Giving up on my plan to do yard work this week, (it was 42° at noon, though "sunny"), I spent my afternoon doing something I haven't done in a long time: "surfing" the Internet, looking stuff up and revisiting blogs I'd bookmarked for some forgotten reason.
My current main PC, a Velocity Micro Edge M10 with an Athlon 64 3 GHz Dual Core processor, is 2 years old now. When I bought it, I chose to have Windows XP on it, though the vendor, like everyone else, was pushing Windows Vista. I am not an early adopter. I don't like to bug-test unpolished software. But I was curious, now that Windows 7 has been released, to know how many users are still sticking with XP, which I only got at work in the last year.
I found the information at Net Market Share, which analyzes market share for operating systems, web browsers, search engines, and provides other Internet usage data. Windows XP is still the most popular OS in the world, with a massive installed base of 66% of all PC's. Vendors of popular free applications, like Adobe, iTunes, and Google, and PC game companies, will have to accommodate XP users for years to come.
Searls Blogs Google
And speaking of Google, the Doctor has written a fine piece in Linux Journal on the future of Google, The Google Exposure. Reference librarians, along with everyone else, have come to rely on Google searching as though it were something like a public utility. But it is not. We don't pay a penny for it.
I'm just worried about the way Google makes money. Nearly all of it comes from advertising. That's what pays for all the infrastructure Google is giving to the rest of us. As our dependency on Google verges on the absolute, this should be a concern.
Think of advertising as oil and Google as one big emirate. What happens when the oil runs out?
Maybe it already is. Citing a “Natural Born Clickers” study by ComScore and Starcoma, Ad Age last year reported that “the number of people online who click display ads has dropped 50% in less than two years, and only 8% of Internet users account for 85% of all clicks...What's more, the 8% of Internet users that compose a majority of clicks is also down by half from the last study, which found 16% are responsible for 80% of clicks. The 2008 study found half of all clicks come from lower-income young adults.”
The free rides won't go on forever.If you do reference work every day with Google, you owe it to yourself to read this piece, including the excellent comments.