Apologies for not writing this earlier, but I’ve just had a horrible few weeks of school & work, with a week of 14hr days in a classroom to boot.

I wanted to follow up on the post because most of the comments I received were of the “you’re crazy, Microsoft sucks, you suck” fashion.

Well, I have been known to be wrong, and sometimes my ideas have been crazy, and Microsoft has been known to suck. But, does any of this change what we’re seeing in the market?

According to IDC data from Dec. 2007:

  • The Linux OS market growth rate is slowing from ~22% in 2007 to ~16% in 2011
  • The Windows OS market growth rate is slowing from ~11% in 2007 to ~9% in 2011
  • The Unix OS market growth rate is slowing from ~ NEGATIVE 7% in 2007 to ~ NEGATIVE 6% in 2011
  • The 2006-2011 CAGRs for Linux, Windows and UNIX are 20%, -5% and 9% respectively
  • IDC expects the Linux OS market to be worth $0.967B by 2011, compared to $22.7B for Windows and $1.9B for UNIX
  • From 2006 to 2011, Linux, Windows and UNIX operating system revenue will grow by $0.57B, $7.7B and -$0.51B respectively (note how the Linux & UNIX revenue shift balance each other out)
  • If the Windows OS market grew to 2011 and then remained flat (i.e. 0% growth), it would take Linux until 2029 to grow to the size of the Windows market. Lots of things can happen in the next 20+ years.

Now I know that OSS is larger than Linux OS. However, we simply have the most revenue data on the Linux OS market, which is why I use it in this post.

Roy S., I don’t want you or any of our readers to leave. Let me ask you what value you get out of this or any other blog if all you read is what you believe to be true? I have never said I am always right. I am willing to learn and change any of my views. I’ve always believed that the way to deal with adversity is to be honest with yourself about the situation. I don’t think that the OSS community is being honest with itself. (This is a personal view, and I am willing to be convinced otherwise).

It gives me no joy to be (one of) the messengers behind the news that OSS is great, but it’s not going to kill Microsoft or other large commercial software vendors. I know this is at odds with the often repeated view that OSS is the only path forward. There is simply no data that supports this claim. Yet, OSS luminaries are lauded for repeating this claim.

Just imagine if we agreed that OSS isn’t the spark that destroys and re-casts the software landscape as we know it. Would this change how OSS vendors look at their competitive differences, revenue goals and customers vs. users? I suspect yes. By simply repeating the claims that OSS will take over the world, are we doing anyone any good?