Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Feb 2009 10:17 UTC
Microsoft Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer had some interesting things to say yesterday about which companies Microsoft sees as its competitors in the client operating system space. You'd think Apple was their number one competitor - and you'd be wrong. Microsoft sees two other competitors as their primary adversaries.
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Microsoft, Linux, OEMs and Apple
by acobar on Wed 25th Feb 2009 15:26 UTC
acobar
Member since:
2005-11-15

Of course, Ballmer must see Linux as a big threat than Apple, that just make a lot of sense. Apple tie its software with its hardware and send all signals it want to keep the whole situation this way, even making hard to an independent developers to create solutions to their products.

Contrast that to Microsoft way. The relationship of Microsoft, OEMs (Dell, HP, Sony, and so on) and integrators creates a different "tie", way larger, way more complex and, more important and worrying, one that can be broke if the right things are on place.

It already happened on server side, where linux made huge gains, it is occurring on special devices, where linux flexibility is of great use and now it is happening on the client side.

More than ever, the principal Microsoft advantage, its "good enough" ties, i.e. software tools and documentation, together with market share, are under attack. Drivers are less and less a problem on linux now. The same can be said about interoperability, where MS keep trying to make the barrier more complex but at same time, is under pressure to refrain to do so (Office and IE extensions). And now, specially with Qt 4.5, but also with eclipse and many other tools, developers are presented with a loophole to attack the "market share" fortress.

The price and customization, specially on hard economic time, may be very appealing for OEMs and integrators where every penny saved can be saw as an extra one in theirs pockets and where more exposition can be conquered, and even expanded, with customization.

That is why Microsoft should be worried, their "grip" is weakening very fast.

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