Sunday, July 10, 2005
Aaron's blog about market share brought to mind my experience with sales people. They never say anything without a reason.
So Ballmer is talking about the percentage market share of the Linux desktop? Who is he talking to? It isn't me, because it doesn't matter to me or most users of the desktop what the percentage is. I don't have to worry about KDE or the greater Linux desktop going out of business due to small market share. He isn't talking about his worries.
Ballmer is talking to those who produce software for the desktop. There is a rubicon to be crossed by an independent software developer; they can't produce cross-platform software with Microsoft development tools. If a developer goes cross platform, .NET is out of the question. Microsoft loses on many fronts. Investment in cross platform tools puts real money into development of the free desktop (see Trolltech). Significant movement is happening in that direction, or else Ballmer would never have brought it to our attention.
So as Ballmer says, the linux desktop is miniscule. .0*13 %. Or whatever. Stay with us. Please please.
As of now, Officially, the Linux Desktop(tm) is on Microsoft's radar. We have made it. Kudos to all the developers, distributors, artists, testers and users who have made this possible.
Regarding the portability issue, mono helps them a lot. With Mono, they can pretend that their platform is cross-platform. However, they still prevent Red Hat from shipping it, so that the major distro does not have it, and that's it is very inconvenient to use no Linux.
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