domingo, 9 de junio de 2013

Wintel, Office 365, education, and other observations

I just read this feature on HP's position about committing to using only Windows and Intel chips.  As it seems, the marriage between the computer maker and Wintel is going sour.

It might be too late for HP.  Maybe they still have hope.  Whatever it is, it's clear by now that Windows 8 did not help computer makers boost up their sales and, given the fact that Microsoft is not making a big splash in the mobile (phone/tablet) industry, I guess HP is right to try other options.

Some people have argued that Microsoft will have it hard this year because they cannot use their market position to leverage the shortcomings of their software concerning performance and, thus, justify the price they charge for Windows and MS Office.  Microsoft must prove with the performance of its software that it is worth using and paying for.  That is not easy, especially when people do not seem willing to keep paying for newer versions that incorporate newer problems.  Take, for instance, the shortage of sevice in MS Office 365 last year.  Microsoft issued this apology , which became memorable for the irony it contains.  As it turns out, instead of being produced with a MS solution, it was produced with... Google Docs!

It is a fact that people have not been dying to upgrade Windows 7 (and, in some cases, Windows XP!).  What's more, where I work, most people still use MS Office 2007, which means that Microsoft has failed to motivate them to buy Office 2010.  Therefore, for Microsoft, it will be even more difficult to get them to jump on the Office 2013 wagon.

I doubt that many users here will like the idea to "rent" their Office and pay monthly, especially now that it is well known that you can produce documents for free with LibreOffice or other options.

So, the argument of business productivity might not work for Microsoft now as it used to. I guess that this company's greatest hope to remain relevant will be to appeal to the sector where, sadly, the most technology-ignorant people are found: education.  It's already happening.

It's sad to say it but, unfortunately, teachers are the easiest prey for companies like Microsoft because educators normally lack information about free software and they are brainwashed to accept blindly that technology enhances learning.  In addition, most teachers are the product of a monoculture in which "technology" is equivalent to "Windows".

However, I doubt that Microsoft can stop the quick disintegration of its monopoly... even if devices running their questioned Windows 8 OS flood certain schools, for many, Android and iOS are friendly neighbors, whereas Windows 8 is a suspicious stranger.

1 comentario:

  1. While M$ is still at advantage, its unquestioned reign is being shaken more and more. In the past, they simply sat pretty in their throne, but now they must prove to many that Windows and Office are are still relevant. In my opinion, their biggest mistake was believing that people actually want to pay for their software. In reality, most people paid for it because it came "bundled" with the hardware. Now that new hardware comes with other options, many are opening their eyes. Other people do not pay for Windows or MS Office at all; they simply pirate them. How are they expected to buy into Windows Store and renting Office?