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  • Windows and the inexorable downward slide

    Posted on May 9th, 2018 at 05:12 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    (click to expand)

    Horace Dediu (Asymco) has a new blog post that you should read, as we’re shuffling deck chairs and playing “Nearer, My God, to Thee.”

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    Home Forums Windows and the inexorable downward slide

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    This topic contains 24 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  woody 7 months, 1 week ago.

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    • #191107 Reply

      woody
      Da Boss

      (click to expand) Horace Dediu (Asymco) has a new blog post that you should read, as we’re shuffling deck chairs and playing “Nearer, My God, to Thee.
      [See the full post at: Windows and the inexorable downward slide]

      4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #191111 Reply

      wdburt1
      AskWoody Lounger

      The buggy whip industry went into irreversible decline after the automobile became popular, notwithstanding manufacturers’ attempt to market their product for use with the Model T.

      Well, OK, not really.  But this little chart is mostly a product of the arbitrary assumption that smartphones and PCs belong in the same category.  How many smartphone users, much less those who buy “smart” refrigerators, etc. actually think they are doing “computing” on those devices?  The fact that Microsoft attempted to colonize these devices doesn’t mean that it was a valid concept or strategy.

       

      10 users thanked author for this post.
    • #191112 Reply

      John in Mtl
      AskWoody Lounger

      Amazing chart Woody !  All that history in one picture.  The good ‘ole TRS-80, Apple II, the Amiga, Commodores, and all the windows machines …  My first computer: an OSI Superboard (in 1979 I think) and a few years later a hand-me-down S-100 buss modular orange box with a real mechanical keyboard -:) running CP/M, woohoo!!.  Personal computing sure has come a long way since 1977.  The early years were quite an adventure, where we were discovering everything that could be done with this amazing technology, starting with the very mainstream “8086”, and if you were rich you added an 8087 math co-processor; bumped up your RAM from 6k (yes kids, that’s a whole 6,000 bytes of memory) to 640k for about 600.00$.  My first big project was a theatre lighting board using the Apple II – imagine that, controlling the lighting dimmers with a computer and being able to store all your scene presets in memory.

       

      7 users thanked author for this post.
    • #191117 Reply

      jabeattyauditor
      AskWoody Lounger

      But this little chart is mostly a product of the arbitrary assumption that smartphones and PCs belong in the same category. How many smartphone users, much less those who buy “smart” refrigerators, etc. actually think they are doing “computing” on those devices? The fact that Microsoft attempted to colonize these devices doesn’t mean that it was a valid concept or strategy.

      Agreed.

      If we’re going to include phones in this chart, why are we excluding countless other devices? What about vehicles (most have more processing power and storage than anything on the left side of the chart), routers, all IoT devices, etc.?

      The chart looks like what usually happens when you start with your conclusion, then back-fill the presentation of data to support it.

      My phone does not do what my PCs do; I also have trouble stuffing a 17″ laptop into my pants pockets. Both types of devices serve different purposes, and neither will likely replace the other anytime soon.

      10 users thanked author for this post.
      • #191460 Reply

        AlexN
        AskWoody Lounger

        For a disproportionate number of people, a phone does every they need anyway, so they see no need for a computer.

        Also keep in mind that in a household of 4 (Mom, Dad, and two kids), you’re going to have 4 phones, 2 or 3 tablets, and at most 2 computers, if not 1 or none.

        Fortran, C++, R, Python, Java, Matlab, HTML, CSS, etc.... coding is fun!
        A weatherman that can code

    • #191120 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody MVP

      He didn’t show Linux on his chart. I wonder how Linux (all distros combined) compares with everything else?

      I hated to see Blackberry listed as one of the devices that has died out. I’ve had a few Blackberrys over the years; there’s nothing better for secure corporate email than the Blackberry.

      Perhaps he should have ended the red “Mac” line and continued the NeXT line, because the modern Mac is basically NeXT with a new name.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #191288 Reply

        anonymous

        I hated to see Blackberry listed as one of the devices that has died out

        Dying, maybe, but not dead. Proud owner of a Priv, and Classic prior to it, and the KeyTwo this fall. Physical keyboard is a must for me, if they disappear I’ll go back to a flip phone.

    • #191132 Reply

      Cybertooth
      AskWoody Lounger

      The “Windows PC” region in the chart cannot be correct. Windows 1.0 wasn’t released until late in 1985, yet the chart would suggest that in the previous year almost 50% of computers were already shipping with Windows. And in any case, Windows didn’t take off commercially until 1990 with version 3.0. Starting the curve in 1986 or 1990 would shatter the illusion of symmetry before/after the iMac’s introduction.

      The chart might work if one includes DOS systems as “Windows” machines, but of course Windows is a very different computing paradigm from DOS.

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #191142 Reply

        anonymous

        Agreed. The original Asymco blog post was about the iMac. Maybe the DOS/Windows distinction was a little too esoteric for the writer.

        Edit to remove HTML

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #191292 Reply

        Cascadian
        AskWoody Lounger

        I agree the ‘over the hill’ symbolism is the desired message here, coupled with a bellcurve ‘outlier’ status.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #191140 Reply

      jabeattyauditor
      AskWoody Lounger

      The “Windows PC” region in the chart cannot be correct. Windows 1.0 wasn’t released until late in 1985, yet the chart would suggest that in the previous year almost 50% of computers were already shipping with Windows. And in any case, Windows didn’t take off commercially until 1990 with version 3.0. Starting the curve in 1986 or 1990 would shatter the illusion of symmetry before/after the iMac’s introduction. The chart might work if one includes DOS systems as “Windows” machines, but of course Windows is a very different computing paradigm from DOS.

      IMO, “WindowsPC” should be replaced with “x86” as that’s what the chart actually displays.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #191183 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody MVP

        Of course, putting “x86” will leave out all of the 64-bit machines.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #191136 Reply

      anonymous

      I assume this is the OS that machines originally came with so Linux will be eating into those Windows machines.

      Android phones is the real mover IMO especially in Asia. This is why MS tried to turn Windows into a mobile OS which is only alienating its core base.

    • #191156 Reply

      AlexEiffel
      AskWoody MVP

      This chart is very misleading. It presents the picture in a very bad light for the desktop. Suppose for example we focused only on business users. Then we could say 90% have desktop PCs running Windows. Comes the cell phone, and suppose everyone gets a cell phone in addition to the computer. Then that percentage would shrink compared to before to around 50% but there would be as many PC.

      The total number of devices might give a better indication. And as others have pointed out, all these devices don’t always fill the same need. Try selling Photoshop for the Smartphone… If Adobe was doing its market studies using this chart, they would stop producing Photoshop for Mac desktops and PCs and put all their efforts in an Android phone version.

      I saw the author did a total number of shipments, too.  Not saying his article was bad or uninteresting. But we need to be careful about the conclusion we draw from this. Sure, we live in an era where touch is the most prevalent paradigm, but that doesn’t tell us we should have touch desktop PCs. Sure, if you follow the money, maybe you will invest more in those technologies, but if you are Microsoft and you were better at doing Windows than doing mobile, maybe you should not destroy that mature but still important market while trying to do good in the new ones.

       

      • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  AlexEiffel.
      6 users thanked author for this post.
    • #191230 Reply

      anonymous

      It is a pity Remix OS has been discontinued. With Android’s huge backing of apps and active updates, I think a PC desktop version has the greatest potential to compete with Windows and possibly even overtake in the future.

      • #191961 Reply

        anonymous

        Anonymous wrote:
        It is a pity Remix OS has been discontinued. With Android’s huge backing of apps and active updates, I think a PC desktop version has the greatest potential to compete with Windows and possibly even overtake in the future.

        Hi, different anonymous here. Not really a huge fan of Android per se (limited user control, embedded google, often pre-installed manf crapware, too often slow or nonexistent manf updates…), but fwiw you might want to check out the Android-x86 project:

        http://www.android-x86.org/

        Hope this helps.

    • #191234 Reply

      anonymous

      The marker for “iMac Ships” seems to indicate the start of Windows’ decline, but ironically looking at the same chart, it seems to indicate the start of the Mac’s decline too!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #191247 Reply

      anonymous

      In the article, there is a better chart in the article that gives a much more realistic understanding of what’s going on. Yes, Android is commanding a high percentage, but that’s because they opened up a new market. PC is declining, but only slightly. Android is mostly just opening a new market.

      I’ll try to link the better image, but I don’t know how well that will go: http://www.asymco.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Screen-Shot-2018-05-07-at-11.39.29-AM.png

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #191280 Reply

      NightOwl
      AskWoody MVP

      Interesting blog post–brings back lots of memories …

      My wife and I used to *kid around* (see future–pun–intended) with our son that we hoped Nintendo would still be around when he went to college, and had a job available for him when the time came–that used his very practiced and intelligent thumb hand eye coordination!

      Fast forward some 20 plus years–I think my wife and I were *seeing* the future, but we did not realize the full extent of what we were imaging–our son now has an advanced degree in software engineering with a specialty in android devices–and his well oiled thumbs are faster than I’ve ever seen on a smart phone! (By the way–he ditched his Windows base desktop and laptop years ago–after his first visit to Africa as part of his dissertation preparation–too insecure with all the viruses and malware–he switched to a MAC laptop and has never looked back!)

      Just in Time

      There are two platforms–though unlike Windows, Android is fragmented and iOS is not just on one form factor. Nevertheless there is stasis. The touch UI which begat nine billion devices is normative. The next interaction metaphor has not emerged as an obvious successor.

      I’ll take a stab at that!

      Voice activated computing–it will leave the smartphone touch screen in the dust! It will not matter what OS is being used.

      It’s already here! See the Xfinity’s voice activated remote control. A secretary in one office where I work is using a smartphone app that she dictates all her text messages by–she is of my son’s generation–but as a woman, never was into the Nintendo gaming so her thumbs are not so well oiled. Her skill at using a voice app to send texts is a marvel to listen to–very fast and knows all the control commands to format a message quickly.

      But, be careful what we wish for! Can you image walking around, especially in a crowded corridor, busy mall, a pub, or an elevator–you never saw a Star Trek episode where everyone was trying to access the computer during a Klingon attack emergency at the same time–oh boy, what a mess that would have been! And will be in the future ….

      Let’s see how that guesstimate holds up over the next few years ….

      NightOwl

      No question is stupid ... but, possibly the answers are 😉 !

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #191486 Reply

        MrJimPhelps
        AskWoody MVP

        Voice-activated prompts often don’t work for me – they usually misunderstand what I am saying. Also, there’s no privacy with voice-activated prompts – everyone in the room hears everything you are saying.

        There needs to always be a keystroke option, in addition to the voice-activated prompts.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #191295 Reply

      Cascadian
      AskWoody Lounger

      We often see the idiom ‘apples and oranges’ for similar things that are not alike. Well apples, oranges, pears, and bananas are all fruit, but this chart adds spinach, potatoes, and carrots to present the the entire produce section.

      It’s like saying motorcycle sales are squeezing out the pickup truck market.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #191349 Reply

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Lounger

      I agree with most of the criticism of that chart written by others earlier. I would like to put mine in this way:

      Assume that the following disappear overnight and there won’t be any more of them for at least a decade:

      (a) All smartphones.

      (b) All tablets.

      (c) All PCs (desktops and laptops, regardless of OS).

      Which, (a), (b), or (c), will have the worst effect on the functioning of modern industrial societies?

      The relative abundances of those three kinds of device shown in that chart are not very meaningful. The decline in the number of PCs is well-known and largely explained by the fact that, years ago, PCs were the only way to do what most people do today with their cell phones and tablets.

       

      • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  OscarCP.
      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #191443 Reply

        anonymous

        Yes obviously smartphones are most important today in the mobile world and people  in the future will probably just dock their phones to get the desktop experience.

         

        • #191513 Reply

          OscarCP
          AskWoody Lounger

          Good point!

          The computing power that can be crammed into a cell phone, not even a large smartphone, is already tremendous. I imagine that if the trend of them having ever more powerful computer engines inside continues…

          But then again, a dedicated computer that is not used for making all sorts of contacts, both secure and otherwise, is always likely to be more secure than a cell phone from hacking by black hats, free lance, or working for a foreign power, or in the employ of a commercial or research competitor.

          So the IT security people of a workplace will probably be adverse to allow such small and portable things that can be easily taken away to unsecured locations, or else be brought in and plug into the LAN clandestinely, to be used for work of any importance to that organization, much as is already the case with thumb drives and portable storage media in general, that are banned in many places.

          Of course, it is theoretically possible to issue secure cell phones to the work force and keep them chained to their desks (the cellphones), but I imagine this would look pretty ridiculous even to those running the place.

           

          • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  OscarCP.
          1 user thanked author for this post.

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