Predictions on Linux vs Windows (again)

In the past days I have seen several Spanish and English on-line magazines articles reporting that "Microsoft will always beat Open Source". I'm honestly very impress by any journalist or person that can make serious statements regarding the future of computing specially when it also involves market share evolution without an empirical analysis of the market (like DataMonitor does).

The root of all of these no sense comes from the Hardvard paper Dynamic Mixed Duopoly: A Model Motivated by Linux vs. Windows written a few years back and republished by some magazines now. The paper introduces a mathematical model that formalizes the relation between Linux and Windows. As the authors explain in the paper and in an interview they made important simplifications and assumptions to be able to build their model. Like that there are only two competitors in the operating system arena, that there is no grow in the market (increase from one operating system market share means decrease from the other one), there is a linear demand, etc.

This paper is just what the authors claim to be: a mathematical model that formalizes the relation between Linux and Windows. It does not take into account important issues like the operating system OEM sales effect, the possible results of all the trials that Microsoft have in court (including the ones with EU), how government regulations can affect the market or how SaaS can commodizy the value operating systems in some segments in the future.

I strongly belive that if someone wants to make a complete study (and that is not what the original authors wanted) on operating systems has to take into account at least the variables described by Porter already at the end of the 70.

It's just amazing how news are copied over and over in the Internet without any minimal checking. Crazy times.

jordi Wednesday 13 September 2006 - 6:32 pm | | Default

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