or an OS but simply that we are using the available tools to make our jobs or gather available information to suit our needs. While it may be useful in some circumstance my old eyes prefer using my desktop with it's large screen than trying to pick out much in the way of a blog or tech article on a handheld device. Replacement? Not in the forseeable future!

vinneyk
vinneyk

There are also those of us who are limping along with our current smart phone (mine's the terrible Droid Eris) awaiting the release of WP7 Mango. That would be an interesting poll: How many are using a device they are unhappy with while MSFT is putting the finishing touches on the Mango release.

fredscomprepair
fredscomprepair

I think microsoft finally got it right with win 7. So far it has never failed me and is realitively clean of infections, and no failures. An occasional restart to clear out the registry but good to go. Win 8 though maybe a little over-kill possibly good for tablets and pads??

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

That is only true if the windows help person understands that Linux isn't Windows. I have known too many who assume that Windows is how all computers work.

MrRich
MrRich

Have to agree, much as I spend my days coaxing Windows. Its much easier to configure a given Linux distro.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I too said I was use any OS, though I do have a particular hatred of MacOS, but the topic wasn't about that. I'm a hard core gamer, so Windows is a requirement. Linux has very few high quality games, Mac has a few, but the performance is awful compared to Windows (Judging by system requirements)

joeller
joeller

Windows is a tool. A very good tool for me. My only experience with a Mac caused me to go home each night with migranes. I was never able to get my Linux VM to work properly probably because I hate the command line. Fortunately I never underwent the VISTA experience so maybe I am influenced by my reliance on mostly XP at work, with very little Windows 7 at home. But it is only a tool. I agree that while upgrading the software was good, changing the GUI was not only unnecessary but counter productive. I am still a Office 2003 fan, but have been converted to an Office 2007/2010 hater. If new Windows versions make any more changes to its GUI, I will start looking for new tools that allow me to carry out work without the aggrevation of changing everything just to be changing it.

Bishop234
Bishop234

Microsoft has made it's niche, to be sure. I am futzing about with a Mac and trying to see if it has the capability to work in a Windows network environment, as I am seeing that a totally Mac network environment would be too costly. I am not feeling the love... One of the things that will make it easier for Windows users to move to other platforms is MS's penchant for forcing users to "upgrade away" from working and productive products(like Microsoft Picture It! Publishing Platinum - the only reason I have to keep a machine running XP).

dhohls
dhohls

Strange; for me its been liberating to run Ubuntu as my primary OS and then use VMs to run, for example, Windows for those apps that I am required to use (and which won't run under Wine).

kashyap.bikram
kashyap.bikram

I play a lot of games, and difficult on wine. And i dont think i will be able to play crysis, etc on mobiles any time soon.

eric.schell
eric.schell

What's 'Great' about rushing half-baked, lame products to market just so you can be in there ahead of the other makers? The word you want here is 'EXPEDIENT'. Many thousands of users had to wrestle with those betas while MS worked out the bugs.

pukkita
pukkita

I've been working with Linux, Windows, BSD systems and Macs for about 16 years. "The thing about Mac is you are only capable of using software that Apple says is okay most of the time, or you have slim options with open source applications, you don't get the same vast pool as Windows or Linux by any means." While I partially agree in regard of gaming options in OS X, almost all major titles end up being released for OS X too, only minor titles are the ones missing. But what you say about open source is plainly absurd, I'm afraid based on lack of first hand experience. OS X it's an unix OS, more exactly, *BSD based. "Slim options with open source applications"? almost ALL can be built and run on OSX, from the smaller CLI utility to anything. Do some googling about darwin. Is in *nix opensource apps where windows is lacking, not OS X, where almost any source tarball can be extracted, ./configure'd and make'd just as if you were in any *BSD system or Linux. No need to port anything, and obviously Apple cannot control what you build or install in your computer... I think what you say applies only to *not jailbroken* iOS devices...

rodolfo.jofre
rodolfo.jofre

Interesting and very attractive, though I feel there is a little risk in clouds. What if... ... clouds are blown away by a black out? What length of time would be tolerable without being able to access your invaluable data? ... the admin guy at your cloud company goes crazy or peeky and starts intruding your privacy? (I know it sounds a little paranoic, but it has happened) (Did you read the artice "Background check companies scrutinize your online presence" http://ct.techrepublic.com/clicks?t=904057142-a29eb71f2d55c12efec2de36c8594a33-bf&brand=TECHREPUBLIC&s=5 ) There might be a lot more reasons... I might be old fashioned, but I feel far more secure by keeping my data safe at my sight... A DVD, or an external HD are now so low in price and size, and they are faster than any uploading speed I can be offered. Regarding "windows is about to be gone" I seriously doubt it. Did you forget that the best (and probably the only really good) thing of MSFT is its Marketing Department? You can sell whatever you want if you have a good strategy...

MacNewton
MacNewton

"What I want is a phone with a projector, so I can see a large page"

blakjak.au
blakjak.au

A single device that can cover all your computing needs. Your mobile phone/table when you go out and your PC/laptop when you're at your desk. Motorola Atrix is a perfect example of this. It's a bit limited in the desktop interface, but the idea is solidly executing. Dual-core 1.2 ARM CPU and a HDMI/USB dock make it a capable desktop replacement for web-surfing and document editing. Just need to wait for the next generation for dual-core smartphones and someone to figure out how to dual-boot ubuntu or something.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

You're describing how your hardware usage has changed. Your 'phone to desktop' use ratio would probably have changed similarly regardless of what OS was on each device. But sticking with that theme, it all boils down to what you want to do. Some of us don't value mobility. Others don't trust web-based data storage. And as you noted, some content is still easier to create and edit with a full-sized screen and physical keyboard. Windows won't be gone anytime soon. Desktop devices, regardless of OS, will become fewer people's system of first choice, but they aren't going to disappear this decade.

Miroslavr
Miroslavr

I have to agree. All this fuss about the dead PC is getting on my nerves a little bit. It is just not practical using your portable device for any prolonged work. I still need huge storage space. I currently have 2 Tb of data and it is growing. This is simply not practical to have in the cloud. My photos only take 0.6 Tb. The screen on mobile devices strains my eyes and I'm not getting any younger. Not to mention the keyboard etc. My kids have their notebooks and smartphones. When I get home after work, the first thing I have to do is get them log of from my PC, as after a while they prefer all the goodies a real PC offers them. So the PC is far from dead. Of course the portable devices have their uses, I just love them, but considering them to replace the PC is just nonsense today.

itadmin
itadmin

Come on, Excel is just a spreadsheet. There are many Linux spreadsheets out there, some of them, like Calc of Open Office, working even much like Excel. If you haven't found anything to replace Excel it's because you haven't tried. I know next to nothing about Photoshop and The Gimp which can apparently replace it, so I won't say anything on that subject.

ziffdavis
ziffdavis

I feel pretty much the same as joeller, with the additional comment that, like Palmetto, I also have a fistful of apps that work on Windows, but that might be difficult or impossible to replicate on other platforms -- not to mention the cost of replacing things like Photoshop and Excel. Sure, there are "equivalents" available, some of them for free, but I have spent a lot of time learning the interfaces, writing platform-specific macros and so on. Microsoft: the old adage still rings true - if it ain't broke, don't "fix" it!

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

Look for a way to install Samba on your Mac. It's made to connect Unix like systems to a Windows network. Mac OS X is really just a shell running on a BSD Unix variant. Check the forums. Google is your friend!

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

If you are going to try Linux, there are a couple of things to remember. 1. Linux is not a product, it's a complete ecosystem. There are hundreds of Linux distributions out there. Each is targeted at a different kind of user/need. If you are experimenting, you may want to start out with a simple one, like Ubuntu, Mint or Mepis. Knoppix is also great for a first look, as you use it without installing anything on your computer. If you are technically inclined, then you should consider fedora. Expect to have to do a lot of customizing. If you are already a Unix expert, then consider something like Slackware or Gentoo. You need to understand your hardware and the software you are using to get the best performance from those two. 2. Finally, remember that Linux is not Windows. Things you take for granted on Windows are not even there in Linux. (The Registry, for example.) But the reverse is also true. Things you will learn to take for granted in Linux are not even there in Windows. My favorite alternative to a word Processor, Lyx, for example, is not available for Windows because Windows can't support real Pipes. Multiple desktops and multiple simultaneous users is another area where Windows only offers workarounds for what Linux does. File permissions and protections is another area where Windows is just now catching up part way with things that Linux has done for over 15 years. Don't assume that because you know how a task is done in administrating a Windows box you can do the same in Linux. Often, you can, but there may well be better ways to do it. Linux is very modular, that is why it runs the majority of embedded devices, close to a majority of phones, and a majority of big servers with almost all of the most powerful computers on the planet running Linux. That kind of power and flexibility comes at a price. the price is learning what you are doing. Don't expect a magic GUI to solve everything. It won't. It doesn't in Windows either, but you are usually shielded from having to know what is happening. Good luck!

garnerl
garnerl

Thankfully, the government hasn't gotten involved in business to that extent.

BaconSmoothie4-2
BaconSmoothie4-2

I used to feel locked into Windows, mainly for games. Now that the Xbox and PS3 are so good I can't remember the last time I "enjoyed" a game on the PC. But I suppose I kept Windows so long (and it comes on just about every PC) that I still use it. Though I did recently download Open Office and I really love it...so no more M$ Office for me (now I can afford buy gasoline, well almost). If Linux is as good as Open Office I might have to try it soon too. I wish the government had required PC makers to ship dual boots on every Windows PC using some flavor of Linux, I don't care which one. At least then we would have some idea of our choices.

apotheon
apotheon

> Only used it twice and that was two times too many. That looks like three times too many, from where I'm sitting.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

out of VSS. Horrible piece of crap that was, Only used it twice and that was two times too many. On TFS now mainly because of the integration with Visual Studio and MS Build, as opposed to it's inherrent features but anything is better than VSS. I rather copy the code on to labelled CDs than use that, at least you know it will work.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

The reason youi can still run your 98 program is it niot taking advantage of features of subsequent operating systems, or it's ineffeciciently using some real or psuedo emulation layers. Not to mention there will be gaps in it in terms of interacting with the OS, and security within it. Remeber the hooraw from XP to Vista, or VB6 to VB.Net, not even MS agree with you...

Slayer_
Slayer_

I won't bother with a long speech, I'll just say our dev department is still working on removing our 16bit code for 15 years ago. We are only almost ready for Win7, but we got some old programs compiled in VB5, which Win7 blocks some stuff with it. Its not easy developing for each new OS. On average we are 3 years behind.

YetAnotherBob
YetAnotherBob

Backwards compatibility is vastly overrated. It is not needed when the programs cost little or nothing. Open source has proven this. Many distributions of Linux are not backward compatible. But, since the applications use open and publicly available data storage files, any suitable application can use and save the data. Only customer limiting vendors use 'secret' file storage schemes. Then, it's purely to lock in customers. If you are locked in, it is due to lack of due diligence in your choice of vendors. A lot of people here would say it's Microsoft or Apple, but that's not true. Those two are merely symptoms of a much larger problem. You need to specify that your applications store all data in publicly documented formats. the day is coming when your job may depend on having done that. Open source is good, Open Data Formats are VITAL.

apotheon
apotheon

While Subversion kicks the crap out of Visual SourceSafe, it's pretty primitive by the standards of newer distributed version control systems. You might want to try out Mercurial, my favorite DVCS, or Fossil for a somewhat more integrated approach to version control tools.

blarman
blarman

I wouldn't go there if I were you. I know a lot of developers who do large group projects in Linux (they work on the HP LaserJet Printers) and their system is robust, easy-to-use, and includes all the hallmarks of large project management: code versioning, bug tracking, compiling, etc. If you want a good example to try, look at Subversion, which is open source and also compatible with Windows. Development is all about the tools and the environment - not the OS.

jhoward
jhoward

I can (usually) still run programs written for Windows 98 on Windows 7. The point is that Mac for example has historically not been backwards compatible with applications built for the previous OS version while Microsoft has. A lot of effort has actually been put forth by Microsoft to make this possible. I am no fan of Microsoft or Apple business practices - I personally think they are both different sides of the same evil coin - but I do have to give Microsoft considerable credit on their work to maintain backwards compatibility. I can still play Kings Quest 4 from 1998 on my Windows 7 PC (much faster!) with the files from the original 5 1/4" disks.

AntonczykR
AntonczykR

4) Development tools. Visual Studio beats anything and everything else. Try to develop large project on Linux - yuck!

blarman
blarman

I'm not defending Microsoft per se, but let's just step back a little and look at the expectations of the time. We expect so much more now than we did then because there was so much that we could now do that we couldn't. We expected some hiccups as the technology matured because the short-term benefits we got were worth the price. The reason we aren't satisfied with Microsoft's latest performance is because we have expected the technology to mature much more than it actually has - new features have been more prevalent than rock-solid kernels and security. What we are getting is still Microsoft's typical strategy of "release now and we'll iron out the bugs as we go." The problem is that until enough people are fed up with this to the point of dropping Windows, it isn't going to impel them enough to change the way they develop. Competition to Windows is only now beginning to really challenge Microsoft in the OS space. I expect a lot of market reshuffling to happen in the next ten years as things even out to where they would have had there been any real contenders to the Windows desktop OS. I expect that Apple, Google, and Linux in general will begin to take bites out of Windows' desktop dominance as true competition kicks in and individual users are granted choice and freedom. There are a couple of caveats: 1) Games. This deserves its own topic entirely, but really does drive desktop purchasing. My current home PC runs Windows XP because I have a lot of games that don't run anywhere else. While many new games are being written for mobile devices or dedicated consoles, the PC gaming industry is still a massive market. 2) Business: Many businesses have custom applications that only run on Windows. This artificial lock-in really prohibits many businesses from even looking elsewhere. Even this has a market-based solution however: cloud-based apps that run in a standards-compliant browser. 3) FUD: I'm not specifically referring to Microsoft's legal campaigns against competitors, but it can be added in here. Many home users - especially the aging crowd are intimidated into either getting what they've always gotten, or getting whatever that slick salesperson tells them to (so there can be a nice fat commission). There are a lot of people that don't really know how to evaluate what they need, which plays into the hands of Microsoft.

LarryR
LarryR

(and by that, I meant the urban slang, not the word processor.)

gordon.obrien
gordon.obrien

...and Apple has never released anything to market too early? Lets not get started on the Linux desktop! Of course they all want to get their innovations out there first - buggy or not. I had to decide which machine to write this response on, out of the Mac, OpenSUSE or Windows box that are all on my desk. I love and hate them all, but instinctively I went for the Windows 7 Machine. Don't know why!

alextepes
alextepes

Of course there is a difference if you can compile something yourself, can the general consumer use tarballs or use compilers? That I'm going to assume as no. My general point is the ease of access to applications for consumers, that don't even know how to compile things or get source-apps. I wasn't generalizing it as "Any-type of app", more like something you get on your pc and it automatically works without the use of a compiler. Linux has a few apps like this, if not, through synaptic or other application managers it's done for you. It's the mainstream get - use - reuse portion I am referring to. You just can't get a tar ball and instantly have a nice gui installation can you? My experience is about 12 years Windows, 10 years Linux, but that has nothing to do with this. I agree I should of fine-tuned my statement a bit better.

JCitizen
JCitizen

looks exactly what I've been proposing for two years, except with slip on finger pads for typing. Of course, it is, just a concept.

ozjames
ozjames

Maybe an Android tablet. They include phones for conferencing (or any other use) and do anything an iPad does, plus are more flexible than an HP or Playbook.

JJFitz
JJFitz

everything looks like a nail. There are more tools in the toolbox Mac. :)

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