In October of this year Microsoft is going to shoot themselves in the foot with a 80mm howitzer. I fully expect Apple to follow through and do the same but much worse with the next version of OSX.
First, Windows8 is going to be a user productivity disaster, it's going to be a total failure in the business sphere and will likely make Vista look like a raging success. Combined with Metro and MS's insistence that no application built to the metro interface can be sold through any forum other than the MS application store (do you think Adobe is going to want to give MS 30% of every software sale?) along with the lockdown and touch based interface that is going to absolutely destroy peoples ability to get real work done you're going to have a system that will create a viable opportunity for competitors that exploit it.
Second, I fully expect Apple to double down on this and go a step further and basically turn the next version of OSX into a version of iOS that is completely and totally locked down (they put the foundation in place with the current version) as I believe their top management has decided (mistakenly) that the PC is going to die and will be replaced by tablets and phones.
These two events are likely to present an grand opportunity to capitalize on these combined failures. Moving forward and getting a system in place that creates a standard upon which commercial software vendors can operate might finally allow Linux to see broad PC adoption and significant market share. The content creation paradigm that Apple has dominated for decades has been slowly being eroded by bad decisions on Apples part, much has moved to Windows as of late (Adobe now pushes windows as the primary version) but nothing is certain yet. There is a grand opportunity to step in as the alternate Windows replacement that is more like OSX while MS shoots themselves in the foot then be there to take the rest of the market when Apple abandons rationality.
MS is slow but generally corrects bad decisions in the next version because they are very in tune with the business community after all the bad feedback comes in. The colossal failure of Windows8 will only present an opportunity until Windows9 (probably a minimum of 3 years). If Linux distributions want to capitalize on this they need to be waiting in the wings in October and be in active discussion with Commercial software vendors, OEMS and businesses in the content creation business right now. There is already a foundation in place in specific segments (Blender for example) and if properly executed it could be possible to take most of the content creation business. What probably needs to happen is one of the distributions (or all/some of them in cooperation) need to start the discussions now.
I'm not sure what it will take to succeed, maybe cleaner standards and compliance by the cooperating distributions or maybe it will take something like Wayland to make it happen. Not being a software developer I can't say, but I do see an opportunity that I think is highly likely to happen. The only way to succeed is to figure out what it will take to succeed before MS fires the foot shot in October and to move rapidly shortly thereafter to be in place with a content creation alternative before Apple fires the 120mm Howitzer into their foot.
I am curious if anyone else has seen the disaster/opportunity I see coming and what their thoughts are.
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