>>Actually market momentum is controlled by Microsoft, witness the rapid
>>changeover from Win3.1 to Win95 and, previously, the rapid penetratino
>>of Win3.1 on previously DOS-only systems. Microsoft controls the way
>>the market goes by controlling the major OS distribution channels.
>Wow! More like "witness the power of overwhelming marketing hype".
>(You are getting verrrrry sleeeeeepy.)
>While I think John's statement one of wishful thinking rather than
>reality, I also think Jim's been reading far too much MS and pro-Wintel
Actually I approach this from a business perspective; I pay little
attention to the hype because I know it's mostly lies. In any case
the hype had little to do with whether or not Win95 would sell; even
without the hype they would have sold tens of millions of copies.
The way to get people to buy your stuff rather than somebody else's is
to make sure you're the easiest, or the cheapest, or the first they
Microsoft got into the market by being the cheapest by far (75% less
expensive than the nearest competitor, with very similar
capabilities). They're *still* the cheapest by far, and that makes
them attractive to budget-conscious customers as well as vendors
operating on razor-thin margins. Vendors push it, so customers see it
first, hear about it the most, and get it by default. This is all
independent of Microsoft-sponsored marketing hype.
Microsoft gets first-crack at about 90% of all OS sales (virtually
100% of all Intel PC OS sales); that's a huge advantage over the
competition. Does that translate into sales? Sure does: about fifty
million of them last year alone, close to ten times as many as the
Volumes like that give Microsoft an incredible advantage; if they want
to push another product, like Win95, into the mainstream they can do
it by manipulating the OEM price structure. Even small manipulations
translate into millions of dollars' difference at the volumes the
larger OEMs ship. That's how they got Win3.1 out there in large
numbers: they sold DOS+Windows for less than DOS alone. An OEM would
have had to be out of their mind not to take that deal, and as a
result Windows sold about 40 million copies that first year alone.
They did a similar thing with Win95: to qualify for the cheapest price
at least 50% of the Windows sales made by an OEM had to be Win95. The
result? More than 30 million copies in the first year, despite an
Microsoft does not dominate by hype, they dominate by having a very
strong core business model and using that strength to leverage other
It astounds me that so many people fail to see this when it should be
obvious to even a first-year business student.
Quote:>The truth of the matter is that while Ms-Win95, like Ms-Win3.x, *sold*
>like crazy, the number of people actually *using* it has been
The numbers I've seen vary so much that the only thing we can be sure
of is that most of them must be wrong. I believe what I see with my
own eyes, and what I see is Win95 popping up all over the place.
Quote:>I recall reading somewhere an industry survey that said that only
>about 20+% of users that had Ms-Win3.x installed were actually *using*
>it on any kind of regular basis. I believe this was just a year or so
>prior to the release of Ms-Win95!
Does that number sound realistic to you? By looking at sales figures
prior to Win95 we can easily estimate the upper bound of machines that
aren't running Windows or MS-DOS at maybe ten million total (OS/2 sold
about 6M copies prior to Win95; PC UNIX variants sold fewer than 2M;
everything else is lost in the noise but we'll be generous and say
they got 2M copies). The total Windows OEM sales base was circa 150M
copies, so you're talking about fewer than 7% of machines that *might*
be running something other than MS-DOS or Windows.
The only way that 80% of all Windows owners could be avoiding Windows
is by running DOS as their primary OS. Yet that doesn't jive either;
if it were the case then MS Office would have saturated the total
Windows user base a couple of times over, to say nothing of the
I don't know the source of your figure, but assuming it wasn't a total
fabrication I think you must have misread or misremembered it.
Application and competitive OS sales suggest that the number applies
to the fraction of Windows copies that aren't being used rather than
those that are.
Quote:>And within the first year of its release, Ms-Win95 had *still* not
>penetrated the business desktop very well.
That's certainly true, and it's another thing I told people to expect.
There's too little added value and too high a cost. Even so, they
managed to sell more than 30M copies through OEMs in the first year --
better than one copy for every two machines that shipped.
I see two interesting things from this: First, even with poor business
penetration Win95 sold more copies to businesses than did any other
operating system. Second, Microsoft doesn't exactly lose when one of
their products loses to another one of their products.
Quote:>I do *not* bother with Wintel propaganda rags.
Neither do I.