[clug] Taking FOSS Forward
sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Thu Jun 26 07:21:21 GMT 2008
Bob Edwards makes a compelling case that we, as FOSSers, should be
expending effort in taking FOSS forward - but how??
Not in general, but in detail...
[If I could make T'bird include the message ref to the previous thread,
Chris Smart has done a great job with 'Make The Move' site:
Does Linux Australia have any specific projects underway?
I'm almost certain OSIA don't.
Winders is not a Linux alternative & is of diminishing relevance (below).
FOSS doesn't mean 'Linux only' - OOo and cygwin amply demonstrate that -
cross platform applications and languages are a big part of it.
OS/X does have a strong place in the market, especially with the iPhone.
Getting FOSS onto that platform is a specific challenge.
So where do we collectively and individually spend our effort?
How do we 'think global, act local', as it were?
I expect by 2010 for MS to hit a huge financial 'pothole' - like IBM did
in 1990. Like IBM, I expect them to survive. Even if the company is
sold, like Ingress to CA, MS and their products won't got away anytime
soon, if at all. But I suspect their long-term marketshare on PC's might
be 15-20%, even if they normalise their pricing.
The market forces in play:
- In the 'system size/complexity' dimension, MS is being squeezed at the
bottom end by Ultra Low Cost PC's - like the ASUS Eee. At the high-end,
Apple are making significant inroads. Just like Windows replaced SUN
workstations in the mid-90's, OS/X is pushing out MS.
- On the 'market size' dimension, PC's are being squeezed by
'substitutes' like game consoles, media players, smart phones at one
end. In Japan, the beginning of this year saw the contraction of the PC
market (desktops and laptops) for the 5th consecutive quarter. The
market (home and business) is saturated and new entrants (young men),
don't need or want a PC for its own sake.
- the upper bound of 'market size' is total demand. At the beginning of
2003, Moore's Law for CPU speed doubling abruptly changed. Existing
business and home users aren't forced to upgrade every 3-4 years to have
a 'fast enough' PC - 5-7 years PC life is quite possible. New users have
mainly been coming from developing countries (partic. India & China) -
countries like Aus, USA, Europe, Japan have saturated their demand for PC's.
I'm not sure how much further the global PC market has to grow, but
you'd expect demand to be almost entirely for low-end machines - exactly
where ASUS etc are targetted.
Microsoft sales of new O/S's is being squeezed on 3 sides, and the
only area of growth might suddenly move to substitutes.
My bet is 2010 (or as late as 2012) will be crunch time for them.
>From what I know of the company, the management won't be able to handle
it and it will spiral down pretty quickly.
See: "Why smart executives Fail"
Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA
sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin
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