[OT] Mac/Window duopoly assumptions

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Tue Oct 20 14:46:00 EDT 2015

Richmond wrote:

 > Fairly hacked off to receive and advert for THIS on my Facebook page:
 > <https://www.dashlane.com/en/lp/neverforget-
 > mainly because when you get to the webpage it:
 > 1. Assumes that you are running Microsoft Windows,
 > and, as an after-thought,
 > 2. Offers a Macintosh version.
 > Some of us are neither, and resent this kind of 'push' that makes all
 > sorts of unwarranted assumptions about what we run on our computers,
 > why we run it, and what we do with it.

The desktop is a Windows story.  With 86% of the market, both Mac and 
Linux as niche players there.

But the average price of a Mac is roughly twice the average price of a 
Windows-compatible PC, making that segment an unusually desirable 
demographic disproportionate to its market share.

Globally Mac is roughly at 11%, but interestingly Ubuntu alone has more 
users today than Mac had when Steve came back.

But it's a different market from the perspective of a consumer services 
vendor:  Linux is being standardized at a growing number of government 
agencies and universities around the world, but the chief of police in 
France probably isn't using his company computer to click ads on 
Facebook.  The US Army is Red Hat's largest customer, but we hope the 
folks at CENTCOM aren't spending their time on Facebook, nor the missile 
fleet managers who switched to Linux two years ago because of critical 
security flaws in Windows, just as a Stuxnet infiltration on the 
International Space Station prompted them to switch to Linux last summer.

That's the irony of Linux:  beyond the desktop, with servers, phones and 
tablets running Android Linux, embedded systems (most of the readers 
here already manage a Linux server in the form of their wifi routers), 
IoT devices, and supercomputing, in all things bigger and smaller than 
the desktop, Linux has become the de facto standard of modern computing. 
  But on the desktop it's a modest player and likely always will be.

That said, Netflix finally opened up to Linux last year, and I'd like to 
give my annual emails to them credit for that but it was of course the 
sum of all such emails that prompted them to realize the opportunity. 
For the low cost of a modest working arrangement with Google (who has 
standardized internally on Ubuntu in a special build outfitted with 
their VPN and other packages they call "Gubuntu"), Chrome for Linux now 
support Netflix splendidly.  I became a subscriber shortly after I got 
the news.

Valve also ported Steam to Linux, with more than 1300 titles available 
for penguin fans.  They caught wind of the opportunity when it became 
consistently evident that the famous Humble Bundle set-your-own-price 
game offerings were seeing a much higher amount of per-user revenue from 
Linux fans over even Mac.

But some goods and services will do better than others, and as Paul 
noted it's up to the vendor to make that determination themselves.  If 
they're truly leaving money on the table, the only way to distinguish 
your reason for not paying them because of a lack of Linux support from 
the thousands of other bounces any web site owner sees in their logs can 
happen only when you write them politely to request it.

Worked for Netflix, Steam, and others.  Might work for the folks you 
were dealing with too.

And if not, every business segment is an economic democracy: one dollar, 
one vote.  Just as we learned during Mac's lean years in the '90s, 
support those who support the OS you enjoy and others will catch wind in 
due time.

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  Ambassador at FourthWorld.com                http://www.FourthWorld.com

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