Linux Continues to Define the Future of Computing While Microsoft Follows
It is hard for the executive director of the Linux Foundation to feel bad for Microsoft, but they are having a bad week while Linux continues to move forward in innovative ways into new markets for computing. Let’s take a look at the difference between Microsoft and Linux this week:
Monday: Microsoft starts its week with a front page story in the Wall St. Journal titled, “Microsoft Battles Low-Cost Rival for Africa.” In the article Microsoft is documented engaging in questionable practices against a Linux competitor that is springing up across Africa not because of any corporate conspiracy, but because it is free and open.
Tuesday: Microsoft reveals “Windows 7” which is widely regarded as an attempt to right the wrong that is Vista. Headlines were brutal: Infoworld: “Windows 7: The ‘dog food’ tastes bad”, Dallas News: “Microsoft previews Windows 7, and it looks like… Vista”, Computerworld: “Is Windows 7’s new UAC just lipstick on a pig?” and “Windows 7, Office 14 to create bigger lame ducks than George W. Bush.”
Tuesday: Microsoft also announced its cloud computing platform summed up best at ZDNet: “Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform: A guide for the perplexed.” No licensing, pricing and due date information. This for something that Amazon has offered with a Linux based solution for over a year on the EC2 Cloud.
We aren’t even half way through the week yet and Microsoft is either getting battered or following technical trends already blazed by Linux. In contrast, Linux is having a great week.
Monday: The New York Times shows how Linux may actually ship on more desktops next year that Windows, albeit in an unconventional way with instant on boot. “Instant-on machines represent a new opportunity for the open-source Linux operating system, which can compete with Windows.”
Wednesday: HP reveals it is rolling out a Linux based Notebook computer with Linux. Their HP Mini 1000 with MIE (Mobile Internet Experience) a Linux based OS will ship with a $379 price point. They are following moves by Dell, Asus, Lenovo, and others to ship low price Linux PC’s. It is also worth noting that Microsoft had to extend the life of Windows XP in order to even compete in this market.
Thursday: Intel and Taiwan announces they are teaming up on mobile Linux development lab. The lab will work on creating Moblin based devices in one of the most promising categories of computing.
Linux on more laptops than Windows? Dell, HP, Asus, Lenovo and others shipping Linux desktops at unheard of prices? Microsoft stuck in a rut needing to follow rather than lead? And I only hit on a few things going on in Linux this week. As we reach the end of 2008, 2009 is shaping up to be a pretty good year for Linux.