A prediction market is a sort of fantasy stock market that is increasingly being used to predict everything from internal sales numbers at Fortune 500 companies to election performances by politicians. They are a manifestation of New Yorker staff writer James Surowiecki's concept of "the wisdom of crowds," in which large numbers of people tend to be better able to assess the outcome of something than individuals.
The SimExchange functions as a stock market, with members trading on the future sales of everything from hardware like the Xbox and PlayStation 3 to software like God of War and Super Paper Mario.
The PC market is extremely cut-throat. It has to be because consumers will go to great lengths to save a few bucks when buying their latest system. But it seems that this thriftiness hasn't resulted in hordes of users choosing to buy PCs without Windows installed and instead choosing to install Linux instead. In fact, there are plenty of users who would rather break the law and install pirated copies of Windows than go the legal route and install a Linux distro. On the whole, most people would rather spend the money on Windows (or Mac) than take the time to experiment with Linux.
1 — On the whole, users aren't all that dissatisfied with Windows
2 — Too many distros
3 — People want certainty that hardware and software will work
4 — As far as most people are concerned, the command line has gone the way of the dinosaur
5 — Linux is still too geeky
Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie