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Windows: Linux Can't Touch This

Serdar Yegulalp makes some great points in his blog entry about Linux versus Windows in 2009. There's no doubt that Linux has Microsoft-beating strength in several important categories such as servers and mobile devices. However, Microsoft still owns the PC market and it doesn't look like that will change in 2009.
Serdar Yegulalp makes some great points in his blog entry about Linux versus Windows in 2009. There's no doubt that Linux has Microsoft-beating strength in several important categories such as servers and mobile devices. However, Microsoft still owns the PC market and it doesn't look like that will change in 2009.In early 2008, I sure thought the netbook category would offer Linux a golden opportunity to expand its foothold in the consumer PC market. Instead, Microsoft rolled Windows XP out of mothballs just for netbooks and now dominates the netbook market. Confusing technical issues may have led less tech-savvy consumers to return Linux netbooks.

Serdar's right that Web applications can reduce people's dependence on Windows applications, but many people have important files and data that only work in Windows. For every Flickr user, there are probably 20 users with Windows systems full of pictures they haven't uploaded to anywhere. Similarly, Web mail is popular, but there are still lots of users on Outlook, Outlook Express, or even Incredimail. Just the differences between Firefox and IE can confuse novices. Heck, some IE6 users think IE7 is radical.

So in 2009, we're unlikely to see a real change in market share for Windows versus Linux. The Linux-based mobile platforms like Apple iPhone and Google Android will continue to kick Microsoft's butt in the handheld OS area, and Linux will still be the force it's always been on servers. But consumers seem to be unwilling to part with Windows on either desktop or portable PCs; as long as that's the case, Microsoft doesn't have much to fear from Linux.