Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th Sep 2013 18:51 UTC
Games

We set out with a singular goal: bring the Steam experience, in its entirety, into the living-room. We knew how to build the user interface, we knew how to build a machine, and even an operating system. But that still left input - our biggest missing link. We realized early on that our goals required a new kind of input technology - one that could bridge the gap from the desk to the living room without compromises. So we spent a year experimenting with new approaches to input and we now believe we've arrived at something worth sharing and testing with you.

Where Microsoft and Sony show zero innovation with the Xbox One and the PS4, Valve is the one pushing limits. Their controller is quite, quite unique, and has a whole different approach than what we've seen before - instead of two inaccurate joysticks, it has two super-precise touchpads with advanced haptic feedback and the ability for both absolute and relative positioning. Go read the description - a summary won't do it justice. And, as always: hackable. Yes, even the controller is open and hackable. Wow.

They're on the right track here. If I were Microsoft or Sony, I'd start getting worried.

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RE[6]: Build Quality
by sgtrock on Mon 30th Sep 2013 14:07 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Build Quality"
sgtrock
Member since:
2011-05-13

Note that key word in the phrase, "...successfully branches out into other areas."

1.1) While Apple has had considerable success in the phone and tablet space, they are no longer market leaders.

1.2) Microsoft has seen its share of the phone market drop from a high of about 32% 10 years ago to about 3% last year. Meanwhile, its tablet offering has been met with a collective yawn in the marketplace.

1.3) Despite being a latecomer to this space, Linux based tablets and smartphones now dominate the global market.

2.1) OS/X is a high end, very solid desktop offering. It continues to enjoy a limited degree of success. Windows 8.x will probably create new opportunities for growth as people avoid its UI.

2.2) Microsoft, IMNSHO, made a huge strategic blunder when they attempted to force a touch screen interface onto a desktop UI. It was an incredibly bad marketing decision that they will eventually have to reverse. The longer it takes them to realize it, the more they will see their desktop market continue to erode.

2.3) Linux has never had a significant laptop or desktop share despite being originally designed for that space. Only diehards use it.

3.1) Apple has never had a significant server business despite nearly 20 years of product offerings. As far as this outsider can tell, they just don't see it as a core strategy for them. They certainly don't seem to invest much in this space, anyhow.

3.2) Microsoft has a good sized piece of the mid-range to small server business inside organization's firewalls. However, they have had little success in the Internet facing space (outside of Azure, that is) and zero success cracking the mainframe and supercomputer markets.

3.3) Linux has largely replaced Unix in the small to midrange server market and continues to chip away at Microsoft's share of this space. It has been the go-to OS of choice for Internet facing servers for several years. In the mainframe space, Linux enjoys a fair degree of success due to IBM's more than a decade of support. In the supercomputer space, I will simply refer you to the Supercomputer Top 500 site:

http://top500.org/statistics/overtime/

Choose "Operating System Family."

4.1) At the other end of the spectrum, Apple has no significant presence in the embedded device market.

4.2) About the only place that I'm aware of where Microsoft has had success in this space is with Ford for their in car entertainment system. Even there, though, I understand that the rest of Ford's embedded CPUs are running Linux.

4.3) The embedded device market is pretty much a mix of Linux and proprietary, specialized OSes. However, most of the growth is going to Linux. Outside of true real-time applications, these days virtually everything you buy with some smarts in it uses Linux as the base OS.

In conclusion, Microsoft and Apple are essentially both niche players, really. (I'll grant you, they're awfully successful in their niches! :-) )

Microsoft owns the corporate desktop and part of the corporate server space. They will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Their hold on the consumer market is slipping as people move to tablets but they still have a very large presence there.

Apple has a great brand and will continue to be a major player at the high end, high profit margin consumer device space.

Everything else? A mix of lots of other players. Many if not most of them are using Linux as the base of their offerings.

The reason why is blindingly obvious when you stop and think about it. Why invest in developing your own base OS when you can leverage a collective work so easily? Save your development effort for where you can create product differentiation. That's the secret to why Linux continues to see so much success over virtually the entire computing spectrum.

Edited 2013-09-30 14:14 UTC

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