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Has Microsoft conceded the desktop OS market to Linux?

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Microsoft has long dominated the home desktop Operating System market while Unix and Unix-like systems have dominated the server and datacenter world. Have Microsoft's continuous product delays, removal of highly touted new features, addition of more intrusive DRM and the introduction of a highly restrictive EULA sealed Microsoft's fate?

Microsoft is facing increased competition from both sides - the datacenter and the desktop. Apple's OSX operating system has been slowly but steadily chipping away at Microsoft's desktop market share thanks, in part, to huge sales of iPods and other media software. Consumers are purchasing more non-Windows software and computer systems as more viable choices have been presented in the marketplace. Many Linux vendors have seen increase in sales to businesses for use on the corporate desktop environment and entire local governments have changed over to an all-Linux environment.

Competition isn't the only reason Microsoft has lost the desktop. With many people concerned with security and the consumer generally being more tech savvy, many people are turning away from the less secure Microsoft products. In all fairness, the upcoming Windows Vista does promise to be more secure, but how many times have we heard that from the folks in Redmond? Many consultants make a very comfortable living repairing PC's hopelessly infected with spyware, malware and viruses. A growing segment of the market is turning to Linux and Mac OSX for their desktop computing needs.

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re: Microsoft conceded the desktop

Huh?

With 90% plus market penetration, MS is hardly worried about losing the desktop market.

This article has all the earmarks of being written by another cave troll that has NO CLUE how the real world operates.

Statements like "the consumer generally being more tech savvy" and "many people concerned with security" show that the author needs to actually interact with the world instead of reading about it in WOW chat rooms.

Until Linux can offer easy/stable printing, better/easier application installs, run mainstream applications natively, have a consistent UI, better consumer hardware support (scanners, digital camera's, portable mp3 players, etc.), better support the end-user, develop and deploy a cohesive marketing plan, and shake their current image that Linux is a fanatic's/techies/server room only OS the folks at Redmond probably won't lose a lot of sleep about their desktop market share dropping.

As to release delays, all that's done was allow Microsoft to continue to sell their old OS (i.e. XP) and then sell Vista upgrades when they're finally released. Since they're continuing to make sales (and profit) is that a bad plan or brilliant marketing?

People in general (not techie types) are sheep (not tech/security savvy) and will not make even the tiniest of efforts to rub their few remaining brain cells together to learn something new or different.

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