Linked by Howard Fosdick on Sat 19th May 2012 08:59 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless Smartphones have become the preferred computer of the masses. Sales surpassed those of personal computers in 2010, having grown over 50% per year for several years. Nearly 500 million smartphones shipped in 2011. This radically shifts the terrain in the consumer operating system competition that was, for years, firmly decided in favor of Windows. This article analyzes the New OS Wars.
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Comment by RichterKuato
by RichterKuato on Sat 19th May 2012 15:48 UTC
RichterKuato
Member since:
2010-05-14

I don't believe Windows is a strong consumer brand. Windows just has strong lock-in. PC's don't sell because of the Windows branding.

There is a myth that software platforms only have room for a few top platforms. This is just a overly simplistic of the market. The limits of platform adoption are on how willing a consumer is to buy new hardware/software. That depends mostly on what the product is capable of and how valuable that is to a consumer.

If HP came out with a iPhone that was the same only it was more durable with longer battery life and better customer support. That could sell.

If RIM came out with a new software platform that was similar (but incompatible) to iOS only with software that was better than iOS software is some meaningful way, like filled some purpose iOS software didn't. That could sell.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Comment by RichterKuato
by ilovebeer on Sat 19th May 2012 16:04 in reply to "Comment by RichterKuato"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

I don't believe Windows is a strong consumer brand. Windows just has strong lock-in. PC's don't sell because of the Windows branding.

It's incredibly naive to think that Windows massive market share has nothing to do with their branding and popularity with consumers. While it may come as a shock to you, many people have a great experience with their Windows system. Whether you like it or not, Microsoft makes good products that people _choose_ to purchase. Microsoft didn't achieve their vast success by strong-arming the industry, and by forcing consumers to spend their money in some kind of pc shakedown.

If you have a person looking to buy a new computer, and he's presented with two options, both using identical hardware. One of which has Windows branding, the other with some other branding on it. Which do you think he'll buy? Chances are heavily in favor of the Windows branded system.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RichterKuato Member since:
2010-05-14

None of what you wrote proves that PC's sell because of Windows branding. Also, you're a blind fool if you believe there's real choice in the PC market.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Comment by RichterKuato
by Shadowmane on Sat 19th May 2012 17:09 in reply to "RE: Comment by RichterKuato"
Shadowmane Member since:
2006-06-16

Its incredibly naive to think that just because Microsoft is ubiquitous, that a consumer will choose it over something else just by having two computers side by side. If that were the case, Apple would have no market share at all.

Oh, and Microsoft has gotten where it is today by doing exactly as you say they didn't do. They force people to buy their product by forcing OEM's to produce only for their product.

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE[2]: Comment by RichterKuato
by darknexus on Sun 20th May 2012 15:22 in reply to "RE: Comment by RichterKuato"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

It's incredibly naive to think that Windows massive market share has nothing to do with their branding and popularity with consumers. While it may come as a shock to you, many people have a great experience with their Windows system. Whether you like it or not, Microsoft makes good products that people _choose_ to purchase. Microsoft didn't achieve their vast success by strong-arming the industry, and by forcing consumers to spend their money in some kind of pc shakedown.


You make good points, but I must disagree in one area. Windows, itself, is not a strong consumer brand. I work tech support and I can tell you from experience that the majority of average consumers do not really know what Windows is. They know who Microsoft are, and they know about Microsoft Office when thinking about them. The name "Windows" doesn't mean much to them one way or the other. They just know they click the little picture things and these boxes come up (I'm actually quoting someone here). The only time they know what Windows is happens to be when an error comes up and then they start ranting about how much this "Windows" thing sucks (another quote) because they went and installed a Virus. In this way, the Windows brand might actually be a liability not because the product itself is bad, but because the only time the consumer sees the word "Windows" is when something goes wrong. If I were Microsoft, I would've taken the Metro brand name (Metro Phone, for example) and capitalized on distancing it from the Windows name. Sad as it may seem, the name Windows to most people means viruses and annoying pop-ups, while the name Microsoft triggers a love/hate reaction mostly due to Office rather than Windows. Note that I'm not saying the Windows name isn't present everywhere throughout the product, I'm just noting when and where people take notice of the word.

If you have a person looking to buy a new computer, and he's presented with two options, both using identical hardware. One of which has Windows branding, the other with some other branding on it. Which do you think he'll buy? Chances are heavily in favor of the Windows branded system.


Actually, most people will buy what looks familiar. They see a Windows desktop that looks similar to what they already have, they'll go with that. As I said, the name Windows doesn't mean "amazing" to most average consumers. The same actually applies to Apple computers. Someone who uses Macs, if they like them, are more likely to buy a Mac than a PC due to familiarity with the product. By contrast, if someone has had bad experiences with Windows, they might buy one of those "Mac things" and try that instead.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Comment by RichterKuato
by David on Mon 21st May 2012 04:29 in reply to "Comment by RichterKuato"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

I think that even "ignorant" PC consumers know enough that even if they don't really understand operating systems, they'd steer clear of a non-Windows PC, because most are educated enough to know that it wouldn't run the programs they want to run. That's why Apple marketshare flattened and attempts at getting people to buy cheap Linux PCs fell flat.

It's not about Windows branding, but about the stigma of a non-Windows PC. Just like people may not know much about cars, but word on the street is that the car from Yugoslavia sucks and you shouldn't buy one even if it's cheap. (Hey, finally an apt OS car analogy!)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by RichterKuato
by kwan_e on Mon 21st May 2012 07:31 in reply to "RE: Comment by RichterKuato"
kwan_e Member since:
2007-02-18

It's not about Windows branding, but about the stigma of a non-Windows PC. Just like people may not know much about cars, but word on the street is that the car from Yugoslavia sucks and you shouldn't buy one even if it's cheap. (Hey, finally an apt OS car analogy!)


Your mentioning of cars brings up an interesting point: Korean and Japanese car and electronics manufacturers had really poor reputation in the beginning but how they even manage to turn that image around is a much bigger achievement than some Apple apologists claim about Apple's recent success.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by RichterKuato
by l3v1 on Mon 21st May 2012 09:09 in reply to "RE: Comment by RichterKuato"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

the car from Yugoslavia sucks and you shouldn't buy one even if it's cheap. (Hey, finally an apt OS car analogy!)


Well, unless that car is your only option (and there were times, when your only option was one type of car and you had to wait months to get it). You could find quite a number people here who could tell you all about how and why Windows s*cks for a lot of reasons, and they still keep buying it because of it being the only real option for a lot of scenarios.

Reply Parent Score: 2