Micro$oft’s “default” marketing strategy:

noun: default; plural noun: defaults
  1. 1.
    failure to fulfill an obligation, especially to repay a loan or appear in a court of law.
    “it will have to restructure its debts to avoid default”
    synonyms: nonpayment, failure to pay, bad debt

    “the incidence of defaults on loans”
  2. 2.
    a preselected option adopted by a computer program or other mechanism when no alternative is specified by the user or programmer.
    “the default is fifty lines”
    • something that is usual or standard.
      “all my life, envy has been my default emotion”
verb: default; 3rd person present: defaults; past tense: defaulted; past participle: defaulted; gerund or present participle: defaulting
  1. 1.
    fail to fulfill an obligation, especially to repay a loan or to appear in a court of law.
    “some had defaulted on student loans”
    synonyms: fail to pay, not pay, renege, back out; More

    go back on one’s word;
    informalwelsh, bilk
    “the customer defaulted”
    • declare (a party) in default and give judgment against that party.
      “the possibility that cases would be defaulted and defendants released”
  2. 2.
    (of a computer program or other mechanism) revert automatically to (a preselected option).
    “when you start a fresh letter, the system will default to its own style”
    synonyms: revert, select automatically

    “the program will default to its own style”
Middle English: from Old French defaut, from defaillir ‘to fail,’ based on Latin fallere ‘disappoint, deceive.’


Quite frankly, Micro$oft’s market positioin has always depended on FUD: Fear, uncertainty and Doubt:

Specifically, the “fear, uncertainty and doubt” of their own user-base.

Consider their central “marketing” -strategy with the various version of their Window$ operating system:

Typically, proprietary (closed-source) software vendors expect their users (victims?) to have to explicitly download/buy/install their “product”.   In other words, much proprietary software is “opt-in” — there is at least some effort (no matter how token or minimal) on the user’s part — even something as minor as clicking a check-box labelled “I agree”.

Micro$oft window$ has always been a different case:  it was typically perpetrated on its users without their explicit concent, by “default” — since it was preinstalled on the systems sold by OEMs (“Original Equipment Manufacturers”).

This ended up foisting a particularly vicious sort of “vendor lock-in”, on exactly the most volnerable users: those who aren’t (currently) tech-savvy enough to  be able to install any of the alternatives themselves.

Quite frankly, the relative market position of Micro$oft would have been radically different if OEMs had (for example) offered identical machines which different only in one respect: the Micro$oft Window$ machines were significantly more expensive, due to Micro$oft’s “Windows Tax”:


Quite honestly, that single instance of failure to collude would probably have driven Micro$oft into irrelevancy in short order.

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.

The primary reason Unix/Linux-type Operating systems aren’t ubiquitous on the “desktop” is: they actually require effort to install.   the tragig (and horrifying) fact is: many users are simply incapable of even backing up their own files (pix/vids/audio etc.), let alone micrating those files to another machine.

As a result, they end up “defaulting” to whatever Micro$oft decides to perpetrate on them.

Fortunately, the situation is (slowly) changing:

Several factors:

  1. “Mobile” devices (tablets/smart-phones): whatever you might think of Android, the fact is: it is not a Micro$oft product.  Moreover,  the fact that it isn’t proprietary, closed-source garbage (coupled with the — relatively — “kinder and gentler” licencing under which it is released) ensures that OEM vendors tend to jump at the chance to “bundle” it with their hardware, instead of paying Micro$oft’s “bitch”-tax.
  2. Google “Chromebooks”: Laptops pre-loaded with Google’s specialized Linux distro?  Kewl!
  3. The Telikin line of all-in-one computers:  they’re explicitly marketed toward “seniors” (presumably on the premise that “seniors” are less tech-savvy, or suchlike).  The clever thing is: their specific OS (a very minimalist, intuitive layout which actually resembles an ATM machine more than anything else) is running on top of the Linux Kernel — and presumably stuff like the Bash shell, underneath.

Realistically: the fact that Micro$oft has been frantically force-upgrading their current user-base to Windows 10 and trying to “play nice’ with OEMs is more about their OWN “fear, uncertainty and doubt”, than anything else:

Micro$oft has always been the IT equivalent of a school bully — roughing up the “nerds” for their lunch-money.  And, just like any other school bully, all it took was for somebody to refuse to back down:

The ones who wouldn’t back down?   The myriad of folks behind the BSD/GNU/Linux projects.

Unix/Linux was always overwhelmingly dominant EVERYWHERE ELSE but “the Desktop”, because those actually involved with IT/networking etc. actually knew what they were doing.

Micro$oft could never have expected genuinely tech-savvy folks to unthinkingly stick with whatever “default”happened to be foisted on them, without at LEAST considering the alternatives.









Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s