Tuesday 17 February 2009

Redmond Recession Review

So as the world suffers significant economic downturn, the market for Windows PCs now seems to be in freefall.  Punters are turning away from desktops and full laptops to the compromised Netbook form of PC.   The problem for the Microsoft Corporation from Redmond is that a quarter of netbooks run Linux, and the other three quarters run Windows XP.  The current and next version of Windows (Vista and Windows 7) are too hungry to run on the compromised hardware platform which is not ideal for the operating system producer.  

Apple on the other hand, are not part of the scramble for the tiny or no-margin netbook market share, offering instead a set of full function notebook and desktop computers with a differentiated operating system OSX, for those willing to pay.  Judging by the numbers, this market is still buoyant.  For those who want a powerful small platform for email and surfing they offer the iPhone or iPod Touch.  The numbers of these being sold are also still very encouraging.  

As the world of personal computers and operating systems moves irreversibly towards 64 bit in the near future, the problems for the Redmond corporation continue.  A tiny percentage of PC users have chosen the 64 bit version of Windows XP or Vista, even in the high end games segment which would benefit most from it.  OSX is already built as one version for 32 and 64 bit applications, making the task for developers much easier.   The PC market will have an interesting future.

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