Could it be true? Is 2008 going to be the tipping point for Microsoft, the year where the Redmond Giant buckles at the knees and pitches forward while the world watches in shock and awe?
Well, if so, no one should be too shocked. The signs are everywhere; the Lilliputians have been snapping at Microsoft's toes for years and their teeth are getting sharper.
Microsoft is getting crowded into the middle. At the high end, tech savvy users and Mom and Pop users alike are switching to Macs. At the low end, Linux machines may get may get slammed by PC Magazine but take a close look at that review: the PC Mag editorial staff rated it at 3 (not so good), but reader ratings were mostly 4's and 5's - clearly a disconnect from reality in the editorial offices. And of course Linux servers have been stealing Microsoft's lunch for years now. The world is moving away from Microsoft.
I went searching for more evidence of that this morning and had no trouble piling up the indicators:
An interesting statistic from http://marketshare.hitslink.com shows 7.31% of web browsing is now from Macs (and another .12% from iPhones). They also say it's a Red State/Blue State thing, with Mac usage being much higher in the Blue areas.. maybe so, but even Colorado shows more than 10% Mac penetration..
From The Register
Think Equity analyst Eric Ross warned today that channel checks in Asia show Dell's PC sales "declining rapidly below expectations". Dell will likely struggle to correct the sales slip before the end of its third quarter, according to the analyst, and now faces a "near-impossible" situation. The hardware maker may well need to issue yet another mid-quarter revenue warning - a process that's becoming a tradition in Round Rock.
That couldn't be because people are losing faith in Windows, could it? Could it be that Dell recognizes that itself and that recognition is why they've started selling Linux machines again?
Apple's stock is doing well, and Leopard might be whyi (link dead, sorry)
I got a Leopard demonstration from a helpful and friendly salesperson named Thomas. He was incredible. He bought a new Mac a few months ago, was so enamored with its features and benefits that he applied for a job at the Apple store. His part-time job has turned into 40+ hours per week. Thomas is a physical education teacher at a local middle school and works full time at Apple. He gave me a wonderful demo of the Leopard and I could see his enthusiasm building -- he was actually having fun. His explanations were terrific and easy to follow for a non-geek like me. Yes, I am going to buy one -- I got hooked as well. I also am going to buy the new iPod with the touch screen. So simple to use and navigate.
That's the thing: when people actually get to see Leopard, it's pretty hard to want to go back to your crappy Windows box, isn't it? I bet a chart of Mac users would show higher concentration around Apple stores.. more chance of seeing and playing means more likely to buy?
Tim Bray at 2008 Prediction 2: Windows Looks Bad says:
The strain due to the fact that most business desktops are locked into the Microsoft platform, at a time when both the Apple and GNU/Linux alternatives are qualitatively safer, better, and cheaper to operate, will start to become impossible to ignore.
These days, when you live mostly on OS X & Ubuntu, XP is just incredibly irritating.
Boy, isn't it? I had to use my wife's PC for just a very few minutes this morning and it ticked me off instantly.. fire up IE but can you type where you want to go? Noooo, you have to wait for it to LET you type.. and that can be a long wait..
Picking up on those thoughts, Windows Looks Bad notes:
I don't rate Google any chance of knocking off Office - Google Docs and Spreadsheets is way too primitive and buggy - but their flagship AJAX app is GMail and it's really good. With IMAP support now available, all that's missing is a good syndication system for Google Calendar. There's a lot of work to be done, but if Google can bring it's calendar offering up to par with GMail, we should see it starting to gain significant traction by years end.
I disagree about Docs and Spreadsheets - the Spreadsheets is a little weak, but for "average" use, Docs is more than powerful enough and I do use both of them regularly.
It's all coming together, isn't it? Oh, I may be premature about 2008, but when Microsoft is lying on the ground whimpering in pain, I am sure that historians will look back at this time period and say that the seeds were sown then..
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