Originally Posted by Gareth
If ever you needed reminding of how many fingers Microsoft has in so many pies,
have a look at this graphic map depicting the epic struggle of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) against the Empire of Microsoft.
Wouldn't like anything like as impressive if you took the duplicates out.
It also makes Microsoft look far more powerful than they really are, in terms of software, anyway.
Almost every alternative to Microsoft's software is better, less buggy and more secure. However, seeing as MS was definitely 'popular' when people first started buying PCs, with the advent of Wondows 95, all that changed.
At that time, other OSs should have had as much chance of taking significant market share, except for one thing: they all lacked basic application support.
Sure you could word-process a document just as pretty using vi
etc. on Unix, but it was gobbledegook to anyone except geeks. The only time a Unix system used a mouse was with X-windows, yet another way-too-geeky alternative to MS that required a degree, long hair and sandals to operate.
So Windows gained dominance because computing became available to the masses, and they weren't all going to spend a couple of years at university in order to become familiar with an OS and its applications.
Then software writers, bored because they couldn't do anything to/with MS applications due to the closed, arcane nature of them, started coding their own applications - often mirroring MS apps. Except, they would take note of the shortcomings and annoyances of the MS apps and craft new ones that were superior.
A few of the more savvy ones (or were they less scrupulous) simply sold out to MS - a process that continues and has gathered pace to this day - and MS ended up replacing it's own sub-standard products with the ones they'd bought.
The only reason we're still having to contend with some of MS's worst applications is because they're being shut out by the FOSS community.
Since software like Linux has now become as easy to install as Windows (in some cases, it often still retains a certain geekiness in offering advanced options to inexperienced users) we ought to be able to expect the installed userbase to expand, yet it is the fact that basic applications are lacking, or are akward to install (I mean, who want to have to go and download 2-3 packages before installing their app?) and the fact that any existing software simply won't work, and that's more than enough to put off even experienced users.
Even the likes of Apple are not helping much here. By not supporting MP3 players other than the iPod in iTunes for Windows, they have, in effect, alienated non Mac users. That's not helping the cause.
Expect Microsoft to be dominant for quite a bit longer, while they and the myriad of games developers and application developers stick to their small niches.
---------- Post added at 09:02 ---------- Previous post was at 08:56 ----------
Originally Posted by foreverwar
Google will probably rise, Microsoft will probably sink (a bit), and then someone else will come along a do a Microsoft/Google on everyone.
More than likely.
That said, I'm not a big fan of using online storage as my primary storage medium. Certainly not for anything of any value or anything private.
For us older, paranoid ones I would like to see Google adopt a more flexible approach. Then they'd be guaranteed to knock MS off their pedestal.