Whyyyyyy ???

I still fail to see how Microsoft/Windows [u]helped[/u] sell home computers, as opposed to just worming their way into being on the computers that sold ?

I suppose I’ve always thought it was due to economies of scale, which allows items (in this case PCs) to become cheaper and therefore more attractive. Other (possibly better) machines/operating systems came and went (like betamax, which lost to the inferior VHS). Microsoft may originally have wormed it’s way in, but Windows came and stayed. It was familiar from the workplace, so people with experience of no other OS went out and bought it (how many people even in the eighties had heard of CP/M)? The more systems that shipped, the cheaper (relatively) they became, hence they sold more still.

But I can’t see how the operating system isn’t a selling point, Mark. I bet if I spent a day in PC World, listening to sales pitches, the ones that worked would all include phrases like “and it comes with Windows 8”, or “it comes with OSx”. Uninformed though they may very well be, offering the public a PC running Peppermint or Ubuntu is likely to result in blank looks and no sale. The same is true of 'phones. If it isn’t Android or iOS, it doesn’t sell.

Anyway, that’s my rationale, and I’m not looking for a confrontation, so I shall now bow politely out. I’ll be back with dumb Linux questions no doubt!


PS: I remember CP/M fondly from the early eighties when I used to finish work and then stay on for a couple of hours playing the 2D version of Castle Wolfenstein running under CP/M. Brilliant stuff. The text game “Adventure” was another one. Somewhere in a box in the loft is about 100 yards of paper from a line printer documenting my progress from finding the entrance to the cave to being carried out on the shoulders of a band of cheering elves! Damn. I said that out loud, didn’t I? Oddly enough, that was the end of my computer gaming experience. Today’s much more sophisticated offerings hold no charm for me.

I still don’t see how the OS was (or even is now) a selling point … software availability/compatibility and price are the selling points … do you think at the time users could care less who made the OS as long as there was software available for it ?

Would anyone buy a PC with Windows 10 if there was no software available for it (and it wasn’t backwards compatible with previous Windows software) … would they buy it anyway “because it was Windows” ?

Nowadays people/salesmen just use the OS in a sales pitch as a software compatibility guide … but at the time it wouldn’t have mattered what the OS was as long as it had the software available … and the software authors would have followed whatever was default on the IBM PC.

Your original position was that Gates/Microsoft brought the PC into the home by making them cheaper … you still haven’t said how ‘Gates/Microsoft’ did this ?

Economies of scale certainly (over time) applied to the PC hardware … but not to Windows (licences now are still about the same as they’ve always been) … so as Microsoft didn’t make the hardware, how exactly did they make the PC cheaper ?

Windows did NOT drive the rise of the PC, in fact Windows didn’t exist at the time … the PC drove the rise of Microsoft who then monopolised that position, but it could equally have been a different OS vendor has IBM chosen differently (in fact in a roundabout way it was … Microsoft didn’t even author MS-DOS).


Anyway, that's my rationale, and I'm not looking for a confrontation, so I shall now bow politely out. I'll be back with dumb Linux questions no doubt!

No ‘confrontation’ going on here my friend(s) … just a discussion/debate :slight_smile:
(and we’re all grown up enough to not take any of it to heart)

That said, I’m not going to let you have the last word then ‘bow out’ now am I :wink:

Glad to hear we’re not having a confrontation Mark. I wouldn’t want that.

By bowing out, I’m conceding the last word, not having it. Normally I’m quite bolshy, but in this case I think we need to agree to disagree.

I’d hate politics to get in the way of techie stuff.

I guess we can all agree that we hate Microsoft :smiley:
I was hating Bill Gates big time yesterday, Excel was winding me up a treat!

You mentioned Windows 10 - I think this could be the death knell of Microsoft, it needed to be their saviour release following Windows 8, and it really isn’t looking like it is. If Mark Shuttleworth needed to move at any time, it is now - he needs an OEM or two to get behind Ubuntu and get it out there (I only pick him because it seems that Canonical is the only company that could/would do it…maybe Oracle or Red Hat could too, be weird though!)

Does look a lot like Win8 with one of the free menu’s (such as Classic Shell or Start Menu 8 ).

Actually it’s probably worse than that, as they’ve tried to keep those tiles as part of he menu.

That said It’s hard to judge it without trying it, but I get the feeling people will still hate it … problem is there’s still nothing large enough to take its place.
Not that I particularly like Google, but I think it’ll take someone like that to release a proper Linux distro before Windows fully dies … I just don’t think Canonical have the muscle or are currently interested iin anything but “mobile”.

And I guess Google would argue their Chromebook is good enough, or Android is good enough.

Except it’s not.

Exactly :cry:

I do like your idea about RedHat … they’d have the financial “clout”, and probably the trust of the OEM’s … but they’d need to risk a lot of advertising money, probably not a risk they’re willing to take, as really a “support” company I don’t think they see any benefit of getting on the consumer desktop who tend to get their support locally.

Personally I think they could expand their certification scheme and make a ton of money … I just don’t think they see it that way.

C’Mon IBM … we need you again :slight_smile:


Microsoft have always managed to pull things back from the brink by every other release being “good” (really they’re not, they just llook “good” because of how crap the last release was) … If Win10 is also a flop, I think others may start to think the risk of going up against them looks a little better.


But just as likely (maybe more so) with 2 flops on the trot, the desktop market shrinking, and a quickly diminishing development budget/bank account, Microsoft may just throw in the towel as far as x86 OS’s go and concentrate on hardware and services.

Wouldn’t that be funny … the next Xbox/Surface running Linux to serve Microsoft services :slight_smile: