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"I think that's the point. They maneuvered themself into "the standard" instead of allowing someone else to do it. There is a reason they still have 90% (argue for other figures if you like, it's still huge) of the desktop OS, and it's not just because of the OS. It's because of the interlock between Word, Excel, and the OS, which begat an almost monopoly platform,c hich begat proprietary softwares for medicine, metallurgy and everything in between."

What are you counting with that 90 percent number? New sales or installed base? I heard it was higher.

Data from the NPD group showed that while 10-14 percent of US households now have a Mac, only 2 percent are mac only. Considering that about 1 percent are linux only, this means that 97 percent of US households have some sort of Windows machine running at home. Though one could argue that new sales are more 'forward looking,' nobody can deny Microsoft still has a truly extraordinary amount of leverage. If they can get their act together and kick the hardware makers into line, they're well positioned to reverse these trends.

Anyway, I completely agree with everything else you said, just quibbling over that one number. The power of a windows/office system isn't the software itself, it's everything built on top of it. When you consider all the third party application (both free and proprietary) designed to use Office as a front end, Google is light years behind.

Linux and OSX have done more to catch Windows, but without Office, Mr. Softy still has the advantage here, too.

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