Last week, David Coursey reported that Microsoft entertainment and devices boss Robbie Bach made the prediction in an analyst briefing that Linux on mobile will lose. Why? It’s choice is a bad thing for customers and that there is too much Linux in the mobile marketplace
By Bach’s count there are 17 variants of Linux available on mobile phones. He sees this as a bad thing for customers. We, unsurprisingly, see this as a bad thing for Microsoft.
Technology markets are shaped by momentum. When a company bets on a technology, it’s not a one-time decision. They must live with that choice for years. Ecosystems around technology are as important as the technology itself, since you need partners and developers to actually make something of it. This is why I take issue with his pronouncement that Linux will not do as well as Microsoft mobile. He may have a point that individual variants of Linux may come and go. We will likely see moves both up and down for specific versions of a mobile OS using Linux. We’ve seen it in the enterprise distribution market.
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