Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

The assault on software giant Microsoft

Filed under
Microsoft

Linux and friends

Microsoft may have a monopoly right now, says Mr Colony, but "protection of a monopoly is tricky". And there are plenty of challengers ready to put Microsoft's durability to the test.

Foremost among them is the Linux operating system.

Rivalling Windows, this "open source" software project is developed by an online community of volunteers, but backed by big and small corporate players (like IBM and Red Hat) who provide support and tailor the software for individual business needs.

Linux, its champions say, is more stable and secure than anything Microsoft has ever produced.

It is cheap - even free if you are computer-savvy enough to install and maintain it - and much more customisable, because the code that makes it tick is neither a secret nor copyrighted by a single firm.

These days Linux is not just the software of choice for geeks; recently even the stolid bureaucrats of Bavaria's capital Munich decided to switch all their computers to Linux.

China, South Korea and Japan, meanwhile, have joined forces to develop an Asian flavour of Linux, to ensure they are not in thrall to Microsoft.

Other parts of the empire are under attack too, such as the hugely profitable "Office" suite.

Don't want to pay for a word processor, spreadsheet, database and presentation tool? Download OpenOffice. It won't look as nice as Office 2003, but it's free and fully featured.

Editing pictures? You don't have to pay for Microsoft's "image suite". The open source "Gimp" is powerful, while Google's free Picasa will meet the everyday needs of most consumers.

The browser war

Microsoft's biggest worry, though, should be the huge success of Mozilla Firefox, the open source web browser.

Apple takes a bite

"Microsoft is not an innovator or transformer right now," says Forrester's George Colony. Many rivals are more focused and nimble.

Microsoft squeezed

"Companies are not afraid of competing with Microsoft anymore," says Marc Benioff, the boss of salesforce.com, which offers a service over the internet which competes with Microsoft in the lucrative market for "customer relationship management" software.



Forrester boss George Colony predicts that there will "a crisis at Microsoft, where they decide their model is broken".

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Games and CrossOver

Red Hat and Fedora

Android Leftovers

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • CoreOS Tectonic Now Installs Kubernetes on OpenStack
    CoreOS and OpenStack have a somewhat intertwined history, which is why it's somewhat surprising it took until today for CoreOS's Tectonic Kubernetes distribution to provide an installer that targets OpenStack cloud deployments.
  • Docker and Core OS plan to donate their container technologies to CNCF
    Containers have become a critical component of modern cloud, and Docker Inc. controls the heart of containers, the container runtime. There has been a growing demand that this critical piece of technology should be under control of a neutral, third party so that the community can invest in it freely.
  • How Blockchain Is Helping China Go Greener
    Blockchain has near-universal applicability as a distributed transaction platform for securely authenticating exchanges of data, goods, and services. IBM and the Beijing-based Energy-Blockchain Labs are even using it to help reduce carbon emissions in air-polluted China.
  • An efficient approach to continuous documentation
  • The peril in counting source lines on an OSS project
    There seems to be a phase that OSS projects go through where as they mature and gain traction. As they do it becomes increasingly important for vendors to point to their contributions to credibly say they are the ‘xyz’ company. Heptio is one such vendor operating in the OSS space, and this isn’t lost on us. :) It helps during a sales cycle to be able to say “we are the a big contributor to this project, look at the percentage of code and PRs we submitted”. While transparency is important as is recognizing the contributions that key vendors, focus on a single metric in isolation (and LoC in particular) creates a perverse incentive structure. Taken to its extreme it becomes detrimental to project health.
  • An Open Source Unicycle Motor
    And something to ponder. The company that sells this electric unicycle could choose to use a motor with open firmware or one with closed firmware. To many consumers, that difference might not be so significant. To this consumer, though, that’s a vital difference. To me, I fully own the product I bought when the firmware is open. I explain to others that they ought to choose that level of full ownership whenever they get a chance. And if they join a local makerspace, they will likely meet others with similar values. If you don’t yet have a makerspace in your community, inquire around to see if anyone is in the process of forming one. Then find ways to offer them support. That’s how we do things in the FOSS community.
  • The A/V guy’s take on PyCon Pune
    “This is crazy!”, that was my reaction at some point in PyCon Pune. This is one of my first conference where I participated in a lot of things starting from the website to audio/video and of course being the speaker. I saw a lot of aspects of how a conference works and where what can go wrong. I met some amazing people, people who impacted my life , people who I will never forget. I received so much of love and affection that I can never express in words. So before writing anything else I want to thank each and everyone of you , “Thank you!”.
  • Azure Service Fabric takes first tentative steps toward open source [Ed: Microsoft Peter is openwashing a patent trap with back doors]
  • Simulate the Internet with Flashback, a New WebDev Test Tool from LinkedIn
  • Mashape Raises $18M for API Gateway Tech
    Casado sees Mashape's Kong API gateway in particular as being a particularly well positioned technology. Kong is an open-source API gateway and microservice management technology.
  • PrismTech to Demonstrate Open Source FACE 2.1 Transport Services Segment (TSS) Reference Implementation at Air Force FACE Technical Interchange Meeting
    PrismTech’s TSS reference implementation is being made available under GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) v3 open source license terms.
  • How Open-Source Robotics Hardware Is Accelerating Research and Innovation

    The latest issue of the IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine features a special report on open-source robotics hardware and its impact in the field.