[clug] Idle Speculation: Are 'smartbooks' The Killer App that'll knock out Winders?

Hugh Fisher hugh.fisher at anu.edu.au
Mon Aug 10 18:18:13 MDT 2009

steve jenkin wrote:
> Will there are 50M-100M 'smartphones' sold in the next 12 months?
> If so, will that impact the webmaster approach of "IE only" and Win-only
> file formats?? [iPhones already sell 5M/qtr, this poss @ right $$]

Already happening IMHO. I snicker every time I imagine a Flash
web designer being ordered to make the company web site work
for iPhones.

> Will the "App Store" (Android & iPhone) be the death of Microsoft?

Only if MS over-extend themselves trying to get into these
new markets. MS have a profitable PC based division for
desktop/server/office software, which is dragged down
by massively unprofitable entertainment/online/embedded
software divisions. (They lose *billions* of dollars each
year. Even Xbox) This is actually good for Linux: MS can
only compete in the netbook OS by offering Windows XP at
a price which isn't profitable for MS as a whole.

> How does this scenario fit with FOSS?

Good news, bad news IMHO. I expect a lot of companies to
adopt Linux as their core OS, either in the form of Google
Android for handhelds or mainstream Linux for netbooks
and up. Developing your own OS infrastructure and device
drivers is a lot of work without measurable financial
benefit for most companies. (Apple and Palm do because
they also build the hardware themselves. Most phone or
netbook companies buy hardware from someone else.)

The bad news is that they're not going to adopt FLOSS
(Free Libre Open Source Software) for the user interface/
application development framework.

Google are the trend setter here with Android. This is a
company that's smart and not hostile to open source, yet
they decided that to produce something that could compete
with Apple/MS it should be done without involving the
community in the development process and without using
the existing GNOME/KDE software base.


More information about the linux mailing list