iTnews: Microsoft Losing on the Desktop

[ Thanks to Con
for this link. ]

“A growing trend of ultra-cheap computers is threatening to
damage Microsoft’s hold on the desktop software market by attacking
the core market to which Windows and Microsoft Office actually
sell: PC bundles. Microsoft sells the majority of its Windows and
Office licenses preinstalled with new PCs, but as PC prices
fall–to as low as US$200 a box this year–the cost of Windows and
Office licenses, as a percentage of the total system cost–is
rising dramatically. That’s causing PC makers to look at
alternatives in ever increasing numbers, to both of Microsoft’s
core products.

“Wal-Mart’s cheap PCs are leading the charge. Available in
versions with Windows, with various Linux distributions, or with no
OS installed at all, the Wal-Mart PCs are rebranded Microtel boxes
that generally sell in the US$200-400 range sans monitor. The
machines are filled with exactly the kind of cheap componentry you
might expect, including Via Technologies chips, rather than more
powerful versions from Intel or AMD, and low-speed, low-capacity
hard drives and CD-ROM drives. But for just a couple of hundred
bucks, even the thriftiest of customers can now outfit themselves
with a fully functional computer. And some of those PCs are
shipping without any Microsoft products on board…”


Get the Free Newsletter!

Subscribe to Developer Insider for top news, trends, & analysis