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Imagine a World Without MicroSoft…can you?

Bill Gates had a dream: a PC (with Windows installed) on everybody’s desk. Instead, the computing world is taking a different turn: computers are smaller and smaller, and people are getting used to carrying them around.

More and more people today are using laptops, and since a Windows operating system is just too big and bulky to work on a laptop, people are instead installing GNU/Linux (specifically, Ubuntu) on their laptops. It doesn’t matter if you can’t play many games on it, it’s much much faster, it doesn’t get attacked by viruses and Trojans every other minute, and it’s free. When Dell atarted offering GNU/Linux laptops (and then expanding the product line), this made a huge difference to the GNU/Linux market.

Things are changing so quickly in the world of microprocessors that soon it will be
a computer in everybody’s PDA, not everybody’s lap. Now we have Netbooks, which are ultra-portable sub-notebooks, a whole new class of portable computing devices. They are tiny low-cost machines that can be used to browse the web, write letters, and answer emails.

To sum up, the world in 2011 has a good chance of being very different than what it’s like today. People’s phones/PDAs will run Android. Their sub-laptops/netbooks/sub-notebooks will run Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Their gaming machine of choice will be a Playstation or a Nintendo one (hopefully, Microsoft will run out of money to pour into the XBox). Their PCs will be collecting dust on a glorious desk, turned off for weeks on end. Their full-size laptops (if they have one) will run Vista or Ubuntu. They will be able to exchange ODF documents with their office and their friends, and they will be using OpenOffice and Firefox.

Microsoft has very few weapons to fight this: Windows XP for sub-notebooks will be a joke, compared to a fully-featured Ubuntu Netbook Remix (which comes with OpenOffice); Windows Mobile will put them to shame when compared to Android, which will eat up the already small share Windows Mobile has managed to acquire in 11 years of existence; and while there might well be a computer on every desk, well, it will be the “old” computer, hardly ever turned on. Maybe for the kids to play with, and strictly not connected to the internet. So, it’s going to be interesting. Let’s just watch out for patent laws which might turn this dream future into a small nightmare.


April 19, 2009 - Posted by | Open Source Computing | , , , , , , , , ,


  1. It is amazing to think how things have changed since Microsoft started. Processors and chips just keeps getting smaller and smaller and more powerful. I don’t think the clunky old computers will be without internet connection, though, ‘cuz the kids will do their homework on the old computer and they gotta have the internet to do their research for their reports.

    Comment by G1 Phone Charger | April 16, 2009 | Reply

    • I have a friend who is doing nanotube research and just wait…you think the chips are small now….we ain’t seen nothing yet.

      Comment by Gretta P | April 16, 2009 | Reply

    • Yes, on second thought I think you are right about that. I’ll think about changing the post….thanks for that.

      Comment by Gretta P | April 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. Yes, I can imagine a world without Microsoft and I am doing my best to live it now.

    Comment by G1 Phone Accessories | April 18, 2009 | Reply

  3. well your prefer a world where IBM sucseeded in locking down the PC spec? lik they tried with the PS2

    Ubunto and Linux’s would not have been sucsessfull in that world and PC’s would be a lot more expensive.

    Be carefull what you wish for 🙂

    Comment by Neuromancer | April 19, 2009 | Reply

    • Good point, neuromancer…

      Comment by Gretta P | April 26, 2009 | Reply

  4. I have a dissertation coaching client who just bought a 10-inch Netbook. She loves it–its weight and size lets her carry it to and from the office, allowing her to have a writing session during her commute by train.

    Comment by Nancy Whichard | April 26, 2009 | Reply

    • Those 10-inch notebooks are sweet, aren’t they!

      Comment by Gretta P | April 27, 2009 | Reply

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