Monday, November 9, 2009

Trying to rain on Windows-7's victory parade

For those of you who do not know, Windows 7 is out. You should be able to get it with any newly manufactured system, and through most retail sources. The Wallstreet Journal and several other sources have begun reporting market data on the early sales of Windows 7.

In the U.S., sales through all channels is equal to 182% of that Windows Vista during the first few days on the market. Sales of boxed copies, by far the toughest SKU to sell , is 234% higher than Vista during the first few days.

These figures are shocking given the relative strength of the economy during the launch of these two systems. The economy was "strong" in 2007, with the Dow Jones finishing at 14,000 in October 2007. This is when Microsoft launched Vista. We are mired in a nasty recession now, the worst since the Great Depression, with unemployment over 10%, and under-employment between 16% and 18%. This is the moment Microsoft has launched Windows 7.

Given the long-term, stable, statistical fact that most people get a new OS with a new computer, nobody, but nobody would have predicted this level of success for Windows 7. People aren't supposed to be buying new computers under economic conditions such as these, nor are they supposed to break statistical trends by upping old computers to Windows 7. Any fair-minded analyst has to shake his head in disbelief. Against the odds, Microsoft just hit one out of the ballpark. This is tantamount to smacking a 2 run home run again Mario Rivera in the 9th.

I hate to bring in this spectre, but piracy is also much more prevalent today than in 2007. Vista DRM and licensing vexed pirates for a time. They seem to have figured out how to bust Windows 7 rather quickly. High piracy rates should negatively impact sales, or so we would think. You can't prove that theory if you look at the current sales figures of Windows 7.

After you kick these facts around for a few hours, the theorist is left to one conclusion: Microsoft must have fundamentally gotten it right this time. The customer has to see some value in this product, or they would not be extending themselves in this way, at such a time as this. This is a huge disappointment for the anti-Microsoft crowd in the Java, Apple, and Linux camps. They are sitting around with big, fat, black-eyes and a headache this morning.

So what are they doing about it? They are inventing large headlines which lie with strange statistics, and stranger claims. Consider the following:
  • TechWorld reports that Windows continues to loose market share world-wide. Their figures show that Microsoft 0.23% of the market during October. Apple picked up 0.15% during that same period. Wow... My heart is racing.
  • Sophos claims the Microsoft left Windows 7 open to hackers. They neutered UAC too much, says Chester Wisniewski. They were actually able to install 7 out of 10 Trojans... as long as there was no anti-virus software installed on the system. Jeeze... I shit myself when I read that.
  • Stranger still is Preston Gralla's weird claim that Windows 7's unexpected success is a bad thing for Microsoft. They are now doomed to turn into General Motors. Err.... WTF? Yeah, a smart guy named Jay R. Galbraith says its a bad thing. You see, Microsoft is going to stick with the desktop instead of going to smart phones now. You see if Microsoft wants to remain relevant, they have to fire all their managers and become Google.Apple with web services and a smart phone.
As I mentioned before, I do not suffer fools lightly or well. I want to know who enfranchises the crack-pots? How do you get a license to become a professional crack-pot? How do I manage to get crack-pot remarks on to the web page? How do you get people to actively quote nonsense as if it is meaningful? How do you get bullshit to pass for knowledge and information? How do you throw spaghetti against the wall and make it stick? How do you babble meaninglessly and make people think you are anything but a complete fool? How do you spin tales told by an idiot signifying nothing and make money while doing so?

One wag commented that nobody ever when broke over-estimating the stupidity of the American people. This is the popular paraphrase of the sage of Baltimore, H.L. Menchen. Maybe these crack-pot websites are indicator that his saying is true.