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Comment The End Of MS As We Know IT (Score 4, Insightful) 232

I have a feeling that this vendor push of open source drivers combined with falling prices of hardware (because of increased penetration around the world) will lead to the end of MS as a leading OS supplier for desktops. If more open source drivers are available, this will lead to cheap commodity boxes that run Linux, and these boxes will target users that use a computer only for the Internet and Word Processing (this is already happening with Wal-Mart computers). The base for the Internet/Word processor computer is growing so fast that it is inevitable that MS will falter.

Once the base of household Linux computers becomes big enough (I'm guesstimating 3%), commodity application developers (low cost applications first) will see Linux as a market, the prices of these boxes will fall further, and both these factors will contribute to further increased market share for Linux. More drivers for external peripherals will also become an industry practice (many leading companies already have Linux drivers for peripherals like printers and all-in-ones).

At some point, premium application developers for Apple and MS platforms will see that it worth their time to make a Linux port (it may happen quicker because of how relatively simple it would be to make the port from Apple to Linux). Again, this will be followed by increased market share for Linux.

Once the Linux market share becomes substantial (I don't know how much, say 10%?) the corporate world will realize the gazillion dollars in savings, and make the switch, and MS's fall will be complete. I don't know what will happen to Apple, I think they will be around with the largest desktop share if Jobs is around, considering how well he's boosting market share for Apple (with his history, he might even buy MS out of spite).

Bill Gates charities look a little smaller now, a pity actually, but Buffet will remain strong, so Gates will still have a good job.

Submission + - India rejects Microsoft OOXML in favor of ODF->

slashthedot writes: "In a major setback to Microsoft's effort to further its OOXML standard, India on Thursday gave Microsoft a thumbs-down in the war of standards for office documents. In a tense meeting at Delhi's Manak Bhawan, the 21-member technical committee decided that India will vote a 'no' against Microsoft's Open Office Extensible Mark Up Language (OOXML) standard at the International Standards Organisation (ISO) in Geneva on September 2.
The Open Document Format (ODF) alliance — enjoying widespread support from academia and corporates like Oracle, IBM, Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, Google — were in a jubilant mood having succeeded in stalling OOXML from being accepted as a standard in India.
Microsoft,however, is still hopeful that India's 'No' vote will become a 'Yes' if Microsoft is able to resolve all technical issues with OOXML before the ballot resolution committee of ISO.
The voting was a hot issue in India for some weeks, with most of the institutions, including IITs and IIMs, supporting ODF, and only a few favoring OOXML as a choice. During the days before voting, there were reports that both the parties were offering director-level jobs at 200% hike to each other to help switch votes in their favour."

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Data cable consumers are being ripped off

venolius writes: CE Pro has an editorial that laments the duping of consumers of HDMI and other data cables by manufacturers:

What the consumer doesn't know just might hurt him. Have you come across DVD players at $29, or even as low as $19, and wondered why cables to connect them to HDTVs are 10 times as expensive? Finding a digital versatile disc player with its sophisticated optoelectronics and mechanical systems for $19 seems like magic. It's not magic though. It's volume production, the beauty of commerce, benefiting the consumer. What doesn't make sense to me is the cost of the cable to connect such a useful device to a television. It is akin to having to pay 10 times what you pay for a soft drink for the straw you use to sip it.

There is perhaps no consumer representation in the development of these interfaces, nor are there any regulations controlling the development of yet another consumer digital, serial interface. Companies claim to know what consumers want, which is perhaps why we have HDMI cables that cost $199.95 for a 16-foot length.

We can predict everything, except the future.