[OT] Free software versus software idea patents

harrismh777 harrismh777 at charter.net
Tue Apr 12 05:22:32 EDT 2011

Ian Kelly wrote:
>> >  The desktop
>> >  is all that is left... and that is dying... rapidly. Their lockin is well
>> >  entrenched (like Borg implants ) but the number of mom&  pops ( like my
>> >  entire extended family, for instance) who are moving to Ubuntu (themselves)
>> >  is astounding! It will not be long and Microsoft will die... and none too
>> >  soon.

> So what is that number?  Anecdotes are unreliable; I would like to see
> the actual data.  The only non-techie I personally know who uses Linux
> is my wife, and she only uses it because it's what's installed at
> home.  My brother-in-law was a Linux fan at one time but has
> regressed.

     This is very difficult... and I'm not dodging the ball here... its 
just the truth. The 'market share' data are bogus. Reason? ... because 
the free software 'market' is not a market. It is not measured in any 
way, and it is almost impossible to determine therefore in any accurate 
fashion. There really are no data... what we need here is a census of sorts.
     Here is an anecdote for you... our tax prep this year was done 
on-line via Firefox. We use software through a large and well-known tax 
company which for this purpose supports *only* Firefox 3.6 or higher... 
go figure. Is not that interesting..?   I know, just an anecdote.
     Here is another anecdote for you.... the university is supporting 
*only* Firefox for Moodle and Blackboard usage... very interesting. 
Well, since most students are carrying a Mac Book, and the rest are 
running Ubuntu, they really cannot support *only* IE can they?  They are 
supporting one browser, and Firefox got the job. I know, just an anecdote.

     IE is dead. It is flat dead... almost nobody is using it...

     The market data are worthless in this discussion, because free 
software and free software platforms are not measured in the 'market'. 
Please allow me one more anecdote... I have purchased several machines 
over the last ten years... all of them preloaded with Windows 
(something) and all of them running IE (something).  NONE of those 
machines ever saw the light of day as "Windows" machines. I purchased 
the hardware *only* recovered my cost on the M$ license, and quickly 
loaded my linux system of choice... and I've used them all, believe me.
     The point here is that the 'market' data would show that my 
machines were purchased, installed, and running... activated even. But 
the truth is that *Best Buy* activated them, not me, and Microsoft is 
claiming that I am using their popular operating system (which I'm not) 
and the market data shows Microsoft doing so well in the Desktop market. 
The truth is something quite different. I am not and have not used 
Microsoft products for over 12 years now. (not at all)   And, all of my 
systems today are running *only* free software (not even kernels with 
'blobs' in them). I use only free (as in freedom) software on all of my 
systems (Desk and server) as does my *entire* family (well, I influenced 
them, of course).

     I read in the blogs today that Microsoft is now claiming that 
Windows 7 has 39% market share...   SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM  I don't 
like SPAM !   ... just eggs and ham...    Give me a break !!!   I don't 
even know one person who has Win7 installed, running, and likes it... 
not even one.  Where is all this 39% market share...??  Probably the 
numbers from *Best Buy* on preloads... that get reloaded... or 
corporations that buy bulk preloads, and then reload their images over 
the top...


kind regards,
m harris

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