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.
Thread beginning with comment 350601
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Member since:

I don't get it. How anyone can consider seriously what Balmer says when in the same time he is keeps telling that he does not take the iPhone seriously when in the same time the iPhone has captured 51% of the mobile web traffic?

"According to Microsoft, Linux is a bigger threat to the company than Apple, placing Linux above Apple in the marketshare figure pie chart thing."

Does not make any sense, Linux hardly grabs 1% of the market share.

"I think depending on how you look at it, Apple has probably increased its market share over the last year or so by a point or more."

Mac OS X browser market share represented 6.38% in February 2007, and in January it represented 9.63%. Even in those numbers do not show how many Apple macs are out there, they show that their usage is growing significantly.

Linux may represent more than 1% but then probably Apple would represent more than 10%. In any case Linux lags well behind OS X.

"As much as I find Ballmer a rather annoying figure, he does score a major point here. About 300 million PCs were shipped worldwide in 2008. Round and about 9-10 million of those were Macs. Apple's market share might be increasing, but it's still relatively irrelevant compared to the bigger picture. As we said yesterday, Apple might be doing swell in the United States, but on a worldwide scale, Cupertino still falls a bit to the wayside."

Does no make sense, because of course Apple can't have huge growth in the worldwide market share as it is absent in some markets where pc volumes are made. It makes more sense to see where Apple is growing country by country, or to look how it is doing in key activities. Apple is doing quite well in a lot of countries besides US, say Japan, France, Switzerland, England, etc.... Apple is staring to push further in China, even if it still represents only a small slice of the Chinese market, it did manage to get a 49% increase in unit sales during the third quarter 2008 from a year earlier. Also Apple is doing well in key activities, video production, music production, science, education. Those activities represent generally two digits market share.

"In any case, it appears that Linux (and piracy) is a larger blip on Microsoft's radar than Apple, and it's not hard to see why."

How, Linux, even if it is a nice alternative to windows, does not represent a large installed base besides server markets or maybe in a much less extent some activities like science, technical applications.

"With an economy that's not doing very well, people will opt for cheaper products. Apple cannot offer those, but Linux and piracy can."

This is flawed thinking, Linux did not make big impacts in the netbook market being quickly replaced with windows XP, and still what it is about here? Saying that in a troubled economy, people will automatically choose cheaper and crappy product is not true, you don't have anything to prove that. They still keep consider into investing in computers more expensive but largely more powerful and functional.

Abd don't say me that netbooks are functional for today's computing, they are not, you like it or not.


"Linux has it own strengths and has a insane speed of innovation"

Which innovations besides what it is happening in the kernel itself, don't say me KDE4?

" Both 7 and 10.6 won't offer much to normal consumers, except better resource usage. That is something you get on Linux today. "

Well sure that's way my Ubuntu keeps being slower to boot or to operate than my Leopard system on my macbook pro. Besides being well behind in terms of usability, productivity, features and modernity. And concerning about the fact that both windows 7 or OS X 10.6 won't offer much to the normal consumers, i guess you need to inform yourself a little more. Or at least you should wait until those systems are chipped to make any judgement.

Reply Score: -7

JMcCarthy Member since:

Does not make any sense, Linux hardly grabs 1% of the market share.

Depends on who you ask, anyone who quotes it that low is generally only talking about the desktop market vs overall though.

Reply Parent Score: 4

lemur2 Member since:

This is flawed thinking, Linux did not make big impacts in the netbook market being quickly replaced with windows XP, and still what it is about here?

One third of a product's sales going to Linux in direct competition with Windows on the same machine ... even a year ago that would have been unheard of.

Microsoft gives XP Home to OEMs at almost-zero cost, and still it can't beat out a significant percentage of Linux sales on netbooks for any vendor who actually offers a choice.

Reply Parent Score: 8

segedunum Member since:

Yes, and you have to remember that is done off the back of no pre-existing installed base and a rather limited manner of getting third party applications installed and developed. Without those three things then it can all roll back down the hill fairly quickly.

Reply Parent Score: 2

bralkein Member since:

Linux presents a big problem for MS because if it becomes popular it could completely change the way software is sold. Apple are in the business of selling proprietary software licenses, which is the same as what MS does so I think MS are more comfortable with the idea of competing with Apple on those terms.

Linux and Free Software represent a completely new way of doing business, and I think this is what MS is afraid of. After all, the current model has been very good to them.

Reply Parent Score: 6

ggeldenhuys Member since:

Does not make any sense, Linux hardly grabs 1% of the market share.

I think such statistics are totally unreliable. There is no way to accurately determine the Linux market share. Linux is not always sold, you are allow to install one CD on many PC's at the same time, you are allow to copy and redistribute the CD, etc.... These are all things that cannot be accurately tracked by anybody. Unlike Microsoft or Apple that can track their sales, shipments to OEM's and track the software registration process. That gives them an idea of usage, but such a infrastructure for Linux doesn't exist and isn't required. Linux market share is a total unknown! Don't you just love the mystery!! :-)

Reply Parent Score: 10

polololoq Member since:

Ah yes indeed. As it is, I bought 2 laptops in the last 2 years, both with Vista pre-installed. But I never even booted Vista on these machines. First thing I did was install a Linux distro.
Yet, in the pie chart, I imagine my boxes belong to the MS market share.
I think the market share of Linux is highly underestimated. But I see more and more people around me actually trying and, more importantly, using it.
So yes, it will remains a mystery. Although I think companies like Google and Yahoo have a pretty good idea of the reality in the field.

Reply Parent Score: 10

dagw Member since:

I don't get it.

Microsoft's Windows division gets most of its money from bundling Windows with machines from companies like HP, Dell etc. Apple isn't competing in this market, Linux is. Apple's marketshare isn't that important to Microsoft as long as every non-Apple computer that is sold is sold with Windows. If Microsoft starts losing control over non-Apple computers then it will start being in real trouble. Thus Linux is a bigger competetion.

Another factor is that Linux is a fundamentally different way to think about operating systems, while Apple is fundamentally the same. The concept that an OS is something that is modular, adaptable and can be downloaded for free from a variaty of sources is a concept Microsoft doesn't want to take hold. Here they are in full agreement with Apple. If the idea that an operating system should be free (any either sense of the word) and downloadable becomes widely accepted then that will do far greater damage to their bottom line then Apple could ever hope to do.

At the end of the day I'm sure MS would happily see Apple double its world wide market share if it meant keeping Linux at bay.

Reply Parent Score: 8