06 December 2007

Microsoft: Gone in a Flash

I have commented here and elsewhere that the new category of ultra-light portables using flash memory represents a huge opportunity for GNU/Linux - and a potential bloody nose for Microsoft. It seems I'm not the only one to see it that way:

Microsoft announced plans today to expand support for Windows XP on budget flash-storage computing devices with an eye towards getting Windows XP running on the OLPC. The software giant will publish design guidelines next year that will make it possible for manufacturers of low-cost mobile devices to build hardware that provides optimal compatibility with Microsoft's legacy operating system. The company also announced plans for field trials next month that will put Windows XP to the test on One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project's XO laptop.

This is interesting from two points of view.

First, it confirms that Windows Vista is a complete dog: it will be Windows XP, rather than Vista, that forms the basis for most desktop computing - which means less revenue for Microsoft, and trouble with its entire ratchet pricing model.

Secondly, it shows - contrary to all the usual whining - that GNU/Linux is innovating, and Microsoft is following. In fact, this is far from the only such case of open source being the leader - remember, the Internet is open at all levels - but it's nice that Microsoft is once again seen to be trotting behind the open pack with its tail between its legs.


Unknown said...

Tried to find a reasonably well related post on this blog for this comment.

Windows is caught between Mac and Linux - 21st March

"For the first time in ages, the sale of new PCs with Windows as a percentage of the PC market is declining sharply. The new winner is the Mac, but, while no one does a good job of tracking the still-new, pre-installed Linux desktop market, it's also clear that Linux is finally making impressive inroads into Windows' once unchallenged market share."

More under the fold

Glyn Moody said...

Yes, I think it's gradually dawning on more people that Microsoft is no longer impregnable on the desktop and in related end-user markets.