07 July 2009

Bold Prediction: "Bug 1 will be closed in the next 24 months"

At SELF, Bethlynn Eicher made a bold prediction: Bug 1: Microsoft has a majority market share will be closed in the next 24 months. The date she named on her blog is 30 June 2011. She keeps pointing out in her blog that we're at GhandiCon 3. "First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win."

I'm listening to Season 1 Episode 20 of the Ubuntu UK Podcast, and they had Matt Zimmerman on there. Someone asked Matt if he thought Bug 1 would be closed in the next 4 years, and he said that sounded a little ambitious.

I'm just amused by the wildly differing expectations. I am reminded of Martin Owens's blog post Ignition Advertising in Ubuntu where he points out that people like to use things that are popular. If we don't say that "like nobody uses it" they'll be more likely to try it. In computers, this makes total sense. If you need help with a little question, do you call the help desk, or do you ask the person at the next desk over "hey, how do I add a printer?" Likely the latter. Historically, Linux has kind of lost on this front. It's why we have LUGs and LoCo Teams. I think that as we get more users, the momentum to gain more users will grow because being kind of popular makes it easier to become more popular. There's a point we need to hit where it'll become really easy to get new folks interested. How quickly we reach that point determines whether Bethlynn or Matt will be right.

Two polls below. Is Bethlynn right? What's your prediction?

Will Bug 1 be closed by the end of June 2011?
pollcode.com free polls
Bug 1 will be closed within...
1 year
2 years
3 years
4 years
5 years
10 years
Not in this lifetime
pollcode.com free polls


Mr. Spontaneous said...

Windows 7 will effectively end the Vista-based hemorrhaging that Microsoft has been experiencing

Kevin said...

I think that in ~3 years time, microsoft will start to buckle from a couple factors, and linux won't be the least of those. Like Mr Spontaneous hinted, a lot rides on Windows 7. Even though it's better than Vista, convincing adoption from XP, while keeping people away from Linux or Apple will be a big challenge.

We may have to introduce a bug #2 though, "outpass Apple's market share" :P

Mackenzie said...

Steve Ballmer seems to believe we already have surpassed Apple's installed base. If you look at his marketshare chart, you'll see that Linux (purple) has a slightly larger piece of the pie than Apple (blue). He even says Linux is a major competitor.

linuxcrypt said...

The problem isn't the operating system itself, or it being refined to look more appealing. Until the day a user can purchase or easily use software they enjoy on Linux natively, Microsoft will always be number 1.

Most of the Linux users I know, are serious technology lovers. Also, lovers of gaming.

I bet you, if someone big like Steam / Valve were to make a native client for Linux, especially before MAC, it would jump start the "popularity" contest.

I'd love to see Bug #1 be closed by 2011, but I don't believe that's possible at this time. Close, very close though.

Mackenzie said...

Studies show the majority of gamers are women, and their platform of choice for gaming is their web browser.

I don't see why they can't easily use good, enjoyable software though. Isn't Add/Remove easy to use?

Craig Maloney said...

Bug 1 will be closed soon, and the reason won't just be Linux; Mac OSX is quickly stealing Microsoft's lunch money.

Also, who said having an ambitious goal isn't a good thing? :)

Anonymous said...

I won't be surprised if Microsoft's market share goes UP at this point. The Linux desktop is failing expectations left and right.

We're seeing a lot of people trying out Linux desktop in the last few years, with the rise of Ubuntu and netbooks, but most of them are returning it and buying Windows instead. Maybe this will convince the fanatics that Freedom alone isn't enough. You need quality, and you need to make an effort to understand how normal people use their computers.

Jestin Joy said...

In the current scenario, its difficult to beat Microsoft. With the war going to cloud, I think Ubuntu can surely beat microsoft

L4Linux said...

3 words: Google OS announced!!!!

This is from their OFFICIAL blog!
And they clearly state that it will be Linux based and will be released in 2010.

dadgadjohn said...

I thought I WAS a normal person.

Jeremy said...

1 year ago I had 4 windows computers in my house amongst the family. Now we have one left that rarely gets use plus 3 newer macbooks, and a converted linux pc. If this trend carries for other households Microsoft could be in trouble.

!!-Make ur own Destiny-!! said...

looking at opinons above, which i feel correct is

1. No games that are good enough to thrill u.
2. Windows promotes their stuff with the kids in school(marketting is more important)
3. How heavy is the open office ?
4. Playing movies , songs.
without any file format issues.
5. My wireless connectivity, a bit buggy is what i felt in my fedora7

If these are handled , we will be at the same height, face to face.

Anonymous said...

The tide will change when google pushses out its chrome OS,because google is better in marketing than microsoft