[Linux-aus] Hardware resellers of the world, rejoice!

Con Zymaris conz at cyber.com.au
Thu May 6 10:47:01 UTC 2004

On Thu, May 06, 2004 at 11:52:31AM +1000, Les Bell wrote:
> In 1986 or '87 (from memory), Bill Gates was keynote speaker at the annual
> ACS PC Conference. In his speech, he stated - and this is pretty much
> word-for-word, as it shocked me at the time and stuck in my memory - "We
> had three goals in mind when we introduced Windows: 1. Multitasking. 2:
> Graphical user interface. 3. To stimulate consumer demand for more
> sophisticated hardware". (Point 3 is *definitely* his precise phrase).
> I interpreted this to mean that Microsoft sees itself in the business of
> selling hardware for its business partners. Of course, as one hand washes
> the other, so Microsoft was able to depend on the hardware vendors to
> uncomplainingly preload Windows for them, and remove the ability of the
> consumer to choose. This has never been stated explicitly, and it's not a
> conspiracy, per se, but it's a nice arrangement for the players involved.
> Pity about the poor old customer, though. . .

completely concurrs with my reading of the market. 

Having a platform like Linux thrown into the mix, however, de-stablises
this 'engine room of change' model that Microsoft embodies. That could be
one of the reasons why client-side hardware providers have been slow to
'applaud' Linux on the desktop.

The other hindrance for the Microsoft/hardware-vendor tag-team match, is
the reality that hardware with extra grunt, is no longer needed by 95% of
consumers. The only way that Longhorn will 'permeate' is through the
standard hardware refresh cycle.

Which leads on to the next problem Microsoft will face, namely, that many
users upgraded their PCs in 1999, circa the Y2K blitz. These users are
starting to work through a hardware refresh now, and over the coming 18
months. The 'lifespan' of desktop hardware has been stretched to 4-5 years
it seems. Which will mean that hardly any of these users will be running
technology which will meet minimum-spec for Longhorn when it debuts in 2
years' time. _That_ uptake will have to wait another 3-4 years to happen.  
This will make 2010 an interesting possibility for an inflexion point for

Con Zymaris <conz at cyber.com.au> Level 4, 10 Queen St, Melbourne, Australia 
Cybersource: Australia's Leading Linux and Open Source Solutions Company 
Web: http://www.cyber.com.au/  Phone: 03 9621 2377   Fax: 03 9621 2477

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