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Linux versus the world: The unwinnable war?

Jun 15, 2010, 21:36 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Simon Brew)

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"Apple, we learned, pulled in profits in just three months of over $3bn. That's not in a year – that's just in a quarter. That number doesn't account for sales of the iPad either, its latest bizarre contraption, for which the numbers are due to hit in the next round of figures.

"Microsoft is happy to play the numbers game, too. It's been buoyed by the fact that Windows 7 is the most successful iteration of its operating system to date, and that its numbers are trouncing those of Windows Vista. As such, how much has Microsoft – a company that was pruning its staff numbers on more than one occasion last year – brought in in profit for the first three months of the year? Ah, that'll be a cool $4bn. Four. Billion. Dollars. You could cut VAT with that. By anyone's measure, they're scary, scary figures. It gets more staggering if you look at straight revenue before profit. Here, Apple snared $15.68bn. Microsoft's revenue was $14.5bn.

"What also becomes clear from these numbers is that Apple and Microsoft support an ecosystem of firms that rely on them for much of their income. Take the profits being reported at chip-maker ARM, which makes technology for Apple products. Look at the knock-on software purchases that tend to go with a copy of Microsoft Windows. Bluntly, when Apple and Microsoft are bringing in the loot – over $10bn a month between them – there are financial ramifications right down the chain."

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