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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"As soon as Linux is coming pre-installed like on netbooks, a market share of 20 - 30% is currently achievable.

A GNU/Linux distro did come pre-loaded on netbooks. When the netbook manufacturers offered a choice between a GNU/Linux distro and a Microsoft OS, the vast majority of netbook buyers opted for the Microsoft OS. That indicates that pre-loading the OS doesn't guarantee market share.

I think you might find that the truth is that XP Home and a full-featured Linux were seldom offered to consumers on the exact same hardware. In my country, there is barely any Linux offered to regular consumers at all ... and when it is offered, it is always on the very low end models only. Barely useable.

In my country, if you want OS choice, if you want a netbook with a proper full Linux pre-installed (not a tame one like Xandros), then you more-or-less have to go to an "independant supplier", such as this one:

This nicely explains the apparent "choice" of XP Home on netbooks ... really it is due to no (commonly available) choice.

In the US, Dell offers its Mini Inspiron 9 (AFAIK) on the same hardware models as it offers XP Home. This is one of the few side-by-side comparable deals that is apparently commonly available to regular consumers. In this scenario, Linux accounts for a third of the units sold.

Where there is a real choice of a decent Linux on the desktop offered, then 20% - 30% seems to be a quite achieveable goal.

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