Being ready for the “next great exodus”


This week, Microsoft cut the tethers on Windows XP.  No more support, no more updates, no more patches, no more security.  And millions of users are asking themselves, “what now?”

A survey of current XP users suggests the majority will just keep using Old Faithful, or move to Windows 7, which frankly is the only Windows-based alternative that’s remotely like what their used to.  Windows 8?  Forget about it.  More XP users plan to move to Linux than to 8 or 8.1.  Strangely, just a sliver, 1%, plan to move to the Mac, which I find astounding given the quality of that operdownloadating system and the halo effect I’d expect it to have due to the popularity of Apple’s portable devices.  After Windows broke my heart one too many times, I moved to the Mac and never looked back.  It’s a great environment.  But I digress.

Here’s what I was thinking today:  Imagine if Haiku had been farther along right now.  Suppose its fast, stable, silky-smooth interface was already complemented by a full array of standard desktop necessaries such as a viable office suite, calendar and appointment apps, and a web browser closer in capabilities to the big three.  In other words, what if Haiku was as far along as Linux right now, and had begun to get some of the same credibility and name recognition?  What if people realized they could have a well-equipped windowing desktop environment faster than Linux, and infinitely easier to use?  Where might Haiku have shown up in the pie chart on the right?

The fact is, about a third of all Windows XP users are staying right where they are, for now.  That’ll change in the next few years, as they realize they can’t hold on any longer and have to move to something else.  Wouldn’t it be cool if, by then, Haiku was firing on all cylinders?  It’d still be a bit of a reach to expect more than a tiny percentage of the Windows user base to cross over, but a tiny percentage of tens of millions of people is nothing to sneeze at.

Here’s hoping efforts continue to bring credible office applications to Haiku’s desktop.   It’s not ready for the current exodus, but who knows…it might be ready for the next.



Post-PC world, Zaranthos’ take…

Buzzer “Zaranthos” had a comment on the Post PC world story good enough that I thought I’d put it up here as its own article…

Get out of my head. 😛
You’ve echoed my feelings on Windows 8/8.1 Office 2007+ (ribbon bar). As much as they want to make things trendy for the smart phone generation it doesn’t make real work easier, in fact it makes it harder with a learning curve for people who once knew how to do something and suddenly no longer do. What has this unneeded frustration gotten Microsoft? Dismal Windows sales even as they proclaim the death of the aged Windows XP which they’re attempting to bury alive still having a larger installed base than Windows 8.

For a time I was able to use BeOS in a commercial work environment at least part of the time and I long for Haiku to reach maturity to give me alternatives to the madness being forced on us now. Nothing would please me more than to be able to slap Haiku and LibreOffice on an old XP computer and tell my customers they didn’t have to live with the annoyances of Windows 8.x even with band-aids like Classic Shell.