The march to 2010

Today I read an article that reiterated a point I made in my original 2010 post. Quoting “Redmond Channel Partner Online” then:

“[Microsoft people] just believe that their products are far superior to everything else in the market. That culture has permeated every employee in the company”

And now, from Ballmer himself:

“we are the best in the world at doing software and nobody should be confused about this. It doesn’t mean that we can’t improve, but nobody is better than we are.”

The hubris and downright vanity Ballmer shows in that statement, especially given what we actually KNOW about Microsoft, reveals a leader enthusiastically marching his troops towards the edge of a cliff.

Meanwhile, the realities on the ground are that Apple has pretty much captured the high-end market and today I read that Ubuntu has won a battle for the low-end market in the ‘race to the bottom’:

Essentially, all major computer retail stores will carry computers with Ubuntu pre-installed by the end of 2008 or early 2009, predicted a Canonical manager who met with The VAR Guy at OSCON. But this isn’t another Linux desktop PC story. In this case, the computers are Netbooks (also known as sub-notebooks). Here’s the scoop. At least two “multinational corporations” (translation: Big PC or consumer electronics companies) have agreed to preinstall Ubuntu Netbook Remix edition on forthcoming sub-notebook devices, according to Gerry Carr, a Canonical marketing manager. In a bold prediction, Carr said Netbooks running Ubuntu would be available in all major U.S. computer retail stores by late 2008 or early 2009. He called the Netbook’s arrival a “rare opportunity for Linux” to succeed as a pre-installed operating system on retail hardware.

I can pretty much guarantee that one of the two is Dell and that theirs will look like this:

(I know what I want for my birthday :)

Update August 6: One wonders if the second ‘multinational corporation’ is Acer.  They were quite disappointed with Vista and have said that as a result they had “shifted towards Linux”; today when I read the Staples flyer (aside: I note that Staples seems downright embarassed to mention “Vista” when advertising its computers; the only mention on a computer in this flyer is on one system: “Includes Windows Vista Business and Windows XP downgrade disk”.  Ouch.) that came in the mail, it fairly prominently features the Acer Aspire One for $350.  It runs “Linpus Lite” Linux, but I would not be overly surprised if they switched to Ubuntu for future models…

Update August 25, 2008: The NY Times has an article up talking about the falling price of netbooks, predicting “In the near future, netbooks could sell regularly for $299, and might well drop by the holidays to $249.” :-)  Also, I note some supposed Dell 910 specs and screenshots.


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