The legacy of Microsoft’s global dominance started on August 12, 1981, with the first release of MS-DOS. Microsoft Founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen, licensed MS-DOS to over 70(!) other companies, within a year. This was just the beginning of the global conquest, but Microsoft already proved that it was a very capable business company ready for more. Four years later on November, 1985 Microsoft released Windows, as a graphical extension for MS-DOS. Since then MS-DOS(last release September 14, 2000) and Windows are dominating the entire computer market for over four decades. Windows currently dominates the market with 87% of the market share, Apple(MacOS) under 10% and all Linux distributions combined about 3%. The remaining competition are ChromeOS and several BSD variants. This is the current state of affairs in the desktop market, Microsoft is only dethroned in the mobile market where Linux is kingmaker via Android. Microsoft’s dominance with the desktop is currently built in. Companies use Windows as the default desktop and new PCs are usually sold with it pre-installed.
But will it last for another six decades? Will Microsoft dominate the computer market a full century, like Coca Cola is dominating the entire soda industry since 1886? The biggest problem for Microsoft is probably mobile, phones are either iOS or Android and phones are getting more capable every new release and are also becoming peoples primary connection to the internet. The Redmond giant could face the possibility that they will never lose their desktop dominance but that very same desktop market could become a much smaller niche. However, the big bucks are still to be found in the corporate market, Windows is dominant in the workplace because they’ve done a good job at creating a business infrastructure. Windows domain, Exchange and Office give businesses everything they need and switching to a new eco-system is very expensive and time consuming. Just imagine if the vast majority of schools or financial institutions around the world would undertake this initiative! And who will replace all these Microsoft products? And how about the costprice of re-educating all the users combined in using this new software? This is how big Microsft really is…
The computer market should have been more diverse, a utopia of Amiga, Atari, Acorn, Linux, BSD, Apple and offcourse Microsoft all have 15-25% of the global market share. None the less, a century is a very long time in the rapidly evolving world of technology. The Commodore 64 dominated the computer market between 1983 and 1986 with between 30% and 40% market share and 2 million units sold per year, outselling the IBM PC clones, Apple Computers, and Atari computers. They dominated the computer market (the living room) but still Commodore went bust in 1994. Ten years from now the operating systems we use today could seem archaic. I think the real question is whether Microsoft will continue to innovate with its operating system to stay ahead of the competition. The future of computing appears to be cloud-based systems that require less and less from device-based operating systems, but again Microsoft is kingmaker….
news source: Generationamiga / image source: Pixabay