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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 | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments