I’m sure some people reading this are going to think that I’m either completely insane or I’m just stupid, but I tell you I am not my good sir. Okay so maybe I am a little insane.
Microsoft has one main source of income, licenses; these licenses are of two kinds OEMs and corporate site licenses. With out even one of those two sources of income Microsoft will be crippled, some what. I don’t expect huge numbers of corporations and organizations to move away from windows anytime soon so Microsoft is fairly safe on that front, however, With Dell already shipping PCs with Ubuntu and all the rumors of other vendors looking into Gnu/linux Microsoft may face a problem.
All it would take is for one major vendor (Dell?) to get pissed off at Microsoft and switch completely to Gnu/Linux, BSD, etc. If just one would make the switch it could cause a domino affect with the other vendors. I don’t think this is as far fetched as it might sound; vendors have to pay Microsoft, not that much though, which cuts into how much money they make. So from a purely it makes sense for these vendors to dumb Microsoft, however, I don’t see that happening. What I think is more likely is that Microsoft will attack one of these companies for doing something that is completely within their rights, such as selling linux, and the company will respond by giving Microsoft the figure; It won’t be that simple but you get the idea.
now to be realistic…
Gnu/Linux is not ready for the mainstream; Ubuntu might be more user friendly(not really) than some of the other distros it isn’t idiot friendly. My brother, who is an IT professional tried out Ubuntu about a year ago and every time he would have a problem he would ask me what to do; normally he had simple problems that could be solved by just installing something, however, after I would tell him what to install he would ask how to install it. I could never get him to understand that he didn’t have to download the program from the projects website because he was used to the way it worked in windows.
Also Microsoft isn’t really going to die they are just going to lose market share. Though after some time they could eventually die completely or just exit the computer market.
Microsoft will not make as much money doing FOSS but they can stay alive. They can sell their product and still be Open but people won’t pay as much for it so they would have to look into offering services, much like Red Hat or Oracle does. Novell seems to be doing just fine in the FOSS market.
What Microsoft can do to save themselves
One of my friends asked me a while back what I would do if I was could take control of Microsoft, my first response was kill windows and go to Gnu/Linux! I’ve given it some more thought sense then and changed my mind. Here is a step by step list I came up with of things Microsoft should do to not get killed by FLOSS.
1. Join them. FLOSS is taking over and the best thing for Microsoft to do to ensure their market share for the future is to join the crowd.
2. Play nice with others. Microsoft needs to release the documentation for their products ( the full documentation), and get ride of their modified standards, such as Microsoft java.
3. Fix security holes! the tech community is more likely to use windows if it isn’t buggy and full of holes.
4. integrate a package manager (that isn’t windows update). This is just obvious, I think.
5. Open up all of the code. This kind of goes with #1 and #2 and #3…
If you have anything to say please leave a commit, but be nice :(.